Episode 52: Panorama City

Venturing back into the early days of the Camerosity Podcast, the topic of panoramic cameras came up often on the show, so often that we jokingly referred to ourselves as the widest film photography podcast out there.  As we often do, the gang got distracted in later episodes by various other formats, brands, and special guests, but we thought it was time to revisit our love of all things panoramic and take a ride to Panorama City.  No, not that Panorama City in southern California, but the land of Hasselblad XPans, Fuji G617s, Horizonts, and Noblexes.

Joining Anthony, Paul, Theo, and Mike on our wide journey was a motley crew of panoramic enthusiasts, fans, and just passers by.  Returning guests, all the way from Cape Town, South Africa, Dean Blumberg, Ray Nason, Skip Williams, Richard Driver, Andrew Smith, and Mark Faulkner.  Also, first time callers Patrick Rapps, Rudi Berden, and Paul’s ex-Fuji rep, Bob Grzesiak were in attendance.

Not content with only talking to people who like to use existing panoramic cameras, also joining us from Silvergrain Classics is Marwan El Mozayen who most people in the film community know as helping to bring back a new version of the Widelux F8 swing lens panoramic camera.  With the support of Hollywood A-lister and renowned Widelux fan, Jeff Bridges and his wife Susan, Marwan shares the back story of how he became involved in resurrecting this panoramic classic.  Marwan isn’t just some PR guy helping to spread word about his company’s project however, as he has extensive knowledge of other panoramic cameras like the Noblex, Soviet Horizonts and many others.

We started the show off with what we thought would be a pretty straightforward question, but the topic of what exactly defines an image or camera as panoramic elicited a pretty interesting discussion, relating panoramic still photography to that of cinematography and that angle of view should be considered in addition to physical size.

Differences between wide angle panoramic cameras like the Hasselblad XPan and swing lens cameras like the Panoram-Kodak were discussed, along with cropped panoramic, 3D printed masks, how to use a perspective control lens to shoot panoramic digitals, and even some panoramic developing and scanning hacks that make like easier for the hobbyist.  With Marwan on the show bringing back the Widelux, we did a lighting round asking every participant what other cameras you would like to see someone make an attempt at bringing back (who wants to guess what Theo’s was?).

Silvergrain Classics Discount Code: During the show, Marwan El Mozayen mentioned that listeners of this show get a discount when ordering a copy of issue #19 of their magazine, which features a ton of information about the upcoming re-release of the Widelux.  To receive this discount, use code: WLX10 when ordering.

Like all other episodes of the Camerosity Podcast, we were excited to go down the panoramic rabbit hole but had no idea of how deep it would be.  We ventured into some discussions that I could have never imagined, sharing the love and passion for this subset of photography with a fascinating and very experienced panel of callers.

As always, the topics we discuss on the Camerosity Podcast are influenced by you!  We would love to hear from more listeners, especially those who are new to shooting film or collecting cameras.  Please don’t feel like you have to be an expert on a specific type of camera, or have the level of knowledge on par with other people on the show.  We LOVE people who are new to shooting and are interested in having an episode dedicated to people new to the hobby, so please don’t consider your knowledge level to be a prerequisite for joining!

The guys and I rarely know where each episode is going to go until it happens, so if you’d like to join us on a future episode, be sure to look out for our show announcements on our Camerosity Podcast Facebook page, and right here on mikeeckman.com.  We usually record every other Monday and announcements, along with the Zoom link are typically shared 2-3 days in advance.

Our next episode of the Camerosity Podcast will be all about “unobtanium cameras”, those cameras you never thought you’d get a chance to see, let alone use.  Maybe it’s a rare one of a kind prototype, or a common, but REALLY expensive camera that is beyond your budget.  If you can’t find or afford it, come on the show and join us for Episode 53, which will be recorded on Monday, July 24th!

This next episode will be our Season 2 finale before the gang goes on vacation.  As we did last year, we’re taking the entire month of August off to relax, soak in some sun, and maybe even catch up on shooting all of the cool cameras we’ve all picked up in the past year.  We will return in September!

