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ADOX Fotoimpex
03-12-2014, 05:39 AM
The German manufacturer of panoramic camera systems MK and ADOX are evaluating the possibility of producing a new analog medium format 360 panoramic camera.
Currently we are evaluating the price point. This thread is to get feedback if you think there is a need for such a camera in new condition or if you think the used market serves everyone perfectly.
Obviously it will not be cheap but on the other hand Leicas have their prices as well.

I know I should tell you the exact price but we need to wait a little for this information.

Mirko

Bruce Osgood
03-12-2014, 04:27 PM
For my needs, this camera would be a complete waste of time, film and money.

Rick A
03-12-2014, 04:45 PM
I'm with you Bruce. Maybe a 180 deg. sweep would be worth checking into.

Prof_Pixel
03-12-2014, 05:14 PM
I'm not sure there is much of a market for such a product. There are many digital approaches that offer excellent solutions for a variety of panoramic images.

Ken Nadvornick
03-12-2014, 05:28 PM
I'm not sure there is much of a market for such a product. There are many digital approaches that offer excellent solutions for a variety of panoramic images.

There may be other digital solutions, but to no greater advantage/disadvantage than alternative digital solutions in any other format. This is just another possible film camera prototype. In brainstorming sessions we usually boot out anyone whose first reaction to a new idea is No.

So are we talking programmable coverage? Where 360-deg is the maximum, but lesser arcs are also doable?

Ken

CatLABS
03-12-2014, 05:33 PM
I think this is a great idea.
All new film based products are a good idea, and this camera, for a neiche market that it will serve will help every other element in the business.
As there are so few, (or none) companies that actually make a med format camera today, let alone a brand new design, i think this could find its place on the shelves (see the Fuji/voightlander folder as example).

I can't say i know too many poeple would actually spend big bucks on a film camera with such a limited field of use, but that does not mean there wount be any at all.

Prof_Pixel
03-12-2014, 05:33 PM
There may be other digital solutions, but to no greater advantage/disadvantage than alternative digital solutions in any other format.

Do you have personal experience working with such digital solutions to fully understand the strengths and weaknesses?

To accurately judge the viability of such a possible new produce, one must fully understand the competition.

Ken Nadvornick
03-12-2014, 05:46 PM
Do you have personal experience working with such digital solutions to fully understand the strengths and weaknesses?

To accurately judge the viability of such a possible new produce, one must fully understand the competition.

To accurately judge the viability of such a possible new product, one must fully understand the new product. And to do that one must ask questions. That's what good engineers do. Unless, of course, one can divine all of the comparison data required to form a valid judgment by simply looking at a single posted picture.

Before I form and offer an opinion, I need to know just what the thing is, and what it possibly can (and can't) do. It may turn out to have some capability that no digital alternative solution can offer. I don't know. Hence my questions first...

Ken

CatLABS
03-12-2014, 05:48 PM
Do you have personal experience working with such digital solutions to fully understand the strengths and weaknesses?

To accurately judge the viability of such a possible new produce, one must fully understand the competition.

One thing has nothing to do with the other. A film camera will not be "competition" to a similar digital product, they simply two different things on every level.
There are at least 2 crowd funding projects for a design of a 360 degree ball camera that will give 360 degrees in sphere. Those are not designed for commercial use, so comparing those to a complex camera mount that creates and stitches a spherical image is pointless.

mgb74
03-12-2014, 05:51 PM
http://vr-head.com/english/adox---lets-shoot-film/index.html

The idea of using "off the shelf" Nikon lenses is an excellent one. But clearly this is a very specialized niche product. And I think 360 deg panoramic images are, frankly, a bit of a novelty. So given that novelty factor, I think that the particular advantages of film may not be fully appreciated. I would expect that development and production costs would have to be recovered over a very small number of units sold.

Ian Grant
03-12-2014, 05:53 PM
Mirko, do you have any sample images, I assume there's a prototype.

There is a small demand for Roundshot style cameras shooting 360 but it really is small, if the actual that's exposed could be chosen maybe demand might be higher.

Panoramics or rather how do I shoot some of the very wide landscapes I've been working in, has been a dilemma to me for around 25 years. Rotating cameras, Noblex, Horizont etc, produce a unique signature which really didn't suit my work, and 360 cameras just shoot the same but over the full circle.

In the end I chose to buy a 6x17 camera, if I had had the cash at the time I'd have bought a 6x24 (it was the cost of a WA lens for 6x24 that was the issue). While I shoot film for all my own ork I also stitch large panoramas from digital imgaes for commercial work but I prefer the straight images, there's the strange perspective when cameras (or lenses) are rotated whether motorised or stitched image.

Maybe I should add that I'd shoot HD video now to cover some of the wide panoramas

It's a very specialist market and so probably few of us here would be potential customers however there is a sector of the market that use and need cameras with that kind of capability, creating Virtual Reality images. As most will be used/shown digital formats then there's the issue of should the capture be digital or on film.

Ian

Sirius Glass
03-12-2014, 05:54 PM
I have a WideLux 7, so I will watch and listen.

Dr Croubie
03-12-2014, 06:03 PM
Do you have personal experience working with such digital solutions to fully understand the strengths and weaknesses?

I've done more than enough digital stitching to know how much I hate it, there's a lot of pain when stitching the photos together, especially in trying to calculate the exact nodal-point to swing around (and then getting your tripod and head to actually swing around the correct point). Enough of a headache that I haven't really bothered much after testing and I'll probably sell my Nodal Ninja one day.

DIY digital (using a dslr) has the advantage that all the test shots needed are free and immediate, film SLRs can't do it cheaply or quickly (at least, not enough for me to bother).

