#1244. More Fake-Pan fun and notes about process

By pascaljappy | Art & Creativity

Nov 24

Well, the honeymoon didn’t end.

 
 
 

I’m still feeling like the schoolboy who discovers the evil joke he had planned for a buddy turned out better than he ever expected. Shooting the X1D in 24:65 mode is proving even more fun than early tests suggested.

Being a newbie at this, I only just discovered what more experienced users of the format already know: it isn’t limited to flat scenes such as horizons. Using it on scenes that could warrant a more traditional composition gives them a very different dynamic, focusing the attention on a more limited set of elements and, therefore changing the feel.

 
 
 

Of course, at times, I also felt like the todler trying to push a wooden cylinder through a triangular opening. Not everything fits in this letterbox format as neatly as would have hoped. The number of fails was slightly … embarassing πŸ˜‰

But this systematic experimentation made some happy (freeing) accidents happen that I would not have attempted in a different mindset.

 

Granted, vertical panos aren’t the easiest to use, print, or publish πŸ˜‰ I’ve decided to use them as bookmarks.

 
 
 
 
 

Here’s the interesting part. Shooting in panoramic format is a process.

Film photographers have a process. It hinges around visualisation and delayed confirmation/gratification. Most photographers laugh at that concept. They want to chimp, they want immediate confirmation and gratification. Bot processes are what bring joy and the fulfilling sensation of progress, never gear.

All of us have the possibility of croping in PP. We could all sift through our libraries and apply a crop to the photographs it suits most. But we don’t. Because possibility isn’t a process. Whereas having a crop in our viewfinder is. Processes lead to results. Unlimited possibility doesn’t.

 
 
 
 

Just as I could go through all my photographs and apply a film preset to them all (to see which work and which don’t), I could also shoot directly with that filmstock and learn to see the world in its colours and to previsualize.

The process teaches me something. I can anticipate and previsualise. Applying crops and presets in post doesn’t. But I’m too much of a wimp to go full analog πŸ˜‰

As it happens, I was having so much fun with my X-Pan format EVF crop that I also created a profile to (roughly) emulate Portra. Because, hey, the X-Pan is a film camera, right? See before and after, below.

 
 
 
 

I’m actually pretty happy with myself πŸ™‚ Considering this is my first shot at this, it doesn’t look half bad πŸ™‚

However, the difference between the crop and the emulation is that I’ll get better at framing, thanks to my EVF being locked in cropped mode. But I probably won’t learn to “see in Portra”, because I’m applying the preset randomly to photographs after the shoot without any sort of feedback loop or learning process.

Still looks cool. One step closer to a real X-Pan πŸ™‚ I particularly like the second, below.

 
 

This is probably as close as I’ll get to owning an X-Pan. Ever since influencers in search of an edge for a late show interview introduced film cameras back to the public consciousness, prices have rocketed through the roof. It’s not uncommon to pay more for a 30 year old film camera that can’t be fixed if it breaks, than for a brand new mirrorless. A mint Mamiya 7 with a couple of extra lenses will give a Hassy X2D a run for its money. It’s a more fun camera, that’s for sure, but c’mon. Same thing for an X-Pan. Ain’t gonna happen.

But slapping a crop and a profile on a now vintage X1D kind of brings back a large part of the flavour. To the point of making me want to print a few of the “emulated” panos to see what they feel like in the flesh πŸ™‚ And, who knows, I might soon discover there’s a way to store film profiles on the X1D! πŸ˜‰

 
 

​Never miss a post

​Like what you are reading? Subscribe below and receive all posts in your inbox as they are published. Join the conversation with thousands of other creative photographers.

  • Dallas Thomas says:

    Pascal, I love the street shots you did especially No3 and the B&W’s and sublime. Enjoy your “new toy” as for the rest they are just great.

