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The Horizon Perfekt: A Camera for Perfect Panoramas

For a lover of panoramic photos, the Horizon Perfekt is one of the most sought after cameras in the market. Through the revolving glass lens, it makes pictures that are sharp right into the corners at an extra wide panorama format. The distortion that can occur gives its pictures a special appearance.

Photo by wesco

The Horizon Perfekt came into my possession by winning the Eliza Was Here Rumble. Because of the gloomy winter, I kept the slide rolls at home and started with a roll of black and white film.

The first pictures are from the winter festivities in the Railway Museum in Utrecht. For the indoor photos, I’ve used the slow speed of the lens where you use a shutter speed of 1/8 to 1/2 second. For this you need to place the camera on a steady surface, for example on a table or fence. You can also use a tripod. Due to the combination of the rotation of the lens and the movements in the picture, special effects can arise. This certainly invites for further experiments, for example at a busy intersection.

Some other pictures I took during some family visits. They give a good impression of the panorama of 120 degrees that the camera is capable of. With the picture of my old elementary school, you can clearly see which deformation is occurring. In the horizontal center of the picture everything is straight (top row windows), but on the top and bottom, like the curb the image shows traces of barrel distortion. It is an effect that is a bit similar to fisheye lenses. But with the Horizon Perfekt, the distortion does not come from the 28mm wide-angle lens, but from the changing perspective due to the rotation of the lens.

Recently, we went to Germany for a long weekend trip and that seemed like a good opportunity to photograph a few landscapes with the Horizon Perfekt. But due to the constant cloudy skies, there was not much to photograph because everything looks quickly dull and gray in color film. We stopped at the scenic village of Monschau with its characteristic houses on the way back. There I made ​​two vertical panoramas, each photo shows a different image.

Again, I shot a few more pictures inside for which some form of a light meter is handy to get to a good exposure. The Horizon Perfekt has the ability to shoot between 1/500 and 1/2 second shutter speed, and the aperture of f 16 to f 2.8. That offers, especially in combination with a faster film of e.g. 400 ISO ample opportunities to experiment with different settings. I used the Pocket Light Meter, which is an app for the iPhone.

When you need to take pictures indoors, you have to be aware of the minimum distance for sharp subjects. The Perfekt has a fixed-focus system where everything at infinity is always in focus (useful for landscapes), but depending on the aperture subjects close by may be blurred. With an aperture of f16, everything is sharp from 1 meter but at aperture f2.8, sharpness is achieved only from about 5 meters. Partly because of that and also because of its size and weight, the Horizon Perfekt is not really a handy snapshot camera. For that task, it’s better if you use an LC-A+ or LC-Wide.

The last pictures I took are during the evening in my own city of Utrecht. Proper metering taught me that with a 400 ISO film, you can use it with a shutter speed of 1/2 second and aperture f 2.8. In addition, I had to seek support from bins and railings to keep the camera sufficiently steady.

After these first two rolls, I got a good view of the impressive features of this camera. I was pleasantly surprised by the sharp images that the lens from the Russian Zenit plant yields; and with great adjustability, the Horizon Perfekt allows you to both shoot with a lot of light as well as in the evening or night. You can’t use a flash with the Horizon Perfekt due to the rotating lens.

Shooting photos of people close-up requires at least a high ISO film; but for landscapes and cityscapes, you can work with any film and they’ll work very well with this particular camera. This will certainly be in our luggage at the upcoming ‘Eliza Was Here’ holiday to Lefkas!

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.

written by wesco and translated by wesco

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The original version of this article is written in: Nederlands.