I’m currently on a cross Europe adventure, visiting 8 countries and hoping to take many great photographs. Then as I walk out onto Piazza San Marco in Venice, raise my xPan to my eye, press the shutter and….. Nothing. The mighty xPan was dead. I had a feeling something was wrong as on the last roll it started to make some horrible squeaking noises, but I convinced myself it was the new kind of film I was trying, or maybe the cold weather. Anyways, I’ve been mourning the loss ever since. I’ll send it in to Hasselblad for servicing when I get home, hopefully it is repairable.
In tribute to my xPan, here are some of my shots on Flickr
And here is my all time favorite shot taken last summer in Paris…
This week’s photo courtesy of Amsterdam…. Taken with my xpan on fuji pro 400H film, then converted to BW in Aperture. Speaking of Aperture, why does it take it about 5 minutes to convert 5 photos into web sized jpegs? In fact it takes forever to do just about anything that any of my older photo editing programs can do almost instantly… Apparently you get what you pay for as it is one of the cheaper ones out there… Sorry for the rant.
Taken in Berlin, Germany from the cafeteria of the KaDeWe department store. The enormous windows giving a panoramic view over the city were just begging me to pull out the 15mm and take a few pics. I liked this one the best, it looks great huge with the curving window on the left hand side.
Photo taken with my Voigtlander Bessa R, 15mm Heliar, Tri-X, developed in D-76.
Photo of the week, from a while back… Haven’t taken many pictures since moving back, I live in a bit of a cultural wasteland… But I digress. This picture was from Berlin, one of my favourite cities of Europe. Everything fell into place for me on this one, I saw the accordion player, the light turned red so he couldn’t cross and everyone lined up and waited while (unknowingly) I took their picture.
Taken with my Hasselblad xPan, 45mm lens, and likely Fuji Neopan 400, but I could be wrong on this one…
This week’s photo is from Potsdammer Platz in Berlin, Germany. It’s a truly amazing place with an incredible history. It used to be a sort of no man’s land between the old East and West Germany’s, but has since experienced some renewal. There are now many buildings, restaurants, etc, and it’s a very busy place during the day as well as at night.
This shot was taken with my Hasselblad Xpan using the 45mm lens and Fuji Pro 400H film. I had a bunch of shots from the same night and I really love how they all turned out so great.
I own a holga, I admit it. I didn’t buy it though. A friend had bought it, used it for almost a full roll, and decided it wasn’t for him. I’m never one to refuse a free camera, so home it came with me. I’ll also admit that I have enjoyed it from time to time, but it certainly hasn’t become my one and only camera. Mine has no light leaks and simply gives a soft shot with vignette, I don’t think I would like the ones that leak.
From the makers of holga comes the Sprocket Rocket, a new camera that takes panoramic film images and can even expose the entire film (hence the sprocket part of the name). I can’t help but think if this camera had been available during my xpan search, I might have bought it first to try and satisfy my panoramic urges without spending too much money. I guess in a way I’m glad I didn’t as I would have still bought the xpan and then had also wasted money on the above camera…
It shoots 35mm film, has a 30mm lens (zone focus), and has one shutter speed (as I said, same people who make the holga…). It does have two wind knobs which allows you to move the film forwards and backwards while shooting, enabling you to do cool overlap effects. I like the design and I think it’s a great way to get into panoramics, but I’m not sure if I’d spend the money on this one.
I’ve always been a great fan of panoramic photography, and over the past year I have absolutely LOVED my hasselblad xpan panoramic camera. It is my take everywhere camera, nothing else I own can match the quality of this camera. Before I bit the bullet and bought my used xpan, I tried some less expensive alternatives such as the Horizon 202, the Pan-o-gull and the Vivitar Pn2011. In the end I was always frustrated by the limitations of these cameras, and in some cases the quality was horrible.
While browsing the web today on Four Corners Dark, I came across Deon Reynolds blog. The site has some truly wonderful photographs. I was most interested in the Plastic Panorama Photography post. Deon takes old Kodak disposable panoramic cameras (discontinued since 1999), reloads them with Kodak Tri-X, adds a yellow filter, and voila, an inexpensive, reusable panoramic camera that produces some truly outstanding images.
I highly recommend heading over to Deon’s blog to check out his DIY and wonderful pictures.