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    Member martindktran's Avatar
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    Panoramic Camera/s

    Hi Everyone,

    I am interested in getting a Panoramic camera. Been looking at a few options and still cannot decide if I should spend a lot of money or not.

    Just a little background, I have a Cannon 550D which I brought with the twin lens pack. Since then I have created some panoramic photo with stitching through PS and other panoramic software. Unfortunately I am not satisfied with the results.
    Some reasons why I don't like stitching:
    1. It is very hard to take a panoramic photo at night, unless you turn up your ISO.. in which case I do not like..
    2. While taking your frames, sometimes people can walk in and out.. which when stitched makes it hard. Yes this can be removed by photoshop, but I do not want to edit my photo as much.
    3. With a digital camera, you only have the bulb option which means if you let go of the shutter button, the photo is saved.. Sometimes I want to open and close shutter to either get a different affect or avoid people running in and out.
    4. Mainly also because I do not like alot of post processing on photos, therefore I want something which will allow me to take panoramic photo and just print it if possible.

    With that being said, I have had a few good outcomes with stitching, but then when I saw this guy who did panoramic photos (He took photos for my wedding) I was just stunned.. amazed at how clear, and how clean the photo is.. Then there I saw it.. fotoman panoramic camera..

    Which led me to this want of a panoramic camera. I understand having a film camera will be a challenge at first but I believe it will be rewarding.

    So from my research I have found a few cameras/reviews... however I want some personal experience from people.. let me know how good or why I shouldnt get a particular camera.
    The list from my preferences are:
    1. Linhof Technorama 617 - $1795 (Body Only) ... I figured this is way too expensive.. but I researched and this is like one of the better camera, but the lens will cost me another 1.7k or so...
    2. 617 Art Panorama Camera with Nikon SW 90mm f4.5 - $1.2k - I am definitely considering this one. Its really down my ally as it comes with lens and also some cokin filters.. and a ground glass and focus lupe.
    3. Lomography Sprocket Rocket 35mm Panoramic Camera - roughly $100... its a cheaper option, it looks like a good starter on film camera... but I am sure once I have this for couple of month I might want to upgrade from it.
    4. Gaoersi 617 SHIFT 6X17 Large Format CAMERA - $900 dollars.. that apparently only has the body no lens.. and i think it fits with a Nikkor lens 90mm .. which will again cost me another 1.2-1.6k for the lens.

    There are other brand like holga and daiyi.. i think.. Either way from what I gather, all the body is basically just a black box which is light proof and allows the docking of lens and film. The lens is basically where the money is.. Some body also offer the shift option which allows you to shift your back 20mm up or down so you can get better view. This is apparent in the georsi and a more expensive model of linhof.

    Most of these use the same film (120mm) and of 6x17 frame. I would love to hear your advise on this.. Also if you have any other options which I can take for example which lens I could buy on a digital camera which would give me a similar result. If possible I would go down the digital path for panoramic taking.. as I would not need to develop films. But from what I know there are not other options at the moment for digital except for stitching.. or if your rich enough to buy the following:
    1. Seitz 6x17 digital.. 160mgpxl digital camera.. going around $35k in the US
    2. getting the Giga camera then cropping the photo.. again expensive!
    Just in case people are interested to find if there are digital panoramic camera out there!!!!

    So yes please give me advise, tips, comments anything I can use!!! I am planning to buy it this weekend.. short notice I know =[

    Thanks,
    Dang

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    Sony amongst others have good P&S cameras that do panoramas and stitch them together in camera.
    Lots cheaper than film cameras, and far more convenient too.

    Many of these P&S cameras will also stich together panoramas that are done hand held.

    If you realy want to go film, Hasselblad made one of the better panoramic cameras some decades ago, and they are going used for around $3K now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by martindktran View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    I am interested in getting a Panoramic camera. Been looking at a few options and still cannot decide if I should spend a lot of money or not.

    Just a little background, I have a Cannon 550D which I brought with the twin lens pack. Since then I have created some panoramic photo with stitching through PS and other panoramic software. Unfortunately I am not satisfied with the results.
    Some reasons why I don't like stitching:
    1. It is very hard to take a panoramic photo at night, unless you turn up your ISO.. in which case I do not like..
    2. While taking your frames, sometimes people can walk in and out.. which when stitched makes it hard. Yes this can be removed by photoshop, but I do not want to edit my photo as much.
    3. With a digital camera, you only have the bulb option which means if you let go of the shutter button, the photo is saved.. Sometimes I want to open and close shutter to either get a different affect or avoid people running in and out.
    4. Mainly also because I do not like alot of post processing on photos, therefore I want something which will allow me to take panoramic photo and just print it if possible.
    Hi Dang

    in response to your reasons not to use digital stitching, my thoughts are below.

