View Full Version : Noblex 6x12 camera

bob carnie
29-Dec-2004, 15:43
I just finished printing a series of images for one of my clients . He was using a Noblex 6x12 camera. I was blown away with the quality of the negatives produced as well as the aspect ratio of this format. He brought the camera in today to view and it is indeed a beauty,
My questions , has anyone had extensive practice with this camera with long exposures? I would like to do some night photography with this camera, I imagine I will be exposing over 30 min in some cases, will this camera work or will the batteries die out before the exposure is completed? Jan / Feb the temp is quite low -10-20degrees will this affect the motar or batteries?

Jim Rice
29-Dec-2004, 15:57
I can't imagine how one would go about getting a thirty minute exposure on a rotating lens camera. If it's possible at all, I would imagine some sort of external battery pack could be rigged.

Ted Harris
29-Dec-2004, 16:01

You have now joined the legion of photographers who are blown away by the quality of the Noblex optics. I run a lot of film through my Noblex 150 and don't thin k you will have any problems with long exposures in cold weather. I can't remember a 30 minute exposure but routinely expose for 5 minutes. BTW when you say "30 minutes" do you mean total exposure time of 30 min. or total lapsed timne of 30 minutes? These two numbers are very different with a Noblex since the swinging lens takes time to cover the whole film area; thus, a 1/15 exposure actually takes miuch longer (2.5 seconds if memory serves

My Noblex is a 150F which has sppeds down to 1/15 and I just keep clicking the shutter for longer times. If the model yiou are going to be using is a later model capable of handling the Panlux accessory you will be able to go longer without a second click but I don't know how long. I have done some long exposure in temperatures rangin g from 0 to 20 F but none lower than that that I can recall. A number of shorter exposures and -5 to -20 F.

Yell if you have any more specific questions.

Frank Petronio
29-Dec-2004, 17:53
I have an older 150F that only goes down to 1/30th, and I have to do a lot of clicks to build up even a one second exposure - so I tend to use fast color neg film (Porta 800 NC or Fuji 800), or at least 400ASA stuff, for interiors. But even with the fast film, it performs beautifully (and it only cost $1000.)

I used to have a 150UX, which goes down to 1 second if I remember right - you have to screw the slow speed module into the base and it changes the gear ratio somehow. It works great, still very smooth and even exposures. But doing a 1 second pan takes 30 seconds to complete the rotation, so if the sun is setting you can get caught never "catching up" with enough time to do the proper amount of exposure (it becomes impossible in a logrithmic sort of way.) It was just as sharp, and had a 5mm lens rise too, but I paid $1800 for it and sold it for $2200 - it sells for over $3600 new.

McDuff Everton, a travel photographer who does a lot of Conde Naste work, has a book out called "Under the Western Horizon" - these are mostly handheld Noblex shots - His work can be uneven, but the best is very, very good.

Clients love the Noblex shots for architecture, group portraits, etc. - the perfect camera for making ugly, flat warehouse type buildings look a little bit interesting... It's worth getting one even if you only use it occassionally, as you can make it pay for itself pretty easily.

Frank Petronio
29-Dec-2004, 17:56
In regards to your actual question (sorry) - batteries last a long time in use, but seem to go quickly if you accidently leave it on overnight. The battery compartment and the speed controls do not have locks - a design flaw. Mine works great for skiing, as the lens is protected from the elements except when rotating, and I would simply bring a spare set of AAs.

I wouldn't even try to do a 30 minute exposure, although I guess you could get a long cable release and bottle of scotch and try.

Jim Rice
29-Dec-2004, 18:41
And presumably a lawn chair.

Ted Harris
29-Dec-2004, 18:50
Remember what Frank and I are saying. Assuming you have the slow speeds, you are talking about 60 1 second exposures or total lapsed time of hours. Doy ou really need an exposure that long. Go here http://www.meetinghouseinn.com/ (http://www.meetinghouseinn.com/) the picture cross the top was about 4 minutes on Provia 100. All available light.

