I have tried a few different connotations of panoramic cameras lately, a fake X-pan using a digital camera, a very cheap dedicated point and shoot version, a 127 camera with 35mm film inside. None of those versions really rocked my boat, so I tried loading 35mm film in a Rolleicord. I wish I had read any of these (1, 2, 3) posts beforehand as I did indeed waste a lot of film.
I simply attached the film to the take up spool and put adapters on the film cassette, and in the camera it went. I did put a paper mask in the viewfinder to remind myself of the orientation, but I didn’t put a mask inside the camera.
I chose this camera as it had a frame counter and stopper. This meant no guessing how much to advance the film as it would stop automatically when needed. I took the camera to the Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park on a misty morning. There was hardly anyone there, which is good during this time. There were a couple of instances where I wanted to take horizontal photos, but on this camera it was really quite awkward. This was not a great choice of camera for this experiment. A cool one, but not an easy one. Also, it was misty, rainy, and cloudy. This camera had a minimum aperture of f3.5 which didn’t help the situation.
Here are my favourite shots of the nine I managed to get from the expired roll, also not a great choice, but I didn’t want to use up my fresh film.
They are ok, but the effort it took to take them far outweighed the results in my eyes.
How was using the much cheaper Halina in comparison?
Well, for one this camera has a panoramic mask inside that can be removed. That means this camera can be used as a regular point and shoot, but why would you do that where there are much better alternatives out there. But it was light and easy to use in landscape or portrait mode. It is a much simpler camera with a fixed f/11 lens and a fix shutter speed of 1/125th. I took this camera out on a much brighter day loaded with Fomapan 100. I later push processed it to 400. Not a really fair comparison, but hey ho.
I really like them. If you are looking for a cheap panoramic camera, this isn’t a terrible choice. It was so much easier to use than the Rolleicord. Of course, in any other situation the Rollei is by far the better camera.
Here is another review of the Halina. I think I liked it a bit more than them 🙂