    1. To take panoramic photos at night, it is easy if you have a good tripod. You don't need to use high ISO, just shoot long exposures.
    2. If people walk in and out, just shoot the frame again. I have taken night panos of the harbour, and often a ferry will appear in the middle of my exposure, so I just check that it is clear, and take the frame again.
    3. To use the bulb option, you need a remote release. You can get pretty good ones on ebay for about $40. I have a Phottix Plato, it is wireless or cable activated, and works very well.

    It seems to me that it would be better to spend the money on a good tripod (say $600) and ball head ($350) with a panning base, than get a film camera. You will still need a tripod for night shots anyway.

    Just my opinion anyway.
    David

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    The other thing to mention is that once you have all this beautifully exposed film and prints, to get the most of it, in a digital format, you need to have a drum scanner, or know someone who has one commercially that they use. Using a home based flat-bed scanner on medium/large format prints/film is really letting the reason for taking them on film, down.

    A good drum scanner is tens of thousands of dollars, and even getting them scanned commercially using one costs a nice packet. take the 6x17 format, to get one image scanned on a drum scanner at 3200dpi will set you back somewhere between $20-$30 (minimum)..for ONE photo. Oh and the resultant file from a 6x17 @ 3200dpi is often over 900MB!
    Last edited by ricktas; 27-04-2012 at 11:07am.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata View Post
    Sony amongst others have good P&S cameras that do panoramas and stitch them together in camera.
    Lots cheaper than film cameras, and far more convenient too.

    Many of these P&S cameras will also stich together panoramas that are done hand held.

    If you realy want to go film, Hasselblad made one of the better panoramic cameras some decades ago, and they are going used for around $3K now.
    I do have a digital camera which does stitching.. to be honest I was not satisfied with the result..
    Maybe because the camera I had was one of the first few model which had this capability.. and at the time it was not that good. I still like the idea of 1 click and the panorama itself is one picture.. rather than this panorama swing or stitching.

    It also allows the photo to be more pure and less tempered with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidd View Post
    Hi Dang

    in response to your reasons not to use digital stitching, my thoughts are below.

    1. To take panoramic photos at night, it is easy if you have a good tripod. You don't need to use high ISO, just shoot long exposures.
    2. If people walk in and out, just shoot the frame again. I have taken night panos of the harbour, and often a ferry will appear in the middle of my exposure, so I just check that it is clear, and take the frame again.
    3. To use the bulb option, you need a remote release. You can get pretty good ones on ebay for about $40. I have a Phottix Plato, it is wireless or cable activated, and works very well.

    It seems to me that it would be better to spend the money on a good tripod (say $600) and ball head ($350) with a panning base, than get a film camera. You will still need a tripod for night shots anyway.

    Just my opinion anyway.
    Thanks for the response, and I do understand where you are coming from.. I have done this a few times, re-taking the frame when the object is cleared. The other problems I had with stitching is sometimes lightings from one corner to the other is difficult to capture, and with filters its hard to apply and can ruin the stitch. Where as with a panoramic camera. you apply the filter wherever you need and when you take the photo, it is as you would see it in the view finder.
    Perhaps it is just my personal preference not to stitch a photo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    The other thing to mention is that once you have all this beautifully exposed film and prints, to get the most of it, in a digital format, you need to have a drum scanner, or know someone who has one commercially that they use. Using a home based flat-bed scanner on medium/large format prints/film is really letting the reason for taking them on film, down.

    A good drum scanner is tens of thousands of dollars, and even getting them scanned commercially using one costs a nice packet. take the 6x17 format, to get one image scanned on a drum scanner at 3200dpi will set you back somewhere between $20-$30 (minimum)..for ONE photo. Oh and the resultant file from a 6x17 @ 3200dpi is often over 900MB!

    Yes I am quite aware of the cost involved.. I do have a pretty good scanner bed which I brought for my sister as she studies digital media.. I was going to use that and for any really good panorama, which I want to print out.. I would go to the shops.. 20-30 dollars to print something amazing.. I think I dont mind the cost.

    I know my responses seems like I am quite stubborn.. But I guess at the end of the day I just do not like the stitching process.. I guess my real question was if anyone had a chance to play around with the cameras I mentioned above.. also any other recommendations for a panoramic camera. Cheers

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    I can fully understand the desire to want a one shot camera that does pano's.
    I find stitching when there's water in the image almost impossible so far. Either the ripples/waves don't match up, or the reflections change as I pan. Skies tend to also change too much as I pan, and are almost always the area where my stitching is given away in the final image.
    So I think a camera that does pano's as a speciality would be fantastic. Of course there's no chance in hell I could afford one at those prices. I do however understand your reasoning. Though I haven't had some of your issues. Night panos weren't a problem for me. I took a series of 15 second shots and they stitched perfectly in CS5.
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    Quote Originally Posted by martindktran View Post
    Yes I am quite aware of the cost involved.. I do have a pretty good scanner bed which I brought for my sister as she studies digital media.. I was going to use that and for any really good panorama, which I want to print out.. I would go to the shops.. 20-30 dollars to print something amazing.. I think I dont mind the cost.

    I know my responses seems like I am quite stubborn.. But I guess at the end of the day I just do not like the stitching process.. I guess my real question was if anyone had a chance to play around with the cameras I mentioned above.. also any other recommendations for a panoramic camera. Cheers
    Not stubborn at all, but we are used to seeing people join up and say they are going to do x y z, and when someone points out the obvious, they got 'really,didn't know that'. So as long as you have done your research and have the knowledge, go for it!

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    Thanks everyone for your input.. I just did further research and I decided I will be getting the 617 Art Panorama Camera with Nikon SW 90mm f4.5
    Ezookiel - You are so right when you say water, sky and what not.. it is much better to do it in one shot.. especially if you want that nice milky effect..

    Tomorrow I will be getting it and will try and do my first shot =] Lets see how this turns out!

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    YES!! I did it over the weekend.. Did not get time to share this till now!!!
    It is beautiful.. I do not regret 1 cent got it for $1000 pretty good.. came with the Nikkon SW90mm f4.5 like I said also Cokin filters, CPL filter, UV filter, ground glass and a box...
    I modified my current camera backpack to cater for my new Pano camera. Now I can carry my Pano and SLR camera anywhere =]

    Went out on my first shoot this morning... Milsons point on the side of lunar park, looking onto the bridge and opera house.. Sunrise was not extremely beautiful but I could not help trying out the new camera... Getting film developed today.. Will post up some photos as soon as I get it back!!!

    SO DARN HAPPY

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    If this was Facebook, I'd click "Like" on that.
    Look forward to seeing the images.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martindktran View Post

    Went out on my first shoot this morning... Milsons point on the side of lunar park, looking onto the bridge and opera house..
    My old stomping ground..Looking forward to seeing what you got..Used to live at McMahon's Point!

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    This is very suspenseful for me!!!! I guess this is the kick with film camera.. it keeps you excited.. lol tease you a little before you get to see the result... I think my friend is going to pick up the developed film today..

    DRIVING ME NUTS!!!!!!

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    GOT MY FILM!!! ITS SOOO GOOOD!!!!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE.. will scan tonight and post it...
    Anyone thinking of buying a pano camera.. if you can grab 617 Art Panorama Camera with Nikon SW 90mm f4.5 for around $1.2 K.. ITS WORTH IT...

    I saw another used one down at *removed, please read the site rules 3-7, members with less that 50 post cannot promote businesses etc* same lens.. same condition... so I guess I am very lucky =]
    Last edited by ricktas; 03-05-2012 at 8:20pm.

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    OK now you've bought a camera, when do you buy the rest of the gear needed?

    If I couldn't print my own negs or trannies it would drive me nutz! no commercial lab prints how I like it

    I mean you go to the trouble shooting film & you let someone else print it?

    Ansel Adams famous quote comes to mind.... " the negative (or transparency) is only the score (as in musical score) good printing is the performance of the artist."

    Commercial printing will not give you the best possible result.

    So you need a 5" X 7" enlarger & the necessary processing gear............ mega-bucks!

    Best of luck
    Cheers

    MajorPanic

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    There's tons of darkroom stuff for sale at giveaway prices.

    You just have to learn how to use it, and be careful, my father ruined his lungs because of the chemical fumes he inhaled over many, many years of darkroom work, and no, he never smoked either.
    Last edited by Bennymiata; 03-05-2012 at 9:19pm.

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    Thats ok.. I think Ii will stick with the shops.. I need to start somewhere.. and Also the results not to bad..

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    For those who are interested in seeing my first shot with the pano camera:
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...78#post1015878

    =D LOVING IT

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    Hi Martin,
    Just saw this thread.
    I was in Shanghai just recently and in the big camera centre there, they had a few 617 cameras.
    I have always wanted one, but just couldnt quite press the button to buy due to the fact there were no local offerings at decent affordable prices and you certainly got a bargain. I did buy a pentax67ii and used that for a while.
    My wish list is simple, a digital 617 or Digital Xpan.
    The reason I like a one shot (plus the reasons above already) is that the image plane is flat rather than inducing perspective distortions from panning around. See my ANZAC square shot comparison in the Panoramic section.
    Stitching is ok when it works and there are times when its necessary, i shot a wall which was 80mtrs long and stitched the 26shots as a flat pano. You couldnt do this with a 617.
    But the format (aspect ratio) is beautiful and simply pleasing to the eye, it is very natural to look at and I almost always want to crop my digital shots that way.
    And that leads me to the other reason I like a 617 pano camera is because you can see the shot. If you are taking multiple shots and stitching your guessing and if you crop, then you are loosing pixels.

    I hope you enjoy it and post some shots and in a few months please tell us how you are getting along.

    Cheers
    Neil
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