Panoramic cameras circa 1905

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by noexit, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. noexit

    noexit Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    My great-great-grandfather was a photographer in Oklahoma around the turn of the 20th Century, and he was a pioneer in panoramic photography. In my aunt's words, he pioneered panoramic photography, though I haven't been able to find out if he really had a role in the development of the format or not. A few of his panoramas are in the Library of Congress.
    Tulsa, OK
    Cheyenne Indian encampment
    Cheyenne sun dancer

    My question is, what kind of camera would have been used in 1908 and 1909 to take this kind of panorama? Unfortunatly, no one in my family that I know of has any of his equipment.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2005
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,946
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Your image links aren't working.

    A panoramic format camera like a 7x17" or 8x20" camera would have been the main option. These were conventional view cameras that used sheet film in panoramic proportions.

    The Cirkut Camera was first manufactured in 1902. This was a rotating camera that used large format roll film that moved past a swinging lens. The time of the exposure was such that a common trick for group photographs was to have one person run behind the group ahead of the lens after being photographed at one end, so they would appear at both ends of the photograph.
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Messages:
    6,242
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    According to what I see on your links, these were multiple exposures that were mounted adjacent to each other. I see at least one joint in a couple of images and four joints in one. This could have been done with any camera that was precisely leveled. and rotated for subsequent exposures.

    While these are presented as panoramic images, they are not true panoramics in the sense that the Cirkut camera or the banquet cameras would have provided. The banquet formats (7X17, 8X20, and 12X20) would have used one sheet of film as would the Cirkut.
     
  4. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

    Messages:
    1,303
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The question to me is whether it is the negative or the print that was cut into segments. The prints could have been cut or folded for storage. The last link shows a group of people. If you zoom in on the center, there is a person standing there, right at the cut (I think). She (he?) appears to have a blanket draped over her shoulders. I can't see her standing there long enough for the photographer to reposition the camera.

    Matt
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Messages:
    6,242
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    He would not have had to reposition the camera...just swung the camera on the tripod head. Could have been done in a matter of seconds. I don't see that anyone would have cut the negatives or the print because it would have severly compromised their value. However, I may be wrong.

    Considering the aspect ratio of the image, it wasn't any of the conventional banquet formats. Considering the indian encampment image and the aspect ratio of the other two images, I would wonder if this wasn't shot with 8X10...that would make a 40X8 appr. image
     
  6. noexit

    noexit Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Here some better links. Clicking on small sized scan will open a larger jpeg, with a link to a still larger tiff.

    http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pan.6a08685
    http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pan.6a08735
    http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pan.6a08724

    On the second scan especially, there are signs that it was folded. While I'm not an expert at this type of photography, I agree with the poster who sugested that they were not spliced from multiple negitives. The match seems too good to have been done by rotating the camera. These prints are 6.5"x36.5" for the first one, and 6"x42" for the second two. 97 years ago, they probably were'nt thinking about their future value, they just needed a way to store them, so they were folded.
     
  7. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,099
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I purchased a Russian Horizon swinging lens camera in 1994. Since then I've taken quite a few panoramic pictures and have gotten to know the little points that can turn a picture bad easily and also I've picked up some information to note when a swinging lens camera has been used.

    Take the point with the two landscape pictures, that in general, the horizon is in the middle, roughly, which negates the rising or dipping of the land. This is pretty much the only way a swinging lens camera can take a normal perspective type picture.

    Also the buildings exhibit one of the quirks of a swinging lens camera. If you look at the Tulsa picture, pan to the right and check out the white (ish) building. You should notice that it appears slightly curved. This effect happens because the lens is swinging towards the right, or end of the frame and the image is actually a curved image. Roughly central is the main street, which appears pretty normal as it should. Then as the image goes to the left, check out the building with the white writing on it, it starts to curve just like the white one on the other side of the picture. The horizon on the far left is not in the centre and as a result is dipping, this is another characteristic of a swinging lens camera.

    The big Indian one with the big tent in the middle and the big fold mark also has a really interesting pointer to what I think is definitely a swinging lens camera. Just to the left of the big fold mark there are two women walking. The woman on the right is very blurred, indicating that she is walking faster than the other woman. My thoughts are that the woman on the left is moving slightly towards the camera and therefore moving slower, as far as the camera is concerned, whilst the women on the right is walking directly across the front of the camera in the opposite direction to the movement of the swinging lens. Therefore she becomes shortened, which appears to have happened!

    This thinning is pretty much what I have observed with my own swinging lens camera. I have made my neice very thin, once by having her walk right to left as I took an exposure, then made her quite wide, by having her walk left to right in another exposure. I have also noted curving buildings just like those in the Tulsa picture.

    I think I'm certain that these pictures would have been made on a swinging lens camera.

    I have never seen a Cirkut camera, does anybody out there know what direction they swing from. The lens on the camera that took the picture of the woman walking, appears to be one that swings from left to right.

    Mick.
     
  8. Andy K

    Andy K Member

    Messages:
    9,422
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Sunny Southe
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Aside from all the technical detail, it must be fantastic to have such a historical record in your family. I spent a very long time looking at these, very enjoyable, thankyou for posting them.
     
  9. Aggie

    Aggie Member

    Messages:
    4,925
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Stanford University has many panaromas from the early part of last century. Most of them were folded when they were originally stored. This could very well account for the folds/creases in the images shown to us.
     
  10. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,136
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Didn't EKCo make a swing lens panoramic camera back then?
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,946
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Yes, that's the Cirkut camera that's been mentioned above.

    I can see the images now, and I'm fairly sure they were made with the Cirkut camera. The format is much longer than any single-sheet pano format, and they have the look of images made with a swing-lens camera.

    There might be one or two Cirkut photographers here. If not, try the Q&A forum at lfphoto.info. I know there are one or two there.
     
  12. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Milan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't know the answer, but The G Eastman House has quite a few, very nice examples taken with a cirkut camera. One has all the kodak employees standing in a line . The first individual on the left can also be found on the far right smirking. Obviously he ran behind the camera to the other side after it had shot him in his original position.

    The image is a contact from a neg that was 4' long.
     
  13. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

    Messages:
    452
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Location:
    Western Cana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Eastman Kodak made Swing Lens Panoramic Camera - the Kodak #4 Panoram that used 103 film for a negative size of 3.5"x12" The Swing lens camera is not the same as a Cirkut camera which is considered to be a rotational camera since it rotates of the tripod table up to 360 degrees. The Swing lens is just that a lens that swings from left to right like the Widelux. Have a look at the attached sites for pictures and descriptions of the cameras and the images they make.


    http://www.panoramicassociation.org/
    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/panoramic_photo/pnshoot.html
     
  14. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,136
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    David, I wasn't thinking of a Cirkut, I was thinking of the swing lens camera that gordrob mentioned. Used to see 'em in fair numbers in camera shows, when there were camera shows.
     
  15. claytume

    claytume Member

    Messages:
    279
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Location:
    Wellington,
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    Yes

    they're definitely Cirkut camera photos.......I use one.......have a look on my website www.bigshotz.co.nz


    Clayton