Large Panoramic Formats : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm thinking about looking into one of the large panoramic formats--8x20 or 7x17. Does anyone have any thoughts about the relative pros and cons of these two formats? E.g., availability of cameras, holders, lenses, film, etc?

-- Chris Patti (, December 11, 1999


This is really a question of what you intend to do. As you probably aware, you are limited to the contact printing processes, whether it be silver or other (alternate proccesses).

As for equipment, you are either dealing with older cameras (Korona's) made before the depression. These are difficult (not impossible just difficult) to find, and vary as these were handcrafted. Make sure the camera is complete with the extension rail. New cameras are available, however I have heard (and this makes sense) that the makers (Canham, Wisner etc...) wait until they have enough orders to make a run. I can't imagine that the demand for these unique $4000+ cameras is very high.

Film holders can be found... Alan Brubaker and Lotus make new holders. If you have older holders, Alan also does restorations and is very reasonable.

There are companies such as Darkroom Innovations which carry film. If you like Kodak you will have to network with others and put together an order that meets Kodak's minimum. Darkroom Innovations does carry Ilford (Hp5 and Fp4)in stock for call-ins, but they also look for custoerms who will buy a few boxes so that they can acheive the minimum set by Ilford. Just don't be surprised when they sell out and the next available lot is not there yet. Thsi si not like getting 4x5 film from B&H or Calumet!

Lenses... there are some good lenses available. I know the 355 G- Claron and 450M Nikkor cover my 7x17 and are relatively common finds on the used market (modern glass and modern shutter). Longer Artars such as a 24inch will work. I have played with a 10 3/4" Gold Dagor (~270mm) and it appears to cover pretty nicely as well.

Happy Hunting! Steve

-- Steve Nieslony (, December 13, 1999.

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