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New EC law forces Hasselblad to discontinue XPan camera - Hasselblad's 35mm XPan panoramic camera falls foul of new laws set out by the European Community
Hasselblad has, unfortunately, been forced to discontinue the manufacture of the XPan system with immediate effect. Hasselblad (UK) Limited has a small number of kits, but has said that it will not be able to get any more when they have run out, although there will be a supply of both 30mm and 90mm XPan lenses for a while more.
There are a number of reasons why the XPan cannot be continued, but the timing has been forced upon us by the European Community in the form of the Disposal of Hazardous Waste Regulations. These come into effect in mid July and prevent electronics manufacturers using lead solder in their circuit boards. The XPan is evidently manufactured using lead, and falls foul of these new rules. The cost of redesigning the circuits in a way that removes the need for lead solder is too high, given the declining worldwide sales of the camera. Consequently Hasselblad have been forced into the decision not to produce any more.
Simon Barnard, Managing Director of Hasselblad (UK) Limited stated: It seems a great shame that this innovative, iconic camera should have to be discontinued in this way, especially as UK sales have been particularly good, but there is really no other choice open to us. Obviously, we will continue to support the product line for at least ten years.