View Full Version : Its a whole new world-Xpan on the way
I rented a xpan over the weekend and as soon as I touched it I knew it was "my camera"... After I saw the photos it was even more amazing....So I just bought one on E-bay and it's on its way! Seriously it changed my consciousness, I am now seeing differently....everything is a panorama :angel:
I think you have to be very selective and precise with your composition otherwise it could go horribly wrong ...not an easy format but one with great rewards.....
Know the feeling very well , except i didnt rent, i bought sight unseen and fell in love with it the second my hands touched it!!
Anyway your right about the composition, it is a whole new world and just takes getting used to. I found after seeing results (some good alot bad) i started realising what works and what doesnt.
I think its also partly due to the lenses, the wide 45mm becomes something of a much wider 27mm in the panoramic format, and that in particular was what i found most difficult. Things that look big in the viewfinder come back looking smaller and alot further away in the tranny. But i guess thats part of the adventure,... so much fun!!
Your gonna love the xpan fever :)
IMO wide angle, especially pano, takes time to master. Much more difficult because so much more into the picture. The great pano shooter, Lois Conner, says that in pano one must read similar to reading a Chinese scroll.
Lois Conner works with banquet cameras, which have the same proportions horizontal/vertical as the xpan. she works mainly in B&W and platinotypes. google her work.
neat thing w/ xpan is that one need not always shoot pano. One can be selective but still in business w/ the 45mm standard mode. After 15 years shooting w/ Leicas I can say the xapn is one awesome camera.
Congrats and enjoy.
I shot 3 rolls with it now and I am just stunned at the quality, even when I just shoot in 35 mode, it looks like medium format! The panoramic is just beautiful. As soon as I get my act together I'll post some shots. I scan them with the Epson 4490 which works great, and blows away my Minolta Dimage Dualscan IV (so that's going on the block soon). Then I print with MIS's special black and white inks for the Epson c86. Again I am just astounded at the beauty of what this camera can do. You more or less have two cameras in one, so for the $1300 I paid I get two cameras!! If you do black and white the C86/MIS inks are an affordable solution that gives professional results...
Fuji, which makes the Xpan OEM for Hasselblad, is starting to make a stereo version for Horsemann. It is featured in the latest issue of Asahi Camera which went on sale today. The camera goes on sale "in the summer."
It uses twin 38mm F/2.8 Fujinon lenses that look rather like that very rare stereo lens pair available for Leicas. Another distinguishing mark is that it has a rather large hand grip attached to it. It looks a bit cumbersome but the review says it feels good. The two lenses are a little close together for the full stereo effect, but the example shown (shot inside a transport museum) looks very good, so I expect the camera will be fine for close- and medium-distance shots, perhaps less good for scenery.
The standard Xpan image, 24 x 65mm, is replaced by two images taken simultaneously. Obviously, they are not full 35mm format frames... I would guess about 31mm wide? Since there is only the one FP shutter, the two frames will be perfectly synched, and flash will be usable under the normal restrictions (up to 1/125th? I never use flash so don't recall). With auto wind and aperture priority AE it's going to be very convenient for quick "snapshots" in stereo. At the moment I use a Bessa T101 and Bessa L with 35mm F/2.5C lenses yoked together and a dual cable release. The Horsemann would be a great improvement on that. Unlike the Horsemann, my two lenses are too far apart, so I get a rather exaggerated stereo effect and cannot include objects closer than about 2m due to eyestrain associated with the unnaturally high parallax.
I've felt that the Xpan would make a great stereo camera ever since I first got one, and an enterprising camera technician in Japan had already made one to this design that was written up in one of the more technical magazines. But I didn't expect to see it produced for sale.
I WANT ONE!
But I am afraid that it will be a very expensive item...
By the way, I join the chorus of praise for the amazing Xpan and its wonderful lenses. And I am sad to hear that it is being taken off the shelves in Europe because it uses lead soldering and falls foul of the EU RoHS directive. Hmmm, Maybe this stereo project is a way of working down their inventory of finished products? Outside Europe, of course...
PS I hope my previous post doesn't count as hijacking the thread. I know it's not really a reply, but I thought it sort of fitted... and I forgot how to start a NEW thread (if I ever knew).
Roger, I'm delighted to hear of the stereo version XPan; what an amazlingly admirable move! And what a tiny niche in the market that must be. When was the last reasonably successful stereo camera model?
Many years ago I did a small experimental stereo-pair series with an Olympus Pen, set on a tripod with a Paramender turned sideways. Only applicable for static compositions of course. I should dig out those negs...
Oops, now off the XPan, this IS getting far afield...
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