Urban architects, architectural historians, and archaeologists can all record their subjects better if they have appropriate panorama camera equipment available.

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Suggestions for panoramic cameras: Fuji GX617, Linhof Technorama 617, Dr Gilde 617, KST Eyescan 624

panorama camera equipment, Wisner, Better Light
The snapshot here shows the large format 4x5 seamless digital panorama system in action in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri.

A 35mm camera system is a good start, and a 21 mm lens is going in the right direction, but you do not really get into the panorama stage until

you try out the 15 mm (non-distorting) lenses. Leica, Nikon, and possibly other companies make them. Some years Nikon offered a 14mm, other years a 15mm. These are not fish-eye lenses. Do not attempt to do panoramic photographs with a fish-eye.

We do not recommend Sigma, Tamron, or any cheap after market lenses unless you are only taking snapshots for the Internet. If you are doing serious photography, get a serious lens.

The snapshots here shows the large format 4x5 seamless digital panorama system in action in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. Notice how we use a Kart-a-Bag; this doubles as a cart and as a sturdy table for all the equipment. You can get this Kart-a-Bag from the company of the same name, a division of Remin.

Here is the digital panoramic results by Nicholas Hellmuth, fields in Ozark Mountains of Missouri.

Next step in 35mm would be the innovative Hasselblad Xpan.

But to get mural-sized enlargements, we recommend medium format. A few cameras such a Horseman SW612 or Linhof Technorama 612 PC II offer 6x12 cm negative size, but if you need an image that proportion migth as well go all the way to 6x17 cm with the Linhof or Fuji option. Once you are thinking about this class of equipment you get into the realm of serious panorama cameras, and at this point we recommend you join the IAPP.

At one point I had a hand-made adaption of a Linhof ThechnaKardan. I got it from Ken Hansen in the 1990's. Can't remember wheter it was one of the Chet Hanchett panos; I believe it was wider than 17 centimeters.

When people talk about serious panorama cameras (with moving lens), the Linhof Technorama 617 S III or Fuji GX6 17 (6x17 centimeters) are what most people think of first. But everyone who uses them lists the features they are missing. That is why Dr Gilde has created his engineering marvel. We recommend the next step deeper into a serious hobby, second business, home or retirement business panorama photographer would be to move up to a Gilde camera.

Dr. Gilde System-Kamera-Technologie

I have seen these remarkable Gilde 66-17 MST 3D cameras at Photokina over the years, but have never had a demo model available to try it out. Off hand it appears to have every feature that is missing on the Fuji 617 and Linhof 617. If you wish to acquire more direct information, contact gilde@gilde-kamera.de.

IAPP, International Association of Panorama Photographers

The best magazine for panorama photography is from IAPP, the International Association of Panorama Photographers. This IAPP magazine covers every kind of panorama camera equipment that was ever made. The only camera not well covered are what we have found to be the two best: the best for traditional film being that of Dr Gilde; the most sophisticated for digital panoramics being that from Better Light, a panorama camera developed by Michael Collette. IAPP members use primarily traditional film rather than digital, but they are open to learning about digital technology.



Exhibit of Panorama Photographs of Guatemala 

The Popol Vuh Museum recently opened an exhibit of digital photographs by Nicholas Hellmuth, the exhibit shows over 50 circumferential rollouts of Maya vases (described on www.maya-archaeology.org). In addition there is a 15 foot long panorama of Guatemala City, printed on cloth with a Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 5000ps large format printer.

Panorama camera system
Introduction to panorama photo
Be Here Panorama Technology
Digital panorama
IAPP (International Association of Panoramic Photographers)

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This page added July 21, 1999; links added May 1, 2000; last updated July 22, 2001, links added Mar. 2002
Most recent updated March 12, redesigned January 2004

Note: All further updates during Spring and Summer 2004 are being added to the textbook on photography by Nicholas Hellmuth. This textbook is not sold other than given to students and participants in the FLAAR courses on photography. You can get all the cameras-scanners-flaar.org web site, plus essentially the entire www.digital-photography.org website, organized as an easy course, if you sign up for the FLAAR program. The FLAAR course on photography is available worldwide, in the comfort of your home or office, via the Internet. Next course starts August-September 2004.

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