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[Rollei] Panorama head (was: Update on Fall Colors)

The panorama heads produced by Rollei all divide the 360° circle in ten 
equal parts, there is no differentiation between 75 or 80 mm. With the 
38° horizontal viewing angle of the 80 mm lens (75 mm a bit more) it is 
clear that some overlap occurs. But this should not be a problem. At 
least it means that you can usually use the thing even with color 
prints where the lab cut off a part of the negative. To mount the 
prints you simply align two prints and cut them both in one go with a 
sharp knife. 
There is another aspect that has to do with how a lens projects the 
subject onto a plane surface (the film). The lens is designed to give 
the impression of a geometrically true image on the film, i.e. no 
visible distortion, no curved lines towards the edges. Now for a 
panoramic shot this is NOT what you really want. When you do a subject 
with structures/lines covering the entire field, e.g. a river or a roof 
line, the panoramic impression may be impaired because you SEE that it 
is composed of single shots with a fixed perspective.  
In that sense, the 10 shots that the panorama head gives are a 
compromise: More shots (more overlap!) would look more realistic for 
certain subjects.  
The later panorama heads by the way had the level and the stepping 
mechanism all built into one housing with nothing to bend - a very nice 

Sven Keller

> A question in this context. I recently acquired a 
> panorama head for my R'flex, 
> and was testing it at the Grand Canyon. I had already 
> noticed when I bought it 
> that the built-in level is fairly useless (or easily bent 
> out of shape). The 
> store had about a dozen of these, and not two showed the 
> same results.  
> My question, though, is having gotten the pictures back, 
> I noticed that there 
> is considerable overlap between adjacent photos (about 
> 6mm / 1/4 in). Is that 
> by design (I always thought the point was to have the 
> photos line up 
> seamlessly ??), or was mine designed only for 80mm lenses 
> (my R'flex haviing a 
> 75mm Tessar)?
> Thanks,
> Mike