A Passion for Panoramic Photography

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by kathryn_brittain, May 27, 2004.

  1. Having only experienced using 35mm SLR format, I would like to
    introduce a panoramic camera into my kit. Unsure of exactly what is
    available, I was hoping someone could perhaps recommend a few
    cameras to me. The only camera I have read a number of reviews on is
    the XpanII. Can anybody fill me in on the pros or cons of this
    particular camera? The camera will mainly be used for landscape
    photography, which eventually I intend to sell, I'm also finding
    that many couples are interested in introducing panoramic images
    into their wedding albums.
  2. ky2


    The XPan is a dual format camera-- it can shoot normal 35mm frames as well as panoramic shots. Your other (even more expensive) options are the Linhof 6x17 and the very similar Fuji 6x17, the Horseman 6x12, and ofcourse-- shooting a 4x5 LF (with cropping), or a 5x7 with a 6x17 back, or going all the way to 4x10, 7x17, 12x20.

    I would try and get a used 6x17 Fuji; your cheapest solution (yes, even cheaper than the Xpan) would be a cropped 4x5.
  3. The russian horizont is the cheapest way into panoramics I think. Cropping a larger format gives you a "panoramic" aspect ratio, but not really a panoramic angle of view unless you get a wide, wide lens.

  4. Just give you an alternative to consider - create a panorama by stitching several digital images together using software. Look at the link below for details:

    I have been creating panorama myself in this way using Velvia originals scanned using LS4000 and stitched using Photoshop. It is easy to do and gives you excellent image quality.
  5. I would suggest you get a copy of Stretch: The World of Panoramic Photography, which has a pretty decent discussion of the various types of panoramic cameras on the market, their strengths and weaknesses. I myself bought a used Fuji G617 on eBay, for the huge negatives. It is a remarkable camera, but getting prints made can be a challenge.
  6. The XPan is an excellent camera. The "standard" lens is very sharp but slow at f/4 (slow for a 45mm lens).

    Ergonomics are good. Neck strap is really, really crappy. I replaced it with a Domke Gripper -- the wide one.

    You get 21 panoramic shots per 36 exp. roll. You can mix and match regular and panoramic on the same roll, but why bother.

    Shutter release feels pretty good and is just about right. Takes two CR2 cells -- like most of today's cameras, it's dead in the water if the batteries die. You'll want to have spares handy.

    It handles very well though it's a very solid, somewhat-heavy camera. The rangefinder focusing is easy and accurate (from what I can tell). The viewfinder is easy to use (I don't wear glasses) with parallax correction for the frame lines.

    The basic kit comes with the lens shade and a bubble level (with the XPan -- not sure what's in the XPan II).

    It has DX coding, though you can manually set the ISO dial.

    The con is that you must instruct the lab to NOT cut the film. I always have it returned uncut, and then I trim myself. If you scan your own film, some scanners can't handle it.

    It's a nice camera for weddings. Distortion is minimal.

    For slide film, you should purchase the center spot filter, which is very expensive, as is the camera. You also are limited to just one other filter in addition to the center spot filter, and it must be a low-profile filter.

    It's aperture priority or fully manual. Your choice. Speeds run from 1/1000 to 8 seconds plus B. I haven't used it with flash, nor have I used an external cable release.

    The tripod socket is way to the left, which I don't like. I'd rather it be centered because of the weight of the camera.

    Drop me a note, and I can send you some hi-rez samples, if you're interested.

    Overall, it has lots of positives and very few drawbacks.
  7. Check the recent thread "Hass Xpan vs Mamiya 7II". For all the options, research how you would get your printing done. For instance, the 6x17 neg is a wondrous thing, but getting a print from it is going to require specialized kit.
  8. First you have to define what do you mean with panoramic. Is it the view angle as you see the landscape with your eyes, or is it the format of the picture you want, despite of wide angle or tele?

    The angle you see the landscape with your eye is about 130 to 140 degrees. Only a panoramic camera with a rotating lens like the Noblex, Horizon or Widelux can reproduce that view on film. If you take a 6x17 Fuji, which has at least a 90mm lens, that reduces your angle to below 100 degrees. Compared to a Noblex that looks like the picture has been cropped. The same with the Xpan, it is a cropped 6x6 with wide angle.

    The best compromise is a Horseman 6x12 with 45 or 55 mm lens, but you need a center filter to eleminate vignetting. You get a view angle of over 100 degrees.

    But still, the ideal panoramic camera for landscapes is a Noblex (it comes in two versions, for 120 and 135 films). But it has its limitations, if not carefull leveled you get distortions.

  9. gib


    have a look here....

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