XPan is on its way :)

Discussion in 'Panoramic Cameras and Accessories' started by Matus Kalisky, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    I have thought (drooled) over an XPan many times over past few years, but I never got one mostly because of the price. But I was always attracted by the format and compact size of the camera.

    So yesterday while browsing the *Bay I just came across one quite good looking XPan with the 45 lens for more than reasonable price - I took a few minutes to think & check (as far as possible) - and bought it. Now - 24 hours later the camera is on its way and I can not wait :smile:

    Me and my wife are leaving for a vacation in a week - the XPan comes along. To make sure it gets proper work out I am leaving my Mamiya 6 at home (a tough deception to be honest, but I do take my 4x5" field setup).

    I have also ordered 5 rolls of Acros, 2 rolls of Agfa Scala (my first try with the film) and 2 rolls of Ektar (I have some Velvia 50 too, but since I do not have the centre filter, I will rather wait with that) and a yellow filter too.

    So - what else am I going to need? Any advice how to start? How is the in-camera metering? I have Gossen Digisix, but would actually prefer to let the camera to meter.

    I am so excited :smile:
     
  2. NDKodak

    NDKodak Member

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    I just bought a Xpan with 45mm a few months ago as well. Saw and held one for the first time at a out of town camera shop, then drove home and thought about the price of it too. After a week or so of feeling itchy about it, I though why the ^%&* not and now you know where my tax return went this year.
    It's been a wonderful camera to shoot with. Its been taking a bit getting use to using a rangefinder instead of a SLR and I wish the lens were a bit faster, but boy looking at the first negatives out of the wash and it was all worth it.
    I sill am trying to find a negative carrier to accommodate the the double wide negative, and I have found a couple and will order one when I figure out whats compatible with my enlargers. Enjoy!
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Enjoy!
     
  4. mfohl

    mfohl Subscriber

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    Congrats! My only advice is to keep it level. If you're also toting along a 4x5, then you have a tripod. As for exposure, I rely on sunny 16.
     
  5. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    You guys will love these things... I shoot a Fujis TX1 which is the same thing with a different name plate, but it is the same... love it... panos make you think different, don't they?
    Logan
     
  6. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    Thanks.

    I will get a small level for the hot-shoe to get the horizon right.

    Concerning the centre filter. Are there suitable 3rd party ones that fit or should I rather look for the original one?

    I also made a search for an L-bracket and there were 2 in the past (Kirk and RRS) but these seem to be hard to find.
     
  7. Neil Souch

    Neil Souch Subscriber

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    An excellent buy!

    I have been using one since they came out and it is my favourite camera and one I shall never part with. If you are processing your own films you will have to get used to retrieving the film leaders from the cassettes as the camera always winds the film completely back. I took this up with Hasselblad and there is no way you can change this - which was a surprise. But if you get hold of an Ilford film leader retriever the job is easy and you soon get used to having to do this extra job. The metering I have found to be very good and it is useful that it is TTL so filter factors are automatically taken care of. Although a lot of the time I still use my hand held Sekonic and have the camera set to manual. Either way you will be very pleased with the results. I have found my Xpan to be the ideal camera for me for landscapes - especially when there is the need to go light.

    Enjoy :smile:

    Neil.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2013
  8. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    Good choice. I bought one with 45 and 90mm for myself two weeks ago and I'm very pleased with it.
     
  9. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    Thanks, good to hear that the meter can be trusted.

    Yes - I develop my BW films. I use the dedicated opener to get film from the cartridge, so that should be OK.

    I was already thinking of the 90 lens as I know I will have the use for it (I use the 150 for my Mamiya 6 rather often), but I have decided to wait and see how I get on with the XPan, before spending any more. Right now I am targeting the lens hood :smile:

    I hope that latest on Tuesday I will have the camera in my hands. Optimally I would manage to get through 1 films before the vacation to be on the safe side.
     
  10. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    OK, the camera is here. Man it looks great! It feels even better in hand - really solid. It feel more solid than my Mamiya 6 and way more solid that the Bessa R3A which I had in the past (well - that camera is in different price range). There is very little paint loss on the bottom edges, but I could not care less :smile:

    The focusing is smooth, the aperture ring feels great too. The viewfinder is nice, the rangefinder patch contrasty - no problems to focus in not-too-well lit evening living room.

    I have also received the most expensive little piece of plastic I have ever bought - the sunshade, but it fits perfectly and makes it nearly impossible to get some unwanted elements on the lens which is my priority.

    The only thing that could be different is the position of the tripod mounting point - completely de-centerded witch will probably not allow to use my compact table-tripod.

    Let's just hope that my film order (Across 100 and Ektar) will arrive in time, but there can be some film found in local drugstore, so that is not critical.

    I feel really high :smile: (NO substances other than 1.5 hours of sweating in a gym, I am KO) - this camera is going to get used quite a bit over my coming vacation. I am still fighting myself to leave the Mamiya 6 at home (should I?) to concentrate more on the XPan.
     
