I’ve shot with the XPan numerous times, and each time I would put my clown mask on and tell myself that this camera will be mine someday. After a year of using this camera, I believe the XPan is worth it.
I remember more than 20 years ago hearing about the Hasselblad XPan, or its Japanese original, the Fujifilm TX-1 (the Hasselblad is actually just a rebadged Fujifilm). It was expensive, its lenses were expensive.
But what is it? It is a rangefinder film camera that could shoot in panoramic format, 24x65mm on a 35mm film (135) as well as the standard 24x36mm. It was pretty much the only option for panoramic photography without using a rotating lens like the Horizon or Widelux cameras, or without getting an expensive Mamiya 7 with the adapter to use 135 film instead of the 6×7 120 film frames.
I remember reading an article were the photographer use the XPan to cover a bicycle race. And vertically framed pictures showed us how unique this camera could be.
Instax Mini 40 is just another Instax Mini camera. A look reminding us of the Instax Mini 90 more than the other Instax Mini, but with little settings (4). For CAD$130 it’s on the higher end price range. Still, nothing in sight for more serious photographers ; I see no reason to get one while I have a Mini 90.
The thing I can get behind:
Fujifilm also announced a new frame design for Instax Mini film. Frames are the novelty part of Instax Mini where you have frames around the picture that are not white. Black borders have been around, as well as other novelty for which I might not be their target demographics. This new contact sheet frame brings contact sheet film-like border, something the various “effect” phone apps have had. No sprocket holes, but the film name and a frame number printed in yellow. For once I can really get behind this novelty.
The latter come bundled with the former in a CAD$140 bundle.
Kelly-Shane on the Go Everywhere channel made a 7 minutes video to show us how develop black & white slide film, only using regular black and white film, black and white chemistry, and some household chemicals to preform the reversal process.
I am actually surprised it is that easy. I always wanted to try black and white slides but the availability of Agfa Scala always made it a hard sell.
Without much surprise, Fujifilm announced the X-Pro3 in late October.
It is an evolution of the X-Pro2. The main distinguishable feature is the LCD screen: by default it is hidden, with a smaller visible screen limited to show settings, and a picture of the currently used film emulation. The screen then flip out to be viewed and make the viewfinder harder to use. It is a bit like the Leica M-D: taking a photography approach where one doesn’t chimp on the screen after taking the picture.
I haven’t had my hands on it, so I can’t really tell whether I’d like it or not.
This is not the first time Polaroid Spectra film becomes discontinued. The first time was when Polaroid went under and the remaining stock depleted. DPReview now reports that Polaroid Originals is stopping the production of Spectra film because the remaining cameras are now aging, unrepairable, and there is nothing they can do about it.
This is a bigger problem with film photography in general that I wrote about previously: the whole production supply chain, from cameras to film processors and scanners is in danger. Nobody develops new hardware, because it requires a lot of R&D and the old one is becoming harder and harder to repair, non withstanding for processors and scanner where the software is antique and only runs on obsolete systems.
For these 13 years you were a great companion. You traveled with us coast-to-coast, by boat, train and automobile. You were always a great model. You brought us joy daily, and each time we needed to cheer up, you were here. Even blind and deaf you were here.
This morning, you went to doggy heaven on your own terms, 3 days short of your 13th birthday. But now we are heartbroken.