Well, it seems like an eternity, but in reality I didn’t deny myself the pleasure of an xpan all that long. That’s right, I bit the bullet on an “affordable” Xpan I saw on ebay. It’s definitely not the prettiest camera, in fact it looks like it’s been well used and abused, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t baby my gear, and when I end up with a new to me camera in excellent condition, I’m bound to damage it cosmetically, and this just makes me mad at myself for wrecking such a beautiful new toy. Besides, I like to think the scratches add character, I can imagine the stories behind the various dings, like maybe the scratch by the hot shoe was when it hit a rock while making an ascent of some mountain.
But I must digress. The camera is wonderful, I have put 5 rolls of film through it in the last week, slide, C-41, and BW. While I’ve wanted one forever, I have found the framing of photos quite difficult as the frame contains so much information! I find the best approximation for the width of the frame is if I close one eye, what my single eye sees is about what the Xpan sees in terms of width. My only other frustration is that part of the frame is blocked by the lens hood, and so sometimes I include a stray object in the lower right corner of the frame which I was not aware of.
I don’t have the centre filter, so I have noticed some slight vignetting, especially with the slide film, but I think it can add to the photos. I get 20-21 shots on a 36 exposure film which is also a nice number as I’ve always found 36 exposures to be too many to get through sometimes. Although the camera can switch between panoramic and 24x36mm, I have yet to take a picture in “standard” format. I do question the 24x65mm panoramic negative size as this is not an easy size to enlarge. By this I mean that 24x36mm is divisible by 6, so you can print at 4×6″ or 8×12″, etc. If they had made the panoramic image 24×66, then a 4×11″ standard could have been developed.
Below are some of my first shots, see my flickr page for more!