Friday, August 8, 2008


Late last year I borrowed a Hasselblad Xpan camera from my friend Jack. The Xpan is a very special panoramic format rangefinder that was manufactured from 1998 to 2006. A kit with the 45mm f/4 cost around $2000. A super wide angle 30mm f/5.6 went for $2566 new.

I shot one roll at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. All the shots were done with available light using the 45mm f/4 kit lens and Kodak Portra 800 film. Since I can't process the Xpan at any regular lab, the roll has sat in my office for quite some time until I took it to A&I in Hollywood a few days ago for processing and scans. For $15, A&I did processing, medium resolution scans of 5800 × 2376 (ranging from 10mb to 17mb in size), and a contact sheet (free with the order). They did a pretty good job but I have to go back to get some rescanned because they got the borders of a few shots wrong so I basically have two photos in one frame. With Xpan, one photo spans one and a half frames of 35mm film.

Here are the best of the roll:

Toyota had a free photobooth at the Auto Show so I did a self-portrait with the Xpan. The funny story behind this shot is that the photobooth started talking to me when I sat down. I guess they have somebody off site who sees you, but they make it sound like a HAL type computer voice. Right away the booth asked me who was going to take the shot because I immediately posed with the camera in front of my face. I responded that it was going to take my picture. And then it was asking me all kinds of photo questions, like was I a professional photographer. I guess the Hassie looked pretty serious to the photobooth. It was really funny.

Xpan photos of the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show by Lydia Marcus.
Photographed November 19, 2007 in Los Angeles, CA

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