Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The PANNAROMA exhibition

As mentioned in my earlier blog post the month long exhibition of the Panoramic photographs taken by Tomas Roma's 35 mm 1:3 flatback camera is now ongoing. The works of at least fifteen distinguished photographers including veterans like Lee Friedlander as well as many younger ones will be part of the exhibit.

More details of the exhibition (and history of the camera including how the idea was conceived plus design notes ) along with some of the panoramic photographs taken by participating photographers are available from  http://pannaroma.wordpress.com/. Click on the name of the individual photographers to view the panoramas.   

The highlights of the exhibition and a high resolution picture  of the camera can be found here .

I thank Mr. Stephen Hilger  very much for providing the information.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The 'longfellow' 6x18 medium format panoramic camera

The 'Longfellow' is a medium format panoramic camera that utilizes fused bodies of two 6x9 folders. The Super angulon 90 was mounted on a cone. The two backs were held using a fish plate. Though not combined into a single piece,the two pressure plates can hold the film flat quite adequately. The resulting format is 6x18.

The details of construction appears in the book "Medium and large format photography: moving beyond 35mm for better pictures" By Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz, well known for their other books on photography as well. Information on  a few other handmade cameras including one made by Roger also appears in the book.

Some discussion in this context can be found in this forum post.  I thank Mr. Hicks for granting permission to use these picture. His website http://rogerandfrances.com/ is a goldmine of information on many type of cameras and photographic techniques. Keep an eye over the site contents, as soon a 'how to make it' section will appear there. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Leme rotational panoramic camera

This is a rotational panoramic camera from Brazil, designed by SebastiĆ£o Carvalho Leme (1918-2007). The camera is able to take 360°panoramas.

For more details of the camera visit this wikipedia entry

The picture of the camera is under GFDL licensese, the details of the which is available here

Monday, October 11, 2010

Handmade rotational panoramic camera by Mats Wernersson

A very nice example of a rotational panoramic camera handmade by  Mats Wernersson. In these type of cameras, the body of the camera rotates while exposing a continuous strip of film through a small slit and capable of scanning a 360 degrees sector.

The Seitz Roundshot, Hulcherama and the recent Lomo Spinner 360 fall into this category of cameras. This particular camera is made of PVC plastic and utilizes medium format film. To know about more on rotational panoramic cameras covered in my blog, click here.

The details of the camera including construction snapshots are available here.

I thank Mats for allowing me to use this picture. Mats have a great website on his own handmade cameras that include many novel analog and digital systems. Visit his site at http://cameramaker.se

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Exhibition of panoramics taken by the 'Pannaroma' camera

There will be a month long exhibition of panoramic photographs at New Orleans, LA taken by different photographers using the "Pannaroma" camera. 

For more details visit this site .

For those who are interested to know about this 1:3 aspect ratio, flatback 35 mm panoramic camera, made by Thomas Roma, check this blog post.

For more posts related to Roma's camera in my blog, follow this link.

The work of Gilles Peress, Raghubir Singh, and others will be part of the exhibit. Though I'm quite familiar with  Raghubir Singh's work, never knew that he used the Pannaroma :-(

Thanks to Olaf Matthes who pointed out this event to me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Digital Horizon panoramic camera

The  Italian Silvestri company is working in collaboration with the Russian Zenit company to produce a digital panoramic camera. The Zenit is well known for its Horizon(t) series of swing lens panoramic cameras.

The new camera would feature three built in units of 5MP sensor and a f/3.5 28 mm lens, and three pictures will be taken simultaneously followed by in camera stiching to produce the final panorama. Because of simultaneous capture, moving objects will not pose any problem.

You can find more information from the following links available from Photoscala, British Journal of Photography and a very informative post by Michael Przewrocki.

A pdf information brochure on this camera can be found here.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A very useful tool for retrieving dead sites

Many great web pages become defunct in course of time. There's a very handy tool to retrieve the information from dead web sites, provided  they are archieved. You can just paste your dead link in THIS web site and if you're lucky you might be able to look at the lost contents.

