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Noblex 135 Panoramic Camera and the Brunswick Festival

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So, I’ve also bought a Noblex 135 panoramic camera. I’ve bought a few cameras recently but the cost of them all are still well within the price of the digital camera I was looking at before I started with this whole panoramic camera thing. Sounds like a lame justification when I write it!

Anyway… So, I bought this camera off a very nice guy on Ebay, and the camera works great! Very pleased with the results so far.

The Camera

It is a beast of a camera! Much bigger than the Horizon panoramic cameras and a real weight to carry around.

It has a wider aspect than the Horizon cameras (the negative is 24*66mm compared to the Horizons 24*58mm) and I think it makes a difference. Both in the shooting and in the final image. All of the images feel more like panoramas than just wider photos, like some of the other panoramic cameras I’ve been using.

From a shooting point of view, it is very hard for me to see the image as a whole when I look through the viewfinder. I need to look through then peer into the corners of the viewfinder to check what is there. I think it might be easier if I don’t wear glasses, since they get in the way of seeing into the viewfinder so may have to experiment. Other than this problem, the viewfinder is awesome and I feel like it makes everything look better when I look through it. It is really huge and you can totally see what you are shooting.

The camera is battery driven, unlike the other panoramic cameras I’ve used but this is less of a deal for me that I initially thought.

A strange quirk of the camera is setting the aperture on the front drum where the lens is housed. I need to remember that it is there and what it is set to, all the time.

The Photos

The camera is manual everything, so I’m happy with the images below in terms of exposure. I was using the Sunny 16 rule and, in general, it worked out in most of the shots.

I still find it hard to previsualise my frame with the camera perspective so wide, so that is something I need to work on.

There seems to be situations where the curved horizon works well and others where it is distracting. It definitely helps if the horizon is not higher on one side of the frame than the other. Sometimes it works to make a feature out of it but don’t want to turn it into a gimmick. Going to have to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Overall, so far, I’ve loved shooting with this camera. It is unusual, quirky, tricky and a lot of fun!

Shooting at the festival

The festival was really fun, everyone was friendly and I felt really relaxed shooting there. The sheer amount of chaos around me made it hard to find compositions that would work, and I think that shows in some of the photos. But overall I’m pleased with what I got from the place.

First Roll

I WOULD RECOMMEND TO CLICK ON THE PHOTOS BELOW TO SEE THEM AS LARGE AS POSSIBLE

Missed the start of this image again! Still not 100% on loading a pano camera. Image is a bit empty but its my first shot with the camera, so i’ll let myself off. The rest of the image is pretty sharp though which I’m very pleased about.

I think the bars dissappearing into the stones works well here. I wish I could have framed the lifeguards better but the two girls stood up and I would have had an empty space if I wasn’t quick. I’m hot and cold on the curved horizon, depending on the photo, but I think it works in this one. Seems to work ok as long as it is balanced.

This is at the Brunswick festival in brighton, near the stage. I like the tidy houses along the back in contrast to the mess of the festival. Too much foreground space and the railing on the right doesn’t need to be there.

I like the drummer guy in this pic but I should have shot it lower, to get more of the people on the ground in it. It is just a quick snap really.

I like to see chess played in a park! This is an unusual photo if you really look at it since the crowd in the background really curves around about 45 degrees. Got my finger well into the frame on the left. I like the young and older guy in this shot looking serious at the game. I think this shot works quite well even though it goes against the instructions of levelling the horizon with this type of camera.

A more conventional framing a little bit later in the day. No real focal point in this photo but I’m not sure it needs one. There is a lot going on in this photo and its nice to look through the background crowd too.

I suppose this is more of a portrait than any of the rest of the photos in this film. I asked him if I could take his photo and he just gave me a tiny nod. I’m not too sure about the girls on the right but I like how this photo really shows the guy here along with his vast array of stuff for sale. Worth thinking about taking more photos of people in their environment in the future.

I think the composition here works well with the legs of the woman on the grass leading the eye into the shot. Should have got rid of the person on the right of the frame and more of the guy on the left. The shadows are a bit muddy in this one but I don’t mind it too much.

More fingers in the frame! Nice colourful space for the wee ones. Should have waited around for a more interesting composition I think.

Whenever I took this photo I realised I should have used a longer exposure. Muddy shadows but I like the spacing of the people in the frame. Not a focal point any where to be seen…

Headed off from Brunswick Square. I think I could have got lower to use the railings in the shot more. I like the curve on the railing on the right.

