5 frames with...

Five Frames with the Mighty Hasselblad XPAN – By Yul Vazquez

The Hasselblad Xpan is a camera I’ve always wanted since I first saw Mary Ellen Mark use one on the set of Steven Soderbergh’s Che films – she had come over Spain to shoot some promotional photographs for it. I didn’t know what it was, so I asked her… and that’s what started my journey with this mighty camera.

I could go on about this machine, but if you’re receiving these posts then you probably already know plenty about it, and if you don’t, there’s a great review here from Cal Stuart. The following images were all shot with the 45mm, and they’re all HP5, if I remember correctly.

These first two fellas were amazing and a lot of fun! This was taken in Mexico during the filming of Gringo. We were shooting in Veracruz on this particular day at an outdoor market. Wherever you looked at this market there was a photograph.

This next shot was taken in Havana, Cuba, where I was born. That one fella didn’t seem too happy that I was photographing him. I was driving by in a car when I shot the image.

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This one was shot in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Again, I was driving and saw this on the sidewalk. Luckily I had my camera with me…

This is Peter Mensah walking the back lot at Q Studios in ABQ while we were shooting Midnight Texas. It was a cold night, the camera was in my bag right by me when I looked and saw that photo appear; I had to work fast!!!

Finally, also shot in ABQ at an airline training facility. It was very desolate which, of course, made me want to love it more

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17 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    ed
    June 20, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Spectacular images! What a wonderful, but sadly lost format. Takes considerable skill and a special eye finding a scene worthy of the film real estate to shoot in the first place.

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    Reply
    Gabriel
    June 20, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    great stuff ! too bad is such an expensive format.

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    Reply
    tom
    June 20, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Excellent images. Do you scan the negatives yourself or do you get them professionally done?

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Yul Vazquez
      June 20, 2019 at 5:40 pm

      Thank you. The film is processed and scanned by Chelsea Photographic in Manhattan.

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    Reply
    Andy
    June 20, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Loved you on Seinfeld and love your photographs. You’re a legend!

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      Reply
      Yul Vazquez
      June 20, 2019 at 6:00 pm

      Thanks Andy. Very kind of you. I’m just happy Hamish let’s me post on here!!

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        Reply
        Hamish Gill
        June 20, 2019 at 8:17 pm

        You’re always welcome, Yul, Seinfeld or no Seinfeld, I love your photos 👍🤣

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          Reply
          Yul Vazquez
          June 20, 2019 at 9:02 pm

          HAHAHAHAHA!!!! HAMISH!!! Thanks buddy!!

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    Reply
    Kodachromeguy
    June 20, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Wow, really nice. You used this unusual frame very effectively. Now you have inspired me to find my Xpan negatives from around 2004. I rented an Xpan for a project to fly over the Washington coast, but also took some scenes in Seattle. I will have to rig up a mask for my medium format film scanner, probably to fit onto the 6×9 film holder.

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      Reply
      Yul Vazquez
      June 20, 2019 at 9:02 pm

      Thanks so much.

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      Reply
      Huss Hardan
      June 20, 2019 at 11:00 pm

      I use the digitiliza 35mm holder from Lomography. It is excellent.

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    Reply
    Huss Hardan
    June 20, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    The photo of Peter Mensah is so cool and film noir! Love it!
    It looks like you do not use the center spot gradient filter on the 45mm? Have you tried to remove vignetting via software (if you care..)? I’m going to experiment with mine as I like the idea of not losing all that light.

    Kind regards
    Huss

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Yul Vazquez
      June 21, 2019 at 12:57 am

      Huss,
      Thank you. I don’t use the gradient filter. I like the look of it w/o.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    David Hume
    June 21, 2019 at 8:16 am

    What a great 5 frames! Thank you for sharing.

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