Panaramic photos from regular MF cameras.

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by harvey_edelstein|1, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. I am seeking your experiences with using regular MF cameras for pano shots. I
    know that the Mamiya 7 has a pano adapter that allows the use of 35mm film, but
    I would be interested in how 6x7 and other format regular MF bodies are used
    with wide angle lenses and cropping. For instance for Mamiya users which looks
    better the 35mm adapter panos or the cropped 6x7 panos. Also, when using other
    MF models like RB67 or Pentax 67 do you use the film and crop it or scan the
    film and do digital cropping? and which comes out better. Also, how are 645 and
    6x6 cameras used for panos since the size is smaller in the width than even the
  2. Harvey,

    Take a look at the Bronica ETRSi, I had a few back in the day and the panoramic backs are
    first rate. I think they're 24x58mm on 35mm film, a super format, nicer I'd say than my X-
    Pan (a little too pano at 24x65mm).

    Bronica stuff is going very cheep over on < >.

    Hope this helps,
  3. "which looks better the 35mm adapter panos or the cropped 6x7 panos"

    If you crop the middle part, they will look exactly the same. Using roll film allows you to crop differently, for example 30x65mm instead of 24x65 mm, or you can crop the top or bottom part of the image instead of center and get the equivalent of a shift lens with some 15 mm of rise or fall, something that is not possible with most dedicated panoramic cameras or with the 35 mm adapters.

    If you use a medium format camera, it is best to use a medium format scanner. For a 24x65 mm image, whether it is taken on 35mm or 120 film, the best way is to scan it as it is and that requires big enough scanner. It would be possible to cut the roll film into 35 mm wide strip and scan it in two (or more) parts with a small scanner and join them later, but that is not something one would want to do too often.

    645 and 6x6 cameras can make nice 56 mm wide images. You need to use a bit wider lens to get the same horizontal coverage, and because of the slightly smaller film size you cannot enlarge it quite as much. But if you need really big panoramic enlargements, you should use a 6x17 camera anyway.
  4. A Fuji 6x9 rangefinder gives a very nice size for pano cropping.
  5. Richard, is the Fuji an interchangeable lens rangefinder and if so what are the wide angle lens choices and their 35mm lens equivalent. Ditto the Lenses for the Bronica.
  6. david_henderson


    In addition to the points made above, there is a major benefit in flexibility when using a regular MF camera rather than a dedicated panoramic camera or the pan insert for the Mamiya. Basically you avoid a situation where you need to find several/a rolls worth of panoramics in a row. You can make a single panorama in a roll if thats what you want, or all of them. You get to avoid buying/carrying a separate film. You get to avoid carrying a second camera if you want to make shots other than panaramas as well.

    The flexibility to choose your own size after the event is great for print-making; less good if perchance your main aim is projection since mounts are only available in std sizes.
  7. I have just purchased a second Mamiya 7 body specifically for Panoramics. My results to date have been excellent. I would reccomend the M7 without hesitation. Does mean 2 bodies to carry around on some occasions but they are very light and easy to handle. The optics (especially the 65mm) for these cameras are stunning!
    In an emergency you can still of course crop a 6x7 shot but I now prefer the 24x65mm panoramic. I think actual experiennce of the kit should by your guide. Hope that this helps
  8. - On a Mamiya 7, the image dimensions are 56 x 69.5mm with 120/220 film, and 24 x 65mm with 135 film and the panoramic adapter kit : it means 4.5mm more.<br>
    - A 6x7 Mamiya RZ image has also a 69.5mm width, and a Pentax 67 image has a 70mm width.<p>

    Thus, even a cropped 120mm image will always be slightly larger than an image made with a 135 pano.<br>
    And, on another hand, the printed part of a 120/220 negative can be more easily chosen, while on a 135 pano-film, it will always be a maximum of 24mm : on a 56mm image height, you can crop where you want, not obligatorily in the middle of the image.<p>
    Generally speaking, 120/220 negatives will always allow larger enlargements that 135.<br>
    With an enlarger, you can use masking sheets to choose the part of the image you will print, and trim the print.<br>
    About lab vs/ digital, it is IMO a personal choice. I prefer the lab.<br>
  9. Harv, the Fuji g690bl is an interchangable lens rangefinder that gives excellent panoramic shots after cropping. Also, because the top or bottom half of the film can be used, good effects can be achieved. Anyhow the excellent lenses range from 65mm to 180mm, as far as I remember. It is a very simple and foolproof camera to use, find one used and get a wide lens for it. I regret having sold my two Fuji's.

