I recently received an e-mail from FPP listener Scott Webster regarding his and fellow FPPer DonkerDave’s Noblex Panorama photography. I’m happy to share this note with you!
Just finished listening to you last podcast, great show again. Heard you talking to Donker Dan about the Noblex camera. I’m a panoramic photographer and have been into it for probably 10 years.
The Noblex is a panoramic camera made in Germany. Sadly, manufacturing stopped in 2010. They’re are a swing lens camera, meaning the lens rotates and sweeps an image onto a curved film plane. The perspective the swing-lens panoramic camera takes verses with a flat back or stitching is that it’s as close to the view of the human eye.
The lens on a Noblex is equal to about a 28mm lens on a 35mm camera. Both 35mm and120 Noblex cameras were made. I own a Noblex 135U and a 6/150S. The 135U has a full range of shutter speeds and adjustable aperture, a multiple exposure feature that can be used for exposure times longer than 1 second. It also has a lens shift function. This is used like a PC lens – where you keep the camera lens and shift the lens up so you can capture more image without tilting the camera and keeping the perspective correct. The 35mm Noblex takes 19 images on a 36 exposure roll of film. The negative size is 24 x 66mm so you are very close to the size of 120 film and with a file grain film you get high image quality. I bought the 135u new and have had it since 2003. I bought a used Noblex 6/150S at KEH.com.
As Donker Dave said during the Film Photography Podcast #38, this camera takes 6 images on a roll of 120 film and is very close to large format size. It has fewer shutter speeds but an adjustable aperture. Dave’s camera was a 6/150F that I believe has three focusing ranges; mine – the 6/150s has a shift lens like the 135u. The 6/150 also has a multiple exposure more for longer exposures. Both are hand-held and tripod mountable.
Both cameras run off of batteries, 135U uses AAA and the 6/150 used AA. These cameras are not inexpensive, even on the used market. The 35mm camera is probably in the $800.00 range and the 120 version is a bit over $1000.00. Lomography has the Horizon panoramic Russian panoramic camera. These are mechanical and are pretty good too! A less expensive alternative to the Noblex if someone is interested in getting into panoramic photography
I have some of my panoramic images posted on Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/jscottweb/
Great shows keep up the great job promoting film photography!
Minnetonka, Minnesota USA
All images © Scott Webster. All Rights Reserved.