NOBLEX PRO 06/150

On a sunny March day, a group of friends and I headed to Sonoma County to location hunt shooting spots.  One of them brought along their Noblex 06/150 - a medium format swing lens panoramic camera - and made some amazing photos with it.  After looking through the funky viewfinder, holding it (that’s my crux; don’t ever let me hold your cool cameras because I will have to buy it!), and then seeing the photos made with it, I was done for.  I immediately put out feelers on my instagram, offering to sell or trade gear to purchase one.  In 24 hours, a deal was done and Abel (@instantflamingo on IG) and I traded some gear - thank you!

Since then, I’ve shot two rolls with it and have been having a lot of fun using it.  It is the chonkiest boi I own (bigger than the Mamiya RB/RZ67!), and probably one of the most unique looking cameras.  If you need specs, support Ken Rockwell’s growing family by checking out his review of the camera, or check out Nick Carver’s YouTube video about it.

Please click on the images; the crop from the blog’s layout does not do the panorama justice!

The lens is a 50mm, which is wide and very nice.  However, because these cameras are hyper-focal at infinity, the focal distance is a bit tricky to nail wide open, which is at f/4.5 (check out the third image where we try to get a group selfie); on top of that, composing on such a wide lens is tricky.  The second image of the cows will attest to this.  I can only hope that with more time spent with the camera and more practice, I’ll be able to fine tune the composition.

So, why this camera? It’s super niche, it only exposes 6 frames per roll of 120 film, and it’s huge.  Simply, and maybe , my plan is to bring it with me when camping - and if adventurous enough, maybe when backpacking - so I can get some panoramic landscape shots.  


DESERT LIGHT

5:15am wake-up call; the birds aren’t even up yet.  We quietly roll out of our sleeping bags, shaking sleep from our eyes.  Nothing is conserved in the desert: energy, water, the light, so we fill every minute with miles towards the East to greet the new day.

There is always a crowd for sunrises/sets and try as we might, we’re never early enough to be one of the first to arrive.  But this isn’t ever a bad thing.  We are a crowd of believers: in the sun, in the moon, in nature and all its glorious beauty.  We sit, we wait, we are awed.  Everyone claps.

Everything else in between 6am and 5:30pm is just filler.  We busy ourselves with hikes, hiding under canopies, and escaping the sun in any other possible way.  When it’s finally time to welcome the moon and the night, we find ourselves heading to the most Western parts of the park.  The colours of golden and blue hour at sunset are temperamental and impatient; blink and you’ll miss most of it.  But we make sure our eyes are wide open, and by the end of it, they are dried from the arid landscape and caked in sand with the gradients of orange/purple/blue/pink etched into the back of our eyelids.


KODAK TRI-X PAN

If you haven’t already guessed by now, extremely expired Kodak Tri-X Pan is my favourite black and white film stock.  Gordon (@bokchoyboy on IG) gave me my first pro-pack of this stock, I think almost as a joke because it expired in the 1970’s and he found it under a pile of magazines. Since then, he’s given me another two pro-packs of it, and 25 sheets in 4x5.  Honestly, I think he thinks it’ll be completely bunk and yield no results.  Jokes on him, I get back the thinnest negatives, but mostly, the results are pretty great (except sometimes, there’s film degradation that is very obvious and can’t be fixed - see the three images below for example; some weird ass Disclosure looking face filter scratches on the film).

Tri-X Pan is a 320 speed film, but I usually rate it between 80 and 100 ISO.  These photos were shot on a combination of the Pentax 67ii with the 105mm f/2.4 and Chamonix 45-N2 with a 90mm lens.  This is the first roll from a new pack from Gordon, so I’ll have to see if the scratches are persistent throughout all the rolls, though I’m worried it could be a lab issue.

Shout out again to Gordon for the film.  I haven’t shot any of the 4x5 yet, but I’ve at least loaded some holders with them so I have every intention to shoot it in large format.  Stay tuned for those results *fingers crossed*.

Moving forward with this blog, I plan on using it mostly as an actual stream-of-consciousness blog, a documentation of everyday life and what’s going on behind the scenes when I’m not shooting portraits, and sometimes, I’ll talk about gear/film stocks/film processing, etc.  Hope you all stay tuned, follow along, and reach out to talk shop or just say hi.  Happy shooting.

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