Panoramic camera overview

Discussion in 'Panoramic Cameras and Accessories' started by JBrunner, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have always been fascinated with panoramic formats, I was just curious how many different kind of panoramic cameras are out there? Are there any that won't break the bank, as in not being the primary camera one owns? What is the benchmark, regardless of cost?
     
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  2. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    There are lots of different cameras out there, and the more complicated the mechanism, the more expensive the camera. A good web site to go to is
    http://www.panoramicassociation.org/home.php
    Rotational cameras are usually the most expensive. The modern ones are more practical, but cirkuts can be had for a reasonable amount. They are pretty challenging to use, and you can't buy film that's prepared to shoot anymore. You have to find a film source, and then spool your own. It's a lot of work. Modern cameras like roundshots are costly, but have a short learning curve. You can scan the negs and print them on a inkjet.
    Swing lense cameras like the widelux, noblex and widepan are cheaper, and can be found at a reasonable cost. Some of the cheaper swing lense cameras can have funky mechanics, like the horizon, and it can be hit or miss to get one that runs smoothly. The next option is to use a non mechanical camera that crops the image to achieve the panoramic effect, or just crop your shot from a regular camera.
    They all work, and you just have to fit your tool the the subject.
    Jamie
     
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  3. roteague

    roteague Member

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    You might get yourself a copy of "Lee Frost's Panoramic Photography". This book discusses all types of panoramic cameras.

    I know what you mean about panoramic, I'm smitten with it myself. I think that next year, I am going to get one of the new Horseman 6x17 cameras. Until then, I am making do with my 6x12 back for my Toyo.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hey Robert, maybe I can bring my 6x17 back out this summer, and you can try it out. The Horseman looks great, but I still think a 6x17 back for a 4x5" camera is more versatile. The Horseman has rise/fall, but no tilts and swings, and doesn't it need its own helical mount lenses that cost a fortune, like the Linhof?
     
  5. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Great, when are you coming? Which island? It would be good to get together once again.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    We'll be on Moloka'i again from about June 15-August 15, with a little time in Honolulu visiting the family on either side of that. I find I can get more writing done on Moloka'i than anywhere else.
     
  7. europanorama

    europanorama Member

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    rotapancam only forum

    http://forums.delphiforums.com/pancams/start

    i started this forum since there was none at that time. but meanwhile the one on panphoto.com is publictly open. but they are completing eachother. but there are never ever enough informations to make the right decisions. rotapancams are so limited, heavy or expensive. one cannot compare with normal photography. even with newest digital rotapancam. lets wait for photokina what will come.
     
  8. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    What's the difference between a banquet camera and a panoramic camera? For example, I've heard 7X17s called banquet cameras, but the nameplate on my 7X17 Korona says "Panoramic View"
     
  9. Troy Hamon

    Troy Hamon Member

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    And if you want a cheap, though very low quality, panoramic camera, outfit a Holga or a MF folder for 35 mm film...never tried it, but I might do so soon...
     
  10. trebor569

    trebor569 Member

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    Has anyone got any thoughts on the Fotoman MK2 Panoramics?
    I have a hankering for their 6x24
    :confused:
     
  11. DougGrosjean

    DougGrosjean Member

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    Banquet simply refers to swing-lens panoramic cameras, so-called because photogs would line up their subjects (a crowd) in an arc around the camera. Finished image looks like everybody's in a straight line. Giveaway is that buildings in the background are distorted. Once you've ID'd one shot like this, you start seeing them everywhere.
     
  12. DougGrosjean

    DougGrosjean Member

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    Except that technique doesn't widen the actual field of view, it just lobs off the top and bottom of the neg.

    Probably the cheapest / easiest way is to get a manual 35mm camera. Mount it to a tripod so that the camera can rotate about its nodal point.

    Take your series of shots, rotating the camera on the tripod, and allowing lots of overlap on the images, and using the same exposure and focus settings for each image.

    Scan them all at once, again to limit exposure differences.

    Then Photomerge them together in Photoshop.
     
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Some panoramic purists maintain that a true panoramic camera must rotate or at least have a swinging lens. Others (including presumably Korona, and I rather side with them) regard this as nonsense and use 'panoramic' for any long, thin format.

    Banquet cameras were of course used for taking large groups of people at e.g. banquets. The scope for overlap is clearly wide (sorry, pun not intended but hard to resist after accidentally making it).

    Edit: I had never heard the term 'banquet' applied to swing-lens cameras before Doug suggested it. This doesn't mean either of us is wrong, just that I'd never heard it.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
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  15. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    I've started playing with Horizon Perfekt, a 35mm full panorama camera that gives 58mm image width. It can be had for $400-500 brand new in the US. I've found a couple of problems, but it is a very usable camera. I have described the camera here:

    http://wiki.silvergrain.org/wiki/index.php/Horizon_Perfekt

    The page will expand with more photos to illustrate the point, especially when modifying the camera to adjust the focusing distance, etc.
     
