XPan VS Mamiya 6MF in pano?

Discussion in 'Panoramic Cameras and Accessories' started by PKM-25, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    Multi Format
    OK, So I am really trying to both pair down and stock up at the same time, cameras in the former, film, paper and chemistry in the latter.

    One thing I am thinking about is the fact that I seem to be shooting more MF film in my 6x6 Blads, even in genres one might otherwise choose a Leica RF for.

    So my thought was to possibly sell my XPan kit and buy a two lens Mamiya 6MF kit with the pano adapter.

    So I will list the pros and cons of each system that I know of thus far and await any replies about other things I am not yet considering:

    XPan Pros:

    1. Relatively small, medium weight, great meter, dual format.

    2. Exceptional image quality lenses with an incredible 94 degree wide view with the 30mm.

    3. A true panoramic format at 24mm x 65mm.

    4. Bracketing in .5 of full stop increments in both Auto and Manual means less setting time between shots when on a tripod in quickly changing light.

    XPan cons:

    1. Limited bulb time as per model type ( mine was upgraded a bit by Hasselblad ).

    2. Even with the special upgrade I had Hasselblad do, I still can get IR film fog near the advance sensor if the camera is on too long and I do not shoot and advance the frame soon enough with HIE.

    3. Pricey batteries, debatable how long they will be around.

    4. Two lenses require center grad filters, I have spares but they are uber expensive to replace in case.

    Mamiya 6MF Pros:

    1. A great option to shooting my 501CM if just doing street.

    2. Bulb times limited by battery health.

    3. No center grads required on any lens.

    4. Only 100 grams heavier than Xpan.

    5. Option to use pano adapter and have reference in VF.

    Mamiya 6 cons:

    1. Pano is roughly 10mm shorter than Xpan's 65mm.

    2. No really wide lens, limited to same FOV as 45, but even narrower.

    3. Pano option is a bit clunky from what I have heard.

    4. 150mm is a bit too long for use with Pano.

    5. Despite weight, camera and lenses are a bit larger, something I strongly consider when doing extended trips in the back country.

    So that is it, I am still leaning towards keeping my Xpan because of it's strengths, but the money I would have left over for supplies and the option to have a 6x6 RF are sorely tempting…..
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2012
  2. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

    Sep 2, 2006
    Frankly, I think con #3 on the XPan list is not a worry at all. Order a bunch online. I get mine for $2 a pop. They have a 10 year shelf life. And I don't think they'll be going away any time soon. Lot's of electronics use this kind of battery.

    The Xpan is a great compact panoramic camera. If that's the goal, then I'd just keep it. On the other hand, if panoramic is going to just be a every once in a while thing for you and you'd rather have MF, then go for the 6. Though personally, I think I'd get a Mamiya 7 instead - I think the panoramic adapter for the camera gives you negs that are the same size as the M7. And with the 43mm lens, you've got an amazing lens that would put down essentially the same frame as the XPan. But maybe sharper :smile:

    Also, I never use a grad filter with the 45mm on the Xpan. Maybe I'm just not as sensitive to the vignetting...
  3. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

    Nov 20, 2007
    Brandon, MB
    Medium Format
    The Mamiya 6 is a great camera but not what I'd use for panoramics.

    If your goal is to shoot panos, then get a camera that shoots panos...simple as that.

    Like Tim, I've never shot with the grad filter on my XPans and never had a problem. Guess I'm 'insensitive' too! :smile:

    It seems your goal is to make panoramic images, and I'd keep the XPan for that. The drawbacks are pretty minor compared to those of the Mamiya for this purpose.
  4. jcoldslabs

    jcoldslabs Member

    Aug 31, 2009
    8x10 Format
    I've been shooting panoramics with the 43mm lens on the Mamiya 7 for fifteen years now. I love the camera for all other types of shooting as well, but the 43mm paired with the pano adapter is a great combination. While it saddens me to see it, you can pick up a M7 body and the 43mm for a fraction of the original retail cost. I've never done any enlargements bigger than 14" wide, but they look great at that size.

    I can't offer any opinion on the XPan, but I've never had a significant complaint about the Mamiya 7 system. Good luck.

  5. Hikari

    Hikari Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Medium Format
    I have used the Mamiya 6MF with the pano adapter and 50mm lens. It is OK, but the Xpan will be a better camera. The pano adapter is a real compromise particularly in the viewfinder frame lines. If you occasionally shoot panos or want to be able to run 35mm film in your 6 when you run out of 120 film, the pano adapter is good to have. If you want to do panoramic photography, the Xpan will be better. I used a Widelux or Horseman SW 612 for my pano work. I love my Mamiya 6s, but not for pano photography.