panoramic camera vs 4x5 cropping : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Is there a difference between cropping a 4x5 transparency to panoramic and using a panoramic camera that has a stationary lens? Does the panoramic camera somehow allow a wider plane of view with a longer focal length? Thanks- Jon

-- jon Paul (, April 13, 2001


If memory serves me correctly, this is a question of image circle. If both lenses are equivelent, they should cover the same area - taking into account the width of the film plane. Obviously there is also the distance to the film plane behind the lens to measure.

John Bailey

-- John Bailey (, April 13, 2001.


Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the format of the panorama. If the fixed-lens panorama camera uses 120 film, the exact same panorama could be achieved by cropping the 4x5 neg or trans if the 120 camera is a 6x12cm format. I might be mistaken, but I think that there used to be (might still be) 6x12cm roll film backs available for 4x5s. But if the 120 camera is a 6x17cm format, you obviously wouldn't be able to do it. You're 4x5 camera lens might have adequate angle of coverage, but the 4x5 neg or trans just isn't wide enough.

I've always just cropped my 4x5 negs to the 6x12cm format when I wanted a panorama. I never could justify the additional expense of a panorama camera since I don't shoot that many panoramas even though you end up wasting about a 1/2 sheet of 4x5 film.

-- Ken Burns (, April 13, 2001.

A huge difference.

I can walk and hand hold a Technorama and reload it with 6 or 12 shots at a time with one roll with 612.

With lots of spare rolls in my pocket.

Think of what you need to carry to take 36 panoramic shots on 45. And reloading holders in the field is a real pain.

The hand held panoramic is very mobile, very compact and very easy to use compared to lugging a view camera around.

And, on the Linhof Technorama, the lenses are hand picked for their superior performance within the format for the camera it is used on and will out perform an dff the shelf LF lens of the same focal length and speed within the format.

-- Bob Salomon (, April 14, 2001.

If you already own a 4x5 and lenses, you can add a 6x12 rollfilm back. The advantages over a panoramic are: smaller investment, possibility to adjust the image on the ground-glass, all your lenses will work, smaller package than LF camera plus panoramic camera. Advantage of a panoramic camera as said by B. Salomon: point and shoot efficiency.

-- Paul Schilliger (, April 14, 2001.

There is nothing inherently different about taking panoramic shots assuming the lenses used have the same angle of view compared to image size. The cropping is simply done by the mask or film opening in the camera.

I have a couple of modified dark slides that I use for panoramas. One simply has been cut in a little less than half, length wise, and is flipped between exposures to allow two approximately 1 1/2"x4 3/4" exposures on a single sheet of film (it ends up being a little less than a 3:1 ratio). On the other, I put a 6x12 window in the center of a dark slide for a 2:1 ratio. This one's a little flimsy and can be pretty tricky to use. I plan to eventually make one a little smaller to make it sturdier.

I used to have small taped marks on my ground glass that corresponded to the image area for each slide. I broke my GG though and haven't had time to redo the marks. What I do now is insert the modified dark slide into the camera back to allow me to compose, then remove it to focus. I then insert the film holder, pull the dark slide, insert the modified slide, etc.. I'll probably re-mark my ground glass eventually because that was a much less fiddly way to deal with my occasional panoramas.

-- Tim Klein (, April 14, 2001.

Ebay recently had an auction for a 6x17 adapter back that looked like an interesting accessory. I believe this was for 5X7 cameras. Here is the link of that closed auction: ViewItem&item=1222986999&r=0&t=0&showTutorial=0&ed=985760813&indexURL= 0&rd=1

-- John Bailey (, April 14, 2001.

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