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Thread: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

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    Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    Hi all,

    I haven't read too much here or other forums of people who are using 6x12 and / or 6x17 panoramic cameras. I recently had the chance to use a 6x17cm Fuji and although the format is just too wide for me, I think the 6x12cm Horseman or Linhof would be perfect for a project I'm working on. Would anybody here care to speak to their personal experience with this format and the above mentioned brands / systems? (I'm most interested in the Technorama because of its pre-shift, and the Horseman SW612 Pro for its movements, but any general comments are welcome!)

    To give you a little bit of my personal background, I use an Imacon 949 to scan and my main system is currently a Linhof Techno with a 6x7cm back. I am shooting an ongoing series on a patch of land that is undergoing rapid change (built and environmental / natural) and i would be looking to supplement use of my Techno with the panoramic format. I'm not interested in stitching, although I have been shooting multiple images in series that work as individual images but describe the broader context of the scene when displayed side by side. I very much like this approach, but I'd like to extend my working methods and potentially even push to use the 6x12cm camera hand held in part inspired by Josef Koudelka and Luc Delahaye's work in order to achieve a more loose feel and work more intuitively.

    Anyway, any feedback regarding these tools would be great.

    Thanks all!

    TJV

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    I use a Horseman 6x12 back with a view camera when I want panoramic images with film. I think it is a much more flexible way of working, allowing full view camera movements, and needs no special lenses or cameras. But I use a tripod almost all the time, so YMMV. Since you already have a Techno, adding a 4x5 field camera that takes the same lensboards and a 6x12 back would be the easiest.

    Kumar

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    I had a Horseman SW612 and loved it. My favorite lens was the 55mm, but I also had the 90mm and 135mm. I got a Schneider CF for the 55mm.







    MY iBook, Futon Daiko: A Japanese Festival was mostly shot with the SW612. Most of it handheld. The first color images here is handheld.

    Futon Daiko: A Japanese Festival | Hakusan Creation

    I preferred the SW612 (no shifts) over the SW612 Pro (with shifts) because of its size. It is a great camera to handhold. Very compact and easy to travel with. Apertures below f/11 will start to vignette heavily, but you can use that to your advantage--the first image here is wide open. The center filter definitely improves the performance of the 55mm, but not vital, IMHO. I would use it when I could, but would take it off to keep my shutter speeds high. You can learn to change film very quickly. If you are shooting fast moving event like festivals, the advance is a bit of a pain--shoot, hit the film advance release, advance film, cock the shutter, shoot. I found zone focusing with the 55mm very easy. The viewfinder is great, but can take a while to judge edges and framing. The level is great. I filed the 6x7 and 6x9 frames out of the mask.

    I looked at the Linhof, but the permanent shift seemed a pain. Especially for verticals. But then I used my camera for mostly documentary style photography.
    Will

    http://www.hakusancreation.com
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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    BTW, I have shot panoramas with other cameras, mostly a Widelux F8 and Mamiya 6 with an adapter. I find the 2:1 panos the most flexible and creative. When things got wider, it just made it more difficult to use. I used a 6x6 camera a lot with the 6x12--great combination.

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    Gaoersi is another brand you can look into which features shift. The price points are much lower then Horseman/ Linhof as well.

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    i was debating between the linhof 617 and 612, went for the 617 in the end. It's more difficult to compose yes, but if done thoughtfully, it's truely impactful. Also it can be cropped to 612.

    I hear that horseman is well made, and is more flexibile in terms of movement. but linhof is the holy grail in my mind.

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    Thanks, guys.

    I too was thinking that the Horseman SW612 (non-pro) would be a great option. The linhof is a beautifully built machine, but the inbuilt shift might pose problems, not to mention it's insanely expensive. Conversely, I don't imagine I'll do any vertical shots so it's probably a moot point. If I went with my heart, I reckon I'd go Linhof. My head tells me Horseman will do the job just as well.

    I liked using the 6x17 but the format was insanely hard to use in the areas I'm shooting in. I had the use of 90mm and 180mm lenses, and a focal length somewhere in between might have been easier to wrangle interesting compositions.

    Can anyone else post examples and opinions?

    Thanks again,

    TJV

    PS: It's important to me that I can hand hold as I'd like to push a looser, more spontaneous look.

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    I had the Linhof 617 with shift adapter + SK 72mm with center filter (ca. 100 view) - a beautiful camera and very rewarding with the shift adding real flexibility - and it can always be (off-center) cropped to 612. Excellent results with Fuji Velvia films.
    Cheers, Mark

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    For some reason I can't see your photographs, Mark. Are you able to reattach them?

    Does anyone else have any information or peals of wisdom and insight to share about these cameras?

