Panoramic MF camera ?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by wm, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. WM


    What would be a good starter kit for taking panoramic shots ? Mainly
    for landscapes, tripod, Velvia, type shots that can be slowly setup ?

    Are some of the old MF folders from Voigtlander or the Zeiss Ikonta
    any good optically ? (Particularly the 6x9, or longer format, if
    they actually made them ?)

    (Fuji 617 or the Linhof are out due to cost of course !)

    Just want to hear some ideas while I do my research.
  2. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    I am quite happy with my simple Ziess-Ikon Nettar 518/16 nothing fancy but is is a very nice ^X^ MF folder. I would think that if you were to look for one of the 6X9 version of this camera with as fast of lens as the version came with (usally the faster lenses were the better optically when stopped down) I think you could really enjoy your self and with simple photo stitch programs now available you could do what I do with my Rolleiflex and stitch 3-5 frame together for stunning panoramas.

    If you try this make sure you overlap the frames about 20% to allow the programs plenty of points to line up.
  3. cpj


    Rollei actually made a device for taking panoramic shots. It had its own bubble level
    and screwed into your tripod and then you screwed the Rollei on top of that. It was
    designed, as I remember, to take 3 photos in sequence, and you moved the camera
    using the Panoramic device between shots a precise distance measured by a click
    stop. Every once in a while you will see one advertised (usually brand new, in the
    box) on e-bay. An old, old Rollei camera shop might still have one in a drawer
    someplace. They were a specialized item and didn't get used very much. Most people
    who bought them bought them for one or two particular shots and never used them
    again. Check the Rollei Users Group or some of the Rollei sites maintained by Rollei
    affectionados to see what the actual name of the "PANORAMIC HEAD" is and you will
    be able to locate it easier. (If you really are going to go the Rollei route, write me
    dirfectly off line and I will dig out the name for you as I have it at home but right now
    I am travelling until Friday.)
  4. Take a look at the Fotoman 612 & 617 cameras @
  5. I second Peter A's opinion. XPan! But I don't know your budget. It is VERY compact, portable and has the added benefit of multiple formats on the one film roll.
  6. For (considerably) less money than an XPAN, you could look into the Horizon 202.
  7. The widepan 140 is presently available at what is a very good price. Contact me if you are interested. I use a kodak medalist II which is 6 x 9 format on 620 film (just reroll 120 onto the right size of reels). I find the lens on this outperforms any equivalent folder I have owned and cropping the width of the frame gives a pleasing panoramic format.<p>
    Of the folders, Voigtlander, Zeiss and Ensign all made some good 6 x 9's. I have had good results from Moskva's and a kodak monitor as well. If you want to explore this avenue, try posting the same question over on the classic camera forum.
  8. There were some nice Rolleiflex panoramas posted recently over on the classics board:
    Link 1
    Link 2
    Rollei made a panorama head which are pretty inexpensive second hand.
  9. Not to sound like a broken record, but for what you want to accomplish a Century Graphic or Busch Pressman Model C (that's the 2x3 one) with a wide angle lens will give ample cropping opportunities and a much wider angle of view than an old MF folder with a 100 mm (more or less) lens.
  10. Take a look at this 617/612/69 back that fits on any 4x5" camera with a Graflok or international style back--

    I just ordered one from a Hong Kong dealer who has been selling them on eBay, but it hasn't arrived yet, so I won't have a report for a few weeks. Kerry Thalmann gave it a good review in _View Camera_ magazine, and it seemed to me like a good way to explore 6x17 without breaking the bank, and to add some new options to my 4x5" kit.

    6x17 is actually wider than 4x5" so it functions a bit like a 5x7" expansion back for a 4x5" camera. Limitations are that it can be prone to vignetting in circumstances where a 6x17 back on a 5x7" camera would have no problem, but for the price, it's not necessarily a bad compromise.
  11. You can use a Zork Pro Shift Adapter on a 6x4.5 camera with Pentax 67 lenses and shoot a left and right perspective corrected image, which can then be stitched in PS. The Pro Shift Adapter is also available in a version that uses enlarger and large format lenses (if you need an in-lens shutter). The Panorama Shift Adapter will use medium format lenses for a 3:1 panorama (two frames) or wider. See
  12. <>
    Alternatively, why not shoot with any MF you like, and then "stitch" the images together in software? Three shots onto 6x6 with a standard 80mm lens will give you a horizontal angle of coverage of 100 degrees.
    I use "Panorama Tools" (search google for "PTMac") to merge my 360-degree VR images. It's much simpler joining together plain stills.
  13. One of the things I truly adore about is the frequency with which we all reply "Buy very expensive equipment" to questions that make it clear that cost is an important consideration
  14. I think APS has a panorama option. Should be the cheapest out there.

    MF pano is not really a budget proposition...
  15. A properly exposed MF 6x9 negative will give you plenty of options for a panoramic photograph either on its own, cropping or yet more software trickery (i.e., stitching).

    Software stitching three massive 6x9 scans could take a considerable amount of time to do.

    The older Tessar, Skopar, Heliar and Ektar lenses will provide plenty of resolution.
  16. "MF pano is not really a budget proposition..."

    Hmm. US$400 for an Epson 4870, similar bucks for an f/3.5 Rolleiflex, a solid tripod, a head that rotates, and a bubble level. The 4870 is more like 1800 dpi of decent pixels, but from 6x6 that's 3600 in the vertical direction by over twice that in the horizontal direction after stitching 3 frames together. Printed on roll paper on an Epson 2200, that's a nice 12" x 24" panorama that'll knock most people's socks off.
  17. I think APS panos are still less. And they're rectilinear, not rotational.
  18. About APS "panoramas," what's the benefit of cropping in camera rather than when printing? I see only loss.
  19. David from Tokyo - exactly.

    I find 2400dpi scans from my 4870 good enough (5000 x 5000 pixels). You end up with
    huge, finely detailed images no one-shot rectilinear panoramic camera for any $s can

    Of course you could use a specialised Noblex 150 or 170 scanning panoramic camera, but
    then you run into the -ve issues these cameras face (moving people & cars smear, v.long
    low light exposure times etc.)
  20. I have the Graflex XLW wideangle body with the Schneider 47mm/8 lens. It was very reasonably priced (around $350) and it gives great results. It is rather small and light and it accepts different backs. I have 6x9, 6x7 and 6x6 backs. Supposedly, the Brooks Veriwide has larger 6x9 images, and of course, it costs more. The newer 47mm/5.6 lens is more expensive and is supposedly of batter quality, but I love my 47/8 lens.
  21. MF pano is not really a budget proposition...
    Well, I tried panos by stitching two shots from my Moskva 5, but I wasn't happy with the edge sharpness from this camera. I think three shots out of the Yashicamat will give a better 6x18 pano.
    Budget wise, these cameras were $35 for the Moskva and $55 for the Yashicamat. Not cheap, I know, but affordable.
  22. does anyone happen to know if the rollei panning head also works on a yashicamat 124? or where I might find out the nodal point on the 124?


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