In memoriam of my XPAN
eXPANded mighty Grand Canyon, Arizona, 2001
This is both a nostalgic and a relieved post. This week I have sold my XPAN. I know that this is not a big deal to many and cameras are being sold and resold all the time. But since I am not really a salesperson, for me such projects take energy and time to ripen. I have actually received the XPAN on a special occasion in 2000 and have used and enjoyed it regularly to photograph natural beauty at the beginning. Then, I took a general children and work related photography break. For a couple of years I mostly used early digital cameras to photograph our children and family adventures. Since a few years I have restarted "real" photography again, but only in the digital realm. With digital capture it is much easier and cheaper to try and compare different compositions and therefore I take many more photographs that I would not take with an analog camera. This workflow suits me much better than photography on rolls of film.
I really loved using the XPAN though; the well built and solid body, the smoothly focusing lens, the limitation to only the few really necessary buttons and levers and of course the wide wide format. On the other hand, I never completely taken in the rangefinder concept (also but not only because I did not use the camera often enough). I have realized over the years that I really want the option of a versatile zoom lens, use telephoto lenses much more frequently than normal or wide angle glass and really appreciate the conveniences of digitally capturing photographs. To cut to the chase: I ended up using my XPAN very very rarely. Since for me an unused but functioning piece of equipment is not only a wasted luxury but also a burden, I sold it and am thus relieved. From now on, I am completely digital (except for an old Canon body that I keep and two Konica cameras that I should also give to a more appreciative user or tinkerer).
Contrary to my normal habit, here I post a whole series of photographs - a small collection of some of my preferred XPAN photographs. I have already shown autumnal blueberries in an earlier post, which have also been taken with the XPAN.
Mason Neck State Park, Virginia, 2002
White clouds and red maples in Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia, 2001
Yellow cab and blooming cherries, New York City, 2001