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caoslc
07-29-2010, 12:29 PM
Greetings,
I have recently become intrigued with using a swing lens panoramic camera but am a little overwhelmed at the limited choices of cameras. I plan to use the camera as a diversion and to have a little bit of fun with the wide range of view. I will continue to use my xpan when I seek a high quality image.

So my question is this... Horizon 202, Horizon Perfekt or a used Widelux?
The Horizons are cheaper...do I get what I pay for and may regret it later? Is the upgrade from the 202 to the Perfekt worth paying twice as much? The Widelux are pricey and used... can I feel confident the camera will work well enough for the price?

There seems to be a love-hate relationship with these cameras and I would prefer to be a lover and not a hater.

Thank You for your help, Carl

Colin Corneau
07-29-2010, 02:19 PM
You'll get a better camera with the Widelux. FWIW, the lens quality is really good with them, also...I used my F7 to make images I printed myself for an exhibition; got nice prints 20" wide from the 35mm neg.

You'll have to watch out for 'banding', caused by the gears moving the lens at an uneven rate as it swings from side to side. It's the most common problem with these cameras. If you can find one in decent shape it's very much worth the cost.

Mustafa Umut Sarac
07-29-2010, 03:08 PM
Russian Zenit Factory produces Horizons. If you can find their website , there are comparison shots Horizon to Widelux and Horizon is winner. Horizon prints have a faraway more correct perspective lines.
But Do not let pictures fail you , Horizons are faraway smaller and lighter cameras than their muscular pictures. Perfekt have faraway better optics .If you visit lomography site and could find Horizon specific website , you can agree with their optics.
I found a 202 and its plastic was very cheap .
Perfekt have better plastic.
Now the big deal , if you write to zenit , they give you their bank address and send you a perfekt for 250 dollars. I have their offer in Russian , it was like Communist Party Manifesto :)

caoslc
07-29-2010, 04:42 PM
Thank you both for your opinions,

Colin, many of the images I have seen with the Widelux are in fact spectacular, but I keep hearing about "banding" problems and it gives me pause to buy a used, 20 -30 year old camera over the internet. How common is banding and can it be fixed easily and cheaply?

Mustafa, according to the Zenit web site the Perfekt is offered for the price of $511 plus shipping, this is the comparable to the price of the Widelux. I appreciate your opinion on the 202 not being the same quality as the Perfekt, for the ebay price of around $200 it almost seemed to good to be true.

David Brown
07-29-2010, 04:55 PM
I plan to use the camera as a diversion and to have a little bit of fun with the wide range of view. I will continue to use my xpan when I seek a high quality image.


Given your criteria above -

This was taken with the "cheap" Horizon:

http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showimage.php?i=50311&catid=member&orderby=dateline&direction=DESC&imageuser=1467&cutoffdate=-1

As was this:

David Brown
07-29-2010, 05:01 PM
How common is banding and can it be fixed easily and cheaply?

I don't have that much problem with the banding exect in very solid areas, such as a cloudless sky. Even then, it's not awful. I got lucky in "Russian roulette", I guess.

I have read that the solution to the banding caused by the mechanical shutters is to get a Noblex with their electronic shutters. Someday, I hope to find a 120 Noblex at a price that doesn't cause me to blanch! :o

caoslc
07-29-2010, 05:07 PM
Very nice image David,
this is why I have such a dilemma, the Widelux appears to be the higher quality camera yet it has several issues concerning repair and price for a camera that has not been manufactured in many years.
The Horizon Perfekt is capable of great images but is it worth the upgrade from the 202 which is being offered at a great price?

caoslc
07-29-2010, 05:11 PM
David, excellent phrase "Russian Roulette", that is exactly how I feel when considering a Horizon, maybe I will get lucky..maybe not.

I looked at a Noblex and feel the same as you... someday

Colin Corneau
07-29-2010, 06:06 PM
http://www.jeffbridges.com/widelux.html

Banding is something you want to ask about before you buy. I too was very lucky when I got my F7 (through APUG, actually - one of many great experiences here!).

