Now, I have started to test my new workflow - using a digital camera, working with Adobe Lightroom Classic + Negative Lab Pro, as well stitching them together the images - because the Hasselblad XPan negatives are almost twice the lengths of a normal 24x36 mm negative.

Well, it certainly works !

But you need to put a lot of love and care into those creations for them to turn out well.

There are a few instances where things can go wrong at times. Then I simply experiment in order to get the next best thing, instead.

 

Fujicolor C200 film

The two panoramic photos above, where made on the consumer grade film, called Fujicolor C 200 - which is the cheapest of them all (I bought a roll for 2 € back in 2015/16). The rumor has it in reality it is a consumer Kodak VR 200 film emulsion. When you look at the densitometric curves in the data sheet and compare between Fuji C200 and Kodak VR 200, they are in essence one and the same.

Kodak VR emulsions were used in the 80s, before Kodak color GOLD came along. Kodak VR emulsions are some noisy (grainy) fuckers, if you ask me.

I don't like The Fuji C200 film very much.

The grain is excessive and the colors a bit strange... (often, but not always) You get what you pay for, I would say. Well, and the days of cheap consumer film, is over anyway in 2022. The cheapest consumer films are now around 6 € i believe.

 

Watch the film grain !

However, in my workflow, in which i made the grain smaller, the images turned out pretty well, after all. But this doesn't always work so well. Skies can be tricky to get right. The Topaz NoiseAI software can't always remove the noise, and when it does, it does it unevenly. You have to "fade" the output between unfiltered image, and NoiseAI processed image, in order to soften the overall appearance of the grain/noise, to look natural.

 

The images above

Show typical impressions I encounter during my work as a subway driver. In this case the "Odenplan Cave". The space where we sometimes turn around the train, in order to drive southwards again - often with Line No 17 to Skarpnäck.

I think the images turned out quite all right.

I have never gotten to that level of good colors before, not with any other way of scanning or post processing. So, I am really satisfied. What I also like is, finally, to see images I have done with the unique Hasselblad XPan Hybrid panorama camera. Most images are a bit boring - while a few do stand out. Or perhaps it is just to my eyes, because I normally don't make panoramic images from underground places.

 

Once - I would dream about getting such results

To get them like the two images above a couple years ago... I could dream about that quality. So, yes. I am really happy about seeing older color negatives now turning out with much better colors.

Imagine that this would be such an issue through the decades. We consume images like nothing. Like rain drops falling down, passing by, from the sky in trillions... Yet, there is actually quite some work behind bringing analogue images into the digital world.

I do see a lot of garbage coming from scanned color negatives people have made. Yet, at the same time, I also know from experience, that it isn't really that easy to get good results.

Maybe, people stop too early in the process...? I am really not fond of images with dust specks all over the place. OK, maybe you like the Lomo (LoFi) style look. It get that. It's an art expression of it's own. But it should be an excuse for bad work.

Personally, I've always felt that dust specks need to be removed before publishing any photography.





After these endless years

- I can now truly focus on the photography itself, and not think so much about the worries that it likely all just gets fucked up in colors. The question however is... do I still have it "in me" ? I am not so sure about that...

On the other hand - I don't have any ambitions. (Now that sounded stupid). I am more into "doing my thing". And I think I pretty much stayed with all my life. Don't need to compete, don't need to do super work, don't need to commercializing it.

I can learn to enjoy taking photos again (with color film, I mean). To reconnect by soul and spirit to what the eyes and mind see and sense.

 

Hasselblad XPan panorama camera

is a so called Rangefinder camera, the same principle like Leica M cameras work. In this case however, the Hasselblad (and Fuji equivalent), can switch negative size; either normal 24x36 mm or the panoramic 24x70 mm. To be honest, when I use the Hasselblad XPan, i always use it in the panoramic format. It mean, that is the whole charm with the camera.

 

The last analog camera turned into a "Step child"

The XPan has always been something of a "step child" in my arsenal of cameras. I bought it back in 1999, so deeply desired, because it was so unique, so different than anything else on the market, i could barely wait to become eligible to take a loan for it. (I just started to work at the subway in 1998 - which took a while until I was eligible for having bank loans again).

In Oct 2000 however, digital photography into my home with the Kodak DC 4800 compact camera, and then the Canon D30 in Summer 2001.

 

Dark corners felt ugly in panoramas

That pulled my attention away from the Hasselblad XPan camera, deeper into digital photography. I also had a lot of trouble with the Hasselblad XPan camera, because I never used the center filter - which resulted into dark corners - which with panoramic images does not look good at all. Normally I like slightly darker corners in images - but absolutely not in Panoramas. It just doesn't work.

I also noticed that when I was in the darkroom - that strange long negative format, was pretty iffy to work with. Somehow, during the 2000s, the cameras started quickly to collect more and more dust - even if I used it from time to time. Well, and then in the digital era... how the duck, do you get to scan those long negatives. Even that delayed the whole thing by at least another decades.

Today, stitching together two negatives is very easy with help of Photoshop - which does an excellent job, really, truly. Well, and my latest "achievement" is, that i now get high quality COLOR NEGATIVES stitched together with good result, without excessive grain, without strange colors.

So, it is a delight. But - these takes much more time to get right.

As I said before - with Hasselblad XPan color negatives, you had to add a lot of time and love ! Then you will be rewarded and the fun and enjoyment begins to unfold.

16 May 2022 • spell checked & corrected.


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