Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Scovill Panoramic Camera

During a  recent visit to PHSNE Photographica show I picked up a  few old issues of "The Photographist" magazine. This was the journal of the western phototographic collectors association and each issue is a gold mine of information on camera and accessories of the yesteryear.

 One of the magazines which I picked up had a very detailed account on the Scovill Panoramic Camera written by Mike Kessler.

The Scovill pano camera was made in USA by the Scovill and Adams Co. in New York. The patent for the camera was granted to Mr. Mathias Flammang, an employee at Scovill.

I hope you'll enjoy reading about this camera and please provide me information if any  you seem relevant to this or other related  cameras.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Wide-tac panormaic camera : A handmade 6X17

Found recently another handmade 6X17 in Ebay. Appears that the film holder was made from two fused 6X9 film holders. The seller was generous enough to allow me to use the pics which is much appreciated.

The name of the camera is "Wide-tac". So far I didn't come across any source of information on this camera. Let me know if you know anything about this camera. Either directly email me the info, or use the comments section under the post.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Folder to panoramic Conversion by Dirk Fletcher

Here's another new handmade panoramic camera by Dirk Fletcher.The technical details of conversion of this Zeiss  Ikon folder to a 6X12 panoramic can be found here

Dirk Fletcher has made many cameras including panoramic cameras over the years. The details of these can be found in his web site. For more pictures of this and his other handmade cameras visit his Flickr page.

Refitting a Globuscope 4X5

I recently came across this excellent piece of  technical description of refitting a Globuscope 4X5 camera by Dirk Fletcher

Dirk has built many cameras over the years and notably quite a many of them are panoramic cameras. The details of  these cameras can be found from his web site or his Flickr page

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Panormaic Photographer : Mark Capilitan

Enjoy the works of Mark Capitilan who extensively shoots with a Hasselblad/Fuji  XPan

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tips for Fireworks Photography: Part 2


Display fireworks mostly are star-shells which burst at a certain height to yield colorful effects. The prediction of maximum height and the extent of spread of stars after the burst is purely guess work. Hence, a wide angle zoom lens which allows for a less tight composition is preferable which you can crop later. However, it is always great to have a big exploding fireworks completely filling the frame.

Position of camera with respect to the display:

It is always better to face the display at the most deviating by a narrow angle from facing the front. Avoid facing the display from a side. When viewed from a side multiple simultaneous bursts appear overlapped and details are lost.

Some people suggest that you would view the burst of the fireworks at an angle of 45° . Typically in big displays 8-12 inch diameter shells are very common and they burst on an average at a height of 1000 feet. A little trigonometry can reveal that  to view a burst 1000 feet above and at angle of  45°, you have to be around 1000 feet or 300 meters away from the launch site. 

Horizontal or Vertical composition:

Generally, a vertical frame would capture most of the details of a firework and minimize the non-informative dead space area. However, when there are horizontal elements like an illuminated bridge for example, take the picture in landscape mode.

Effect of smoke:

Fireworks generate a lot of  smoke and unless blown away by the wind , smoke obscures the photographs taken. Thus it is always better to be upstream to the direction of wind. However sometimes you can’t just change position according to the wind. In that case take as much photos as you can at the beginning of the display before the smoke starts accumulating and ruin your photograph. However, close up of smoke and bright light of fireworks can create some very interesting shots. So bend these rules generously.

One last chance of getting a clear good shot after the show is over:

Don't get disheartened if you were not able to take good pics for smoke, obstructing crowd, late arrival etc. reasons. For many a times, just after the show, the fireworks crew check for any unexploded fireworks remaining in the launch mortar and fire it and usually there are some.  So, keep  your camera ready on the tripod,  wait for about 5-10 minutes  after the show is over. As the smokescreen in the  air gets thin or vanishes and the people start going home, comes the big bang with a perfect frame filling solitary shell burst under the backdrop of pitch dark sky.