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Horizon Perfekt versus Horizon Kompakt

A 120 degree of panoramic battle! So who's you're bet?

Ever since I saw a Horizon shot on lomography.com I wanted to have one of those cameras. “Perfekt” oh what a name and it was an aim of mine that was always on top of my wishlist, but for me as a poor student hardly to afford. So I got a Horizon Kompakt first a while ago and since January 2010 I have a Horizon Perfekt, too.

The Kompakt is as the name suggests, not in size though but it is indeed quite smaller than Perfekt. With it, you have two different settings: Day and night. The day mode is 1/60 seconds and the night mode is ½ seconds with a fixed aperture of f.8. That is it. The advantage of the Kompakt is that it allows you to make double exposures directly one over the other. The Horizon Perfekt on the other hand doe not have this double exposure function (you can make very good doubles though by reloading the film the second time, check out my lomohome to find samples). Therefore it has many, many possibilities! The aperture range is from f.2,8 to f.16 (f.4, f.5,6 f.8, f.11) and the speed is 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/8, ¼ and ½ seconds. And you can combine all times with all apertures what allows you to shoot under almost every light condition. One thing I thought in the beginning was that the slower modes are wrong, that they did not work with the Perfekt. But opening the back and looking inside while taking a shot helped me. As the lens is swinging you have a small opening strip that is moving directly behind the lens to expose parts o the film. And that one changes the size due to the speed you choose. So before sending your camera back to LSI saying it is broken have a look there.

Both cameras use 35mm film and produce a negative that is 52mm long (almost twice as long as a normal negative) and use a swinging lens. That is why the film lays a bit curved inside the camera and the lens swings/rotates in a curve. That means also that you have a maximum of 14 shots on a 36 exposure film (normally more 22 than 24!!!) They both are 100% mechanical, so they do NOT need batteries. Another advantage of the Perfekt is the sound. The Kompakt is loud (people are sometimes shocked hearing that sound) and Perfekt is quiet (it is better if you want to shoot from the hip without people knowing you took a picture). Both cameras have Minitar lenses like our beloved LC-A. So where is the “versus”, where is the battle?

Here it comes.

I took both cameras out with me, used the same films and shot under the same light conditions to make the shots comparable. I must say that I had no light meter with me, so it was more or less guessing how the lighting conditions are (for Horizon Perfekt as the Kompakt only has two settings). And I only had developed one film of the Perfekt before, so I am quite new shooting with her. The first film I used was Lomography Slidefilm (200 ISO). The galleries always start with the Kompakt shot, second is Perfekt.

12 no Kompakt (I simply forgot to advance) / Perfekt: f.16 1/8 sec

The second film I used was a Hema Color Negative film (400 ISO) which I had not tried before. You can really see it in the results. Another “problem” for me is seeing how sensitive a 400 ISO film really is. I am used to 100 ISO, so I underestimated the power of 400 ISO very often. Sorry for that guys.

So now it is your turn. Get a Horizon camera and shoot, shoot, shooooooooot!

written by mephisto19


  1. azurblue


    You lucky guy, you got 2 both !
    I'm spending piggies to get a perfekt ! Smart revue, as always, Herr Stefan !

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  2. lawypop


    LOL belly button! haha! me want a perfekt too!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  3. jaalvarez


    I can read this article better than de german one ;))
    I´m going to buy the Perfekt, ... when I reach the piggies ...
    Great article, great shots, great explanations and, of course, from a GREAT Lomographer !!!
    Thanks a lot !!!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  4. floriansimon


    your article is very explaining and helping but still, it makes me want to buy both of them :D

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  5. emilios


    Very informative. Well done! Great pics great comparison.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  6. mochilis


    It's a hard and really good work!! Love this review and adds a point for Horizons in my "buying LC-A or Horizon??" list.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  7. warning


    I ♥ my Kompakt. Thanks Stephan, Well done.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  8. vicuna


    Great review I already read on the german site :))

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  9. saidseni


    I got the same dilemma and went for a Kompakt, I'm still getting used to it...

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  10. fivedayforecast


    Really inventive review! Got any advice on the Horizon 202?

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  11. venusattack


    Great comparison! Makes me love my Kompakt even more! Loud sounds and all! :o)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  12. fayeusokoi


    struggling among kompakt & perfekt

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  13. simonjamesonweston


    really great article - and after reading it the perfekt looks soooo much better than the Kompakt - and then I remembered some pictures from people like warning that use a Kompakt and are even better than the perfekt ones above.....
    Having said that I do want a perfekt as it has much better shutter choices than my 1970's KMZ Horizont that has three speeds only ;)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  14. ahleng90


    i really want a horizon :S

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  15. falsedigital


    Not to be mean...but WHY would you shoot at f/16 indoors!? That makes absolutely no sense when you have no flash/flood and the perfekt has an f/2.8 option.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  16. gvelasco


    Wow! Nice tests. Unfortunately, they show that the more expensive camera is actually worth it. Gotta save more pennies.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  17. ericeast


    Great Horizon lover!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  18. Sun

    So CooL
    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  19. satomi


    Oh, finally got published! Great job, Stephan!! And LOVE the belly button:D Hahaha

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  20. cubilas


    haha that last one is great!
    what an incredible review, great job!

    I've got a Perfekt (well actually a Horizon 202) and I think it has a lot more possibilities than the Compakt, so I'ld go for that one. If you can spend the extra cash, just get the Perfekt!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  21. jeabzz


    big review, great job stephan, like always :D

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  22. susielomovitz


    I'm getting an horizon with my piggies and the article was really helpful! thanks.
    By the way, nice pics :).

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  23. ecchymoses


    such a great review with such an amazing gallery ! thanks !

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  24. rache1


    Brilliant review, thanks for taking the time to write and shoot it.

    I'v got the old Horizon 202, is it mechanically/optical the same as the perfect? Mine is quite old and jams/shreds film too often, does the Perfekt do the same... I'm trying to justify getting one and want someone to tell me that they really are ... errr, perfekt :D

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  25. bulletofmine


    This article is really good . Now i know clearly the difference between these two horizon . I've to target to have at least a horizon at the of this year . =D

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  26. dogma


    Great research!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  27. nierere


    i recently i have the kompact and i am very happy with it, i love double exposures,
    good job, thanks for sharing

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  28. umberto


    I like this post although these photos aren't the best... unfortunately I have to say because there isn't any idea and conscious composition in the most of photos... just simply show how it takes photo... well, look at my gallery www.umbertopezzetta.com and you can see many stunning photos... I was taken those by Horizon Perfect...
    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  29. kylewis


    Interesting comparison Stephan well done for taking the time!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  30. eva_eva


    oh gosh! now i see the different between these 2 horizon cameras! :) i cant wait to get myself one!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  31. reneg88


    i'm having problems picking one, and i remembered this article so i came and read it... now i'm sure i want the perfekt... if only the prices weren't so far apart... i need more piggies!!!!! but this should seriously get like review of the year or something =)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  32. myloveletter


    I have wondered for a long time the major differences, since I want one so badly! STUNNING galleries and great explanation and article. Thanks!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  33. mikahsupageek


    Ok, now I now i must start saving my piggies for a perfekt ! great review Stephan !

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  34. hanifmaidin


    great help.. thanks stephan :)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  35. superkulisap


    Great comparison stephan! Makes me want to buy the Perfekt but I'll buy the Kompakt first :)

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  36. djramsay



    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  37. af-capture


    Nice article

    over 2 years ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Türkçe, 日本語 & Português.