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Xpan outings

Back off the shelf

in Hasselblad XPan , Wednesday, February 02, 2022

For about a decade and a half, my Hasselblad XPan was a regular fixture in my life. I rarely went on any significant trip without it. But various things combined to make my use of it tail off. First of all my flirtation with the Linhof 612, which eventually burnt out. Then my use of the Sigma dp0 as a digital alternative. Finally, a few years ago, I decided it was time for revival, and I took it with me to the sun scorched lands of southern Puglia, were it promptly blew a fuse. This was kind of reminiscent of my first XPan tragedy in Svalbard 10 years ago, but at least this time eventually a repair was possible.

Xpan 2022 01 18

I ran a few desultory test rolls through it when it came back from repair, but after that it pretty much sat on the shelf for 18 months. It seems to have a market value - even to a dealer - north of €7000, which is nuts, but I can’t bring myself to sell it.

Xpan 2022 01 04

So last weekend, on a whim, I grabbed it along with a couple of rolls of expired Provia 100F, and took it for a couple of outings. The first, to Como lakeside, in the sun, and the second to Andermatt, in the Swiss alps, also in the sun. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Xpan 2022 01 10

The experience of the widescreen optical viewfinder never gets routine, especially now I found an 0.5 diopter correction, and the simplicity of use is remarkably refreshing. I still miss the exposure compensation dial from the XPan I: adjusting it using the LCD screen is an absolute horror. I understand why they made the change, but still, it’s shockingly bad design.

Xpan 2022 02 15

The results were fine, nothing spectacular, but everything well exposed and in focus. Scanning was a bit of a disaster as the developed film had a very pronounced curve, and I should have waited until I flattened it. Most scans are out of focus, so I’ll have to start again. Silverfast largely behaved itself.

Xpan 2022 02 17

I’m not sure if this will become a habit. I can shoot “XPan frames” much more efficiently on my X1D, but the experience isn’t the same. On the other hand, the cost of film and developing, the time it takes to scan, is all a bit of a drag. Nevertheless, a well exposed, well composed XPan shot of something interesting looks absolutely spectacular on the light table.

Xpan 2022 02 14
 

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