I fetched the contents of many photography related sites like that of Robert Monaghan's medium format site ( and sites mentioned there)  using this tool.

A good short read on panoramic photography

I miss Marco Pauck's panoramic web site which went defunct. Here's a short but interesting account of panoramic photography, by Marco, particularly using the Horizon 202 swing lens camera.

The great handmade panoramic cameras of Josip Klarica-II

This is another great panoramic camera from Josip Klarica's collection. Marked #6 in his web page http://obscuranova.com, this is a medium format swing lens panoramic camera. 

Constructed by Duro Susic, Prague, Czech Republic, this takes 6x18 panoramic images. The lens is a Meopta 75 mm f/2.8 and three shutter speeds of 1 sec, 1 / 30 sec and 1 / 100 sec are available. The material of construction is metal and leather.

Mr. Clarica has a very distinctive style of photography and to know more details of it visit his website http://obscuranova.com and this link

I thank Mr. Klarica very much for providing the detailed description and  high resolution pics of this camera. You can download the rest of the pics from here. Please note that the copyright for the photographs of the camera belong to Josip Klarica and you may need his permission  for using any of them.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The great handmade panoramic cameras of Josip Klarica-I

Some time ago thru' a www.bing.com search I came to know about Josip Klarica, an eminent photographer from Croatia.  The opening page of his website http://obscuranova.com pointed to the great collection of cameras he has and particularly the two handmade panoramic cameras drew my attention.

This Panoramatic camera, handmade by Mr. Josip Klarica is a replica  of  the "Camera Megascope", a large format panoramic camera constructed by Friedrich Martens of Paris in 1845. 

The format of the negative produced  is 18X60 cm !!!. The lens is a vintage Symmetric anastigmat 210 mm made by  A. Ross ,of London in 1932. The exposure is made by manually turning the lens. Materials for construction include wood, leather and cardboard. 

You can have an idea how big the camera ( marked #7 in his webpage) is by looking at this picture. Quite obviously due to the huge size of the negatives the pictures they yield are also simply fascinating.

Mr. Clarica has a very distinctive style of photography and to know more details of it visit his website http://obscuranova.com and this link.

I thank Mr. Klarica very much for providing the detailed description and so many high resolution photographs of this camera. You can download and view the rest of the pictures in a ~17MB zipped file from here. Please note that the copyright for the photographs of the camera belong to Josip Klarica and you need his permission(s) for  using any of them.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blog Update

I've been a little busy during the past one and half months or so to write any new blog entry. However, I collected information on some very interesting handmade panoramic cameras during this period. I'll write about them very soon, probably in a few days.

Meanwhile you can have a look at Josip Klarica's website, who has a very distinctive style of panoramic photography and  a fascinating set of handmade cameras.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Exhibition of handmade cameras in Japan

I recently came across this pdf document  from "Photographic History society of Canada" about a handmade camera exhibition at Japan Camera Museum in Tokyo. It appears to me that  a number of handmade panoramic cameras were part of the exhibit.

It would be great if readers of this blog, particularly those from Japan provide some more information about the exhibits, particularly on the panoramic cameras.

Visit the website of Japan Camera Museum http://www.jcii-cameramuseum.jp/ (or a google translated version of it) for many interesting exhibits.

The website of Photographic History society of Canada is http://www.phsc.ca/

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Panoramic conversion of medium format stereo camera

This is a nice example of panoramic conversion of a medium format 'Sputnik' stereocamera. This 6x12 panoramic camera was handmade by Claudio Bottari, an eminent camera maker from Italy. The lens is a Schneider Super Angulon 1:5,6/65 mm and the viewfinder is salvaged from a Russian Horizont 35mm panoramic camera. The steps of the  fabrication process is given here.

Mr. Bottari made quite a few interesting cameras, panoramic back,  pano head etc.The details can be found from his website http://www.claudiobottari.com/

I thank Mr. Bottari for his permission to use this pics. Thanks also to Olaf Matthes who first pointed this website to me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Handmade 24x72mm flatback panoramic camera

This is yet another fine example of craftsmanship by the same person from Japan who made the 24x108 panoramic and the 6x6 fisheye.

