Panoramic Cameras

A true panoramic camera records an image over more than one film frame, giving an image with elongated proportions. There are many specialist cameras to choose from with this unusual, but very useful, format. Below are ones you can consider. These cameras come in two types:

click on the pictures to link to the manufacturers' sites


sorted by price
These cameras feature a rotating lens. Cocking the Horizon's shutter charges its clockwork mechanics, and touching the shutter release sets the lens into motion. As the lens swings from side to side, a narrow vertical slit between the lens and film rotates along with it - thereby progressively exposing the film as the lens moves. The film plane is curved, thereby keeping the film tight and maintaining a uniform distance from the lens.

Lomographic Horizon Kompakt Rotating Lens 35mm Panorama Camera

At the heart of this system is a 28mm lens that features multicoated glass lens elements, which produce crispy, full-contrast images. Every shot that you take has f/8 automatically dialed in. For ease of use, the Kompakt offers just two settings: The day setting shoots at 1/60 second, and works in full sunlight to partial shade. The night setting gives you 1/2 second, enough to make a softly lit street scene absolutely glow with color and shine.
Price : $ 289.95

Lomographic Horizon Perfekt Rotating Lens 35mm Panorama Camera

The Horizon's double-wide angle of view commands nearly two full 35mm frames. Everything around you is brought into the frame and rendered in absolutely stunning color and clarity.Improvements that the Perfekt version has over the Kompakt version are: variable aperture settings, variable shutter speed settings, tripod and cable release sockets, a built-in bubble level in the viewfinder, and a more ergonomic grip. This camera is similar to S3 U-500 (see below) but the difference is only in appearance.
Price : $ 449.95

Widelux F8 35mm
Smaller 35mm version of its big brother, offering a slightly shallower 140° angle-of-view, but also a much lower price tag. The camera works on the same rotating lens principle using a 26mm lens to create the 24x59mm exposures per film.
Price : $ 1,649.95 (recently reissued)

Noblex 135
This camera is a baby version of the 06/150 family, with a similarly solid construction and easy handling, but these take 35mm film and give 19 24x66 mm images. Three models are available, each offering slightly less coverage with a 136° angle-of-view delivered by the 29mm f/4.5 lens. The 1/60 -1/500sec shutter speed range of the 135N is extended to 1/30sec on the 135S and right down to one second on the 135U. Both the 135S and 135U have 4° of shift control, and all three are powered by 4xAAA batteries.
Price : $ 1,949.00

Horizon S3 Pro

If you're a travel photographer after a lightweight companion you could consider this compact 35mm Russian option. It's a scanning type offering a 24x58mm negative and a 120° angle-of-view from the fixed focus 28mm lens. Shutter speeds range from 1 sec to 1/250sec and the aperture control is adjustable from f/2.8-f/16 on a lever above the lens. It's the lowest priced panoramic camera on the market, but the 35mm format is arguably more suitable for enthusiast use rather than professional applications. There was also a medium format model, called the 205 that produced a 55 x 110 mm negative.
Price : $ 2,799.00 used (35mm model 202 and 6cm 205 now discontinued)
          seen on E-Bay for $399.00

Widelux 1500 6 x 12 cm
An impressive 150° angle-of-view is created by the 50mm lens mounted in this scanning camera. This roll-film model has just three speeds - 1/8sec, 1/60sec and 1/250sec, but apertures range from f/2.8 to f/22 to ensure versatility in a range of lighting conditions. The neg size is 6x12cm so you get six exposures per roll of 120 film.
Price : $ 3,499.95 (recently reissued)

Noblex Pro 150 UX
There are three variations of this 120 medium-format camera available. All have the basic Pro 06/150 specification, which includes a rotating 50mm f/4.5 Tessar lens that travels through a complete 360° to ensure a consistent speed, and a 146° angle-of-view. They all give six 50x120mm images on a roll of 120 film and have a shutter speed range from 1/30sec to 1/250sec. The difference between the standard Pro 06/150E and the Pro 06/150FE is that the latter has three focusing distances. The Pro 150UX adds a 3° shift and an extended shutter speed range.
Price : $ 3,899.95

Noblex Pro 175 U
You only get four shots on a 120 roll of film, but this model delivers a large 6x17mm image and offers focus control and shift for architecture. There's also the extended shutter speed range that appears on the smaller 135 and 150 versions. Needless to say, this model is for the serious panoramic photographer.
Price : $ 5,249.95


sorted by price
These cameras use very wide angles lenses coupled with very wide film formats to produce their panoramic photographs. They range in format from 35mm to 6 x 12 and 6 x 17 cm using lenses as wide as 30mm.