  10. I don't get it. The widest lens you can get on a Fuji 6x9 is 65mm which equates to the same horizontal fov of a 28mm lens on 35mm. It doesn't matter if you crop the vertical dimension so it's long and skinny like a pano, it's still a 28mm shot, not a pano. The 43mm on a Mamiya7 covers a wider view, as does the 40mm on a 6x6 or even the 35mm on a 645. If you want a MF camera capable of doing true panos as well as regular shots, get a 2x3 like a Horseman, Linhof or even an old Graphic, a 47mm lens with 4x5 coverage, a recessed lensboard and a 6x12 back.
  11. ...Or use whatever you've got, on a tripod, shoot multiple frames and stitch it in the computer with Panorama Tools.
  12. Ilkka wrote , jul 05, 2006; 01:37 a.m.
    "which looks better the 35mm adapter panos or the cropped 6x7 panos"

    Here's where (for me) the big question comes into play! To go 35mm OR crop the 120

    With the 35mm frame you have the ability to print the borders (sloppy or just black key-
    line). For a b&w shooter this can be VERY desirable, yes, you can ADD the effect post with
    PS *BUT* we're now at the point where we might as well shoot with digital kit anyways :-0

    The 35mm back ALSO offers far more choice as to film type AND processing options!

    Not really a fan of cropping the frame, just seems like a plain old waist of perfectly good
    (silver) real-estate.

    Just one opinion,
  13. It is a good idea for smallish prints but if you want real quality large prints, go with 6x17.
  14. Panoramic images have a wide aspect ratio, so that the long side is at least 2 times the short side, usually 2.5-3 times. This is the definition of panoramic. It has nothing to do with the lens being used. Panoramic cameras can be used with 600 mm lenses and dedicated panoramic cameras, such as Fuji and Linhof 6x17, come with 250-300 mm lenses. It is true that panoramic images are often made with wide or superwide lense, but longer lenses are also commonly used when the image warrants it.

    If you want the convenience of 35mm film, I would suggest the Hasselblad XPan. It is much more convenient and also smaller and lighter than the Mamiya 7 with its film adapter and larger lenses. The reason to get a Mamiya 7 must be the desire to use a 6x7 camera for its superior image quality (over small format). I would not suggest to buy a Mamiya 7 and then use it with 35mm film most of the time. If you rarely need a panoramic image, then it is better just to crop as required. And if you need the best possible quality, use a 6x12 or 6x17 camera or film back.
  15. I have a couple of Pentax 6x7 the older variety I also have a 55mm which is like a 28mm on the 35mm format. I gather the learned consensus of this forum is that I should use the Pentax 6x7 and get the 45mm F4 lens and crop the negative to pano proportions. My next question is how high is the best demension for 70mm width film?
  16. I don't think there's much to get excited about in a panorama cropped from a 6x6 or 6x7 image. Typical panoramas have a 2:1 or 3:1 aspect ratio - wide but still frameable. A cropped 6x7cm image would be on a par with an XPan image

    I used a Veriwide camera years ago, while working for a newspaper. This camera was, if I recall, about 2:1 or 12x6 cm, with a 38mm Biogon lens. The results were stunning! You can still find them for about $1K.

    A medium format camera can make extraordinary stitched panoramas. Imagine a 3:1 aspect ratio image with 25500x8500 pixels (scanned at 4000 ppi). There are a lot of skyline shots of Chicago, yet one I stitched from 4 Hasselblad frames is my best seller to date. Taken from the Adler Planetarium lawn, you can nearly see shade cords in the Sears Tower.
  17. Edward was Veriwide the name of the camera brand or the model's name?
    I would like to do stitching since the new software is supposed to make it easy. I just bought a 25mm Biogon for my Leica and I will see how the standard shots look first, then I can always try to stitch.