The camera is made of two fused bodies of the Konica C35 camera and the aspect ratio is 1:3 , thereby producing a 24x72 sized negative. The lens is a 47mm f/5.6 Schneider large format lens.

For more details of the camera visit http://xxhandmade.exblog.jp/3298472

Thanks to the camera maker for allowing me to use the pics.

A 6x6 handmade fisheye camera

Though the Goody3 is not a panoramic camera per se, nevertheless it has an ultrawide angular coverage. Handmade by the same person who also constructed the 24x108 and 24x72 panoramic camera,this fisheye camera takes 6x6 exposures on rollfilm.

The camera has a very elegant design and finish.

For more details of the camera visit http://xxhandmade.exblog.jp/3298472/

Thanks to the camera maker for allowing me to use the pics.

A 24x108 mm handmade panoramic camera

So far aspect ratio's are concerned 1:4 flatback panoramic cameras are quite rare. In fact I can't remember any such factory made camera that utilizes 35 mm film. For medium format however a couple of models like the Japanese Art Panorama and Chinese Fotoman 6x24 do exist.

I recently found out some great handmade panoramic and wide angle cameras hand fabricated by an able camera maker from Japan.

The S. Panaragon camera is made from three fused bodies of 35mm cameras. The lens is a large format 65mm f/5.6 which produces  24X108 sized negatives !!!

I thank the camera maker for allowing me to use the pics. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

History of the 'Enhancing' filter

I quite often use the 'redhancer' filter. In fact it is my second most used filter after the polarizer. I own a Cokin P sized one and another made by Marumi, Japan. I rediscovered this article written by the inventor of enhancing filter, Howard G Ross from Robert Monaghan's medium format site recently.

A very good page on filters exist in Bob's archived site. To visit that page click here.

It would be great if someone can provide me a picture of Ross' enhancing filter.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Koni Omega based panoramic camera by Peter Lanczak

A creative design by Peter Lanczak, well known for his Exakta and Koni camera web resources. This medium format flatback panoramic camera uses two fused backs to yield 5 pictures from a 120 roll. The individual frame size is 58x143mm. The lens is a large format 150 mm. The original viewfinder was modified appropriately to be used with this camera.

For more details on this interesting camera visit http://www.peterlanczak.de/koni_panorama.htm

Peter also maintains a huge information repository on other cameras as well. Do visit http://www.peterlanczak.de/index.htm to know more about it.

I thank Mr. Lanczak for allowing me to use the pictures of this panoramic camera.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Handmade 4x5 camera by Jack Tait

In the next few posts I'll provide information about some of the great handmade precision cameras by Jack Tait. Please read my previous blog posts to know about other handmade panoramic cameras made by Jack.

This is  4x5 wide angle  metal camera with large amount of rising front and can be used with a Horseman 6x12 panoramic back. It is  now owned and used by a physics professor in Lancashire, UK for architectural work.

I thank Mr. Tait for providing the pictures and information on the cameras. To know more about him and his works, visit his website:


The Horizon 205 PC camera

The horizon 205 is a medium format swing lens panoramic camera. This is manufactured by the same company in Russia, which also produces the Horizon 202 and S3 series of panoramic cameras. 

This camera utilizes 120 rollfilm and the frame size is 50mm x 110mm . The lens is a fixed 50mm f.3.5 - f.22 with vertical shift. The following shutter speeds are provided: 1 sec., 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/30, and 1/60. 

Thanks to the owner of nightphoto.com for allowing me to use these pics. For more details and pictures of this unusual camera visit this page.

Do visit Nightphoto's homepage to know about many more interesting and unconventional cameras.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Photographica 73 show by PHSNE

Recently I've been to the Photographica 73 show organized by Photographic Historical Society  of  New England (PHSNE). This bi-annual event  offers members and the public an opportunity to browse and buy new and vintage photographic items that include cameras,lenses, accessories and old prints.

I was lucky enough to pick up a handmade 127 format  panoramic camera for $12 (!!!). I'll write about it sometime later.