    Thanks,

    TJV

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    Hi, sure had some real problems with this post - if it doesn't work again (I can see them on my computer correctly in the post let me know - here as simple web link to allow direct viewing www.blauvista.com/largeimages/Leuchtturm_800.jpg and http://www.blauvista.com/largeimages...orning_800.jpg and here again as image link:
    Cheers, Mark
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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    Here are a couple more shots with the Linhof. Ultimately, the shift system gave a lot of flexibility to the composition knowing that I could hold the camera perfectly parallel and still more the horizon around the frame. You really don't see it second hand very much. My SK72 did give a little bit of Magenta coloration at the very edge of the pictures (Velvia film) - very easily corrected post scan. Focus per glass back wide open at f5.6 and then stopping down was ok with a 10 x loupe (and blocking out the remainder of the glass with a plastic cover which had a hole for the loupe) but ensuring that the focus distance was at least above the hyperfocal distance was always the safer bet for landscape. Most of the shots that worked well were around f22. But center filter takes two stops and with f22 the shutter speed was rarely faster than 1/30. If you have some more detailed questions drop me a line, Cheers, Mark


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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    The last link didn't work here again:
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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    Thanks again, Mark!
    Looks really good. You're much better at using that massive 6x17 frame than I ever would be!

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    Well, with all this talk about CMOS digital MF sensors, I thought I'd reignite this thread. In the last week I've managed to pick up a Linhof 612 PCII with 65mm lens, VF and centre filter for an astonishingly good price. I'm stoked, and have really enjoyed experimenting with it. It's been well used but takes an incredibly sharp photo, corner to corner. Just needs a bit of a lube and it'll be good as gold!

    Anyway, I thought I'd share my initial observations when using the camera.

    1: It's built like an absolute tank and is very heavy – which I like.

    2: The manual set of the film counter has tripped me up a few times, in that I've missed or only partly exposed the first frame. Once it becomes habitual, I'm sure it'll be fine. I kind of like the completely manual process anyway.

    3: The inbuilt, permanent 8mm rise is both a blessing and a curse. My current Gitzo pan-tilt head is too big to accommodate the camera being mounted upside down with the VF mounted. For what I'm doing, I'm mainly using rise on my Techno anyway but there are occasions where I'd prefer the Technorama to be set at zero to get more of a straight on, neutral perspective.

    4: The viewfinder is very good compared to my old, trusty Mamiya 7 but it doesn't show parallax lines – I believe the newer versions do? It displays quite a bit of distortion, but it is very, very wide.

    5: Film flatness is very, very good. Far better than my Horseman 6x7cm back that I use on my Techno. I guess this is because the film does not get bent backward before it runs past the film gate?

    6: Overall, I'm very happy!

    TJV
    Last edited by tjv; 28th January 2014 at 00:52.
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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    Glad you like it.

    I was going to throw in a +1 for 617, but if you like 612, more power to you.

    I just wish there was a 617 medium format digital out there. I would trade my iq180 in a heartbeat for it, but alas medium format digital is so niche that having a 617 sensor would be super niche.

    I love my Fuji gx617, but the iq180 beats it hands down, the files are just so much cleaner and easier to deal with.

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    How about that massive Seitz 6x17 digital?
    overview
    It's a scan back, but man. I can't imagine the detail it would capture in appropriate conditions!

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    I've never used the Linhof, used the Horseman minimally, but have shot a lot of pan format experience, including Widelux(what a pain!), a number of Noblex's, Roundsot, 8x10 halved, 4x5 halved, Xpan and 6x12 with Sinar and now Horseman backs. I use the Horseman mostly on CamboWides with 65, 47 and 35mm lenses, generally with CF filters. The 35 Covers, but with little movement. The other two allow lots of movement. I got the stuff mostly for construction and architectural jobs, and it's been great. I've used the 65 occasionally for aerial shots, and it was quite useable. When using the cameras handheld, I've mostly used modified 35mm finders from Cosina and Leica, because I have those handy.

    The CamboWide bodies were very inexpensive; in fact, when I bought the 47XL with focussing mount and shift plate, they gave me another body. The CamboWides are not as compact as the Horesman and Linhof, but they don't weigh any more, and they are more versatile.

    Btw, I tried the Seitz (Roundshot) 617. Magnificent results, but what a monster!
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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    Anyone know of a hood like this for Linhof 612 pcii? This is a Fuji hood for 617.

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    Oops, upside down!

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    Quote Originally Posted by mark-vdi View Post
    I had the Linhof 617 with shift adapter + SK 72mm with center filter (ca. 100 view) - a beautiful camera and very rewarding with the shift adding real flexibility - and it can always be (off-center) cropped to 612. Excellent results with Fuji Velvia films.
    Cheers, Mark

    wow!
    wow wow wow!!
    (praise be the lord .. )
    i've spent the last few days scouring this wonderful forum to find some justification for mfd ..
    instead i found these images .. haunting
    absolutely haunting ..

    i guess it's time to embrace my roots .. to follow my own journey ..
    and not worry about the path the world is taking ..

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    Re: Panoramic cameras (Linhof / Horseman)

    I love my 617. One shot magic. This one is from the hudson river

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