Monday, June 22, 2009

Book Review: Panoramic Photography by Joseph Meehan

This is possibly the first book dedicated to the techniques and equipments of panoramic photography. First published in 1990, this book contains a plethora of information on film based panoramic photography.

Most panoramic cameras available at the time of publication, including swing lens, flat back and slit scan designs were discussed at length. These include some interesting handmade and made-in-small-scale cameras like the "pannaroma" ,"cyclops" or "liparirama". Comparisons of the field of view of a large number of panoramic cameras were provided too. This was done by taking photographs of the same scene by using  different panoramic cameras.

There were also voluminous discussions on compositional techniques( a topic which is not very often talked out) for each category of panoramic cameras.

The book assumes that the reader does not have any prior knowledge of basic photography techniques. So, a full chapter was dedicated to films, exposure and use of filters in the context of panoramic photography.

A full chapter is devoted to alternative panoramic techniques. These include strip photography, panoramic assemblage, multi projector panoramas etc.

There is a small discussion on panoramic conversion of a nimslo stereocamera by Andrew Davidhazy complemented with astounding examples of photos taken by the converted Nimslo. One of it appears (in a much smaller size:the Hungarian Parliament building) in Davidhazy's website.

The last chapter (but not the least) was on preservation, printing and presentation of panoramic photographs, covered in a concise but adequate way.

I found this book to be very useful for panoramic film photography and would be quite happy to recommend anybody who wants to get introduced to the same subject.

This book is out of print now but an used copy goes dirt cheap on amazon. Most likely your local library will also have a copy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Nipan: Nikkormat goes panoramic

In another brilliant panoramic conversion by Olaf Matthes, two Nikkormat camera bodies were used. The cameras were fused together to give a long 24x108 mm negative. The lens used was a Super Angulon 5.6/65mm.

Thanks Olaff for sharing the information and permission for reproduction of the picture. The construction details are available here.

To see some pictures taken by this camera click here.

Nikon F2 based panoramic camera

A great 24x72 mm hand built panoramic camera by Olaf Matthes. In essence, the film path of the Nikon F2 was elongated by milling off portions of metal so as to expose two frames of film. The lens used to cover this new film path was a Sinaron digital 4.5/35mm with 120° angle of coverage.

Thanks to Mr. Matthes for providing the details of the camera . For more information about the fabrication click here.

Creative Image Maker magazine

The Creative Image Maker is an online magazine dedicated to traditional or film based photography. Quite a few issues are freely available for download in pdf format.

The Ipan panoramic camera

An ingenious design by Michael Lawton. The first prototype of the Ipan camera was made in 1973 and from 1979 to 1984 around 50 copies were made. Very few details are available in the internet as well as in printed media, till I discovered the excellent site of Mr. Olaf Matthes , himself being a great panoramic photographer and camera builder.

I'm very thankful to Mr. Matthes for kindly allowing to use this picture. To know more about this camera and other works of Olaf Matthes click here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Neutral Density Magazine

I came across the Neutral Density or ND magazine while searching for some ND filters in google. This is an online magazine, that according to the publishers: "focuses on all kinds of Landscape Photography, especially Nature, Seascape, Cityscape, Long Exposure, Travel, etc.".

It appears to me that the magazine is in the stage of gaining momentum and there are quite some nice articles on nature photography and interview with some talented photographers, who shared their techniques, particularly regarding long exposures.

You can reach ND Mag here . You can also have a look at the galleries of Marcin Stawiarz and Andy Mumford, the two photographers associated to this magazine.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Panorax Zi panoramic camera

The Japanese Panorax Zi panoramic camera offers an unusual design. With a 360 degree horizontal coverage it was designed by Hiroshi Mito in 1954. It uses 35 mm film, though variants using other smaller and larger film formats were reported to exist.

This is a rare camera and the price varied around ten grands, the last time I saw in this ebay offer.

For a summary of features of Panorax (and many other pano cameras)visit the site of Massimo Bertacchi .

For more elaborate descriptions on this and other unusual classic cameras visit SPIRA .

Disclaimer: I'm no way related to the ebay seller and not endorsing any way his/her items

Monday, June 1, 2009

Panoramic camera construction guides (1)

Numerous examples of handmade panoramic camera can be found in the internet or in some printed materials. However, detailed guide for construction of such cameras are quite scanty. It often becomes very frustrating for a beginner to understand from where to start with, when building such a camera system.

SERENDIPITY SYSTEMS offers construction guides for a number of different panoramic cameras from easily available materials. These guide manuals are very cheap and contain easy to follow instructions.

The currently available guides include 6x17, 6x12 and 35mm panoramic camera construction. Soon, a 6x24 construction guide will be made available.

One can preview the blue prints from their website or visit the Ebay Store directly for purchase.

Disclaimer: I'm no way related to the seller and not endorsing any way his/her products