The Fujifilm TX-1: The Secret Hasselblad, Which Is Really A Fuji.

In recent years, Hasselblad has almost been laughed out of the camera sphere for re-badging Sony cameras, attaching a bunch of pretentious crap to them and then selling them for astronomical prices.

Well, it seems that all back-fired on them, since they are once again in financial troubles.  I guess not everyone has “stupid” written on their heads.

Hasselblad’s recent foray in re-badging gear is not new however.   One other example of this occurred back in 1998 with the XPan, which was actually designed and built by Fujifilm.  The XPan was the first “Hasselblad” camera to use 35mm film.

Fujifilm called the camera TX-1 and it’s subsequent  “upgrade”  in 2003, the TX-2.  Interesting, since we now have a Fujifilm camera named the XT-1.

Throughout this post, i will be talking about the Fujifilm version; after all, they are the ones who made this fantastic camera.  The Hasselblad version came in black and had the Hasselblad badge on the front of the camera.

The three lenses that were “made” for this camera, were also made by Fujifilm.  All were stellar, as all Fujinon optics are.

Reincarnated with the X-Pro1: 

Just looking at this camera, it reminds me of the X-Pro1.  The shape, the dials, the grip……  if it were not so wide, it would be the spitting image of the X-Pro1.  Furthermore, the X-Pro1 was also launched with three prime lenses as well (18mm, 35mm and 60mm).

I can’t see that Fuji designers ignored the TX-1 when designing the X-Pro1.  They just look to similar.

TX-1 lenses:

As did the X-Pro1, the TX-1 had three lenses to compliment it when it was launched:

– A 45mm, f/4

– A 90mm, f/4

– A 30mm, f/5.6 (an external viewfinder was needed to use this one)

Keep in mind that all these lenses were/are medium format lenses.

None of them are particularly fast lenses when you compare them to the Fujinon primes of today.  Though, keep in mind, the whole idea of this camera was to take panoramas, not portraits.

It was a bit of a tangent for Hasselblad to work with Fuji (i do believe they did so a few other times).  Their usual partner was Zeiss.  However, in regards to the TX-1/XPan, it was a match (secret?) made in photographic heaven and Fuji got it bang on.

As with the X-Pro1, the TX-1 is also an all metal camera (both aluminium & titanium are used), making it very robust.

Below are the rest of the specifications of the camera:

  • Camera type: Coupled rangefinder with interchangeable lenses
  • Viewfinder: Bright frame viewfinder (ambient light), automatic parallax compensation, automatic standard/panoramic switch over via format selector dial, automatic bright frame switch-over according to lens fitted, integral LED exposure metering indications. Field of view 85% or more
  • Focusing: Lens helicoid interlocked to coupled rangefinder
  • Film transport: Pre-wind type, automatic positioning according to format, automatic wind-on, automatic rewind. Single-frame and continuous.
  • Film type: 35 mm
  • Format: 24 × 36 mm and 24 × 65 mm
  • Frames per film: 36, 24, and 12 frames in standard format, or 21, 13, and 6 frames in panorama format from 36 exp, 24 exp, and 12 exp cassettes respectively
  • Exposure counter: LCD. Automatic, shows number of frames remaining. Illuminated. Panorama format indication.
  • Shutter: Focal plane shutter, B (max 270s) – 1/1000 sec, flash synchro from B – 1/125 sec. Activated by button or cable release socket. 1 EV step control on manual, 1/12 EV step control on automatic, self-timer with 10 sec. delay
  • Exposure control: TTL measured at shutter plane, center weighted averaging system, aperture priority automatic/manual switch over, ± 1.3 EV accuracy, 4 EV (f4) – EV 19 (f 22) (ISO 100)
  • Exposure compensation: ± 2 EV at 1/2 EV step intervals
  • Auto bracket: 0.5 EV or 1.0 EV step intervals. Order: standard, under, over
  • Film speed: Auto DX setting and manual setting. ISO 25 – 3200 sensitivity
  • LCD information: Illuminated. ISO, Tv, Auto bracket, self-timer, battery check, total exposure counter
  • Batteries: CR2 x 2 (6v total)
  • External dimensions: Camera body only: 51 mm L x 166 mm W x 82 mm H. (2.04 × 6.64 × 3.28″); 45mm lens: 47 mm (1.88″), Ø 60 mm. 90 mm lens: 73 mm L (2.92″), Ø 60 mm.
  • Weight: Body only: 720 g (25.2 oz) without batteries. 30 mm lens: 310 g (10.85 oz). 45mm lens: 235 g (8.23 oz). 90 mm lens: 365 g (12.78 oz).

So, as you can see from the above specs, when you use the TX-1 for it’s intended purpose, you are not going to get the most out of your roll of 35mm film.  However, you can switch to taking conventional 24 x 36 frames, even mid roll.

If you are interested, here is a link to the XPan manual.  When you read this, keep something in mind: this camera was designed & made by Fujifilm

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/vg5pubfkh4dgw53/3c8f1f64-b0af-4a98-b35e-0db6a220cfdb-XPan_English.pdf)

How did i come across this camera?:

Don’t read it wrong, i don’t have one.  As much as i would love to get my hands on one, they are kind of pricey.  You are going to have to lay down around $1500 dollars for a TX-1, with a lens.

Funny enough, the “Hasselblad” version is no more expensive.

Anyhow, last night i was watching Kai on Digital Rev and him & Lok got their hands on an XPan and a Fuji GF670, which is a medium-format camera being made & sold today.

The purpose of them getting their hands on these film cameras, was to show people that full frame cameras are somewhat “overrated” and that there are some other formats out there worth considering, albeit film options.

In addition, they were showing that if you want “big”, you don’t have to spend over three grand for a D800 or 5D MKIII to get it.  The GF670 goes for about $1600 and as i pointed out before, a TX-1 will set you back around $1500.  Of course, you have to think about film and processing as well.

In love with the TX-1:

Aside from the aesthetics of the camera, i am in love with the format.  Just take a regular sized 35mm “frame” or photo and double the length, then you have what will be spat out by the TX-1.  A very appealing format in my eyes.

With a few photos a while back, i cropped them to 9 x 16, somewhat a similar format to what the TX-1 will give you.  I really like this format and it would work great for some street shooting in dense areas.

History always tends to reveal some clues about our present.  In this case, i see where Fuji designers may have gotten inspiration when designing the X-Pro1.

TX-1?  Well, we now have the XT-1.  Coincidence?  Perhaps.

Fuji always seems to have interesting cameras to read about and the TX-1 is no exception.

Thanks for looking.

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5 thoughts on “The Fujifilm TX-1: The Secret Hasselblad, Which Is Really A Fuji.

  1. Joel Sackett

    Just inherited a TX1 with 45 and 90. I used an Hasselblad Xpan1 years ago for a housing development project and then moved on. Thinking what to do with the TX1 now? Back to film or sell?

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    1. Thanks for dropping by. If I were you, I would keep the TX-1 and put a few rolls of film through it every once in a while. Though, if you don’t see yourself using film again, I am quite sure that you could get a good price for it.

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  2. Pingback: Article: The Fujifilm TX-1: The Secret Hasselblad, Which Is Really A Fuji. | This is my life

  3. Always wanted to have one, but never did. It’s one of the few cameras in the world you never read any bad comment about. I’ve quit small frame analogue photography in the meantime, so I’ll stay with its big sister the Fujifilm GX617.

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    1. Yeah, i would get one if i had the money to blow. I am going to shoot in 16:9 on my X-pro1 one weekend. I did a test shot to compare it to the 3:2 and i think the results will be interesting.

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