  16. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Well, since I started this thread, I have wound up with a Fotoman 6x17 with a SSA 90mm. The lens rocks. The camera rocks. It has, however, been a very challenging format to master. I'm doing pretty good with it now, a couple of shots from it are currently in my gallery. I like this one the best:

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=15515&cat=500&ppuser=9455
     
  17. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    doug
    my understanding is "banquet camera" was a broad label for cameras of this size in the early 1900s and refered to 7x17s, 8x20s, and 12x20s that were make by Korona and Folmer & Schwing (believe these were the only two manufacturers) with the main use being to photograph large groups of people at banquets and such. Korona has that on the name plate likely just as a marketing thing. 7x17 and 8x20 would be labeled banquet cameras and panoramic cameras interchangeable, Id think.

    in regards to panoramic cameras in general, I love them :smile: but Im biased as its about all Ive shot lately. I remember there was a neat pano adapter for the Mamiya 645 I used to own basically used 35mm film in the 120 camera to create a panoramic image. then theres the 35mm Xpans, 6x17s, 6x24s, 4x10s, 5x12s, cirkut (rotating cameras), 7x17s, 8x20s, ...

    its fun too shoot in for sure and quite a challenge most of the time Ive found.
     
  18. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    As far as I am aware, the term "panoramic" was originally applied to the swinging-lens Kodak cameras of the early 1900s. When I hear "banquet", I think of a conventional camera (possible with a short bellows) which takes a plate split horizontally from a normal size (e.g. 8 x 20" instead of 16 x 20", etc.). As banquet shots were generally lit by flash powder in the old days, I would think a swinging-lens camera would be highly impractical.

    As regards modern panoramic cameras, the term seems to be applied to any camera that make a long thin picture, no matter whether with a swinging lens or static lens. I am always surprised that people pay a lot of money for custom-made panoramic cameras, I find a Crown Graphic with a Horseman 6 x12 cm back just great, and there is always the option of a Chinese 6 x17 cm booster back if you want to go even wider (personally I like the 2:1 ratio best).

    Regards,

    David
     
  19. herb

    herb Subscriber

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    I got a fotoman 617 a while back, just got the chance to use it with my 180mm lens. Looks like a winner. It sets up a lot easier than a view camera, which I also have, and it produced a couple of rolls of decent panorama's. I have one at the lab for a 7x20 cibachrome. More later
     
  20. fotoman

    fotoman Member

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    Jim, I like your shot. If you have the time how about posting some of your work on the Fotoman Gallery... same for you, Herb.

    When I see a great panoramic picture it always stops me in my tracks, no matter what the format. Some say it's just "cropping" off the top and bottom. I suppose that's technically correct, but to me a well executed pano has an inherent sense of biggness. A feeling of more than what I'm actually viewing. Perhaps my brain sort of "fills in" what might be beyond the frame... a sky, a foreground... without it actually having to be there. Yet within the confines of its frame, the successful pano is whole and complete.

    Actually shooting with a panoramic camera helps me to "see" panoramically. The results being more complete, and more purposeful than simply cropping a pano out of a 4x5 or whatever. I often carry around a 617 viewfinder, just to work my eye muscles.
     
  21. Logan Group

    Logan Group Member

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    David,

    I have a 6x17 back for my 4x5 as well. I've been pretty happy with it. Have you or anyone ever seen a 6x24 back for a 4x5?
     
  22. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I use a 6x12 Noblex camera and I think it is one of the most beautiful cameras I have ever used. the angle of view matches my vision, I think this camera is definately worth looking at and trying.
     
  23. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    You would need an 8x10" for a 6x24cm back.
     
  24. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Hi Petzi,

    Not exactly. I seem to recall some years ago that someone had taken a number of Linhof Technikardan 45 cameras (not sure if it was just the 45 or 45S) and turned them into 6 X 24 cameras. I believe that I even saw one of them at Photo Plus some years ago at the Javitts Center in New York City. I can't remember which store had it. It may have been Lens and Repro. At the time I think that it was available for rental. But, once this modification was performed on the camera I do not believe that the camera could be returned to its original form.

    Rich
     
  25. RAP

    RAP Member

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    It is very simple to trace out format proportions on any ground glass. I have 6X7 for my roll film back, and panorama on my 4x5. Very economical and versitile. On the panorama it gives you extra room to play with cropping.
     
  26. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    To turn a 6x9 camera into a 6x24, you would need an attachment that is bigger than the camera...