Hasselblad Xpan 35mm
It seems like an unusual move for the medium-format masters Hasselblad to produce this 35mm format camera. The XPan is a dual-format model that offers conventional 24x36mm images but also provides a 24x65mm panoramic format that can be switched mid-roll.
The camera has interchangeable lenses and its 30mm, 45mm and 90mm lenses have medium-format characteristics providing large image circles to ensure even illumination across the full panoramic format.
A bright-frame viewfinder and coupled rangefinder are used to compose and focus images and an optical finder is supplied with the 30mm f/5.6 Aspherical.
This camera has all the features of a typical 35mm model including auto film advance at up to three frames per second, DX coding, TTL exposure meter, with centre-weighted readings, an aperture-priority mode and an LCD display that shows exposure info. [Fujifilm also sells this camera in Japan as a TX-1.]
Price : $ 1,699.00

Fuji GX617
One of the most desirable panoramic cameras with sophisticated looks and a great feel - just what you'd expected from a Japanese design. The GX617 delivers four 6x17cm shots on 120 film or eight on 220, and has a choice of three interchangeable lenses. The 90mm f/5.6 offers a generous 89° angle-of-view for the interior photographer and creative landscapes, the 105mm f/8 with its 80° coverage is perfect for general landscape shoots and the 180mm f/6.7 offers a more sedate 52° view. Telephoto photographers will prefer the more powerful 300mm f/8 telephoto. Each lens has an integral shutter with speeds from 1-1/500sec, offering flash sync at all speeds and a B-setting.
Price : $ 2,499.00 used (now discontinued)

Linhof Technorama 612 PCII
Delivering a 6x12cm image, it's not quite the sweeping panoramic of the 617S, but it is fine for many applications and, with the 2:1 aspect ratio, you get a third more shots per film. This model does have interchangeable lenses with three to choose from including a 58mm f/5.6, 65mm f/5.6 and 135mm f/5.6. These produce respective angle-of-views of 97°, 91° and 44°, making the camera suitable for architectural, industrial and landscape work, while being compact enough for the travel photographer. It has full mechanical construction for trouble free shooting.
Price : $ 2,864.50 body only

Widepan WP617

The Widepan WP617-A fills the gap the Art Panorama left perfectly; a very well made and finished camera body with no useless features. And in case you hadn't already noticed, it looks very similar to the wonderful (but not cheap) Linhof 617. It is a fixed lens model, equipped with a dedicated 90mm Super Angulon lens, and offers indexed film transport with both 120 (4 exp) and 220 (8 exp) film. It is supplied with a matching viewfinder with internal spirit levels, and comes with an alloy storage case. An optional focusing screen is available, as is the Schneider Centre Filter which is necessary to correct for illumination fall off at the edges of the field.
Price : $ 3,435.95

Horseman SW612
Horseman has designed a new 6x12 system, starting with a choice of five interchangeable Rodenstock super-wide lenses ranging from the Apo-Grandagon 45mm f/4.5 to the Grandagon-N 90mm f/6.8. The camera body itself is compact and lightweight, designed with rubber grips, two camera strap lugs and a built-in spirit level. An optional lens guard mounts under the camera, while the finder with interchangeable masks mounts on the top-side accessory shoe. A specially designed Horseman rollfilm holder mates perfectly to the back of the camera, offering a choice of three interchangeable film holders (6x7, 6x9, 6x12cm) and an optional Groundglass Back for precise composition. Both the focusing scales and the spirit level are visible through the viewfinder.
Price : $ 3,599.95 w/ 45mm lens

Silvestri H

The Italian Silvestri H 6x9 Interchangeable Lens Medium Format Camera accepts various backs and lenses. To make a panorama camera see the parts list and prices below. Not that expensive for an extremely versatile camera.

Price : $ 1,859.95 body only
Silvestri 120 6x12 cm Roll Film Back, Price: $ 1,039.95
Silvestri 47mm f/5.6 Super-Angulon Price: $ 1,614.95
     grand total = $ 4,514.85

Silvestri also makes a 4 x 5" S4 camera that can be fitted with this same 6 x 12 cm "reduction" back. It offers good control of perspective, using its 40mm shift facility. A 47mm Super Angulon lens will produce a 105° view. See the Silvestri site for other models with various add-on backs.

Linhof Technorama 617s III
Linhof is the German competitor to the Fujiand offers this newer 617SIII with interchangeable lenses including a 72mm f/5.6, 90mm f/5.6 and a 180mm f/5.6. The previous version had only a fixed 90mm f/5.6 Super Angulon lens. The Technorama excels in having a rugged die-cast body and, unlike the Fuji, a non-battery dependent shutter to cope with rough pro treatment.
Price : $ 7,249.95 w/ 72mm lens

ART Panorama
If you're after an enormous negative consider the Art Panorama 240 - it offers the largest frame of all with an amazing 6x24cm image. Great until you realise you only get three shots per film! The less adventurous will happily settle with the more modest Panorama 170 model. This one delivers a 6x17cm image covering a 90° angle-of-view from the 90mm lens.

Adapted View Camera
An inexpensive alternative for doing 6x17 is to combine an old Crown Graphic 4x5 camera with a 6x17 Da Yi back and any good lens in the 90-150mm range. Any lens that covers 4x5" will cover 6x17 cm in this configuration. You can also purchase a 6x17 finder to work with this camera. As an added bonus you also get a 4x5 camera!
Price : go hunting on E-Bay


see also : Panorama Gallery
              Robert White Panoramic Equipment
              Panographica (links)
              International Association of Panoramic Photographers

most new prices are from B&H Photo or Adorama Camera in New York