When asked, Bill replied:
1. If you were to choose a favourite film camera from your collection which would it be?
My Xpan – a 35mm rangefinder that, with the turn of a knob, changes the size of the film frame from 24×36 to 24×65. I use it exclusively in panoramic mode. Previously I had experimented with a Horizont and a Widelux that are also panoramic but the swinging lens often (almost always!) causes barrel distortion that I really did not like.
2. How long have you owned this camera?
I bought it used around 2008. Ironically Beau had one with both the 45mm and 90mm lenses that sat on the shelf for the longest time. One day I went in to buy it only to discover that someone else had bought it a couple of hours before. Luckily a couple of weeks later I was able to buy one from a photographer temporarily living in Vancouver.
3. How did you come to own this camera?
I was looking for a way to shoot distortion-free panoramic images with a negative size that I could enlarge in the darkroom without buying massive amounts of equipment. When you move to 120 size panoramic cameras you need a 5×7 enlarger – I saw one once. It was huge and difficult to get accessories for. You can still buy negative carriers for the Xpan 24×65 format for several different brands of enlargers.
4. What things do you enjoy most about this camera?
I’d have to say that the thing I like most about the camera is the panoramic images I can get with it. Also, the Xpan is a rangefinder which I prefer over SLRs.
Most of the images are from Pokhaist (east of Spencer Bridge). The last two are Lighthouse Park.