I just exercised my lens regularly, I used the camera enough that it got enough exercise but simply moving it with your finger and letting it go back is enough. The info on Jeff Bridges' site is very good.

RobertV
08-03-2010, 12:40 PM
Horizon 202

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/73/177074900_d616afb152_b.jpg

Banding can be a problem with these cameras. The 202 is not a bad camera but well, Russian.... so you never know :)

Mustafa Umut Sarac
08-03-2010, 03:19 PM
Caoslc , They increase the prices without increase the quality. When the Perfekt was 450 dollars at e bay last year , I sent a question them and they said 250 dollar including carrying the camera from factory to Moscow airport and sending to the address with air cargo. I think they found their prices were too low to suspect the people and doubled it ! wow !
I read somewhere that they are using a watch mechanism to work everything and it can be big trouble to find replacement parts out of Russia or 10 years later even in Russia.
Buy someone from APUG if you can the cheapest one and you will be free in mind.
I asked their glass factory about the diagram of Perfekt and they said they helped to design the lens but no information at hand.
Some analog cinema people put their everything to say 500 dollars LOMO lens is better than 25000 dollars zeiss , cooke , leitz. I am talking about Soviet manufactured , nowadays their EKRAN factory request least 10000 per lens.
Zenit factory buys the glass from Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory and they are the manufacturer of biggest one piece telescope mirror in the world.
Look for LOMO Anamorphic Lens cinema cuts from vimeo and you will be fallen love.
Without wasting your years , I can say you can buy a Canon 7d , Panasonic or Sony and attach a LOMO Square Front on it and take your movie. They do movie with these cameras seriously.
Or you can buy a cheap LOMO Spherical and buy a Kiev 60 and take extreme smooth shots.
It all depends what you want to see at your art. Some hate , Some warship

Best ,

Mustafa Umut Sarac

Istanbul

Mustafa Umut Sarac
08-03-2010, 03:42 PM
Caoslc , try them and request written quote. I think you looked to lomography com. Correct address is here and they must be cheap . Good luck.

General manager
Zhigulich Valery P.
Phone 561-80-00
fax 562-68-42
kmz@zenit-foto.ru

Executive
Levchenko Gennady
Phone 561-80-02
fax 562-23-26
kmz@zenit-foto.ru
Marketing department
Rykov
Vladimir Konstantinovich
Phone 561-89-26, 561-39-46
fax 562-83-16
marketing@zenit-kmz.ru , marketing@zenit-foto.ru ,
reklama@zenit-kmz.ru
Sales
Morozov
Pavel
Phone 561-80-46
fax 563-42-65

kmz243@zenit-foto.ru

Tom Kershaw
08-03-2010, 04:01 PM
The Horizon S3 Pro appears to be available new on ebay.co.uk for just under 300 GBP - excluding import tax and VAT I'd guess . Have any UK or European based APUGers used this avenue?

Tom

Andrew K
08-03-2010, 07:45 PM
I've owned a Horizon 202, A Horizont (the earlier one with the removable viewfinder), a Widelux F7, Noblex 135 (can;t remember the model number - the one with shift on the lens), a FT2 plus a Noblex 120, so I feel I can make a few general comments..(I was also a camera technician for 10 years, so have repaired most of the obave cameras too)...

My favorite was the Horizont (if you didn't use the hand grip) - because there was only 1 speed for rotation you got even exposure, and the lens was sharp.

Horizon 202 was plastic, and mine produced good results, but not as sharp as the Noblex. The noblex was the sharpest of all the cameras, but mechanically it was a bit of a dud - mine had a strange fault where the drum would not rotate by itself the first time you fired it - you had to rotate it for a bit by hand...then it worked fine. But if you switched it off you had to rotate it by hand again...

The local Noblex agents tried to repair it, as did several other people - no one could ever get it to work 100% (this was my 135. the 120 also does the same thing, but sometimes you have to rotate it 2 or 3 times before it starts to work....)

FT2 - this was fun to use - I loved the format - so wide compared to all the other cameras...

