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Xpan & Other Panoramics For Hasselblad Xpan, Xpan II, Fuji TX-1 and TX-2, and all other Panoramic cameras

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Panoramic camera suggestions
Old 02-28-2019   #1
Jerevan
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Panoramic camera suggestions

I have thought about getting some sort of panoramic camera for ages. On a whim I bought a 6x12 pinhole camera last year, and I have been enjoying it a lot, especially the 1:2 aspect ratio. Wider than this gets complicated when it comes to balanced compositions, I think.

Down that route, I have had the idea to get further along, buying a more decent ("sharper" negatives) camera.

The Xpan II looks like a great camera, but I am going to have to win the lottery to able to afford one. And at the other end, the Horizon seems a bit iffy mechanically.

Preferably I would like to have something that is inbetween these two - that is relatively inexpensive, mechanically sound and a larger negative. Scanning 35 mm panoramic negatives isn't all that easy on a flatbed scanner. I just need web quality, sort of being able to look at what I got, and later do wet printing. When doing printing, it won't be any bigger than 11x14" due to space constraints.
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Old 02-28-2019   #2
FujiLove
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I can recommend the first generation Xpan. Athough they sell for a fair bit less than the later version, they're still expensive. On the upside, if you could stretch to buying one, you could give it a go for a few months and sell it for what you paid, or probably more.


They really are unique cameras.
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Old 02-28-2019   #3
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I have a Horizon 202 and it looks kind of cheap (plastic body skin) but actually works fine. Was new old stock for $133 delivered. The 202 seems to be the better variant of the later cameras and it has the dual speed drum for a wider range of shutter speeds.





I also have a HorizonT. That seems more solid but doesn't have as wide a range of shutter speeds (does have faster though). The shutter dial is really easy to touch with your finger while taking the shot, that causes banding.

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Old 02-28-2019   #4
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Veriwide 100 (6x10), Gaoersi 6x12?
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Old 02-28-2019   #5
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Here's a panoramic camera I'd like! (But can't afford the film)



The Cinerama Camera!
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Old 02-28-2019   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
I have a Horizon 202 and it looks kind of cheap (plastic body skin) but actually works fine. Was new old stock for $133 delivered. The 202 seems to be the better variant of the later cameras and it has the dual speed drum for a wider range of shutter speeds.





I also have a HorizonT. That seems more solid but doesn't have as wide a range of shutter speeds (does have faster though). The shutter dial is really easy to touch with your finger while taking the shot, that causes banding.

Shawn

I quite fancy a 202. What's the aspect ratio?
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Old 02-28-2019   #7
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But more seriously, you said you just need web quality. So why not just use a wide-angle lens on a 35mm camera, and crop to desired ratio? That's what I'll be doing now. I have had the XPAN, more than once. But the aspect ratio was not to my liking.

The 45mm lens of the XPAN has an equivalent horizontal coverage of about a 25mm lens on 135 format. the 30mm is equivalent to a 17mm. so you can select a lens in the 17 to 25mm range, crop, and get a photo of at least web quality. If you use a Cosina-Voightlander 15mm, 12mm, or (I think) 10mm, you can go wider than the XPAN. With a 10mm, You are in Cinerama territory! (Well, at least Todd-AO)
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Old 02-28-2019   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerevan View Post
I have thought about getting some sort of panoramic camera for ages. On a whim I bought a 6x12 pinhole camera last year, and I have been enjoying it a lot, especially the 1:2 aspect ratio. Wider than this gets complicated when it comes to balanced compositions, I think.

Down that route, I have had the idea to get further along, buying a more decent ("sharper" negatives) camera.

The Xpan II looks like a great camera, but I am going to have to win the lottery to able to afford one. And at the other end, the Horizon seems a bit iffy mechanically.

Preferably I would like to have something that is inbetween these two - that is relatively inexpensive, mechanically sound and a larger negative. Scanning 35 mm panoramic negatives isn't all that easy on a flatbed scanner. I just need web quality, sort of being able to look at what I got, and later do wet printing. When doing printing, it won't be any bigger than 11x14" due to space constraints.
how funny that i myself am looking for 6x12 panoramic or a widelux f7/f8 or horizon 202 or s3pro.

so.. nicophotography youtube channel spoke about a gentleman who makes 3d printed cameras. he has a 6x12 where he makes the body and a cone device for the desired focal length you want. I reached out to him this week as i am looking for a 6x12 where i can focus with ground glass. he informed me that he can create a camera with ground glass but once the roll is attached i shall have to wait for the roll to finish to use the ground glass again.

here is the link:https://www.maleficwares.com/malefic-6x12

i also found a offical dealer on ebay of horizon cameras:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Official-...4AAOSw44BYDJEf

they have the 202,s3pro and more. great price also check out the store.

for about a year i have been looking for a widelux. ideally i would want to purchase it from someone who lives in the uk as the ONLY thing which is holding me back is the banding issue.

hope this helps. funny you are also on the search for the same thing
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Old 02-28-2019   #9
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i was in the same boat as you a few years ago. I kept my eyes and ears open. then 1 day a great fuji g617 came available for a great price and i jumped on it. if your patient you can find what you are looking for. the huge MF shot is far better than any 35mm pano shot. you can get a fuji g617 cheaper than an XPAN. the fuji is built like a tank and has no electric parts, so reliability and repairabilty should be much better than an Xpan
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Old 02-28-2019   #10
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Widelux are great cameras but I guess your need luck to find one that works ok.

