Some of my best pictures are in panoramic format. It speaks to me at many levels. All of my panoramic are shot using a Fuji TX-2, which is the same as a Hasselblad XPan-2. It is not much larger than a 35mm camera (and smaller than most dSLRs) and uses almost 2 frames of the 35mm for each panoramic frame. At 24x65mm, it has a ratio of 2.7x on the long side.
However, as this point of my photographic journey, I am considering moving to a large format panoramic. How large is large? How about 6×17 (cm) or 2.4×6.7 (in)? The ratio is nearly identical to the XPan but the negative is much bigger, about 6.5X as large in area size. This means a much better tonal quality and sharpness.
Prior to 2005, the only choices of 6×17 cameras are $5000-$10000 boxes from Germany and Japan. Fortunately, the market opens up when a few Chinese manufacturers entered the market. The basic camera is really just a simple box, but their latest versions include features that the highly acclaimed $5000 Fuji GX617 does not have, for $1000-$1200. Since it uses any old large format lens, the choice is plenty and the cost is much more sane than 35mm lens.
I have sold some cameras and lens recently to cover some payments and I have reserved a small amount for the fund to purchase a Gaoersi 6×17 camera, but I have some ways to go. So here’s the deal: if you purchase a fine art print from http://www.rfman.com (I just printed this one http://www.rfman.com/photos/460609708_z9qwt-M-2.jpg out on 16×16 rice paper, it looks gorgeous), the money goes to a 61×7 camera fund. If you want to donate a few dollars, click on the paypal button below. If you ever want to purchase a print later, I will deduct the donation.
Thank you. (The Paypal page says “ImageCraft Creations Inc.,” that’s me 🙂 )