If you're interested, visit the PHSNE website to know about their activities including auctions and about the next Photographica show.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Panophic swing lens panoramic camera

The Panophic swing lens panoramic camera was made by the Panon company of Japan, the same company also manufactured the legendary Widelux cameras

The pictures shown here are that of a camera which recently got sold in ebay. I thank the seller for allowing me to use these pics.

Click on the pictures to see a larger version.

Pictures by 6x16 panoramic camera

Here are some example panoramic shots taken by Stan Patz by his 6x16 handmade panoramic camera. One can easily get the idea how beautiful they would look like when fully blown up.

Click on the pictures to see the bigger versions.

Visit Stan's website  http://www.patzimaging.com to see more of his works. For more details on this camera follow THIS link.

Please note that for all the pictures in this post ©Patz Imaging

Stan Patz's 6x16 panoramic camera

This 6x16 panoramic camera was hand built by renowned NY based photographer Stan Patz. The camera was fabricated out of two 6x9 rollfilm bodies. It has a scale focusing system and the lens is a 90mm Ilex Acugon. It took Stan more than one year of part time labor to finish this elegant camera. The camera takes four pictures on 120 film.

I thank Stan very much for allowing me to use the pics. He also provided some example panoramic pictures taken by this camera. I'll be posting them in my next blog entry. Please note that all of these images are copyrighted to Patz Imgaing.

Visit Stan's website  http://www.patzimaging.com to see more of his works. For more details on this camera follow THIS link.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stereo Realist Panoramic Conversion by Gene F Rhodes

 I remember this '625eq' camera while browsing the links in Robert Monaghan's site long time ago. Recently I rediscovered the same while I again started browsing  Robert's archived site. 

The camera was handmade by Gene F Rhodes well known for his  website photoprojects.net. Though the original website is now defunct, you can retrieve a good amount of information from the archived website available here.

This 35mm converted stereo camera is known as '625eq' because it offers the same aspect ratio what a 6x25 medium format panoramic could provide. The description as I copied exactly from his website is as follows: 
A hand built, fixed lens,  35 mm wide-angle / wide-image panoramic camera made from a damaged Stereo Realist camera body and a  47 mm  f8  view camera lens.  If this were a medium format camera it would be 6 x 25 cm. The Realist's frame and film advance gearing were rebuilt to accommodate a new enlarged 24 x 102 mm image frame.  Three scans are required to load each 102 mm negative into the computer. According to Ron Leven of Schneider Optical the 47 mm  f8 super angulon lens has an image circle of 113 mm at  f11, and a 40.5 mm  filter thread. After many light drop-off tests I find this lens to be unusable without some kind of center filtering, and B&H Photo accepted a  special order for a Heliopan center filter, but they never delivered. This project was my most interesting, but it is now terminated

 This is so far the most detailed description I found about  the panoramic conversion of a stereocamera:
Job 1--Film Advance:    In a Stereo Realist the film take-up spool pulls the film through the camera. The film drives a star wheel sprocket which is shaft connected to a slotted disk cam in the upper chamber.  A cam follower rides on the edge of the disk and is shaft linked to a spring coil brake around the shaft of the take-up spool. When the follower drops into the slot the brake is applied and the film stops. A reset pushbutton moves the cam follower out of the slot, releases the brake and allows the film to be advanced. For stereo format the star wheel makes one turn per exposure but in the new camera the star wheel makes 2.2 turns. The first job was to separate the star wheel and cam with gears to get the 2.2 :1 ratio. The star wheel bearing support was in the image area of the new camera and had to be removed and a new bracket had to be created to support the star wheel, gears and a new cam disk. This required the cam follower to be modified to align properly with the relocated cam. (The gears and bearings were scrounged from my junk box as was the items below.)

Job 2--Lens Mount:      I didn't want to do any unnecessary machining so I decided to use a screw thread focusing technique much like screwing a lid on a jar. In this case the jar is from a pressure transducer bought at an aircraft surplus store and a matching 55 mm threaded lid. The lens is mounted through the lid creating an assembly that is compact and easily removed. The jar was shortened and modified so the front cover could clamp it to the camera. The lens mount was something to be proud of until I discovered severe light leaks. Now it is light tight but kludged.