  • One advantage the X1D has over the XPan is that in Phocus you can then move the crop up and down, hence gaining a “synthetic shift lens” – one thing that the XPan would really, really have benefitted from. Of course you have to try to visualise this in the field, but it is actually very useful. I did the same thing with what I originally called my “digital XPan”, the Sigma dp0 in 21:9 crop mode.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Very true, David. My head can’t be very straight, because I tend to shoot everything with a slight slant. Being able to correct it in PP, or to apply perspective controle, as you mention, is one of the huge benefits of digital.

      Those Sigmas are something, aren’t they? They don’t receice enough recognition. The Fp is fantastic too. If I’d had the courage to try my hand at film making, I’d probably get an Fp.

      Cheers.

  • Peter Krusell says:

    Thank you for your latest insights. These dimensions do convey a certain magical feeling. I am finding this format to be most interesting; you have inspired me to give it a try (dimension-wise, the film look will have to come later). Most appreciative of everything that you do for us. Thank you.

  • jean pierre guaron says:

    I love this stuff. The photos I mean.

    But I’m puzzled by the background chatter. I would seriously dispute this one, for instance – “Processes lead to results. Unlimited possibility doesn’t.”At one stage I spent a huge amount of time exploring macro shots of my orchids. And the one I love best of all was created out of thin air, almost – by cropping! In short – I see cropping as being just as much a “creative tool” as anything else we use to create our images.

    I will concede that actually USING the controls some of us have in our cameras, to SHOOT with a different format – and not shoot incessantly 6×4 – liberates the mind and encourages us to think, more, about images – composition – outcomes. An “additional” creative tool.

    Speaking of which – I was rather taken by the fire hydrant – can you take a shot of that, in vertical format, with this machine of yours? The hydrant looks kind of cute – almost like a character out of a UFO that’s landed somewhere in Provence. One of R2-D2’s friends, perhaps.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Yes, the cropping certainly is a creative tool. But used randomly, it doesn’t teach you anything. Only through a feedback loop, a process, can we make any progress, and derive a sense of fulfilment.

      The hydrant id lovely isn’t it? It seems to be broken, and looked very much like a sad little robot in a corner of the room. And the … thing … above it looks like a face, ading to the fun scene πŸ˜‰

  • Lad Sessions says:

    Pascal,

    These are wonderful! I especially like the street scenes, but also the vertical “bookmark” ones.

    I will hazard the untutored opinion that there are many paths to making panos, just as there are many different kinds of panos in dimensions and ratios (and hence in “look”). Sometimes panos are baked into the camera, which I would find a bit constricting, especially if it were unalterable hardware and not software which you tailor to your own needs. But there are many post-processing routes as well, from combining images (in-camera or post) horizontally or vertically, as many as you like, to cropping, as variously as you please. [I wonder if you could stitch together horizontal and vertical panos, in various arrays; perhaps some more knowledgeable DS reader has already done this.]

    You have found a pano process that pleases; doubtless there are others. Strength to your adventure!

    • pascaljappy says:

      Hi Lad,

      Yes, a purely panoramic camera is very restrictive. That’s probably why an X-Pan is rarely anyone’s sole camera.

      As for the process of creating panoramas, it doesn’t really matter so long as it is intentional. Stitching frames is intentional. We know why we do it, and we can judge the result based on that initial idea. It’s how I did all my panos up to now. Randomly slapping a crop on photographs in post processing is very different, in that it’s not really a process that allows us to understand why something looks good or not.

      What I like with the “in-camera” crop is the fact that is is always the same format, so my eye gets used to it and it makes me see more and more good photographs over time. Whereas, with stitching or croppin in post, I can basically use 16:9 for one, 2,4:1 on another, 21:9 on a third … For someone inexperienced like me, too much freedom of movement is more of a problem than a solution πŸ˜‰ I like being tied to one format until it is baked into my mind πŸ™‚

      All the best.

  • Ian Varkevisser says:

    Hi Pascal,

    The vertoramas are an interesting concept – must take a bit of mastering to shoot those in crop mode. Selling bookmarks online – mmmm might even work.

    Ok it may not have an exotic 24:65 crop factor but Fuji is almost there as you visualise the film simulation and crop in camera.