  11. Vincent Brady

    Vincent Brady Subscriber

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    I must admit I would be a bit wary taking a camera that I was not that familiar with away on holidays leaving behind my normal camera. I have an XPan and I love it, but it did take me a while to change my sense of composition in order to take good shots with it. Vertical shots are quite difficult and not every landscape lends itself to that format. But once you get use to it you will find that your whole approach to composition will change in order to accomodate the XPan. I would advise checking out Flickr to see examples of XPan work. Good luck with your camera and enjoy your holidays.
     
  12. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    This thread is so useless without some camera porn and images...come on folks!
     
  13. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    Klainmeister - some 'porn' will come eventually :wink:

    I agree about a risk, but this is a family vacation in mountains, not a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, so if I get less than I expect it is OK. I have my GRDIII for some family shots along too and even my slimmed-down 4x5" setup (which I hope to use too) for those highly artistic tree shots :smile: But the Mamiya did complain a lot about being left behind (and I have a very respectful stash of film for it too)

    **********

    For now I have noticed a slight vertical misalignment (horizontal seems OK - at least in infinity) - is that something I could fix myself, or should I look for a repair service when I get back?
     
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  15. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    So far (20 or so exposures) I find the 45 works well. 30 would be a specialty lens for me. If the Xpan will be a keeper the 90 will be a must though.

    I can imagine that vertical shots are tougher, because with 'ordinary' composition you need to tilt the camera upwards quite a bit if you do not want to photograph the tips of your shoes (I am exaggerating a bit here) and once you do that you may get a very strong inclination of vertical lines. In my eyes the vertical panoramic format tends to look "thinner' than horizontal for whatever reason ...
     
  16. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    AFAIK the 90 support the pano format as well. Otherwise there would be little reason to buy one. I seem to be correct - Flickr has the right answer :smile:
     
  17. Vincent Brady

    Vincent Brady Subscriber

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    It is often difficult to have something interesting in the foreground and there is a lot of foreground to fill. I have less than a handful of successful shots in the vertical format and I've being using the camera now for several years. I have a few examples of my better ones in my photos.
     
  18. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    I have first 2 rolls back from the lab - looks quite good. I have used the in-camera meter exclusively and only later realised that it is closer to a spot meter than just centre weighted meter. Still - most of my exposures look good. Now I need to develop the BW films have send the all bunch for scanning :smile:

    One important question though:
    My Xpan has some vertical misalignment in the rangefinder. Can I fix it myself (like with Bessa R3A) or does this needs to be done by a serviceman? If latter is the case - whom would you suggest? I live in Germany.
     
  19. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

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  20. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    OK, here are finally some results :smile:

    All are form our vacation in Slovakia.

    The waterfall in the middle was taken on E100G (and underexposed), the rest is on Ektar 100.

    [​IMG] - [​IMG] - [​IMG]

    -

    [​IMG]

    -

    [​IMG]


    I have yet to develop the BW films, so there is more to come :smile:
     
  21. ArtO

    ArtO Member

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    Your images are quite beautiful. I'm really impressed. I've been tempted by this camera a number of times but never got to the point that I felt I could afford it. You've added greatly to the temptation. :smile:
     
  22. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    Yep, Xpan is a *great* camera, I have had mine and all three lenses for nearly 10 years, shot a lot of Kodachrome with it. I wish I could sell the Beseler negative carrier in the classifieds for it though, I paid a fortune for it new and now use a different enlarger system.
     
  23. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    I just got handed one of these to play with. It has the 40mm lens... I'll try to post some shots soon.
     
  24. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Subscriber

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    Not sure if others have run into this, but my first XPAN ( a model 2) underexposed by about a stop with exposures longer than 1/4 second. Speeds seemed (sounded) OK, but it was the metering that seemed to be the problem. When I metered with a handheld unit (after noticing this) speeds in fact ran true. I've recently gotten another XPAN2 (I had to sell the first one, and regretted it immediately) but have not used it in the same low light situations yet. I will absolutely bracket when I first do to see how it does.

    A wonderful camera, with excellent lenses that produce stunning negatives. ENJOY!!
     
  25. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Some BW Shots

    Well, I was handed one of these to test (the owner hasn't shot it in many a year) so here are my initial impressions:

    Pros:
    - Build quality is typical Fuji. Very hefty build, smooth lens movement, very functional
    - Lens (40mm on this one) is tack sharp and has great contrast
    - The format is lots of fun and give you a lot of negative to play with
    - 21 shots out of 36 roll is more than I expected and makes it feel totally justified
    - changes your shooting habits and is a lot of fun!

    Cons:
    - The tripod mount is waaaaaaay on the corner...what gives? It was all wonky on my tripod
    - Cost me $16 for a set of batteries, which died after two days because I left it on in my pack (no auto-off?)
    - Printing. Who has a holder for these? And how to frame em? Also, you need a MF printing lens for them (these aren't issues for me, per se, but thought I'd throw that out there)
    - More lenses cost quite a lot

    Alright, here are some pics from my recent vacation into the Enchantments Wilderness in Central Washington. We got hammered by a storm.

    InternetMountains.jpg

    InternetTrees.jpg

    InternetStorm.jpg

    These are all Neopan 400 in Pyrocat 1:1:100 for 15 minutes.
     
  26. Regular Rod

    Regular Rod Member

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