No Xpan? No Problem

                  If there was ever a white whale camera that I would love to have in my film photography arsenal it would be the Hasselblad XPAN. The XPAN is a very unique camera that gives the photographer the ability to shoot wide cinematic scenes on 35mm film. The problem with wanting a one trick pony camera like the XPAN is that it is extreamly expensive and can sell for up to $5000 dollars on the used market. 5K is far beyond my thrift store budget so instead I am using an 80+ year old Zeiss Icon icarette 6x9 camera. The 6x9 format lends itself well to shooting 35mm panoramas but the only challenge is how do you load 35mm film in a 120 medium format camera. This problem is quite easily solved with a 35mm to 120 adapter and take up spool. These can pretty readily found on eBay or if your fortunate enough to have a 3D printer at home you can quickly print one up and start shooting. Fortunately a second side hobby of mine is 3D printing so I did just that.  

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Loading 35mm with the 3D printed adapters

Loading 35mm with the 3D printed adapters

                   Loading and shooting 35mm film on an old folding camera like this is really pretty simple. The first thing I did was start with a dummy roll of film to help determine how far to wind each frame. Without frame counters you need to be a bit creative so I decided to place a piece of tape at the beginning of my frame and count how many full turns it took to advance to the next frame. In my case it took 3 and a bit turns, OK it’s not an exact science. Once I was able to determine the right distance to advance each frame I loaded a roll of TriX 400 and drove down to the Harbor where I often go to find inspiration. Below are 5 of the 10 frames I shot. I was actually blown away at the sharpness the lens on this old folder was able to produce. The one tip I would give is to make sure that your frames are level and a tripod is very helpful tool for this. I hope you enjoy the images below and feel free to let me know what you think in the comments section below. 

Carl Zeiss Jenna Lens

Carl Zeiss Jenna Lens

Extended Bellows

Extended Bellows

Nanaimo Harbor, full in winter.  

Nanaimo Harbor, full in winter.  

Harbor strolling is definitely a Nanaimo past time.  

Harbor strolling is definitely a Nanaimo past time.  

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Accidental double exposure, but I kinda like it.  

Rare snowfall lining the docks edge.  

Rare snowfall lining the docks edge.  

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Weathered sailboat bow.  

       All images scanned on the Epson V600.  

The Flying Hasselblad

    Once in awhile technology arrives that simply defies what we ever expected, that’s what happened when DJI introduced the first Phantom in January of 2013. Fast forward only 5 short years later and the progress in flying camera technology is nothing short of spectacular. A couple years back I owned a DJI phantom 3 standard edition and with that machine I was able to create some pretty great images for sharing on the web. However if they ever needed to be printed that’s where they fell apart. Sometime later I sold the drone, partially out of frustration with image quality, partly for budget reasons but mostly because the Canadian government didn’t want anyone out there having fun with drones. The skyline has changed however in 2018, the government in Canada has relaxed their recreational drone regulations a little bit and probably the most compelling reason to buy a drone again is the shear improvement in image quality. The New Mavic 2 come outfitted with a Hasselblad camera platform sporting a 1 inch sensor and delivering 20 megapixel images using high end Hasselblad colour profiles. It will take me some time to save up for one of these at around $2000 Canadian but what a great tool this would be for all the passionate image makers out there. Check out DJI’s marketing video below and let me know what you think about this incredible new drone.