    Who knows you may even emulate Thomas Heaton soon and take your new Xpan for a walkabout to an exotic location – let us know when those images a ready for publication πŸ™‚

    • pascaljappy says:

      Saucy Thomas! He always seems so serious, it’s hard to imagine him doing the naughties with an X-Pan πŸ˜‰ Is that the one he recently bought in Sweden?

      I hope you notice I took your advice serioulsy and am now trying to inch closer to “in-camera” photos πŸ™‚

      • Ian Varkevisser says:

        Hi Pascal , that will be a world first – no-one has ever taken my advice on photography before LOL. It is the one he recently bought in Sweden yes. I see he loaded it up with CIneStill800T for the red light shoot – hold that thought !

        • pascaljappy says:

          Aha !! A sequel to Industrial disease?

          Cinestill will only get you sent to grainydays again πŸ˜‰ The filmstock looks wild – in a good way – on neon lights, with crazy halations and fantastic colour.

          What can I say, I know how to pick my mentors better than most πŸ˜‰

  • Jeffrey Horton says:

    I love these shots. I have an X1DII but haven’t experimented with aspect ratios, thanks for the inspiration!!!

  • John Wilson says:

    Pascal – Great collection. Pano’s are pure fun. I convert a lot of my images to Pano in post for digital display. Prints are another matter. My stock matts are 4:3.

  • PaulB says:

    Pascal

    I like the on the street images you have here. Particularly of the church in B&W.

    To go along with what you are doing I have a couple of experiments for you to try that will have you dig into your collection of film accessories.

    The first experiment is, add an 81A/B filter to your lens and see how it affects your results. I use one with auto white balance and it gives me a warmer color rendition and a nicer result.

    The second is for when you are intentionally thinking of B&W. For these times add a red (R60) filter to your lens and set your white balance to 2500K. I set my jpg for B&W so my EVF shows B&W. The raw images will look a little funky, but when converted to B&W will give you a different tonal range than not filtering.

    PaulB

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thank you, Paul. My fake “Portra profile” incorporates a warm filter, probably closer to 81B than A. But I’ve not used a red filter with the camera, yet. I have one left from my Linhof. The camera handle and that filter are all that I didn’t sell. Not sure how a Bayer filter deals with coloured filters, but it could be worth trying. I certainly use simulated red filters in PP a lot πŸ™‚

      • PaulB says:

        Pascal

        I am using an 81B filter too. The effect (I think) I have noticed is an extra bit of filtration reducing the blue light reaching the sensor. My images seem a bit better defined; unfortunately I can’t really describe in words what that means.

        The red (R60) filter is also known as a 590nm filter for those of us dabbling in IR. Though this filter is acting on light below the threshold of where IR starts. If you use the filter with a daylight white balance the image will have a heavy red cast. Changing the WB to 2500K will make it purple-ish grey (AKA funky). Die hard IR photographers will use channel swap in Photoshop to swap the data from the red-blue channels before importing to Lightroom, which gives a normal-ish color rendition to the image. I just convert the raw file to B&W and they look great.

        The cool thing about digital is the sensor is sensitive to all wavelengths of light. So you get data from all of the color channels; with a red filter you are under the IR cutoff level of the sensor cover glass.

        PaulB

  • PaulB says:

    Pascal

    I tend to shoot images that slope (to the left) with my Panasonic G9 and SL2 cameras. I blame the camera grip angles.

    Because of this I use the built in level feature in the EVF a lot.

    PaulB

    • pascaljappy says:

      The level on the X1D is very accurate, but give me OCD symptoms, as it’s very hard to get exactly right πŸ˜‰ So, I’ve decided to correct any slope in PP. I always deal with perspective issues in PP anyway, so it’s just an extra second of work. Cheers

  • Pascal O. says:

    This set of pictures, stunning as always coming from you, has a distant yet distinct flavor of shots coming from an ultrawide angle lens. Or am I totally confused ??

  • Leonard Norwitz says:

    By George, I think you’ve got it!

    Welcome to the club. (Of course, I do it the hard way.)

  • >