Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland

Open wide...

Not what it sounds like - I've been playing with some seriously silly photographic kit recently, stuff that starts with the idea of wide angle and takes it up to 11 or more.

The first is a Cinemascope projector conversion lens mounted as a wide angle converter on an SLR. This works, except that you need a slightly long lens to start with - I ended up using a 58mm Russian lens, anything shorter had cropped corners in the final image, and something even longer might have been better. Unfortunately it's a bit of a pig to work with - you really need a tripod, the converter weighs more than a kilo, and with the camera, the lens, etc. you end up carrying about 5kg of kit. It's also very slow because for each shot you need to adjust the camera lens and the converter, bracket speed (because the lens has no connection to the camera's metering system), you have to keep everything dead level or there's distortion, etc. etc. I took 9 photos in the time it usually takes me for 50 or more when I'm testing something more conventional. Here's one:

The Serpentine lake, 58mm Helios lens with cinemascope adapter

The rest of this batch are here:

The other one is fairly low-tech; a Lomography Spinner 360º 35mm camera, which takes incredibly wide negatives on 35mm film - the whole camera whizzes round with the film pulled past the lens as it goes. You get 8-9 photos on a 36-exposure roll, and if you aren't doing your own processing it soon gets seriously expensive. And Snappy Snaps etc. really don't want to have anything to do with scanning or printing them! Ideally you're supposed to include the sprockets in pictures since they're exposed, but in practice (after messing around with my flatbed scanner and getting nowhere, it's just way too low resolution) I ended up having to convert the images in my crappy slide scanner, which really didn't want to know about anything larger than a 35mm frame, then assemble the images using stitching software. It's a bit of a pain, especially if you haven't worked with film in umpteen years and are a bit cack-handed... Some interesting results, but there was a reason I switched to digital and this really hasn't changed my mind! This is actually more or less the same scene as the first, if you look carefully.

Extra-wide Photo from Lomography Spinner 360º

The rest of the spinner photos are here:

I'm not going to be keeping this kit but it was fun to play with.

Also posted at, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened