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......
If you write horizon 202 is/was plastic then you have never seen an open horizon.
Originally Posted by Andrew K
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 "perfect" is a shame for a newer version of the 202 but with a worse lens.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.
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
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
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.