I Had Forgotten How Good This Camera Is

Dead Horse Point State Park, Moab, Utah, US. Hasselblad XPan with Fuji Velvia 50 slide film.

This wasn’t the image that I’d had in mind to share but the events of the day turned things upside down. An electricity repair van parked on the hill opposite had its handbrake fail. It rolled down the hill, across the road and into the wall at the side of our house, destroying the fence in its path. Fortunately, it missed the traffic as it crossed the road, and there were no injuries.

The downside, other than destroying my fence, has been all the phone calls and paperwork to sort things out. It’s thrown my working day out completely so you’re getting this scan I made the other day. What struck me when I was scanning though is just how good the XPan is as a camera. I love using it and the lens quality is amazing. It really is a classic amongst cameras, and I don’t shoot with it enough.

I shot this image on Fuji Velvia 50 slide film back in 2008 using the XPan’s 45mm lens. I don’t have any exposure information, but I do recall it was handheld and I was using an ND Grad filter. Initially I made a scan with my Epson V700, but it wasn’t as sharp as I would like so I switched to my Minolta Scan Elite 5400.

I scanned at half the maximum resolution using VueScan to produce two DNG files. One image was from the left of the frame and the other from the right. The Minolta is a dedicated 35mm scanner and I don’t think they ever envisaged people wanting to scan XPan slides with it. I then processed the DNG files to images with Lightroom which I also used to stitch the two halves to a single image.

I’m finding some real gems in my folders and have over 3,500 XPan slides and negatives to work through. I think I could be here for some time.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

6 thoughts on “I Had Forgotten How Good This Camera Is

  1. This is the best photo I have seen of this iconic site! The majority are the exact same image taken apparently from the exact same spot over and over again. Is there some sort of marker to stand on for the standard shot? I first saw the standard as a B&W stereo pair in 1976.

    1. There are two reasons for all the images looking the same:
      1. There is a view point sign saying shoot here.
      2. Even when you walk back up to the entrance this is still the only view. Well almost, I have a couple of others but they just show more of the side of the canyon.
      Great place though and I would love to go back.

  2. We are all beguiled by the latest bit of equipment but look at the work of Parisian photographers Aget and Cartier-Bresson to discover that he latest gear is not needed to produce wondrous, evocative scenes.

  3. I am sorry to here about the lorry crashing into your wall and fence, I hope it gets all sorted for you.
    John Steadman.

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