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Widelux F7
Old 07-13-2010   #1
Nikkor AIS
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Widelux F7










Say hello to my new Widelux F7 . After seeing a Toronto Star photographer use it at a funeral, the seed was planted. That was over 20 years ago. So when the opportunity presented itself recently, I jumped all over it.

I'm still getting a handle on scanning/stitching issues. I'm really looking forward to printing images from the Widelux F7 in the darkroom. Until then I will get by scanning the negs. So far I'm really happy with the camera and the images I've made with it. I can see a steep learning curve with this camera but already I can see a huge upside to having it in the bag. It's really sweet to use. And although I've just started shooting, I'm already hooked.

































Gregory

Last edited by Nikkor AIS : 07-13-2010 at 23:01.
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Old 07-13-2010   #2
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Is that your finger in some of the photos?
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Old 07-13-2010   #3
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I hope it's his finger!

I have lusted after a Widelux for many years. For now I've settled for an Horizon 202 which falls short of the mark in so many ways. It's unreliable and the focus lacks 'punch'. Maybe I've simply got a bad 'un.

Comparing the OP's photographs with mine there's a comparison to be made - clarity, super colours (may be the film - I'll try some of that stuff if I can find it) versus indistinct focus and vertical bands in the frame.

One day I might stump up the money and buy an F7.

BTW if you Google Jeff Bridges you'll find that he uses one and gets some interesting results.
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Old 07-13-2010   #4
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i wrote this 2 days ago: there is a bangkok seller with zero history but has been re-using the same widelux photo for sale. caveat emptor.
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Old 07-14-2010   #5
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Nice. I've yet to run color film through my Widelux. I've been shooting Tri-X, but now maybe I'll broaden my horizons and try some color.

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Old 07-14-2010   #6
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whats the difference b/w a widelux and a xpan??
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Old 07-14-2010   #7
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Swinglens (Widelux) vs fixed lens (XPan).

The Widelux lens rotates to capture the wide field of view. If you type Widelux into You Tube you'll see what I mean.

Last edited by MickH : 07-14-2010 at 11:02.
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Old 07-14-2010   #8
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Thanks everyone for replying to my post. I'm new to panoramic photography. Well, I had a Russian model several years ago but it broke soon after I got it so that doesn't count.

So far I'm really happy with the results from the Widelux F7. In truth I'm finishing off some out-of-date Ektapress, so some of the colours might be a little funky. What can I say, I got it cheap and I like to shoot a lot of film.
You get 21 frames on a 36 exposure using the Widelux F7. My camera thankfully has no banding issues such as I've read about. The negatives are sharp all the way to the edge. I've been working way too much as of late and have not had as much time to shoot as I would like, and I have had issues getting my local Superstore to scan the neg right. And then some twit cut several images in half . And since I don't have Photoshop, my friend Kat has been stitching the two halves into one. Other than that, shooting with the Widelux is a piece of cake . Oh ya, that and getting my big hands/finger in the edge of the frame. And to top it off, the CDs I got from Superstore with several rolls of Widelux images won't load on my iMac.

Anyways, tomorrow is my birthday so I'm going to celebrate by going out and shooting as many great images as I can with my new Widelux F7.

Gregory





























Gregory

Last edited by Nikkor AIS : 07-15-2010 at 21:10.
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Old 07-14-2010   #9
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Very cool, I always think that would be fun to use when I see them in the KEH catalogs that show up.
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Old 07-14-2010   #10
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giddyap i want one of those things!
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Old 07-14-2010   #11
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That camera looks like so much fun, I want one! no! two!
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Old 07-15-2010   #12
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I've got to say it is just about the most fun of any camera I have ever used. And it's neat for the people that you photograph as well. When they see the lens pan in front of their eyes, they're like, "Wwhat the hell?" Then they go, "How old is that thing?" . I'm like, "I don't know how old." Then comes the inevitable, "Do you mean they still sell film?" Why yes, you can even get it in colour .



























Gregory

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Old 07-15-2010   #13
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Some really nice photo you managed to pull off with the Widelux. I've had mine for about a year and a half, but I do admit I don't use it enough. However, I doubt I'll ever get rid of it, being I've listed after one of these since the late 70's.

You're fortunate to have the case and the filter set with yours, knowing how much the filters are worth on the use market.

