Jon Ellis

Jon Ellis

Our next Xpan Photographer profile is Jon from Europe.

When did you find out about the Xpan?

Around 2007.

When did you get your Xpan?


What attracted you to the Xpan?

A friend Sean Wood was occasionally shooting with a Horizon, which opened my eyes to a panoramic format. At the time I was almost obsessively shooting square format, and the Xpan felt like a good way to challenge myself to try something else.

What lenses do you have?

45mm & 30mm.

Which is your favourite lens?

The 30mm is obviously super-wide, but having to frame and meter through different viewfinders makes it painful to use. The 45mm feels much more immediate, and i like that it is unobtrusive.

What do you like to take photos of with your Xpan?

Subway systems, beaches, architecture, city streets, landscapes, textures in concrete.

What would you like to take photos of with your Xpan?

Dense urban scenes, maybe in Hong Kong, or China.

What is your favourite film to use in the Xpan?

In the past I’ve shot a lot of Neopan 400, often pushed to 1600 with Fujifilm SuperProdol – the Xpan lenses are slow and I seem to shoot more in low-light / at night. Changes in the film business have pushed me towards Ilford, but I’m still coming to terms with the change.

What are your three favourite shots that you have taken with your Xpan?

#1: A battery change caused the Xpan to lose it’s mind, and forced me to rewind the film back into the canister. Rather that leave the roll half exposed, i shot it all again. The layering and density of the images really appeals to me.

#2: A drainage ditch in suburban Tokyo. There’s a combination of textures and layers that i find disorienting, the complexity makes it easier to come back to and find something new.

#3: The first shots in a series called ‘Water Under the Bridge’. The textures and patterns left by water flowing down concrete under a railway bridge. There is some sort of stigma to shooting Xpan portrait and i wanted to find a way to make it work.

What is your favourite shot that someone else took with an Xpan?


I’ve been admiring Paul Natale’s Xpan shots for a while. His seascapes are always great.

Which photographers inspire you?

The biggest inspirations are probably Bill Brandt and Man Ray. They were both very experimental, and even though i don’t see anything of their style in my photography, that desire to try something different appeals to me a great deal.

What other cameras do you like to use?

– Hasselblad 503w for the joy of looking through the viewfinder.
– Canon 5D MK II because it’s “idiot proof”.
– Compacts like Olympus XA2 / Fujifilm Natura Black because they’re easy to take anywhere and fun.

If Hasselblad made a digital Xpan, would you buy it?

Probably not. The Xpan is special because of the film – holding a sheet of negatives up to the light. Cropping digital would just be easier.

Where can we see your work?


Cheers Jon!

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