Ok this is pretty niche, but I figured I would document them while I have them in mint condition!
One of the most important differences between the XPAN 1 and XPAN II for me is the long exposure ability of the camera. The XPAN I has a maximum Bulb exposure time of only 30 seconds, while the XPAN II has a max exposure time of 9 minutes (540 seconds.) That limit of 30 seconds is simply too short for eg ocean long exposures, so while I had a few options to buy an XPAN I years ago, I had to wait & save my funds until I could afford an XPAN II, or in my case a mint Fujifilm TX2 ex a camera store in Tokyo.
But that isn’t the only difference with respect to long exposures. Both models of the camera can use a physical cable release, the kind you screw in and a small metal wire physically triggers the camera to take a photo. But if you use these to shoot long exposures it means applying constant pressure to that wire. When I first got my TX2 I tried using one of these cables and found it misfired a lot. At worst it would fire and release almost immediately, which when shooting a long exposure with ND10 or ND15 filter equates to wasting a shot as it is completely underexposed. On doing some more research I discovered the XPAN II also has an electrical cable release option, which uses the same socket but fires the shutter via an electrical short. Accordingly using the XPAN II cable release means for long exposures it keeps the shutter open consistently, until you take your finger off, or if using the slide lock, until you release it.
I managed to find one on eBay and happily used it for the first few years, but very frustratingly on a road trip down South I lost my cable release! I could not believe it, but when I went to shoot a long exposure it was not to be found, and the last time I remember seeing it was in a remote place – half way up Mt Cheeseman. So I had no choice but to start searching for another one, and as these cameras become more rare, finding parts also becomes more difficult. I eventually found two, one in Brasil which I bought & had to wait many weeks for it to arrive, and then a second one, a spare via eBay in USA. Ever since I have had a couple of search alerts set up, so I know when one becomes available and recently picked up a second spare, but this time the identical Fujifilm version!
Since both the spares arrived in their original packaging I thought I would shoot some photos of them, just to be nerdy… If you own an Hasselblad XPAN II or Fujifilm TX2, the cable release model number to be searching for is:
Hasselblad Model 3054510 Xpan II release cord
Fujifilm TX-2 Remote Release Switch
I will disable my search alerts now, having two spares is enough for my peace of mind… And the one I am currently using is cable tied to the neck strap, so can’t go missing. If you are searching for one, feel free to email me and I can try & help steer you to where to look but be aware I’ve only ever seen one or two come up for sale per year, so patience is required!
Fujifilm package and graphic design is the winner for my tastes! Sorry Mr Hasselblad.