More fingers….
Was windy. Loads of birds hovering over the pier. Trying to get an unusual shot of the pier but should have got more of the sign in the shot and again, should have got closer in to everything.

Feels like I’m holding this photo with fingers from both sides! Think it could have been a nice shot if I had less space on the left of the frame and more of the pier on the right. I like the swell of the sea in this shot.

Trying out more railing compositions. What works and what doesn’t work with this camera is really going to be interesting to find out.

I like the seagull on the phonebox. Nice colour palette with the red and the green. I’m very pleased in general with the color of these shots. The Lomography Colour negative film really created a nice feel to them, almost like photos from old postcards.

Similar shot to the previous one. Wanted to blast through the roll to test the camera.

I really like this one. Got a nice moment in the middle of the frame which creates a good focal point. They are nicely positioned in the light with the dark clothes rails surrounding them. Need to think about focal points for these panos more after seeing this one.

Wanted to capture the crowd here in all its busyness. Also managed to capture my knuckles! Think this works because of all the layers of people in it, but you need to view it large.

This was me trying to shoot at 30th of a second without realising how long I need to hold the camera in the same place. Well, at least it started ok…


So, I’ve just been away to Crete for a couple of weeks, so hopefully will get those photos up in the near future!

Horizon 202 - Second roll

Here’s the second roll I shot on the Horizon 202 camera on ISO800 Lomography Colour Negative film. I started shooting these before I got the previous roll developed (see previous post).

I thought I’d write up a little description about what I think of the photo along with each shot. This was quite helpful for analysing the shot and will hopefully help me to learn how to work this camera faster.

The scanning shop scanned the film edges and thought I’d keep them on. What do you think? is it distracting from the photos?

The scans are also quite different in feel from the previous posts batch in terms of colour. Not too sure if they were handled differently when scanned. Or that including the negative sprocket holes affected the colour correction accuracy when scanning, but I still feel that the colours are nice.

Overall, I’m pleased with these shots and feel like I’m starting to understand how to shoot with this panoramic format. Some of the shots are sloping a bit too much in one direction or the other but I really need to find the sweet spot, since I don’t think I need the horizon perfectly flat in each shot either.

I really need to find subject matter that works in a panoramic frame. I’m shooting about 120 degrees, I think, but it doesn’t come across as quite so wide in the images.

Any feedback welcome!

Horizon 202 Panoramic Camera

So, you might think I’m crazy to buy 2 panoramic cameras but I also bought the Horizon 202.

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I also got the snazzy case for free . . . .

The previous blogpost photos were shot on the Horizont. The Horizont is a much more pleasing looking camera but I ended up with a lot of light leaking around the photos. I’ve got it in to repair, so luckily I bought this other one….

I wasn’t too hopeful for this camera since it was a lot cheaper than the Horizont but as you can see, it seemed to perform much better!

The photos are pretty sharp, there is very little light leaking and I managed to get the whole roll out of the camera without problems this time.

I love the curved lines that these cameras produce, although its not everyones cup of tea. Look at that horizon!

The Film

I was shooting Lomography Colour Negative 800, so if you have a look, there is a lot of grain in the photos. I quite like the grain but it would also be interesting to test out the Lomo 100 to take photos that are a bit more clean.

I love the color of this film. It shifts the color prefectly in different lighting conditions and produces really pleasing results. It also does pretty well in the highlights by not blowing out details as much as I expected. It is a nice contrast to the previous roll I shot on the Horizont which was more muted.

I need to shoot iso 100 film to really give it a test, so will probably get some portra 160 the next time I load it up, but the results are pretty sharp considering.

Take Aways

I think I need to get closer to subjects. This is really important but since it is a very wide angle lens I need to always keep this in my mind.

I also need to work with depth in the shot, to get more foreground, midground and background elements.

You can see that I never wound on the film for the first photo correctly, which is a bit of a bummer since it would have been a better photo than the second one.

At sunset, I probably need to watch my shadow in the photo.

I have learned that you simply can’t shoot in a pub at night….

Also, it looks like I shot about 10 photos in the second to last shot! Not too sure how that shot has so many different bits, but it definitely had something to do with the fact that I reached the end of the film with my last shot.

A lot of my photos here are out with family and friends, so i fancy getting into London for the day to do a bit of street photography with this machine.