This Week’s Episode

  • What Do We Mean When We Say “Panoramic”? / Widescreen in Cinematography
  • Banquet Cameras in the 1900s / Banquet vs Kodak Cirkut Cameras
  • Aspect Ratio as a Starting Point for Panorama / Aspect Ratio vs Field of View as a Way of Defining Panorama
  • Is the Fuji G617 Panoramic or Wide View?
  • Can a Cropped Image be Panoramic? / Cropping Before and After Taking the Image / The Hasselblad XPan and the Noblex 135 S
  • What Makes the Widelux Special? / The Mechanics and Simplicity of a Swing Lens Camera
  • The Original Kodak Panoram / Kodak 3A Using 122 and 616 film in Old Folders for Wider Aspect Ratios
  • Zeiss Super Ikonta 616 and Zeiss Cocarette / 3A Graflex
  • Camera Hack and 3D Printed Adapters for Older Film Types
  • Silvergrain Classics and the Project to Resurrect the Widelux F8
  • The KMZ Horizont Was the First “Modern” Swing Lens Camera
  • The Shift from Medium Format to 35mm Swing Lens Cameras Under the Widelux Brand
  • Jeff and Susan Bridges and their Love of the Widelux
  • How to Visualize Shooting with a Widelux / Looking to Cinematography Instead of Still Photography for Panoramic Compositional Ideas
  • Depth of Field in Panorama / Using Contact Lenses to Modify Swing Lens Properties
  • The Best and Worst About the Noblex / Every Released Noblex was Really a “Mostly” Working Prototype
  • The Mechanics of Reproducing the Widelux / Swing Lens Camera Repair
  • Horizont 202 The Affordable Swing Lens Alternative
  • Pulling Back the Curtain on the Hasselblad XPan’s Reliability Issues
  • Skip’s Mamiya Pro S 220 Back with a Mercury 3D Printed Film Gate Adapter
  • Dean’s Bronica ETRS Kludge / Skip’s Cameradactyl Homunculus 69
  • Turning to 3D Printing for Wide Aspect Ratio Adapters
  • The Virtues of the Fuji G617 / The G617 goes to the North Pole
  • Paul’s Sony A7 RII with a Nikkor Perspective Control Lens for Digital Panoramas
  • Rudi’s Zone Image Pinhole 617 / Patrick’s Sinhao Wide Aspect Hack
  • Back to Silvergrain Classic and Details on the Release of the New Widelux
  • Lightning round: Pick One Camera you Want to see Brought Back!
  • Theo’s Panora Wide Pic / Minolta P’s and Masked 35mm Point and Shoots / Viscawide 16
  • Lightroom and Photoshop for Panoramic Merging / Flatbed Panoramic Scanning Hacks
  • Panoramic Chromes and AGX Imaging for Pro Level E6 Developing and Scanning


If you would like to offer feedback or contact us with questions or ideas for future episodes, please contact us in the Comments Section below, our Camerosity Facebook Group or Instagram page, or email us at [email protected].

The Official Camerosity Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/camerositypodcast

Camerosity Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/camerosity_podcast/

Silvergrain Classics Widelux Revivial – https://silvergrainclassics.com/en/2023/07/the-widelux-revival-project/

Andrew Smith – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClXrAlbnU3gvdRrJ5gAR4mw

Mark Faulkner – https://thegashaus.com/

Theo Panagopoulos – https://www.photothinking.com/

Paul Rybolt – https://www.ebay.com/usr/paulkris and https://www.etsy.com/shop/Camerasandpictures

Anthony Rue – https://www.instagram.com/kino_pravda/ and https://www.facebook.com/VoltaGNV/

Camerosity can also be heard on the following services:

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@camerositypodcast

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One Comment

  1. This panorama episode sounds wonderful as I have shot a lot with my G617, Horizon 202 and even a few rolls with my FT-2. I will listen when I start developing film this week.
    I would like to add my most fun panorama to the comments, my Lomo Sprocket Rocket. Yes, it is the most fun of all. Another one not mentioned in the notes is the Holga 120Pan but is is not so exciting to shoot.

    Thanks for all the work all of you put into these great episodes.

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