I got F7 and F8. F7 works ok and is pretty fun to use. F8 on the other hand has uneven speed so not that fun. Also, not many would fix this kind of camera, hence the luck in finding one in operative conditions.

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Old 02-28-2019   #11
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I have had the Noblex 135Sport, Widelux F7 and F8, Horizon u500 in the 35mm swinger pano cameras. Aswell as Fuji\Hassel xpan 1 and 2.
Out of the swingers the most fun to use was the Horizon. Great selection of speeds and excellent finder with built in level that u can see as u look thru the finder. Excellent results.
I did not like the Widelux at all apart from the styling. Pathetic selection of speeds and miserable finder.
The Noblex had the best lens and almost as fun to use as the Horizon and that was the one I kept as I paid for a CLA!

Doing it over I would buy a new old stock Horizon.
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Old 02-28-2019   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
Here's a panoramic camera I'd like! (But can't afford the film)



The Cinerama Camera!
You know, digital 'Cinerama' would be easy-peasy: 3 cams with overlapping fields of view, software does the blend and cylindrical (or other) projection. For stills, that's it. If I had a lot of extra $$ to throw around, I'd buy 3 Fuji-X's with identical lenses and mount them onto a plank of wood, then put a pistol grip on the bottom. For motion, you just need to add frame synch for the 3 cams.
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Old 02-28-2019   #13
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Bronica ETRSI with a 135W film back


Olds 442 by Colton Allen, on Flickr
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Old 02-28-2019   #14
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If you shoot 120 ,Fuji 617. If you shoot 35mm, xpan
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Old 02-28-2019   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FujiLove View Post
I quite fancy a 202. What's the aspect ratio?
120 degrees on a 2458 mm negative so about a 2.4:1 AR or just about 21:9.

Shawn
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Old 02-28-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
But more seriously, you said you just need web quality. So why not just use a wide-angle lens on a 35mm camera, and crop to desired ratio? That's what I'll be doing now. I have had the XPAN, more than once. But the aspect ratio was not to my liking.

The 45mm lens of the XPAN has an equivalent horizontal coverage of about a 25mm lens on 135 format. the 30mm is equivalent to a 17mm. so you can select a lens in the 17 to 25mm range, crop, and get a photo of at least web quality. If you use a Cosina-Voightlander 15mm, 12mm, or (I think) 10mm, you can go wider than the XPAN. With a 10mm, You are in Cinerama territory! (Well, at least Todd-AO)
Yup, that is another way to go. If your camera support framing grids the 3x3 square grid works well. Frame using the center row. Sigma cameras have a 21:9 AR mode in them too as another option.

Shawn
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Old 02-28-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pluton View Post
You know, digital 'Cinerama' would be easy-peasy: 3 cams with overlapping fields of view, software does the blend and cylindrical (or other) projection. For stills, that's it. If I had a lot of extra $$ to throw around, I'd buy 3 Fuji-X's with identical lenses and mount them onto a plank of wood, then put a pistol grip on the bottom. For motion, you just need to add frame synch for the 3 cams.
Been there, done that. 3x Coolpix A's. Ended up with panoramic around 30-38 megapixels depending upon cropping.

It actually works but is a pain in the neck. You have to sync MF focus and settings across all three cameras and deal with 3x the batteries and such. I built a 3 way cable release to fire them all at the same time.

I synced the clocks in all three and used an automator script to rename the files for cam1, cam2 and cam3. In LR sorting by shot time gets all the files together, from there it is easy to group them and blend them.

You can get *wide* that way.







Blend before cropping...



Shawn
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Old 02-28-2019   #18
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Look into 3D printed panoramic cameras that shoot 120. A 90mm on 6x15 is great for a normalish focal length. 58mm Schneider XL is amazing for ultrawide. With the 58mm:

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Old 02-28-2019   #19
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Thanks for all suggestions - crazy, expensive or otherwise!

Just to be clear about it: my final aim is to wet print, the scanning is only for a lazy preview.

Looking at the Xpan prices again, I see that the Fuji G617 is a real bargain, even the Linhof cameras seems affordable in comparision. A 135w back for the Bronica was always on my wish list.

Cropping is of course possible, but I prefer to use as much as possible of a given (panoramic) negative. I have a 24 for the F2, and I can source a grid screen, as a stop gap measure.

Maybe a Horizon Perfekt could be a start, but I am not sure I want to go through a bunch of specimens to find something that works out of the box.

Keep'em coming, I am still going through the options ...
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Old 02-28-2019   #20
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Been there, done that. 3x Coolpix A's.
Shawn
Wow. Very nice work!
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Old 02-28-2019   #21
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I own a Horizon S3: The weight isn't bad, and as others have mentioned, the finder (with bubble level) is good. I'd expect it to be pretty reliable.

