Digital projectors still cannot quite project the intense colors of professional digital images. So if you want to make an impression with a slide show, try projecting medium format slides with a Hasselblad or Rollei,
or project 4x5 transparencies with a Noblex projector.

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How to Project Large Format Transparencies

Anyone reading the FLAAR Web site quickly realizes that we search the world for high quality photographic equipment. Rarely are we satisfied until we have found what is needed to do the job properly.

Once we moved past medium format into large format photography, we quickly faced the problem of how to project 4x5 transparencies. We asked lots of friends and were eventually told about the 4x5 format projector made by Kamera Werke Noble, in Dresden. Since I live not far from Dresden, and as the most famous Maya codex (an ancient native Maya book from pre-Columbian Mexico) is in a Library in Dresden, I went there one cold, snowy, wintery day.

Together with Andrea David we visited the Noble factory. As you may have noticed, FLAAR distinguishes its reviews, where geographically possible, by actual visits to the home offices to meet the people that make the products we review. Helfried Urban provided a complete tour of the factory and a demonstrated the capabilities of the 4x5 projector. Despite its format it is portable.

The Noble family and their camera company played a major role in the history of reflex camera development. Indeed their Praktika was the origin of most reflex cameras today (remember, the Leica was a view camera during most of its history). The company was gobbled up by East Germany and only liberated after the Wall came tumbling down.

I have been told that the company has gone through restructuring so the precise name and phone number(s) given to the right may need to be revised.

Their Noblex wide angle and panorama cameras are known worldwide, and sold in most good camera stores. Many of the larger mail-order camera stores sell them as well. I find one aspect of the Noblex appealing, their price. Also, it is rare that a full 360 degree panorama is needed in traditional photographic recording. 120 to 135 degrees is usually more than enough. This is precisely the range of a Noblex unit. It has mainly been the Web and its appetite for virtual reality which has fueled the demand for full 360 degree panoramas.

The Noblux 4x5 large format projector is one of the few production models of this size still available. As soon as we get one in our office we will give further reports. In the meantime we are quite content with our fancy Hasselblad projector for 2 1/4 inch medium format slides. We also have a Rollei projector for the same medium format. This format provides a slide show which is far superior to anything produced by even the best 35mm systems.

Our annual Maya Archaeology symposium features Hasselblad projection, making this BCC+FLAAR archaeology conference the only one in the world to use this quality format consistently. We have always wanted to move up to full 4x5 format projection.

The home office is:

Kamera Werke Noble GmbH, Bismarckstrasse 56, 01257 Dresden, Germany.

The telephone I have for them is seven years old, 49 (Germany) 351 (Dresden) 280 60, fax is 280 6329. I believe the employees bought the company from the Noble family a few years ago and it may have a slightly different name now (April 2000)

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