I had long been putting off shooting with the Horizon Perfekt because I was a bit intimidated by it, but one summer trip by the beach convinced me to take the plunge and give it a go. The results? Far from perfect, I guess, but I can't say I don't like them!
Since I first saw the picture-perfect panoramas taken by our fellow lomographers using the Horizon Perfekt, I wanted to get my hands on my own Perfekt analogue companion. However, when I held one and heard that I have to manually set the shutter speed and aperture, I felt a teeny bit intimidated. Its weight told me it’s not the usual cameras I play around with and the manual setting means I have to take it seriously if I want to get good results.
Back then, I already had my Nikon FE2 camera that lets me go full manual, although I wasn’t really confident about my manual mode shooting “skills” just yet. Also, I didn’t want to buy a Horizon Perfekt yet, but I also didn’t want to gamble with the idea of borrowing a pricey camera I might break with my klutz-y tendencies. So, the Perfekt experience was shelved, for a time later in life when I deemed myself ready for it.
Fast-forward to the last leg of (Philippine) Summer 2013, my travel buddies and I made a mad scramble to book tickets and lodgings for a beach trip. One of my companions brought along a loaned Horizon Perfekt and prodded me to try it out since I brought slide films anyway, and it would be worth it to shoot my first Perfekt panoramas in the scenic spots we would visit.
So, I gave in.
Upon opening the film compartment, I was met with my first newbie moment: How do I load the film? I didn’t get to research and prepare myself (it was rather a spur-of-the-moment decision after all), but thankfully, with the help of the travel buddy mentioned above, I was able to load it. I loaded the film incorrectly (I looped it over the guide roller instead of under it) but thankfully, the shots turned out fine (as you will see later!).
Next came the “dun-dun-dun-dun!” moment: How do I set the shutter speed and aperture? I learned that I need to set the teeny switch next to the film rewind lever: the yellow dot must be on display to set slow shutter speeds (the ones in yellow), and the white dot to set the faster shutter speeds (the ones in white). Also, I could and should only set the aperture and shutter speeds when the shutter is cocked. To select an aperture, I should cock the shutter first then, while holding cocking/film advance lever, align the smaller wheel to the line next to it; for the shutter speed, I should align the bigger wheel’s line next to my chosen value.
That was quite simple, so I went ahead and snapped here and there, careful not to get my fingers anywhere near the swivel lens.
Now, we’ve reached the part where I have to show you my results with the Kodak Elitechrome 100 that I loaded. I have to warn you, though, that they’re far from perfect since I think I overexposed most of the shots, but I quite like them anyway! If you’re wondering, will I take a chance on getting better results with this Russian beauty? You bet I will!
I purposely told a lengthy story first before showing you my first Horizon Perfekt panoramas, because I didn’t want to blind you too early into my “review!” But anyway, I’d like to know what you think!
The Horizon Perfekt shoots images the length of two standard frames. With full aperture and shutter settings, this premium panoramic camera gives you total control over your shots. Prepare to be blown away by the amazing Horizon Perfekt, available here.