Next up we have Peter from somewhere in the UK.
When did you find out about the Xpan?
Around 1999 after the Xpan 1 had been launched and I read the brochure, then later the Xpan 11 brochure and realised this was a camera that I had to try and get. There is also a good write up in Lee Frost’s book Panoramic Photography.
When did you get your Xpan?
May 2009. A very well looked after Xpan 11 with 45mm lens, centre filter, lens hood and level, all boxed. So I was lucky.
What attracted you to the Xpan?
The challenge of taking panoramic images, on film and the quality it delivers. It also, in an immediate way, captures an image taken from any perspective without having to be worried about any form of stitching which digital demands.
What lenses do you have?
The 40mm f4 and 90mm f4 lenses which are incredibly sharp.
What do you like to take photos of with your Xpan?
Apart from landscapes I enjoy looking for shots away from the norm. Any form of pattern, close-up (relatively speaking) or just being able to take a subject which results in that ‘wow’ panoramic format.
What would you like to take photos of with your Xpan?
Concentrate more on patterns but in the landscape and not include sky so would be a challenge with the 90mm.
What is your favourite film to use in the Xpan?
Fuji Provia 100F which is a good film which delivers pleasing colours, contrast and sharpness. My films are professionally processed and I choose images that are scanned at the same lab.
What are three favourite shots that you have taken with your Xpan?
Steps to the top – it was one of those ‘sharp light winter mornings’ and I went for a walk on our local nature reserve which is on the coast. The path goes to the top of a sand dune and then descends down some steps. After walking down the steps I looked around and saw the light. Taken with the 40mm the photograph provides the viewer with that thought of “I wonder what is beyond the sand dune”?
Sand patterns – there had been a particular strong sand blow along the coast and I came across these fresh patterns. Taken with the 45mm it just gives a greater impact as a panoramic image.
Common cotton grass – this is a common plant of our peat bogs and when it bears seed the white fluffy heads of the seed head make great photographs. This was taken with the 90mm lens which can be a bit difficult to use but it’s sharpness I think is very much underestimated.
What is your favourite shot that someone else took with an Xpan?
I like the abstracts by Sely Friday and this one “Lines, Lined, Lining” is a good one.
Which photographers inspire you?
Eliot Porter whose intimate landscapes just got me thinking about what I would like to do. Freeman Patterson and his book Photography and the Art of Seeing. Fay Godwin and her monochrome landscapes and to Charlie Waite for his knowledge and enthusiasm when I attended one of his landscape photographic workshops.
What other cameras do you like to use?
Only my Xpan is used for analogue although I still have a Nikon F100 and M6 plus lenses. Digitally I use a Nikon D300s and for a compact a Fuji X30 which I actually like quite a lot. The images are pleasing and it has a very good electronic viewfinder which I prefer to use rather than the rear viewing screen.
If Hasselblad made a digital Xpan would you use it?
Although I very much like film and the scans if a digital panoramic camera was made qv the Xpan system I could be tempted. But of course there is the price!
Where can we see your work?
Thank you for taking the time Peter!