Job 3--Center Filter: The light drop off at the ends of my negatives is 2-3 stops, and none of my many hand made filters were usable.  I have been using Picture Publisher software to correct the light drop off by using a especially created filter mask. This was satisfactory for a time, but is not a permanent solution.  (See above photos for before/after comparison.)

Job 4--Focus Calibration:   1/8 turn = 20',   1/4 turn = 10',   1/2 turn = 7',   3/4 turn = 6',  1 turn = 5',    2 turns = 3',    4 turns = 2',   9 turns = 1'   and 12 turns = lens fall off.

Note:  The viewer lens is from a one shot Kodak pan camera, but it brackets the image and shows the horizon. When in doubt, I use the yellow bubble balance.

You can visit this page for the description.

The bottom  picture compares the film sizes obtainable by this camera with others.

I thank Mr. Rhodes very much for providing the picture and information on his great handmade panoramic camera.

A handmade 6x17

This is a nice 6x17 by Stefan Lindgren. The camera is constructed of aircraft grade aluminium and equipped with a 90mm large format lens. Quite some technical points are well discussed and illustrated viz. how to make the panoramic  viewfinder , pressure plate etc. I beleive most panoramic camera making aspirants will be benefitted from these guidelines. 

The details are available here:

Visit his web page for more DIY projects along with other related stuff.


Another 6x12 by Jack Tait

This is another jewel of Jack Tait's creation. Crafted out of mahogany wood , this has a rotating lens panel providing rise,fall or cross front. The camera was bought by an UK based photographer.

To know more about Jack Tait visit his website:


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Some more handmade panoramic cameras

Looks like this  website is related to Horsley Camera, UK well known for their Wideboy and other panoramic cmaeras. The website provides extra information on a shift pinhole and a stereo panoramic camera.

I also found a piece of instructional matter for how to make a DIY motorised 35mm rotational panoramic camera by Mike Rignall here

See my earlier post on Horsley cameras. 

I found a couple of example photos taken by Mike Rignall using his rotational camere in Photosig

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Master cameramaker Jack Tait and his handmade 6x12

I first saw a pic of this camera in Lee Frost's well known book 'Panoramic Photography' about five years ago. Recently while re-reading the same book, my interest in this camera got rekindled and thanks to Matt Sampson, who told me about the person behind this camera.

Mr. Jack Tait constructed a number of beautiful precision cameras including this one and all were sold away. Besides building cameras he  established  two schools of photography, one of design, written a few books and practiced as a freelance. Being a lover of analog gadgets I very much liked his hand built analog plotting devices or Taitographs: a discipline important enough to be the topic of someone's PhD thesis.

This 6x12 panoramic camera comes with a rising front and shifting viewfinder., making it very suitable for architectural panorama. In his own words, "This was made using a Mamyia 6x12 back and to my knowledge was the first  6x12 camera to have  movable rising front with a fully tracking viewfinder."

I thank Mr. Tait for providing information and pictures of  many  of his handmade cameras which I'll be publishing serially in my blog.

His website being:
Do visit his website to know more about him, his cameras and other very interesting objects.

A digital panoramic by Walter Dubronner

This is again from the collection of Mr. Walter Dubronner. This strange looking camera can be considered as a camera manifold comprised of five cameras. 

The cameras are all interlinked and they take five pictures  simultaneously.Followed by digital stitching to make the final panorama. The only negative point is the high battery consumption.

This semi-circular crown like camera reminds me of a tiara and I named it 'Tiarama' :-)

I thank Mr. Dubronner for providing me the pics. and information about this camera. His other handmade panoramic cameras can be seen here and here.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Mamiya based 6x12 found in Ebay

Recently this 6x12 panoramic camera got sold in Ebay. The camera had a Super Angulon and a Mamiya roll film back.

Thanks to the seller who kindly allowed me to use the pictures.Thanks are also due to Olaf Matthes who brought this to my notice.