    I figured that to equal what the Bronica pano back dimensions were on the 6x7 I would wind up with a 29-30mm height by 70mm width. I also find the xpan shots 24mm height not so pleasing to look at. Other pano formats vary and I guess its just a matter of taste what you like.
  18. Harvey,

    Sometimes I find my Xpan a little too skinny and resort to waisting a little film with a set of
    masks on the Blad 503 body. I picked them up from B&H for about $35, there's a nice
    panoramic mask in there, it's about 2:1 ratio and is great for a *stretched* 35mm look,
    quite unique really. There are also a couple of 645 masks in the kit, though I've never
    used those!

    The masks basically crop the 120 film-back ON the camera, giving you a nice *key-line*
    around each reduced frame (for traditional darkroom work).

    A nice option and great *if* you want to travel light (and battery free) with just one roll (or
    two) of film. Plus, you can mix up 6x6, 645, 2:1 pano all on on roll of 120 film.


    PS. I wish that the format was the same 24x58mm that bronica used though, that, for me,
    is the most pleasing!
  19. There are folks on eBay offering 35mm pano conversion kits for Pentax 67; I just got one recently for about $35. Let's see if I can attach a sample...
  20. Nice shot, what pentax lens did you use? On the Bronica I look it up and from what I read it was a 54mm width. That makes it 2.25x accross to the height. My calculator is getting quite a workout with all the combinations that have been used over the years.

    I read a few posts on the Pentax 35mm pano converter for the 6x7, many said it wasn't bad but klugee and kind of inconvienient. The main two advantages were in camera cropping (no need to cut up a big piece of film) and 35mm film selection is wider.

    I was wondering how wide is the frame compared to the xpan?
  21. Harvey,

    It was a Brooks Veriwide. There is one at with a fixed, 47mm lens for just under $1000, but with an Horseman back (?). They come up every so often. Even with a 47mm lens, it takes in nearly 90 degrees horizontally.

    You don't need nor often want a wide angle lens for stitched panoramas. A medium telephoto yields more detail without all the sky and dirt of a wide angle lens. Remember, the "wide" part comes from multiple frames, so you use the full height of each image. I get the best results with at 50mm or longer with a DSLR, and a 100mm to 180mm with an Hasselblad.
  22. The Bronica's 54mm wide is it. I never measured mine, bought it used with no
    instructions. VERY nice bit of kit though.

    On a side note, there's been some GREAT wide glass on KEH.COM for the Bronica ETRSi,
    saw that 30mm for $850 a while back - what a steal!!! Plus, the flourite 500mm for a few

    Your choices are numerous here. BUT don't forget one of the best films to shoot with
    these funky formats, namely Infra-red. Over on < http:// > they've got a bunch of well priced (often funky) 35mm
  23. I have a 20-35mm f2.8 AFD ASPH front element Nikon zoom. And on my Pentax LX a 21-35 Sigma zoom. Then I have the Leica M with 25mm Zeiss Biogon. The best choice seems to get a 45mm for my Pentax 6x7 cameras and then I can set up one with the 35mm pano adapter and the other with 120 or 220 film and switch the lens between the two bodies for diversity. It will cost the least since I already have the bodies and be most flexible since I will have different crops and on the 35mm more film types to choose from.

    If I were starting from scratch maybe I would try the Mamiya 7 43mm plus the pano kit or the Noblex 150 which is one of those rotating lens type 6x12 pano cameras with 145 degree angle of coverage.
    This has been a very useful thread thanks for your valuable input.
  24. The Mamiya 7 works quite well. I don't bother with 35mm film and the adapter, but just mix it in with regular shooting on 120/220. Then I scan the strip with that frame at a higher resolution in a 35mm strip holder. The Mamiya 7 lenses are good enough to make this more than a novelty, in fact they're not too different from 35mm lenses in performance, which is impressive given they cover so much more. One fine advantage of using 120/220 is that you're not limited to working with only the center strip, giving you an option of rise and fall.

    I also have a dedicated 617 camera, obviously the results from that are in a completely different league. But so is the equipment cost and bulk!
  25. If 35mm film with panaromic adapter gives more film choice , it is lot cheaper also to shoot and devcelop than 120 film. But as per my info 120 film gives better tones gradation and grain than 35mm. I was planning to buy Hasselblad Xpan but after reading many threads on I decided not to buy it but to use my Pentax 6x7 and 645 cameras and crop according to requirement. I will consider Fuji 6x9 now. Pl tell is there any digital panormic camera?

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