These seven pictures were captured in Colorado with a Noblex Pro 6/150 E2 panoramic camera. It takes 6×12 images on medium format film. If you’re not doing so already, please view these photos on a computer or tablet to get more of the panoramic effect. Checking out panoramic photos on a cell phone doesn’t work too well.
I am by no means a wealthy man. I’d wanted one of these Noblex medium format film cameras for a long, long time, but they were always out of my budget. Until one day, I saw one being sold at a camera shop up in Seoul at a steal of a price. In fact, I couldn’t quite believe it. I inquired, figuring that there was something defective. I was wrong. The camera was in absolute mint condition. It looked as if it had never once been used. Well, I tried to haggle with the dealer and lower the price. He didn’t budge since it was already on clearance. Even though it was on sale, it was still out of my price range. So, I came back the next week and tried again. No luck. I’m a persistent type, so I boldly went back another time a week or two later. I talked with the owner of the store that time, and we worked out a price that I could ( barely ) afford. I went home elated and shot a few rolls of film through the Noblex with some pleasing results.
I decided to try shooting some color and black and white infrared film through the camera. Both types of IR film need to be filtered. Color IR film is commonly yellow or orange filtered, and black and white IR film needs a dark red or infrared filter. However, the Noblex is a swing lens panoramic camera. This means that there’s a swinging barrel around the lens which is tucked away. There is no threading for a filter as you find on most cameras. Fortunately, there is a magnetic ring around the lens. So, I purchased another yellow filter and black and white IR filter and sent them to Noblex Canada to be cut down and fitted with a magnetic ring. Then, the filter can be attached using a pair of tweezers.
Well, tragedy struck before all that could happen. At the time, I was teaching an English class to some foreigners who were studying at my university in Korea. It was truly a fascinating group. There were 20 different students from 20 different countries from Fiji to Ghana, Afghanistan to Mongolia, Zimbabwe to Sri Lanka, and Nepal to Cambodia. At the end of the last class, I brought the students outside to take a picture. What better camera to use to capture 20 people than the Noblex? So I set the camera up on a tripod and was about to take a photo. Before I did so, I went over to my camera bag to get a cable release. While I did so, one of the students went to check out the camera. As I returned, he walked back to the group but kicked over the tripod in the process. The camera went crashing down and was thoroughly busted. The Noblex is an amazing camera, but it is very sensitive. So, it took me some time to save up my money and send the camera off to get repaired. Noblex isn’t around anymore, and there are very few people in the world who are qualified to repair them. This means fixing the camera is expensive. So, all that money I saved on the original purchase was eventually spent on repairs.
Anyhow, the Noblex was eventually fixed up and its filters were cut down and magnetized. I really hope you enjoy these photos. A lot of time, money, and stress was spent on producing them! Also, this was my first attempt at shooting color IR film through a panoramic camera. I tend to meter my medium format rolls of color IR film at ISO 400. But this isn’t always fool proof – after all, we are not measuring and capturing visible light with this film. We are capturing what cannot be seen with the naked eye, infrared light. It’s difficult to tell how much IR light is present at any given moment, so the results can vary. I think some of these shots came out a bit too dark. It might have something to do with the high Colorado altitude, as I’ve heard that location can effect how much IR light is present. Anyone have any comments or tips on this? I’d love to hear from you! Perhaps next time I’ll meter down a stop, which is what I like to do with the very expired color IR film I’ve shot in the past. These seven photos here were taken on film that expired in 2011, if anyone is curious. Well, that’s it for now. Please enjoy these seven photos! They were captured on the excruciatingly rare Kodak Aerochrome color infrared film with a Noblex Pro 6/150 E2 panoramic camera, Tiffen yellow #12 filtered, and E6 processed as slides. Enjoy! © Patrick Bresnahan