Robert D Feinman

Comparing Swing Lens to Ultra Wide Angle Images
(What makes a Panorama? - page 1)


Traditionally we use a panoramic camera to capture an ultra wide angle view. The recent release of the 12mm Voigtlander Heliar with an angle of view of 112º opens up new avenues of expression.

Here is a picture of the new Time Warner building which is under construction at Columbus Circle in NYC.

This is taken with a moderate wide angle lens (38mm) on 35mm film.

Normal wide angle view
38mm Lens

The same location photographed with a Voigtlander Bessa 35mm camera and the 12mm Heliar.

The area taken in by the previous lens is approximately within the yellow frame.

The regular wide angle looks like a telephoto by comparison!

12mm image
12mm Lens

Here is the same location taken with a Noblex swing lens camera. This has a 30mm lens and captures 127º in the long dimension.
The Noblex takes a picture that is twice as long as standard 35mm. The image here has been reduced to display the same vertical size as the other two. Another property of the swing lens cameras is that the film plane is cylindrical. Thus when the film is later straightened out, lines away from the center curve inward.
The slightly wider view (127º vs 112º) means there is also more foreground showing.
Even though the buildings bend the woman seems normal. Compare this to the previous image where she is distorted because she is near the edge of the frame.

Noblex image
Noblex Image

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© 2003 Robert D Feinman