widelux quality for 35mm film model?

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I am considering a panoramic camera, specifically a Widelux which uses 35mm film. I currently shoot all 4x5. Will this camera yield the professional results, especially for large prints, with the lens quality it offers? I am hoping to be able to get a closer panoramic shot than I can using a 90mm on my 4x5 and then cropping. I simply know someone that may want to sell me this panoramic, but I don't have any knowledge of them.

Thanks- Jon

-- Jon Paul (jonpaul@aci.net), April 07, 2001


I have both a Fuji 617 (the older fixed lens model) and recently a Xpan 35mm camera. I am absolutely in love with the Fuji. As I have often related, I find myself using it all the time for panoramic scenics, architecture, street scene and even glamour! The size of image is wonderful for enlargements, it is easy to view the images on a light table and the field of view is natural when looking at prints. In looking at my negatives, I am pleased and surprised to see how many shots I have done with the Fuji 617!

I have not used my Xpan much and that is a comment I hear from many other owners. It is easy to use, extremely sharp optics and flexible so you can go back and forth between 'regular' and panoramic settings without wasting film. The image size is larger than the normal APS type image-if I recall almost medium format width. Although it always rides in my car with me, I need to run more film through it!

As for processing of the Fuji 617, Imperial Color in Chicago is able to process and print my images. I have not tried that with the Xpan- perhaps someone can recommend places where those images can be printed.

John Bailey

-- John Bailey (mdwphoto@aol.com), April 07, 2001.

I've used an F7; it did ok but I didn't make any large prints. Right now I have a Horizon 202, which is rather cheap and feels flimsy but has a good lens, can handle infinity within DOF by f4, and hasn't shown any signs of banding or other oddities. I've made some satisfactory 14" prints.

Image quality of the Noblex 6x12 cameras is far better simply because the image size is 2"x5" rather than 1"x3" or so. I used the older-model Pro 150. I think that if "professional results" are needed the larger format can be of great benefit.

The sort of image given by the rotating-lens panoramic cameras is quite a bit different than that of flat-film-plane cameras.

Anyway, best to try out the Widelux before you buy it if you can, especially if it's expensive. And you really need to try it anyway; mechanically-driven rotating-lens cameras are prone to exposure variations called banding due to unevenness or burrs on the gears, crud in the works, wear etc.

Note that you can obtain the same angle-of-view or even wider by simply using a shorter lens on 4x5 and cropping; a cropped pan image shot with a 47XL may be as wide as you'd want.

Anyway, here's a couple of links:



-- John Hicks (jbh@magicnet.net), April 07, 2001.

If you are considering a swing lens panoramic camera that uses 35mm film I suggest you consider the Noblex. My experience, and that of friends is that the Noblex is more reliable, more accurate in the timing and has fewer problems with banding (irregularly exposed areas on the negative) than is the case with the Widelux cameras.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), April 10, 2001.

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