Goodbye Xpan

I will start off this post by saying this: “I’ll probably regret for selling this camera in the future.” Why? Well, because this is really a one of a kind camera that you will hardly find elsewhere… this is the Hasselblad Xpan (or Fujifilm T-X1). I was equally in love and equally frustrated when using this camera. Due to its panoramic aspect ratio, it was extremely difficult to compose, and yet extremely rewarding when everything falls into place.

I had been shooting with this camera for close to 2 years, and I really enjoyed my times with it. And now I had decided that its time to move on. I sold it off to another guy who is doing cinematography, who plans to use this camera to practice his vision and framing under the panoramic aspect ratio. I believe this camera has found a good owner who will make full use of its potential.

I think I had shared about my love to this camera in the past, together with the frustrations of scanning the film etc., so there’s no need for me to repeat that again. After I think hard about it, I finally made the decision to sell it away. A painful decision, but then again, all good things need to end some time… some where.

For film camera, I’m left with only the Zeiss Ikon. Will I keep it? Will I sell it away too? I’m still pondering. We’ll see how things unfold in the days to come. Till then.

Bentong Getaway

Last year’s December, I spent some time back home in Malaysia during the Christmas and New Year holiday. While lying around at home with nothing to do for about 2 weeks time, I decided to head on a short road trip with my friends to Bentong. It’s about one hour drive from where my house, and we get to indulge ourselves in some greeneries and nature and just walk around and relax.

We visited the so called “hot spring”, it’s pretty rundown actually but still, its a place you need to visit when you are in Bentong. Then we went to Bentong town for a walk, had a lunch, and shop for some local produce. We then spent our night staying over at Waterway Villa, which is quite a nice place for short staycation.

The next day, we went to Bukit Tinggi and visited a few locations around such as the French Village and Japanese Village. We also got ourselves some durian and rambutan, though I’m not a fan of them. And the final morning, we went for a short stroll to the fruit farm nearby to where we stayed, wrapped it up with a trip to Genting Premium Outlet for final shopping before we head home.

It’s a nice outing with good old friends, where we get to talk to each other face to face, having fun, and most importantly, relaxing my mind, body and soul after a year of stress accumulation. For the whole trip, I shot 5 rolls of film (both colour and black & white) with my Hasselblad Xpan & 45mm lens, and Zeiss Ikon with the 50mm F/2 Planar. It’s been awhile since the last time I bring them out for some exercise, and I screwed up some settings on my first roll of film too, but luckily everything turned out fine.

All in all, glad that I had this lovely trip with my lovely friends. Hopefully we’ll get to do more of this in the future.

There goes January

What?

Yes, hello February. That was fast. January has been taxing for both my work and my study. Going through the Finance module was a pain for me as I have zero knowledge and zero interest on it. Even after reading through the materials, listening to the class lecture… I’m still pretty lost. Sigh. Workload has been heavy as usual at the start of the year, which should gradually become better when getting closer to March.

January has been rather uneventful overall, mainly were just work and studies. Didn’t really get to shoot actually, but I managed to process the rolls of film that I shot during my last trip in Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia. Every time when I scan and edit the film strips, I’ll keep asking myself: “Why the hell am I doing this…”, especially for the shots from Xpan, where I’ll need to crop each pictures manually and scan them accordingly, which is very troublesome. But this feeling was wiped off once I saw the result from the scan. It still amaze me whenever I saw the scan from an Xpan. I’ll share more about the trip in coming post.

Let’s hope February will be a good one. Till then.

Portrait orientation with Hasselblad X-Pan

I think most of us are quite familiar in seeing Xpan being shoot in landscape orientation, but not often it was done in portrait orientation. For those who don’t know, Xpan is a camera that shoot panoramic frame with 35mm film, each frame is about the size of 2 frames of standard 35mm frame.

Composing this panoramic frame in landscape orientation is already challenging due to the abnormal width of the frame, but it’s still possible for one to think and frame it, you just need to switch your mind to think of cinematic frame all the time.

However, things get a little quirky when you flip your camera to the side and shoot in portrait orientation. Suddenly everything looks odd to you again and there isn’t much of similar framing in real world that can be used as reference. The closest I can think of is probably advertising banner, but those are rarely associated with photography.

When you look into it, the fundamental of shooting the Xpan remains the same, regardless of you shooting it in portrait or landscape orientation – try to fill up the frame with stuffs. It’s easier to do it in landscape orientation because we are used to seeing it this way, but when it comes to portrait orientation, we can feel kinda lost, especially when you are using wide angle lenses like the 45mm f4 (35mm equivalent of around 24mm).

I had tried to shoot my Xpan in portrait orientation, the results were a little of mix bag, some picture works while some doesn’t. Anyway, it’s a fun way to explore for new composition and idea. As much as I struggled, I do enjoy the process of searching. If you have an Xpan with you, how often do you shoot it in portrait orientation? Feel free to share your experience and pictures. Till then.

Two Years Shooting With Rangefinder Camera

Untitled (37)-37It’s been two years since I made a switch from my Fujifilm X-series mirrorless to Leica M rangefinder camera. Within the short two years of time, I started off by trying out on the Leica M9-P and subsequently decided to go for the Leica M-P Typ 240 as my main camera system. This is followed by the addition of Zeiss Ikon, Hasselblad Xpan and Fujifilm GW690III, where all of them are rangefinder cameras.

Any regrets? Well, there were of course moments of rant, but all in all I’m fairly happy with what I can achieve with these cameras and the shooting experience they provide. Using a rangefinder and manual focusing is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, just like not everyone can appreciate driving a vintage or manual car. Yes I do missed out some moments, I do screwed things up occasionally and ruin my shots, but that just proven to myself that my skills are still lacking and needs to be improved further. I have nothing but myself to blame if I get things wrong.

Throughout the two years, I really learned a lot, and I do saw the rooms for further improvement, though my growth process is somewhat slow. Well, it’s okay, I shouldn’t stress myself up, end of the day it’s my hobby and it should be enjoyable rather than stressful. I’ll try my best to stay focus and stick to what I have now. I want to spend more time improving my skills before I make the next change. What will my next change be? When will it happen? I wonder. For now, I’ll just indulge myself in using my rangefinder camera to shoot and create more pictures that I’ll be proud of. Till then.