Tag Archives: Noblex

The beautiful island Rügen

I’m late with the images of my summer vacation. The quiet days during the holidays finally gave me opportunity to edit the images taken in August. I traveled with the new addition to my collection, the Noblex 150U Pro and the Hasselblad 500C/M. The b&w film used is solely Rollei Retro 400s developed either in Spur Speed Major or SLD. The “normal” looking color photos are shot with Kodak Ektar. While the two “different” looking images are shot with expired Velvia 100 and Rollei CR 200.

I also tried my luck with the new layflat paper offered by blurb. It is awfully expensive but I got one using the year end discount. Check it out here.

The Hasselblad is a quite familiar animal and pretty much behaved as foreseen. The square format is sometimes hard to fill with a good story. However playing with the depth of field is the best mean to deepen the image into the third dimension. I also never crop or rotate square frames. What’s on the film is also seen here. The Noblex is a different animal. Normally, everything is in focus from a minimum distance depending on the chosen aperture up to infinity. I also feel that the panoramic format is more forgiving than the square format. The control of the extreme edges is difficult since the finder doesn’t cover them. That’s the reason some images are minimally cropped. The second problem are the distortions when the camera isn’t leveled correctly. The lever inside the viewfinder only indicates horizontally while the vertical lever is outside. I guess the camera was supposed to be used mostly on a tripod. Unless, of course, the distortion is used to add drama to an image. In this case a bigger effect is even desired.

Ostseebad Binz – the beach

Prora – KdF

Ostseebad Sellin – the sea bridge

Putbus

Fuji Velvia 100

Stubbenkammer

Sassnitz

The village Vitt

Kap Arkona

Rollei CR 200

Schaprode

Altkirchen

Between Sassnitz und Lohme

Klein Zicker


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The weirdest camera – the Noblex 150u Pro

I write here before about my endeavors with the old horizon panorama camera. The odyssey continued since the next role I shot had light leaks again. However, I didn’t want to miss that film format. I started looking for all kinds of panorama cameras on eBay. There were some new horizons on the market but I hesitated because there i already one in the household. The Noblex 135 for a decent price are mostly “sport” versions without a level inside the viewfinder. One day I saw a Noblex 150, the medium format version for a decent price. I wrote the guy that he will never sell for this price but I’m willing to go for €100 less. He agreed, started a new buy-it-now and I got the camera. 

The camera arrived in a nice aluminum case it seemed to work as well, but of course I’m not that lucky. Exposing the first real film, I discovered that the camera doesn’t always fire or when it does it’s way to slow. The price I paid was too high to just take the loss. Therefore my first reaction was to return it. Thinking about, I still had such an attractive price that it might be ok to get it fixed. So, I postponed this decision after getting the opinion of my favorite if not the only camera repair guy I know. He told me that it’s most likely the rubber belts driving the movement of the lens that a dry and loose after so many years. The €100 he charged to fix it made the decision easy. 

I ran the first roll through the camera on the same day. I still struggled a bit with loading the film and keeping the 1.8kg heavy thing straight. The horizontal level is inside the viewfinder while the vertical tilt can be seen only outside. The camera was originally developed for landscape photography assuming the camera is mounted on a tripod. However, I think it’s much more fun to use it in urban or suburban places using to camera tilt as means of expression especially in narrow places.

I was wonderung what exposure speeds are possible handheld. The rotation of the lens seems even at 1/250 awfully slow. Online I’ve found the information that it’s safe to hold 1/250 or 1/125 of a second and I didn’t have any problems with it. I guess it’s always good to choose a fast film to be able to do that. The images are extremely sharp. There is just a little bit of distortion in the extreme corners of the image. The model I have has a built in 5mm lens shift upwards. That helps with the composition without tilting the camera. Another cool feature is the three step zone focus. One meter, five and infinity can be chosen. I haven’t tried it yet but I always find it more interesting to have a limited depth of field.

There are two things that I didn’t get used to yet: the fingers need to stay away from the orbit of the lens. Otherwise, you have them on the negative. Also the camera back opens fairly easily. You will loose at least two of the 6 frames of a film.

It’s truly a cool camera. A bit heavy for sure but the five times twelve centimeter negative covering an angle of one hundred and fourth six degree is worth hauling that thing around. Stay tuned. There will be more soon.Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail