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6x6 users shooting panoramas


Active Member
While "warming up" my XPan II over the weekend (which unfortunately became a task that very abruptly ended) I wondered what proportion of Hasselblad 6x6 users here also use an XPan?

While it is possible that H series owners may have greater respect for Fuji's glass and film frames that are not square, I've posted this question here because the results among die-hard traditionalists might be much more interesting!

I have been experimenting by turning Hasselblad on it's side and taking then panoramas frame by frame turning the camere according to the lens viewin angle. The camera must be positioned on it's side to get a continuing "stepping" panorama view, interrupted only by black lines between every frame. What can you then do with such panoramas? I don't know, not yet too many puplished, but they look nice!

Kerkko K.
Well Simon, I would sure be interested in an XPanII but sofar never bought one. For landscape work the panoramic format has a lot of appeal to me.

Nice idea, Kerkko. I shot mosaics (one scene on one film, such that a contact print of the strips side by side shows the lot), and will give that a try too!
Simon, the X-Pan is fabulous and I do wish they had not discontinued it ... although I do understand their focus on digital and I'm sure there are only a certain amount of resources to go around.

I had one for a number of years, and one of my greatest follys was selling it to help fund digital gear ... especially now that I have the Imacon 949.

The 43mm was one of the best wide angles I've ever used.

Here are a few X-Pan shots scanned on my old Minolta ...

Super shots, Marc. It just shows what can be done even with a comparatively modest scanner. I think the main benefit for me with an Imacon if I could afford it, would be the speed. I wish I had snapped up one of those Minolta's.
I understand the X-Pan was discontinued because of an EU regulation forbidding the use of lead solder. Hasselblad said it was not economic to redesign it but this may have given them the excuse they were looking for of course.
I agree with Jürgen. The B/W is a beauty. Rich textures and perfectly exposed.
Nice one!
I have shot 360 degree panoramas with 38mm, 40mm, and 50mm lenses on my Hasselblads by scanning the successive slides and using stitching software to assemble into one image.

My main project was to document the horizon for my astronomical observing sites so that I could better predict the visibility of objects that are above the horizon, but may be obstructed by trees, buildings, and/or mountains.

I have the TX-1 witch I liked not so much. Then I understood that lanscapes are not my natural hearth's choise, and I noticed that this panoramic camera is very interesting for ...portraits !
But I was dispointed by the difficulties to get correct blow up from labs.
Now I'm temped by the new M8 from Leica witch is realy part of prize of a CFV back !
Great images Marc - terrific ex&les.

I have to agree that the 45mm lens (effective angle of view in pan mode being 25mm due to the 1.8x 35mm frames) is simply superb. I use my XPan a lot and have never been able to fault the 45mm or the 90mm lenses.

I shoot cityscapes, landscapes and people - it's a wonderful creative tool.

I must say that when the XPan was first released I failed to understand it - a 35mm rangefinder camera with slow lenses. But a couple of years ago I was shooting with a few blokes and one had an XPan so I borrowed it for an hour - it blew me away. When I returned home my favourite dealer loaned me a well battered XPan for a few weeks and I found it one of the most compelling experiences in photography.

I realised that the way to understand the XPan is to see it as an MF camera using 35mm film shooting frames with the same width as a 6x7 camera and sliced as a panorama. Then I understood the lenses' maximum apertures and the need for an ND centre graduated filter on the 45mm.

What really grabbed me is just how good those Fuji lenses are - the tonality of German lenses and excellent correction of aberrations.

I always take it with me when shooting 6x6 and when I go anywhere with the M7 - it's the perfect partner to both.

Actually I am not much of a fan of wide angle lenses - my Leica 24mm lens was outstanding, but I found I cropped 90% of my images to a panorama leaving little film for big prints. I used the 24mm lens to help fund the XPan having realised that I see wide angle images as a panorama.

I'll post some shots soon.
Yeah...what Gilbert said

Guys, I'm curious as to your thoughts on why this dimensional format isn't used more often for various types of photography (regardless of which lens or camera format is used). With programs such as Photoshop you can easily crop out an artistic image from most any file and sometimes that crop is long and narrow, and others turn out to be square. I'd even crop an "L" shaped image if I thought the artistic impact warranted the effort. I think such deviations from the normal 4x5 and 4x6 aspect ratios serve both to enhance the image and to provide a more dramatic visual impact on the wall, yet MOST photographers perservere in perpetuating the "NORM".
Melton, I use panoramic shots in all my wedding albums. The album company even makes panoramic 5"X10" slip in mats for this purpose.

The trouble does come with processing labs sometimes. The XPan came with warning labels to stick on your film canisters so they wouldn't automatically cut them to normal size.

Sandard frames are hard to find for Panoramics, and most commercial work if formatted for 8.5 X 11 publications.

Here's tip for Merging 2 standard shots in Photoshop: >File in the top menu > Automate > Photomerge ...

Here's a quick one I did of a commercial job I'm working on ... more fun than a barrel of monkeys : -)

I wonder if I can use that line on the cockatiel in an effort to have a significant negative impact on his self esteem

I understand about printing odd sizes as I always have to layer the image onto the next larger "normal" size crop, then trim to fit when it returns. Standard size frames are also a concern, but with ART, is there ever really supposed to be a "standard"? I paint oil paintings on masonite and on more than one occasion have cut the finished painting down on a table saw to a crop that I felt made a better visual impact.

BTW...EXCELLENT metering on the above double exposure Marc! I bet you couldn't have pulled it off if that wasn't a swiveling stool

A swiveling stool, PLUS the only tub of Country Crock printed mirror reverse !!! He'll go to extreme lengths for the shot. ;-)


PS. Nice, Marc.

This is the only one I have done and I did it when I first opened the program just to see what it would do. It is just a mirror image scan pieced together. It is a free program that is very easy to use almost automatic named Arcsoft Panarama 3.



PS> by the time I cropped this it becames 69.kb file