Thoughts, rants and musings about absolutely everything except photography. Or cats.

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Widelife

an anecdote from the archives

in Hasselblad XPan , Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Hasselblad XPan is not noted for it’s usefulness in wildlife photography, still less in birding. The longest lens is a 90mm f4, which equates roughly to a 50mm in “normal” 35mm terms. Arguably.

So when I was looking for something to scan today (it was raining), I came across a very untypical series of shots I took at Latrabjarg, Iceland, in 2004. That day - or rather night - I was photographing puffins using my Olympus E-1 with 50-200mm lens (that’s 400mm in 35mm terms), when the battery died. And I didn’t have a spare with me, and the spare was about 20km away. Bugger.

So,throwing convention to the wind, and to the amusement of my companions, I switched to the XPan. There can’t be many other places in the world you can get close enough to wildlife, even less birds, to get away with this, but these puffins have no predators on land, and really couldn’t give a damn about some strange animal crawling towards them waving a weird object.  Of course they didn’t really stand still long enough to get many shots - this is shot on ISO 100 Velvia 100F, at f4 I imagine. Maybe 5.6 at a push.

Xpan iceland23 01

But still, it sort of works, and is vastly different from the standard DSLR shots I got once the battery was recharged.

p.s. Afterwards, I discovered that the E-1’s battery has a sort of “rebound” effect. Leave it off for a bit, switch in on again, and you’re good to go for another 50 shots or so. Same goes for the E-400, but not the E-3, which eats batteries like a pig in donut shop.  Anyway, in this case I’m glad I didn’t know, I’d never have even considered this otherwise!

Posted in category "Hasselblad XPan" on Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Older Comments

from Project Hyakumeizan on Wed, July 27, 2011 - 9:29

Ah, there’s nuffin like a puffin (as I may have observed before). But, seriously, there’s much to be said for showing animals, birds, flowers and so on within their natural habitat. Close-ups lose that environmental information. The picture above works well for me….