To X-pan or not. That is the question ...

Story by JTPosted: 2023-09-21 • Views: 143

For the longest time I had an X-Pan and enjoyed shooting with it on a regular basis. Walking downtown Portland or a hike in the cascades was always an occasion to bring along the X-Pan. But like with most things in life, it got old and I decided to sell it not knowing it would be a mistake many years later. fast forward over a decade and now I wish I had it back. But, I can't justify the cost of a used one.

Having said that, my next best option is to crop my images to a 1:2.7 ratio which mimics the X-Pan format. Lucky for us these days, the newer higher resolution cameras are much more forgiving when it comes to tight crops. And the images below show the results and why I miss the X-Pan so much.

Hope you enjoy ...
X-pans are not only great for landscape. But, emphasis on perspective is a game changer with the X-Pan or X-Pan format. For example, the two women in the foreground with the train in the background disappearing into the end is a perfect  use of this format. 

This is where the Xpan shines!
Here is the full frame without X-Pan format. I personally find it lacking in linear perspective.
Three variations of the same photo. I Definity prefer the X-Pan format. But, I can't decide on color or B&W. What say you?

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Another example of subject isolation with a combination of X-Pan format and a slightly longer than normal lens, the Leica 75 APO SL.

This articular shot works well for me even with the subject being centered. Its one of those rare times when 2/3 rule does not apply.
Here is the same picture uploaded in higher res since the scaling of 4k display does noty translate to crisp pictures in a web browser.

Another example of subject isolation with a combination of X-Pan format and a slightly longer than normal lens, the Leica 75 APO SL.

This articular shot works well for me even with the subject being centered. Its one of those rare times when 2/3 rule does not apply.
By now, you will see I like photographing people and street scenes more than anyother subject matter and once again, X pan formatting works very well here especially for subject isolation.
Looking at this scene in X pan format shows what I would consider a balanced image. Normally, in full frame with the pipe running down the middle of the image deviding the frame into two just wouldn't work. However, By extending the frame and shortening it using the 1:2.7 ratio, the image becomes much more acceptable.
As mentioned earlier, landscape format works well. In this case, the scene is from Dubrovnik and taken with a Leica 75mm SL lens which in my opinion is one of the best portrait or lenses on the planet. The rendering as you will see in other photos from this lens is amazing and the contrast and sharpness is unmatched. Although I love shooting with an M, the SL lenses are in a league of their own.
Another landscape shot. This one in Castleton. The peak district in UK. If you watch Game of Thrones House of Dragons. This is one of the settings.

Again, the X-Pan looks pretty good here compared to the entire 35mm frame.
More from Castleton.
Not a great photo to show as an example of an X-Pan or any other format, but I still find it interesting. Had the subject been framed a liuttle more to the right or left, I think this would have been a pretty good shot. However, as it is still somewhat interesting to view and contemplate.
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