Fun with space and time: Widelux F6

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by ksmattfish, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I got my Widelux F6 repaired just in time for a trip to Colorado.

    Here's a pic of Maisy riding the carousel at the Denver Zoo. I'll post some more Widelux pics here soon.

    [​IMG]

    camera: Widelux F6
    film: Tri-X 400
    1/125th @ f/8 handheld
    scanned from neg (no crop, this is the entire neg)
     
  2. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    I love the angle! usually i am quick the stickler about 'straight horizons' but only recently i realised that tilting really can give the photo a sense of motion, like it does here. The fact that its panoramic really accentuates that.

    The widelux, what size of negative does that use? Is it hard to find film for this? Are these cameras vintage? Is this a rangefinder or slr camera?
     
  3. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Awesome. The angle was an inspired move. Gives it a whole different feel than "family vacation shot". Love it!!!
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    The negative is 6cm on 35mm film, so it's like a pano crop from MF. It uses regular 35mm film.

    The model I have, the F6, is probably from the 60's. The latest model, the F8, you can still occasionally find new. There is very little difference between the models. The factory that made them burned down in the late 90's, so supposedly no more will be made.

    The camera is fixed focus, meaning you cannot adjust the focus, it's set on the hyperfocal distance for f/2.8 with a 26mm lens. At f/11 I am just a little soft if I hold the camera out at arms length, so probably everything from 3' to infinity is in focus at f/11.

    It is not a SLR or RF. It is a swing lens panoramic camera. The lens is in a turrent that actually moves as it's taking the picture. Beside the wide angle given by the swinging lens, the lens itself is only 26mm, so it is really wide; anything you are pointing at is going to be in the pic. Check out the "Cameras" section on my website for a pic of the camera, and more info, and a few older pics I took (before it broke), and some of the new ones from just recently.

    A weird bit of trivia, the actor Jeff Bridges loves his Widelux F8, and uses it to shoot BW shots backstage at his movies. Search for his site to see his Widelux pics.

    There are several companies that have made swing lens pano cameras over the last 4 decades besides Panon, the maker of the Widelux, which is a fully mechanical, Japanese camera. The Russians make the Horizont, and the more recent Horizon. And Noblex (I don't remember where they are located in the world, Germany?). All 3 companies also make/made medium format versions that take 6cmx12cm or 6cmx17cm frames.

    Check out the "pano" threads in the "Themes' section here on this forum to see some shots done with a Horizont. I can't remember who did them (PT Baily or one of the other vintage camera nuts like myself).
     
  5. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    You had to throw in the not cropped thing didn't you. I second the motion of the tilted perspective. I get a "Twilight Zone" feel where reality may be blurred. As you know, the Widelux's are on the list of the tools that digital can not touch (yet?).
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Since they started offering in-camera pano cropping on most 35mm I do want to make sure everyone knows I've got a big 6cm neg, instead of one of those puny 35mm frame center crops. :wink:

    There are rotating digital pano cameras, which would be similar. I don't know much about building digital cameras, but it seems to me that it should be easy to build a digital swing lens pano camera, except not being constrained to using roll film, I think it would be a lot smaller, and I'd imagine that they'd end up making it a full 360 degree rotation, because it would be just as easy (the sensor could travel with the lens, while the film has to sit still), and if you only wanted 140 degrees you'd crop later. The Widelus may just be a niche design that was born with film, and stays there do to lack of interest (why buy a 140 degree digi pano, when you can get 360 degrees, and crop however you want).

    By the way, I also have a panoramic camera that uses 35mm film and takes a 480+ degree (yeah, 1 and 1/3rd times around :lol: ) pano. I'd forgot about it until this conversation. In the past I had no way of making enlargements (the image is about 8" or 10" long on a 35mm film strip), but now I have a neg scanner. I'll be breaking it out tonight!!! It's called a Corales 360, and I think it's the prototype of the Spinshot, or is it Roundshot?
     
  7. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Pano shots are fascinating to me. I am intrigued by the info that you provided. Certainly reminded of wide shots from Atlantic City, New Jersey during the 20's.

    The crop is important to me. I am a little jealous, so I had to give you a hard time. Good luck setting up the scanner. Will it scan a long neg? Remember "take your time".The digital idea seems brilliant. I have to admit that I have only a basic idea of how digi is recorded.
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    The Microtek i900 scanner comes with standard 35mm, 6cm, and 4x5 neg holders and glass sheet holder that handles negs/transparencies larger than 4x5.

    I love pano's too. Go to the Library of Congress site and look up their archive of vintage panoramic photography "Taking the Long View". It's huge and stunning!!!

    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/pnhtml/pnhome.html

    For me the most difficult thing about true wide view panoramic photography is dealing with the lighting on bright, sunny days. Contrast and exposure can change radically from one side of the image to the other depending on wherr the sun is. The top-o-the-line Nobles swing lens cameras are run by an electric motor, and there is a light meter modual that adjusts rotational speed to deal with this.

    Some day I'd love to own a working Cikut camera, which is the camera used to take many of the photos at the LOC site. They are large cameras that use huge rolls of film and swing on a special tripod head. They come in different sizes. I think some folks are locating (or having custom cut) the film, and others have figured out ways to use 220 size film in the smaller models. When you see the big group photos in antique stores they are usually taken with a Cirkut camera, and it's a contact print! That's a big neg!!!
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Michelle over Estes Park, CO

    [​IMG]

    Widelux F6
    Arista Pro 125 (35mm)
    1/125th @ f/11
    orange filter, hand held

    :shock: I just noticed that if you look in the lower left corner you can see the tip of my shoe!
     
  10. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Great photos Matt :) I may have to look into getting one of these cameras. What is the going price for a used one? Any idea?
     
  11. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Great shot! I love panos too.

    BTW, there's also a Widelux 1500 that uses roll film and does 150 degrees. That's one heck of a negative!

    Jeff Bridges has a show up at the George Eastman house right now. I missed when he came to speak at the opening, but I plan on seeing it before it comes down in September.

    Teru Kuwayama and Michael Ackerman like using Wideluxes too (and cheap toy cameras). I have this shot of Teru's hanging on my wall right now.

    A shot of Fugazi by Michael.
    There's a Widelux shot on the cover of his book on Benares (largest pic I could find), and several inside. He likes to use slow shutter speeds so that anything moving gets distorted by the swinging lens. Do you play with that at all, Matt? I find the effect rather strange.
     
  12. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm really digging the composition in the second image. The clouds seem to be marching in uphill alignment with the distant range. The eye is almost tricked into thinking the horizon is off until the foreground sets everything right again. Cool shot. Ha, if you'd never mentioned the toe I wonder if I'd have noticed it?? :p How careless of you. :wink:

    Great links, MarkC! :D
     

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