I have always been interested in panoramic photos. Even before the advent of digital stitching I have a couple of specialized rotating lens cameras purchased around 15+ years ago. I have them in two formats: 35 mm which produces a negative 24x58 which people now call Xpan format, and a Noblex 6/150F which uses 120 roll film in 6x12 format. I find the the Horizon 202 is an easy camera to carry around. I often take it on trips and have many photos taken in Newfoundland as it fits easily into a waist pouch.
I have a few Russian cameras & lenses and find that their optics are very sharp. This model has the Arsat lens and rotates to yield a 120 degree view. It has a mechanical mechanism so requires NO batteries. You get around 18-19 shots on a 36 exposure roll of film
(taken from the http://www.rugift.com/ website)
These cameras are now relatively cheap but not so when I purchased mine many years ago when I had to pay over double the current price. My friend brought it back for me from Prague when he was there visiting.
Russian cameras are known for their crude workmanship where the gears are rough. I was lucky that my camera is very smooth in operation thus has no banding issues. The image is produced as the lens rotates through a slit which the light splashes onto the film in a curved arc. There is no distortion on the edges of the image as you are always using the centre of the lens, unlike most wide angle lenses. Your images are sharp across the full width.
There is a viewfinder on top along with a level, which can be viewed inside the finder. It is a completely manual camera in operation and you require your own light meter. I use a digital Gossen, or you can guess your exposure using the sunny 16 rule.
I have never used a tripod with this camera and always shoot handheld. It has a unique way of shooting in low light. Because of the rotating lens you cannot get blur for if you are not steady the lens has moved to a new location. It only affects horizontal straight lines. If you choose your perspectives carefully you should not have a problem. Also unique is the way you set the exposure for low light. You have a two speed mechanical motor; high and low. When on low speed you also open up the slit gap which lets more light upon the film plane, so a 1/2 sec exposure is not really half a second.
I took my Horizon 202 to the IMS Motorcycle Show in Seattle a week ago and took this image from the mezzanine.
You may have to CLICK on the photos BELOW to view full SCREEN
(Horizon 202: 1/2 sec F8)
This was 10 year outdated Fuji Sensia Fujichrome 100, scanned on Epson Flat bed scanner. Focussing is achieved through selection of appropriate F stops.
This following image was taken inside of a cafe on Commercial Drive
and this is a scene from False Creek, Government Wharf
I had not used this camera for several years and these images are from my first test roll to ensure the camera was functioning correctly