A Few Frames Going Horizont-al

My daughter recently brought my old KMZ Horizont panoramic camera out of storage, so I decided to give it a whirl. While it’s meant mainly for stately panoramas, I’ve always enjoyed making it do things it wasn’t designed for – verticals, diagonals, things that really show off its cylindrical projection to best effect. This outing was no no different – I generally ignored the handy bubble level, trying to see how well the rather loosey-goosey viewfinder can be used to frame compositions. While I have been salivating over Hasselblad’s fabulous X-Pan since I first saw Horst Harmann’s Vertical New York, if I ever got one I’d end up with a project more along the lines of Diagonal Chicago or Chicago Slightly Askew. Anyway, since I’m not made of cash, I’ll have to make do with what I have here.

Two ways of seeing

I seem to have two modes to my photography. One is very tightly framed minimalistic compositions, very consciously playing the edges of the frame against image elements. The second, in a reaction against this innate tendency to overthink, I do very intuitively shot “street” work, often using in-camera multiple exposures to compound the chaos in the frame. Close to hip shots but still composed with my mind’s eye, these are a bit of a chore to edit, as near misses and outright failures outnumber decent images by a large margin. Oh, yes – did I mention I’m fascinated with trees? Their sheer size and complex form always invite exploration, especially in a strong aspect ratio frame like the Horizont’s.

I think the Horizont lands somewhere in the middle between tight and completely freewheeling. Its viewfinder approximates the frame but doesn’t really define it in a way that would make it easy to over-analyze the edge relationships. Overall, I don’t dislike what I got here, even if I don’t particularly love it, but I think it’s something I can build on. See my Instagram to check how that’s going.

Contribute to 35mmc for an Ad-free Experience

There are two ways to experience 35mmc without the adverts:

Paid Subscription - £2.99 per month and you'll never see an advert again! (Free 3-day trial).
Subscribe here.

Content contributor - become a part of the world’s biggest film and alternative photography community blog. All our Contributors have an ad-free experience for life.
Sign up here.

About The Author

3 thoughts on “A Few Frames Going Horizont-al”

  1. Greetings from Melbourne down under I have this camera plus the all plastic newer version and i get good results from both but ive never used it in the vertical aspect
    so in this instance your results are impressive and im now inspired to try this
    I have also found masking the joints with black electrical tape eliminates any light

  2. Hi fellow Horizont user! Thanks for your kind comments. Yes, I think it’s always good to stretch any equipment’s capabilities, both for the fun of it and for the “happy accidents” that tend do follow.
    How do you like the newer model vs the original? Does yours have slow speeds, or just the typical down to 1/30s? I haven’t had any issues with light leaks, though get a lot of flare from the lens at times (hard to keep the sun out with a 120 deg. field of view). Thanks again and happy shooting – or swinging, I guess.

    1. Yes personally i probably prefer using the Horizon 202 the supplied handle eliminates getting your hand in the picture although it has the lower shutter speeds i seldom use them . The sweet spot for daytime photography seems to be around f8 at 250th sec using 400 film
      more than happy to send some pics but not sure how i do it from here

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top