Chroma Cameras has released a new-and-improved version of its CubePan 135-format panoramic camera. The 2023 version includes the same features as last year’s original, although it now includes better usability based on feedback from photographers.
Chroma Cameras’ founder Steve Lloyd tells Kosmo Foto that the new version of the CubePan 35mm system camera is “an exciting multi-format panoramic 35mm camera system which uses magnetic lens cones to allow for multiple focal lengths from 47mm to 180mm, along with compatibility with all Mamiya Press lenses and a dedicated pinhole plate too.”
Lloyd decided to release the new version following helpful feedback from photographers using the original version. Lloyd worked with these photographers to further improve the CubePan 35mm pano camera. The improved model has the same compact size and lens compatibility as its predecessor, although it features a grip design like Chroma’s medium format camera designs as some photographers found the original CubePan’s grip too narrow when using larger, heavier lenses.
“After redesigning the grip from my larger cameras for the CubePan, I felt that the added stability from the combination of both front/rear grips helps when using the camera handheld, so I decided to make it a standard feature,” Lloyd tells KosmoFoto.
Another improvement comes in the form of the new darkslide holder. This allows users to change lenses without affecting the loaded film. While the CubePan is designed for the widest panoramic frame format, 24x72mm, it comes with slot-in baffles to reduce the frame size to 24x48mm or 24x24mm. When using the 24x24mm frame size, the new darkslide holder allows photographers to swap lenses while using the same roll of film, as the roll allows 52 frames at 24x24mm.
As a nod to Lloyd’s first camera, the Advanced45, which he launched on Kickstarter in 2018, the 2023 CubePan comes in a variety of colorways, including black, classic (wood), light stone (gray), “pro orange,” olive green, purple, and matte blue.
The 135 format CubePan uses dedicated, interchangeable magnetic lens cones to change the focal length. The eight neodymium magnets are unchanged, but Lloyd has added a mechanical latch on the left side of the cone, opposite the camera’s grip, to make it easier to release the magnets.
The compact camera body weighs only 274 grams (9.7 ounces), which Chroma Camera says makes it easy to carry in a small bag. The camera includes a pair of machined aluminum winding knobs and a precise ratchet to wind the film. There are a pair of clicked frame counter wheels on the camera’s base to allow the user to keep track of film usage. The camera includes a standard 1/4-inch tripod thread in its base and a centered cold shoe on the top plate with an integrated bubble level.
The CubePan doesn’t come with a lens but comes with one lens cone/helicoid. If a photographer wants to use a specific lens that isn’t listed on Chroma’s website, it may be possible for Chroma to design a custom one, provided the lens’ rear element is smaller than 60mm in diameter and its shutter size is smaller than 54mm.
The 2023 CubePan 135 format panoramic camera is available to order now for $429. The camera will be built in three to four weeks following purchase.
Image credits: Chroma Cameras