Frank Petronio
29-Dec-2004, 19:30
Only wimps drink sitting down!~

Jim Rice
29-Dec-2004, 19:37
But the falling down from sitting hurts less.

Ted Harris
29-Dec-2004, 19:42
Don't care how they fall as ong as it's not into the tripod.

Frank Petronio
29-Dec-2004, 19:50
Ouch. Guess that's why they call me "one-eye" or "cyclops".

Clayton Tume
29-Dec-2004, 19:52

this doesn't answer your question, I think Ted and Frank have done that. For long exposures you can't beat the Roundshot cameras, I have an early and late model 65, the late version has electronic control and has slow speeds all the way down to 8 hours for a 360 degree rotation. Why it has such slow speeds I don't know, never used them.

For sharpness you can't beat the Noblex cameras, the Roundshots wont match them. But then when you've got both the film and camera in motion during an exposure they do a pretty good job.

I have a Widelux 1500 which is like an all mechanical cousin to the Noblex but a very limited speed range. I find the 150 degree view limiting after using rotating cameras but then I still prefer it over 90 - 100 degrees of a wide angle lens.

I think more people need to explore the wider view offered by the swing/rotating cameras.

Good luck

Ted Harris
29-Dec-2004, 20:19
Hadn't been thinking about the Roundshotm but you can rent one from Jeff at Badger. One warning you need a very sturdey tripod, it is a heavy best and develops some torque while going around.

29-Dec-2004, 22:43
what do you Noblex owners use for a lens cap?? without a case, this camera seems very open to the elements.

Frank Petronio
30-Dec-2004, 05:57
I had KameraLeader make a Ostrich neveready case - it only cost $889. Luigi, the Italian Leica case maker, would probably make one for half the price, but I wanted to keep up the Prussian effect (the kamera is from Dresden.)

Just fooling. The lens is protected at all times, but you do want to keep dust and grime from working its way into the camera. I wrap in a large plastic bag when it is windy; carry it in a small Kinesis or Lowe-Pro pack for transport. It is fairly rugged, and I've often only wrapped a couple of Domke lenswraps around it and thrown it into a soft, unpadded day pack.

Ted Harris
30-Dec-2004, 07:44
I'd call it more than fairly rugged. When it is on is way to a shoot I usually stuff it in the main compartment of a big bag along with my 6x9 Fuji GW690. If I am stowing in a backpack it just goes into the pack, sometimes wrapped in a couple of large wraps as Frank mentioned. By an dlarge there is less opportunity for it to get dirty inside than is the case for any 4x5. I am about to have mine cleaned professionally though just to be on the safe side since ti never has been. Any other users have any suggestions on where to send it for cleaning? It is definitely a bulk odd shaped beast compared to the other gear that I carry around.

It is all (or almost all) metal on the outside and heavy. I have never weighed it but I did just now go over and heft it. Also hefted a few other cameras whose weight I know (Walker Titan and Ebony RW45). Definitely heavier than the Ebony and mayby a teeny bit lighter than the Walker....so say 6 pounds roughly.

bob carnie
31-Dec-2004, 07:27
Thank-you for your responses

I am more comfortable in the darkroom, and practically I have not been outside at night with a camera.Maybe my times are too long, I have given some thought to this and I think I will use delta 3200 and develop in rodinal 1:50, I think this combination would be good for long exposure or no light and sharpness.
My interest is to shoot mechanical things at rest , bulldozers , cement trucks , different equipment that is the building blocks of our cities. I think night shots are cool and therefore this interest.
The Noblex camera is ideal to me as I tend to view everything around me in this format , maybe from years in the darkroom looking at a line up of trays with black above and below .
The camera I saw had a manual setting which when depressed the motar kept on going and exposing until the plunger was released. Therefore I believe the long exposures will work.
I am going to give this a try and take a flask of cogniac with me.
Any thoughts on a film dev combination that may be better suited??? I use Jobo Rotary system for producing negatives.