Looks like prices for the Xpan / TX1 are very high right now. Have you considered the alternative of a Mamiya 6 MF + 35mm film adapter? That's a super camera in it's own right.
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Old 02-28-2019   #22
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Pali (posts as Netsoft2k here on RFF) makes 3D printed cameras. I think he's made cameras for other members here - not sure if that's who Corran is referring to:
https://6x14.netsoft2k.com/
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Old 02-28-2019   #23
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Old 02-28-2019   #24
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Bronica ETRSI with a 135W film back


Olds 442 by Colton Allen, on Flickr
Colton, I've been interested in the Bronica w/35mm pano back for a while. Seems like a decent, low cost way to get into panoramic. How easy is it to find the pano backs? I see a lot of ETRSi's for sale, but have never seen that back for sale.

Great shot of a great car, by the way. 442's were sweet.

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Old 02-28-2019   #25
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More about cropping the pano image out of the 35mm frame: I use my Nikon SLRs for this. I take the focusing screen out of the camera, and with it on a lightbox, I draw pencil lines on it to mark my safe framing area. I use a 2:1 ratio, but you can use any ratio you like. I use a plastic C-Thru ruler with millimeter scale that won't scratch the screen to measure and to guide the pencil.
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Old 02-28-2019   #26
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If the OP is wanting an Xpan and is considering getting a Horizon (or similar), I think it's important to point out that while the 2 are panoramic, they couldn't be more different.
The way that a swing lens camera (Horizon, Widelux) works is very different from the typical rectalinear camera. They definitely have their benefits, but it takes quite a bit to start "seeing" in the way that a swing lens camera sees.
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Old 02-28-2019   #27
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Pali (posts as Netsoft2k here on RFF) makes 3D printed cameras. I think he's made cameras for other members here - not sure if that's who Corran is referring to:
https://6x14.netsoft2k.com/
Yep that's the camera I use and would recommend. Mine is the 6x15 model.
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Old 03-01-2019   #28
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Before I got the Moment anamorphic lens, I was seriously considering a panoramic mask with 35mm adapter for the Pentax 67. I would have gotten a 45mm lens for it.
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Old 03-01-2019   #29
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Quote:
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Colton, I've been interested in the Bronica w/35mm pano back for a while. Seems like a decent, low cost way to get into panoramic. How easy is it to find the pano backs? I see a lot of ETRSi's for sale, but have never seen that back for sale.

Great shot of a great car, by the way. 442's were sweet.

Dale
I see the 135W back for the ETR system quite often on ebay. I think there is one on ebay right now. There aren't inexpensive, but still a bargain compared to an Xpan
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Old 03-01-2019   #30
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If the OP is wanting an Xpan and is considering getting a Horizon (or similar), I think it's important to point out that while the 2 are panoramic, they couldn't be more different.
The way that a swing lens camera (Horizon, Widelux) works is very different from the typical rectalinear camera. They definitely have their benefits, but it takes quite a bit to start "seeing" in the way that a swing lens camera sees.
Major advantage of the swing lens: doesn't distort heads toward the edges of the frame, better for panoramas with people.
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Old 03-01-2019   #31
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Major advantage of the swing lens: doesn't distort heads toward the edges of the frame, better for panoramas with people.
Yes, but they tend to distort everything else
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Old 03-01-2019   #32
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Yes, but they tend to distort everything else
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Old 03-11-2019   #33
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Thank you for all your suggestions! I am at the moment ruling out the swing lens panorama cameras, and will look into having something built. Thinking of going with a 90 mm on 6x12.

First off, I'll get a lens and see if it works for me with on the 4x5 I already have, with a converted filmholder.
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Old 03-14-2019   #34
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I see the 135W back for the ETR system quite often on ebay. I think there is one on ebay right now. There aren't inexpensive, but still a bargain compared to an Xpan
Does anyone know if this back could be used without a camera? Could be interesting for a diy scale or fixed focus camera
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Old 03-14-2019   #35
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A cheaper (and wider) way of doing something like that would be with a Mamiya Universal 6x9 back. The automatic back will properly advance 35mm film as it uses a separate roller to measure the films movement and 35mm will properly rotate that roller. You would probably have to unload it in a changing bag but as far as film advance it works fine with 120 to 35mm adapters.

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Old 03-15-2019   #36
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i was in the same boat as you a few years ago. I kept my eyes and ears open. then 1 day a great fuji g617 came available for a great price and i jumped on it. if your patient you can find what you are looking for. the huge MF shot is far better than any 35mm pano shot. you can get a fuji g617 cheaper than an XPAN. the fuji is built like a tank and has no electric parts, so reliability and repairabilty should be much better than an Xpan

True, I have used the Fuji of a fried and it's a nice camera. I eventually got myself a Gaoersi 6x17 which is much cheaper and is still a fine camera. Mine can also be used as 6x15 and 6x12. Only downside: This camera is huge an heavy. But this is something which applies to all medium format panorama cameras.
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