View Full Version : panoramic

13-Aug-2008, 04:45
Hey guys just a couple of questions that i would like answered, I'm looking into taking panoramic photos just wondering what sort of camera and flim and stuff like that would i be needing i have a budget of about US 1200.
Thanks tom

Scott Kathe
13-Aug-2008, 06:21
Which panoramic format were you thinking about? I've been thinking about a 6x12 or possibly a 6x17 back to put on my 4x5. I have no panoramic experience but in addition to the dimensions you want to shoot it would be helpful to know the subject matter as well. I'm sure more experienced members will assist you in your decision making process.


Aender Brepsom
13-Aug-2008, 06:40
For 6x17 cm, you have basically 2 options:
either a dedicated panorama camera for that format or a 6x17 back on a 4x5 or 5x7 view camera.
With a budget of USD 1200, I fear that the only viable option will be a 6x17 camera.
It has quite some advantages like ease of use and reasonably small dimensions. However, you do not have the same amount of movements on such a camera. The only movement you can have is vertical shift.
With a 6x17 back on a view camera, you would also have tilt, swing etc. but you might not need it.

I have tried both options in the past. I can recommend the Gaoersi 6x17, a chinese camera that is not very expensive, but really well built, and it does exactly what it is supposed to: taking excellent wide panoramic shots. There are other brands like Fotoman, Fuji. Linhof etc. but they are all more expensive.

You'll need a large format lens with an image circle of at least 180 mm (better 200mm) in a shutter (Copal, Compur, Prontor etc). Many 6x17 cameras are used with lenses between 90mm (very wide) and 180mm or longer.
Check here for possible lenses: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses/LF6x17cm.html
On a 90mm lens, you'll probably need a center filter to compensate for the light fall-off.

Assuming that you are taking landscape panoramics and wish to use colour slide film, I would recommend Fuji Velvia 50 or 100.

You'll need a tripod, a cable release and a light meter.

You can find an excellent review of the Gaoersi 617 here:

Use the search engine here on the forum and you'll find tons of valuable advice for your projects.

Good luck!

13-Aug-2008, 08:09
I had a Gaoersi 6x17 ... there's a Fuji 6x17 on you know where that is $1000 starting bid

13-Aug-2008, 10:06
My Gaoersi has been half way around the world with me to three Continents, very good value for money, heavy but great for hand held work.


13-Aug-2008, 11:56
If you already have an 8x10 camera (or some other large camera) you can take a spare dark slide and cut it in 1/2 to mask out 1/2 the negative and get two panoramas on one sheet of regular size film. I've had pretty good luck shooting two 4x10's on each sheet of 8x10. Not as long of a ratio as some of the dedicated panorama cameras though, but if you already have a large camera, you can do this for very cheap :-) You could even do it on a 4x5 camera, though the size of each shot on the negative would be fairly small.

Colin Corneau
13-Aug-2008, 12:19
If you want large format work then a 6x12 or 6x17 back for even a Crown/Speed Graphic will work for you. The Gaorsi or similar type camera is also an excellent idea.
I have a Horseman 6x12 back, and the negs are just beautiful...this will depend on which format you prefer and that can only be answered by you.

If you prefer 35mm, then a Widelux or an Xpan will work well. I have both, love them both but the swing-lens feature on the Widelux is not for everyone's taste or suitable for some situations.

13-Aug-2008, 12:36
A 6x17 back on any LF camera is almost a joke, you end up with an unwieldy monster. Fine if you all you just want to take is an odd 6x17 image.

A dedicated 6x17 camera makes far more sense. It's a real pleasure to use a 6x17 particularly hand held.


14-Aug-2008, 02:48
yer i will be using for landscapes and city shots mostly
and how do i go about getting them developed
thanks for all your help

Aender Brepsom
14-Aug-2008, 03:24
yer i will be using for landscapes and city shots mostly
and how do i go about getting them developed
thanks for all your help

Well, there are labs that do develop film, you know...

14-Aug-2008, 03:48
good photos on your website Aender i have been using my cannon eos 350d for taking panorama's and just stitching them together but i would like to take some proper panos

14-Aug-2008, 10:09
I have been doing what Mr. Buck does...especially since I contact print using alt processes. When I only had a 4x5 and made silver prints, I just cropped the image when printing ~7"x19" prints.


14-Aug-2008, 10:25
Don't forget that Chet Hanchett created the VPAN 617 camera (it was a viewcamera) back in 1995). Chet has since passed on, and the companry is gone, but there were a number made and they resurface once in a while. This would be easily in your budget of 1200 especially if you already had some lenses that covered off another viewcamera (or could borrow or rent, etc).

And Keith Canham still sells 6x17 rollfilm holders for appropriate view cameras...although this is outside your price range to get set up.

Good luck

14-Aug-2008, 18:03
I started using my Fuji G690bl 6X9 camera and stitching photos in Photoshop. I have the latitude of stitching two for 6X12+, three for 6X17+ and more for 6X24. Care must be taken on panning... I use a level and a panning head, and exposure matching. However, the blend feature in Photoshop has more than compensated for minor exposure differences.

I just bought a low count GSW690 with the 65mm lens and 35 rolls of color film for $900. I am not concerned about movements on that film format and have been happy with results of pano merging or stitching.

I grant that this approach may not satisfy the film only advocates, but all the film shot on 120 or 220 roll film is going to become digital at some level to achieve large prints. It's most likely going to be the first thing that happens when the film is processed, so adding the photomerge is rather minor, coming right after the scan.

Another option I toyed with was modifying a dark slide for using half (the long way) of a 4X5 sheet of film, which comes quite close to a 6X12. Then shoot two exposures with a 4X5 sheet, switching upper and lower shots with the modified dark slide. Then, using the Photo Merge.. . . I have the option to stitch up to something like 6X20. This method would allow movements since I would be using a 4X5 camera.