Well… I am now a very happy new owner of a new old Fujinon TX2 (aka Hasselblad xPan II) – I have been itching to get a medium format film camera and have been checking out Hasselblad 500c options while in Japan.. but I’ve had a nagging doubt about lugging *another* large camera & lenses around with me…

Getting used to shooting with the relatively tiny Sony a6300 has been welcome relief, and every time I pick up my 5D3 it feels like a weighty beast, which is both good & bad…. Good/great if you are in your own country and all the gear is within easy reach of the car.. Bad if the location/s are remote…

One of the definite downsides of the Sony a6300 is that the decent Zeiss lenses are all ‘focus by wire’ ie control of focus is based on software, and for me this is not a ‘feature’ I will ever get used to. I had doubts about ever being able to use manual focus (aka myopia paranoia) but this issue was resolved by using beautifully engineered lenses that were designed to be focused manually. And I don’t necessarily mean expensive lenses eg the old Takumar 50mm lens out performs many spendy Canon L lenses when it comes down to ‘feel’ and subtle tweaking of focus, but my Zeiss ZE full frame lenses are a joy to use. So while I love using my little Sony a6300 and can achieve good results with it, it feels like a toy and a compromise when it comes to manual control of lenses.

But wow this Fuji TX2 – it feels weighty compared with my Contax T2 (which I also love, but it doesnt really encourage my ideal style of shooting ie bulb mode long exposures via cable release) but the TX2 in use in panoramic mode feels a little like an invite to a Sergio Leone movie… You can switch it to ‘normal’ 35mm mode and shoot like a rangefinder, but in panoramic mode it is more than a little bit unreal and is very inspiring to shoot with….

After visiting Yodobashi Umeda to get a few essential bits (CR2 batteries, UV filters for the lenses, a camera strap etc) I jumped on the Chuo line and headed out to Osaka port and blew a roll of Ektar 100, shooting some side by side long exposures between the a6300 and the TX2, using the same settings, and then varying the exposure on the TX2 as a test…

As with any new tool, have got to use it enough to develop intuition… but lets wait until roll #1 is back from the lab!

In the meantime check some of these gorgeous xPan/TX photos: flickriver:xpan

ps: I did the frame count check and this TX2 has only done 250 exposures total since new, which is apparently what you can expect when new as they do a similar number of calibration test shoots… unreal to become best friends with a decade old camera of such extraordinary conception!

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