I finally found my APUG password, so I can jump in here. I hope I don't offend anyone by mentioning one of the "other" forums, but we have been having a Cirkut discussion over on photo.net Classic Cameras:
Anyone getting Cirkut fever from seeing Jim's pic might want to give it a read.
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Nice work. Bottom line is; you could set up a 10mp digital on a tripod and make 27 exposures 10 degrees apart, throw out the left and right 1/3, and stitch together all the center sections and probably have as good or better than what the old camera can do. I think you need to have a certain enjoyment of the historic processes in mind and a bit of the heroic to want to play with these old dinosaurs. It also helps to be certifiably insane. Probably boils down to whether you have the geek gene and enjoy the computer stuff or the motorhead gene and enjoy the mechanical, arithmetical and chemical challenges of trying to do what a commercial photog considered ordinary 80 years ago.
Originally Posted by darinwc
Yes, they have mostly rise, not much fall, and the film is OOD aerial recon Plus X I bought on Ebay a couple of years ago with this process in mind.
I'm already seeing how some folks get consumed by pano photography. At first I simply wanted this tool in my closet with all the others. But this may be an area where in order to be really good, time wise, it would have to be just about all you do. I'm not ready for that kind of commitment. OTOH, looking at the finished contact, even a crummy one, I have to say it has a kind of overwhelming impact. They have the potential to be very powerful. Extremely. So why do they end up hanging in museums with 99.8% of the people walking through not even seeing it hanging there? Sensory information overload?
Interesting side note. AFAIK only one 22" Cirkut camera was ever built. It's remains are in Alaska owned by Ron Klein. Apparently it was in Tonopah Nevada at some point because we have 2, 22" X 80+" panoramic photographs of Tonopah about 1910 hanging in our museum.
BTW, here is the technique I used in GIMP..
First I cut a thin strip of the sky onto another layer.
I pasted it over and over again until it filled up the frame.
I blurred it some horizontally, then I did a massive vertical blur.
That gave me a layer that pretty much equalled the vertical banding.
I changed that layer to a negative, and mixed it with the original layer using an additive method. By adjusting the curve of the negative layer, I was able to pretty much even the exposure out. Though I should have lowered the values of the original a bit first, because i ended up blowing out the whites.
Anyway, I bet you could use this to print a digital negative mask for your originals, if the cla on the camera doesnt help.
regarding scanning: could you use a document scanner (one with a paper feeder rather than a single-document flatbed) to feed a print through it?
Also, I noticed some of the areas were 'streched' horizontally. was this an artefact of the image stitching software or the inconsitant speeds of the camera?
Jim - Very interesting you have the two 22" prints at your local museum. I knew Ron had the camera, but never before knew of any prints. According to the wonderful Cirkut historian Bill McBride, the Rochester Panoramic Camera Company was incorporated in Rock Springs Wyoming in 1904. Production was started in Rochester NY in 1904. Rock Springs and Tonopah aren't all that far from each other. I wonder if there is any connection between the Rock Springs guys and the 22" camera? Is there a photographer's name on the prints? Maybe Ron has figured out the 22" history, although the last time I talked with him (4 years ago?) I don't think he knew. I'm going to email him about this thread and maybe he will have time to add some information.
I'm predicting Jim is going to be so caught up in Cirkut photography he won't have time to buy all the neat lenses on eBay.
Someone once told me when people buy their first computer they think it is more or less like a TV or stereo - you plug it in and it does what you want. In reality, a computer is like a pet or a child - it get sick or does "wrong" things for no reason, and you need to learn to deal with it. From my experience, a Cirkut is much more in the second category. After many, many hours, the Cirkut will teach you what it wants you to do, and may reward you with usable negatives. I even wonder if calling a Cirkut a "camera" is quite right.
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Inconsistent speed of camera and related to the other issues.
Originally Posted by darinwc
Admit it, Jim--
Originally Posted by jimgalli
the little green men loaned you their Nikon Coolscan MegaDelux Alpha Centauri negative scanner.
By the way, I see an interesting strategy you have here. You post images that clearly show that you are crazy (who else would have done this?) However, by sinking all your money into old cameras, your family has no incentive to have you put away. Clever!
Floyd Shellor owned the 22 inch Cirkut
Hi from Alaska.
California photographer Floyd Shellor custom made the huge 22 inch cirkut camera that I own sometime around 1910. He eventually moved to Skagway Alaska taking the camera with him but never managed to use it again. When he moved to Arizona the camera was left behind. Sadly over the years parts were lost and damaged. I found the camera in an abandoned warehouse about ten years ago. The roof was leaking and the camera was wet and muddy. It is missing the lens, bellows, and turntable. I suppose it could be restored, but as a museum piece, it is more important to leave it alone. I might make a totally new copy someday.
I did find his business card, it reads:
[FONT=Times New Roman]
[FONT=Times New Roman]PANORAMIC VIEWS[/FONT]
THE NATIONAL VIEW COMPANY[/FONT]
F W SHELLOR, Traveling manager
OPERATOR OF THE LARGEST PANORAMIC MACHINES IN THE WORLD
P O BOX 103 SISSON, CALIFORNIA
Shellor took many panoramic views in Alaska using a #10 Cirkut. One of my favorite images is a view of Mt. McKinley. The site he chose is only accessable via dog sled and probably several days travel as well.
Ultra large panoramic photography is still alive. I for one use a #16 Cirkut and have just finished making a reproduction of George Lawrence's "captive airship" that uses film 24 inches high by 60 inches long. You might find this link interesting. It has a photo of the camera.
Lawrence Panoramic Camera Project
Hope this helps,
That is impressive - I thought I'd cracked it when I viewed it stretched across TWO monitors, but even then I only got about half of it. If I can just find another couple of monitors...
Ron, it's great to have you aboard! Thanks for the post. What's the big brassie on the Lawrence? 24" Dagor?
Never mind. Once I had my lunch in front of me I went back and read the page. 19" Dagor. Hey, I was close.
Been thinking about this and I want to modify one other statement I made above. You could stitch up a pretty good static pano like the one I shot with a digital, but there's no other way to do a stadium full of people like Clayton Tume does except with a rotation camera.