So, below are the rest of my shots from this film. I think the two above are the best of the bunch but what do you think?

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Horizont panoramic Camera

I’ve recently bought a new / old camera, the Horizont Panoramic camera.

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Its an old Russian camera and I think this one was made in 1976.

Why?

I love panoramic images! I think the format of panoramic images creates interesting and diverse photos with a range of moments throughout the frame. Its also closer to how we see. I love the work of Jens Olaf Lasthein and also the landscape work of Colin Prior.

I find it frustrating when you get a nice panoramic shot with a digital camera (using the in-camera stitching) and someone or something is cut in half because it moved. These cameras remove that issue! I can shoot panos with many people moving around with less problems (check out some of my digital panoramic work in the site menu).

I like to get photos in-camera so I like thinking in panoramic shots and composing for that type of shot, not just stitching loads of photos in photoshop or cropping off the top and bottom of a wide-angle frame and hoping for the best.

The camera is also great looking piece of kit!

The Camera

This is quite a fun camera to use. When you are looking for photos, you need to be thinking in the panoramic format and what would work for the type of shots the camera makes. This will take a bit of time to get used to, but could end up with more interesting images. It is quite quirky and unusual and creates a distinctive look as it bends all straight lines in the image. I actually find this quite pleasing and organic.

It is hard to compose the shots with such a wide viewfinder. You kind of need to look around the inside of the finder and check the edges before you take the shot, since you can’t really see the whole image at once. The lens on the camera is 28mm as well, so I will need to learn to get closer to the action.

You attach a handle to the camera (shown on the right in the above image) to the base, for stability and to keep your fingers out of the way of the camera’s wide view. The drum rotates on the front of the camera that houses the lens, when you press the shutter.

This camera has no focus control and focuses to infinity at all times. This is due to the the lens being inside the central drum in the camera. So, to focus, you just need to contol the aperture. At f16 the camera focuses to 1m so I was trying to keep it as close to f16 as possible. The images were not as sharp as I would have liked but that could be down to a number of factors.

I got a lot of puzzled looks as I was out and about with this contraption!

Film photography

This roll was Kodak Pro Image 100. I think I prefer stronger tones, so will probably try using some Lomography colour negative film the next time or Fujifilm Superia Extra 400.

I checked exposure with an app on my phone and it seemed to get it pretty well bang on in most occasions. I’ll need to learn how to offset the exposure based on what is in front of me, since a few shots could have been underexposed a stop or two.

Film sticking

I lost the first 4 or 5 photos from the roll because the film stuck in the camera as I was rewinding it back into the spool. I’m not sure if this was the fault of the camera or because I loaded it incorrectly, but I rewound the film to a point and the film wouldn’t rewind any more. So, I had to open the back and push the film around until I could keep rewinding it.

I’ve since bought a super cheap roll of film and have tested out rewinding with less problems. Who knows what happened!

Light Leaking

The main issue with most of the photos I shot was the light leaking in the outdoor shots. I’m not sure if light leaking is coming in through the lens and the shutter is just not shutting correctly or if it is coming in through the edge of the drum. I’ll have to put it in for a service to see if they can sort it at the shop.

Overall, this camera is a lot of fun to shoot with and if I can get the light leak fixed, hope to keep shooting panos with this machine.

Here are the rest of the photos that made it out of the camera, including the last one, which was partially exposed when I opened the back.

Going Analogue

So I’ve started taking some photos again! I’ve shot some photos on holidays over the last few years and so on but I’ve not really had my heart in it.

But now I’ve started shooting again. I’ve picked up my Lubitel 2 camera that I spotted in a window of a shop in Turkey a few years ago, covered in dust. Its an original camera, not one of the new Lomography versions that are out there now so I get a lot of light leaking and banding in the photos. But I love it! It all adds to the texture.

Shooting manual was a total gamble and I’ve been guessing settings the whole time. It uses 120 film and I’ve not really figured out how to shoot in low light conditions yet but its all good.

I’ve included all of my photos that I’ve shot below and not adjusted anything, so you can have a look and see all my bad shots.

I’m really just happy to try and see what happens now!

Brighton Birds

Brighton Birds

North Lanes

North Lanes

First colour film photos

First colour film photos

Look out over athens

Look out over athens

Stairs in Hydra

Stairs in Hydra

Photos from Greece

Photos from Greece