Great camera, simple to use. However my only beef about the Widelux is rewinding the film. One must hold the rewind button on the bottom of the camera while you rewind the film. And two, the rewind knob on the top of the camera does lift like the older style Leicas (M2 & M3). Rewinding is a slow and painful process with 36 exposure film.
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Old 07-15-2010   #14
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wonderful photos! this isn't helping me resist the urge to get a 35mm pano camera any...
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Old 07-15-2010   #15
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Colors and exposure look great. How are you metering the scene?
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Old 07-16-2010   #16
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Thanks all for your interest and kind words. I went out and burned about five rolls with the Widelux yesterday. Post a little later on. The more I use this camera, the better I like it. And being an extreme/somewhat obsessive type of person, I phoned my pal Tim at Vintage and had him put the other Widelux F8 he has for sale on hold. Slightly more expensive than the F7 I picked up but it's newer and in mint shape. I'll pick it up when he gets back from holidays.
As a way of celebrating my birthday, I bought another big bag of out-of-date Ektapress. I scored equal amounts of 160 ASA and 800 ASA. I also did some shots with the Nikkor 16 mm 2.8 and the 8 mm 2.8 to get a sense of comparison.

Gregory

Last edited by Nikkor AIS : 07-16-2010 at 12:42.
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Old 07-17-2010   #17
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Starting to get in the the rythm of this camera. I'm still having issues with my fingers. Hope you guys like these images.
I've got some more in B+W that I'll post later.

Gregory

Last edited by Nikkor AIS : 07-18-2010 at 06:44.
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Old 07-17-2010   #18
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I think you make good use of the whole frame, nice. But your colors really are off, in a bad way (assuming there's a good way).

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Old 07-17-2010   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin s View Post
I think you make good use of the whole frame, nice. But your colors really are off, in a bad way (assuming there's a good way).

martin
I think that is the expired film, no? I think it looks cool.
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Old 07-17-2010   #20
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Thanks for the comments.

I'm afraid the off colour is a result of expired film. In the beginning I tried to fix it; now I just try to make it look good . I'm not worried as this work is mostly in the experimental stage. How about some B+W? In this case XP2 which is technically not true B+W.

I'm going to shoot the Widelux F7 with the tripod next week in hopes of avoiding the field curvature and my fingers on the edge of the frame .
































One last one in colour.





I like the composition better than the other shot I posted.


Gregory

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Old 07-17-2010   #21
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Widelux + ilford 3200:






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Old 07-18-2010   #22
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Great B+W shots, jvan01. When I've used up my stash of out-of-date Ektapress, I plan on shooting some real B+W film like you . Thanks for sharing. Love to see more.


Gregory

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Old 07-18-2010   #23
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I used a swing lens camera from my Uncle a few years ago, to help keep your fingers out of the frame, he had a home made grip that was basically a cylinder that screwed into the tripod mount underneath, keeping your fingers out of the frame.
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Old 07-20-2010   #24
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Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to look into it.

















Gregory

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Old 07-30-2010   #25
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Old 08-03-2010   #26
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You've probably already found these on the web, but two essential resources for Widelux users are the tip sheet by John Stamets, copied at the Jeff Bridges site: http://www.jeffbridges.com/widelux.html

and the details on Widelux insides and adjustments here:

http://www.jumboprawn.net/jesse/cams/widelux_fv.html

I've had F7 for many years, and 3 essential issues are (1) only change shutter speeds AFTER advancing film/winding turret, (2) gently exercise the turret by hand with empty camera at all 3 speed settings regularly, and (3) keep away from grit and dust. The hand exercises (with turret uncocked and free to rotate) keep the gear clockwork smooth and lubed evenly. In my experience, this generally prevents banding, and can even cure banding once it appears, unless there is serious grit in the works. If you listen to the clockwork, you can hear when there are problems versus when all is smooth and regular. Grit is the worst enemy of the clockwork drive, so best advice is to keep your Widelux as clean as possible. Clean out your camera bag often or line your Widelux slot in the bag with a something that you change regularly, blow out film chips from the camera insides, etc.,
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Old 08-03-2010   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikkor AIS View Post
Thanks Tim, I really appreciate you taking the time to post those links. Please share some pf your widelux shots in this thread.]
I'll figure out how to post photos here....haven't done this before.
In the meantime, a couple of my own observations about Widelux:
The Widelux filter set is cool in its fitted carrying case, but in these days of digital processing, the only ones really worth using are the UV filter, for high altitude and other UV-rich sites, and the ND filters, to compensate for the limited shutter speeds. The Widelux lens seems not to filter UV at all. I used to travel a lot with a Leica and the Widelux, and the difference in high-altitude images was striking. Modern Leica lenses filter all UV, no real need for UV filters even up in the mountains, but Widelux photos of the same scenes can really suffer without the UV filter. With the ND filters, you can stick with ISO 400 film for most situations. It makes things much easier if you are traveling and shifting between outdoors and indoors constantly. Another observation: the 26 mm lens in the Widelux (I'm familiar only with the F7 and F8) is really good. Because of the swing-lens design, the image is created just from the optimal central field of the lens. If you shoot with fine grain slow film on a tripod, you'll be amazed at the image quality. Can make large landscape prints that are edge to edge really sharp. Another observation: it helps to have a depth-of-focus table for 26mm handy or memorized. A big advantage of Widelux, compared to the Russian and other fixed-focus panoramic cameras, is that it has focus set at something like 3.3 meters (11 feet), while the others are set to infinity. This makes it easier to do portraits at near distance and still be able to do distant landscapes with reasonable f-stops.

Finally, some of my favorite books with Widelux images:
In Algeria, by Michael von Graffenried----stealth reportage
Pictures, by Jeff Bridges-----behind-the-scenes views of active film sets; he's made a limited-edition Widelux book of each film he's been in, and this is a selection. You know that Widelux is essentially a Cinemascope field of view, right?
Portrait of a Market, by John Stemets----scenes from Seattle's Pike Place Market
Signs and Relics, by Sylvia Plachy----street photos and personal; she has other books, plus years of photos in the Village Voice and New Yorker. Later used XPan, I think.
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Old 08-05-2010   #29
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Tim, thank you so much for the Widelux links. I really appreciate you taking the time to do that. I'm becoming quite fond of this little camera and the more I can learn the better.

















Last edited by Nikkor AIS : 08-05-2010 at 18:24.
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Old 08-18-2010   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikkor AIS View Post
I'm going to shoot the Widelux F7 with the tripod next week in hopes of avoiding the field curvature and my fingers on the edge of the frame .

Gregory
Hey Gregory, how did you go with curing field curvature with the tripod? I'm curious to know as I've ordered a Horizon Perfekt (cheaper than the wideluxes, not as well built but offers greater range of shutter speeds amongst other things), I've got zero experience with swing-lens panos, but have some shoots in mind (inside some old buildings, etc) where I'd like to avoid curvature..

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looking at this shot, I'm guessing the tripod cures the curvature?
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Old 08-18-2010   #31
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Having the camera held horizontal, pointing neither up nor down, with the horizon lose to the middle, minimizes the bowl or ball distortion; having no recognizable features near the camera taking up a large angle of the photo eliminates visible curvilinearity due to the short focal length and variable distance from the camera in different parts of the photo.
Clarity is a bit laking -- but I'm hoping you get the picture -- no pun intended.
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Old 09-10-2010   #33
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Hi Greg,

Great shots, wish my Widelux was 100% then I'd be able to share some of mine...

Cheers

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Old 09-10-2010   #34
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Thanks Paul.

Damn shame about your Widelux. Have you found a person who can service it? Looking forward to seeing your Widelux shots in the near future. In fact, show them anyways, who cares about the left side , 90% is good, right?

I'm going shooting tomorrow and I'll do a bunch of Widelux shots. If I get some that are any good, I'll post them by Monday.





























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Old 09-30-2010   #36
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Hi Greg,

I have a Panon 120 now, so for the near future I will be playing with that (just arrived in the post). I think I will get rid of the Widelux f7 if I am happy with the Panon.

Take Care

Paul
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Old 09-30-2010   #37
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http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1617913

All with an F7...first done as an exhibition now as a book.
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Old 09-30-2010   #38
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I want one of these so badly. Did they ever make a medium format widelux??
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Old 09-30-2010   #39
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yes the old medium format version is the one I have called 'Panon 120' and the newer one is the Widelux 1500
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Old 09-30-2010   #40
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wow is that price on ebay true?, ~1000$?
http://cgi.ebay.ca/Widelux-F7-panora...item3f02e9433a
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