Widelux - if you can find a good one wich hasn't been over used then they are great. Very sharp, but the fact they have 3 speed governors can make them a bit prone to banding when changing speeds. Also I've seen the gears on the later F7/F8's governors wear if they are slightly out of mesh with the lens drum, which is sometimes the case to make them operate correcly....

Having owned or used all these cameras what do I use? To be honest nothing at the moment - although the new Lomo 360 spining camera looks very interesting......

Cheers

Mustafa Umut Sarac
08-03-2010, 08:05 PM
Yes , I agree , LOMO 360 is a great idea. May be someone can produce himself a version. They are still very expensive for me.

europanorama
09-08-2010, 03:54 AM
I've owned a Horizon 202, A Horizont (the earlier one with the removable viewfinder), a Widelux F7, Noblex 135 (can;t remember the model number - the one with shift on the lens), a FT2 plus a Noblex 120, so I feel I can make a few general comments..(I was also a camera technician for 10 years, so have repaired most of the obave cameras too)...

My favorite was the Horizont (if you didn't use the hand grip) - because there was only 1 speed for rotation you got even exposure, and the lens was sharp.

Horizon 202 was plastic, and mine produced good results, but not as sharp as the Noblex. The noblex was the sharpest of all the cameras, but mechanically it was a bit of a dud - mine had a strange fault where the drum would not rotate by itself the first time you fired it - you had to rotate it for a bit by hand...then it worked fine. But if you switched it off you had to rotate it by hand again...

The local Noblex agents tried to repair it, as did several other people - no one could ever get it to work 100% (this was my 135. the 120 also does the same thing, but sometimes you have to rotate it 2 or 3 times before it starts to work....)

FT2 - this was fun to use - I loved the format - so wide compared to all the other cameras...

Widelux - if you can find a good one wich hasn't been over used then they are great. Very sharp, but the fact they have 3 speed governors can make them a bit prone to banding when changing speeds. Also I've seen the gears on the later F7/F8's governors wear if they are slightly out of mesh with the lens drum, which is sometimes the case to make them operate correcly....

Having owned or used all these cameras what do I use? To be honest nothing at the moment - although the new Lomo 360 spining camera looks very interesting......

Cheers

If you write horizon 202 is/was plastic then you have never seen an open horizon.
Its a metallic camera, outside is plastic. except shutter-button (being still unstable) using cable-release there is no problem with the plastics.

they should rather double the quality control than double the prices.
if they can produce a desert-proof kalashnikoff then they should also be able to produce a perfectly working pancam. "perfect" is a shame for a newer version of the 202 but with a worse lens.
the problem is displayed elsewhere on my pbase-account and here in apug.
enter horizon s3-pro in google.
buy a 202 from a trusted camera-repair-shop.

Karl K
09-12-2010, 12:14 PM
My 2 cents (YMMV): I have shot with most Panoramic cameras down through the years. Let's compare the Noblex, Widelux and the Horizon.
In order of image quality:
1. Widelux, just slightly better than the Noblex
2. Noblex
3. Horizon
In order of build quality:
1. Widelux, 1960's bench made Japanese quality
2. Noblex, some plastic, but well constructed and engineered
3. Horizon, typical Russian build quality
In order of ease of use:
1. Noblex, swing shutter mechanism can be "exercised" manually without wasting film
2. Widelux
3. Horizon
In order of price/quality/availabilty quotient:
1. Horizon, damn good viewfinder at the lowest price with slow speed selection
2. Noblex, slow f/4.5 lens and restricted shutter speed selection in lowest priced version
3. Widelux, restricted shutter speed selection
The optics are all pretty good. The Widelux is the best wide-open. Noblex runs a close second.
The Noblex requires batteries... not a good thing IMO.
The Horizon is the most difficult to load and rewind.
The Widelux is the most compact to carry.
The Horizon has the most optical distortion close-up.

Bottom line: If you want to play...buy the Horizon...it's cheap and fun and if you don't like it you can sell it for a minimal loss. YMMV.