Stretching The View

We all have a favourite camera and for some it may be one that is no longer made. Keith Wilson recalls the joy of using a unique camera that popularised the panoramic landscape

Photographers may not agree on many things but we definitely speak in one voice when asserting, to anyone who asks, that it is the photographer, not the camera, who makes the picture. I am not about to disagree, but if that really is the case why do we spend so much time agonising about which camera to buy? Furthermore, if the camera is ‘just a tool for the job’, why do we get so attached to certain makes? We even hang on to a camera long after it has been made obsolete by the unceasing march of technology, simply because it is our favourite. I should know. My favourite camera was discontinued in 2005. It is the Hasselblad XPan II. It is not a digital camera; it uses 35mm film. It doesn’t have autofocus: it is a rangefinder. It has no Live View, no LCD monitor, no image playback; instead, you have to wait till...

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