Pre-built (film or digital) have the advantage that all the nodal point stuff has been figured out in design, all you have to do is mount it level and press the button and you're done.

There's the half pre-built and half-diy automated solutions like GigaPan, but how expensive are they?

Having an all-in-one shot film camera removes all the headaches of stitching, but then you need a huge scanner/enlarger anyway. Depends on the vertical angle of view. If you can get a 360-round-trip in, say, a 6x24cm bit of 120-film with a wide-angle lens then you can at least use an 8x10 enlarger or flatbed scanner. If your lens is narrower and you need a full 2-feet of film to get 360-degrees then there are not many enlargers or scanners on the planet that can handle that without cutting and stitching later.

The biggest annoyance when making 360-degree panos, whether film or digital, is getting the exposure right. Unless you've got a completely soft-box-cloudy sun-free day, then you're going to have major spot blown out and major spots black, even with B+W or C41 film.
Hence I'd definitely prefer a user-selectable model, at least 90/180/270/360 degrees, like a DaYi 67/69/612/617 selectable-back. Even if you're stuck doing the whole roll on the same setting, it's still better than only doing 360.

Prof_Pixel
03-12-2014, 06:21 PM
A film camera will not be "competition" to a similar digital product, they simply two different things on every level.


LOL Just because they are 'different' doesn't mean they aren't in competition. Look at what's happened to film.

People who make their living making such panoramic images want a solution that will make them money and not a technology for technologies sake. It may be film; it may be digital. In any event, I would hope that any company bringing out a new product fully understands all the alternative solutions.

FWIW, I just PMed the OP with the contact information on such a person.

Pioneer
03-12-2014, 06:35 PM
The German manufacturer of panoramic camera systems MK and ADOX are evaluating the possibility of producing a new analog medium format 360 panoramic camera.
Currently we are evaluating the price point. This thread is to get feedback if you think there is a need for such a camera in new condition or if you think the used market serves everyone perfectly.
Obviously it will not be cheap but on the other hand Leicas have their prices as well.

I know I should tell you the exact price but we need to wait a little for this information.

Mirko

I really doubt I am qualified to determine a market for this camera but I can comment on certain aspects.

First, if there is a market for used cameras there will certainly be a market for new versions if they are very well done. I think that Fuji's introduction of a medium format folding camera is an excellent example. There are a lot of very good, used folders out there but the Fuji/Bessa version was well received.

I think it is useful to point out that a lot of people who would be interested in a new panoramic camera probably won't be chased off by a premium price, particularly if early adopters give feedback that the product is worth the price. Obviously there will be those who grouse at the price. There are some who would complain about a free version if they had to pay the shipping, and I think most of them post on the internet.

I do know several people just in my small area who do panorama. A lot of them started with digital but a few I know started looking for film solutions as they spent more time doing it. Whether or not any of them would buy a new one is certainly not guaranteed but I do know most of them could likely afford it if they wanted it bad enough. Face it, there are still people out there paying for new large format cameras.

One way you could judge the reception of such a camera would be to try crowd funding it through Kickstarter, though your initial price point may limit that option for you.

Anyway, good luck and I hope it works out. I am always thrilled when new film options pop up.

AgX
03-12-2014, 07:06 PM
The idea of using "off the shelf" Nikon lenses is an excellent one. But clearly this is a very specialized niche product. And I think 360 deg panoramic images are, frankly, a bit of a novelty. So given that novelty factor, I think that the particular advantages of film may not be fully appreciated. I would expect that development and production costs would have to be recovered over a very small number of units sold.

A novelty?? These cameras exist more than 100 years.

AgX
03-12-2014, 07:21 PM
Introducing a product again after a major manufacturer has given up similar is something different than re-introducing a product again that has a decades long history of being produced by a small scale niche manufacturer, Seitz, who changed to modern, digital versions.
The advantages of small scale against mass production do not exist in such case.

With similar but also more advanced versions on the used market I hardly see the advantages for me in buying this new model.

"MK" though makes me think of someone with a long history of involvement with rotational panoramic cameras. So the idea behind this new version will be reasoned.
And to be fair, on the film market we also got small scale productions competing with each other.

mgb74
03-12-2014, 07:33 PM
A novelty?? These cameras exist more than 100 years.

I said the images are a bit of a novelty. Perhaps I should have been more specific and say that panoramic commercial images in today's market are a bit of a novelty. My point being that most panoramic images I've seen have been the highly commercial poster-type images where film qualities might be overlooked. I don't have any empirical support for this so you're free to have your own opinion.

Before the inevitable "how about xyz's images", I'm sure there are exceptions. But you can't build a marketable product on exceptions to an already tiny market. And I'm assuming that the primary market for new 360 deg panoramic cameras will be photographers to plan to sell their work. Again, I don't have any empirical support for this so you're free to have your own opinion.

AgX
03-12-2014, 07:37 PM
What I find even more interesting than the panoramic camera idea on its own is that Adox is considering to offer a own camera "again".

If I'm right those Adox apparatus offered currently are re-branded. A propriatory camera would be a far different step.

Edit:
Were it not already given ADORAMA would be a nice name...

Ken Nadvornick
03-12-2014, 07:53 PM
What I find even more interesing than the panoramic camera idea on its own is that Adox is considering to offer a own camera "again".

Exactly. That's why I don't want this thread to begin with some form of reflexive "Oh that's a bad idea. Don't you know about digital?"

Once the topic is steered in that direction, it will never recover. Let's hear Adox out. This sounds quite interesting. And let's give those guys some credit. They already know about digital. They aren't fools...

Ken