Thursday, April 01, 2021

Widening My Horizon Part II

Using 35mm film in a Pentax 6x7

Back in mid-February, I wrote a post about some ways to get panoramic images with a 35mm film camera.  At the time, I had not yet shot anything with a panorama mask and 35mm adapter in my Pentax 6x7.  I ordered my panoramic 35mm adapter from Clever3dPrints on Etsy, and it arrived soon after. The adapters to fit a 35mm cassette into the 120 roll film spot work very well.  The panorama viewfinder mask fit over the ground glass, but I think it's a 1/2mm too thick, as the prism doesn't snug in tightly with it in place.  Second, the 35mm adaptor to go over the film gate doesn't really fit well, and wanted to rub against the shutter curtain so I decided not to use it, and expose the entire width of the film. 

The back of the Pentax 67 opened up, showing the supply
and take-up cassettes, and the taped-on leader.

You need to set the film to 220 on the Pentax 6x7 pressure plate as well as the 120/220 selector button on the right side of the body.  To make sure that I got as much out of the 36 exposure roll, I taped a length of exposed 35mm film to the end of the fresh roll that was connected to the take-up cassette.  The take-up spool is an empty cassette (obviously oriented upside down. As it turns out, I need to make the leader a bit longer, as there was a length of unexposed film at the beginning of my roll.  The 220 setting is necessary if you are using a 36 exposure roll, and you should get close to 19 shots, unless you respool your own film and make it a 40-exposure roll.  

The beauty of using this without the panoramic mask in the film gate is that I get 24x70mm negatives, excluding the sprockets.  If you are sprocket freak, then you'll appreciate the exposed sprocket area. Compared with my Horizon 202 (more about that in another post), it's a bit wider - 12mm. I used the Pentax 55mm lens on the 6x7, which is about equal to 28mm in 35mm. The Horizon 202's lens is also 28mm, but the crop with 6x7 55mm lens  results in an image without any distortion that one sees with the Horizon camera.  

The obvious drawback with this setup is that the film still has some exposed frames that will be ruined if you open the back in daylight, unless you forgo shooting to the end of the roll.  I brought my camera back home and opened it up in my bathroom/darkroom and rewound the film into the original cassette.  I shot a roll of Ultrafine Extreme 100 and developed in D-96.  To say that I was happy with the images is an understatement.  All of my shots were handheld. The D-96 came from the FPP store.  All of my frames were scanned on my Epson V700 scanner.

Some results.

Dillsboro, NC

Dillsboro, NC

Rt. 197 up Ivy Knob to Cockscomb Mtn.

The French Broad River at Ledges Whitewater Park

After I scanned in the negatives, I was pleased at how big those images could be viewed. Zooming in revealed a lot of detail, and a print from them would be quite striking.  You may ask why not just crop any 6x7 negative post scan to be a 24x70mm negative, and my answer is:

  • You can no longer buy 220 film that is fresh
  • There are so many more emulsions in 35mm
  • The viewfinder mask defines your image area
  • It's part of the process

In part III of this series, I will discuss my experiences with my Horizon cameras.   


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