Horizont: a true panoramic camera

I have an old Russian panoramic camera that my grandfather gave me called the Horizont. It takes real panoramic pictures, not the cropped variety that drops the little shades in front of the top and bottom edges of the film. It actually scans through something like 120 degrees. The lens rotates on an axis, and the film is wound around the backside of the rotating lens assembly where there is a variable size opening which acts as a shutter. The pictures produced on the film are almost twice as wide as a normal exposure.

I’ve taken quite a few pictures with this camera, but it has a pesky light leak and finding someone that can actually develop and print this film makes shooting with this camera a little tough. Plus it’s heavy. I’ve since moved on to digital stitching software and a special tripod mount for my camera that gives me alot more flexibility. Here are a few of my Horizont adventures though.




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Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 Cameras

8 Comments to Horizont: a true panoramic camera

  • Jack Grimes says:

    Sometime when we are together we’ll have to fix that light leak. We should be able to figure it out mathematically based on where the lens would be to strike the film on the right as it does.

  • First, let me commend your pellucidity on this subject. I am not an expert on this matter, but after reading your article, my understanding has developed substantially. Please tolerate me to catch your rss feed to remain in touch with any upcoming updates. Pleasant job and will offer it on to friends and my blog readers.

  • Life2Death says:

    I had assumed your problem would be getting film for this camera, not developing it as there are home kits for doing it along with mail-based developers still around. My dad stuck to film until he saw what my D50 could do and got himself a D80 for xmas.

    In school we had to develop our own film (B/W is easy, strait forward developing.)

    Its getting the prints thats the nightmare. But if you have the negatives and a good scanner you can skip the whole mess of projecting the negative to a positive, developing that…

  • imsolidstate says:

    Thanks for the comment. The digital SLRs are awesome. I can’t really afford the camera I would want though so I stick with film for the time being.
    I tried the scanner route. I couldn’t find a scanner that didn’t have the little plastic windows that only accepted standard format frames. I could place the negative directly on the glass, but it would still try and chop it up in software. My grandpa successfully scanned some for me, but like I said the stitching software is just easier and makes for a bigger print anyway.
    The Horizont uses standard film cases, so finding film isn’t a problem. Yet.

  • Life2Death says:

    I cant even remember what I used to scan it. I know the office document scanner doesnt try to chop things up, in fact this is one of the reasons it sucks for most negatives.

    I assume you use autostitch? I love that program. Most of the time it works better than anything I’ve tried.

  • imsolidstate says:

    I use Arcsoft Panorama Maker. It came with my Nikon digital camera. It usually gets the stitches right without any intervention. There’s a few of them in my photography section.

  • Life2Death says:

    Strange, my Nikon D50 didnt come with it, or maybe its on that cd that i threw away…

    autostitch is pretty cool though. On another note, I cant find your email anywhere on your site!

    You inspired me to build a CNC mill myself…and I want to improve on your plant water meter with a solar light mod!

  • imsolidstate says:

    My email is on the About Me page. Thanks!

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