For those not already aware, Hasselblad are the makers of some of the finest film cameras ever made. The XPan is a discontinued panoramic 35mm film camera, which is to say it uses the standard, or at least what used to be the standard, 35mm film however takes non-standard exceptionally wide (panoramic) exposures on it. In an era when 35mm film cameras are falling in value like rocks (take the Nikon F5 for example, arguably the finest pro 35mm film camera body ever made, they were over 3000$ in the 1990s and now can be had for an order of magnitude less), unusual gems such as the Hasselblad XPan are skyrocketing in price.
A friend of the company, and lucky owner of a few Hasselblads, came to us with an issue. The 45 and 90 mm lenses for the XPan each came with an usual lens shade. To my knowledge, the number of lens shades produced matched the number of lenses, they were never sold as after-market. Unfortunately the design was rather delicate and prone to cracking over time. Broken ones now are expensive, pristine ones even more so, and that is if you're lucky enough to even be able to find one. Could we precisely replicate the design?
It took a few tries, but as you may have guessed from the images the answer is obviously yes. We did up a couple, both in full opacity black polymer, using ABS for some and Polycarbonate Alloy for others. The shade matches the original design profile and style, and attaches via the original bayonet mount indexing off a small mark. Use of the original cap is even preserved. Why the two materials though? A function of lens shades isn't just to protect the lens from flare, but to protect the objective and the entire camera from bumps, scratches, and god forbid a drop. ABS offers a great finish, good impact resistance, and good durability. Polycarbonate Alloy however has EXCEPTIONAL impact properties and elongation at break. This makes for a lens shade even better able to mop up the odd bump and keep running. In both cases the bayonet mount on the shade is intended to, in the event of a catastrophic drop, act as a mechanical fuse, sacrificing the shade to absorb energy rather than transmit it to the camera mounts potentially breaking them.
And there you have it. Lens shade for an exotic antique irreplaceable film camera? DONE!
If you liked this, check our our latest blog post on body and lens rear caps for the XPan HERE.