35mm spacers to properly hold the 35mm canister in place inside the camera (since it has a smaller profile than a 120 roll of film)
Finder mask to take the guesswork out of composing. This is inserted under the prism viewfinder on the 67.
Film mask (optional) if you’d rather take the sprocket holes out of the equation and only expose the middle section of the film. This is inserted into the film gate when you open the back of the camera, but I typically prefer to shoot without it and crop the images in post if so desired.
Film changing bag – VERY important since this is the only way you’ll be able to remove the film from the camera when you are done shooting
35mm film roll – 36 exposures is ideal to get the most bang for your buck.
Roll of 120 film – any type since you’ll just be using it for the backing paper and take-up reel
If you are shooting with a Pentax 67, you’ll need to set the camera up as if you are shooting 220 film – i.e. moving the film pressure plate to the 220 position, and changing the knob on the left side of the camera to 220 mode.
This will let you continue shooting past “10” exposures.
Loading the Film
To load the film into the camera, start by attaching the 35mm cassette adapters from your panoramic conversion kit to your roll of 35mm film (they look like little knobs, and the bigger one goes on top).
This makes it possible for the 35mm film canister to fit into the camera where the 120 film usually goes.
If you just feed the 35mm film into a 120 take-up spool and then proceed to close the back of the camera and advance the Pentax until the frame counter reads 1, you end up wasting a lot of film as it will burn through quite a bit of the roll before the images start getting exposed.
However, with a little preparation, you can maximize the amount of shots you squeeze out of each roll.
All it takes is cutting a 7 and 6/8 inch strip out of the middle of the backing paper of a roll of 120 film, measuring from where the arrow is that normally indicates that your film is sufficiently advanced, and then taping the leader of the 35mm film to this so that you can pull it back into the container.
This allows the backing paper to advance across as the camera counts up to the first frame of film, and avoids wasting 35mm emulsion in the process.
Here is how the final product should look:
Done right, you should be able to get 19-20 shots per roll instead of around 12, and as long as the backing paper doesn’t tear, you can reuse it to shoot more rolls using the same process.
Since we’re already decreasing the size of the film plane, I normally choose to shoot with my widest lens (55mm) to capture panoramas of big landscapes or scenes:
However, in certain instances, it can also be fun to use a more compressed lens for a tighter result. These are with the 105mm lens:
For distant subjects, you may even be able to get away with using a telephoto lens to achieve a unique perspective:
Another thing to be mindful of when shooting panoramas with sprocket holes is the lack of ability to crop the image in post processing.
Since the sprocket holes are arranged in a straight line across the film, even the smallest amount of rotation will be immediately detectable by the viewer, so care needs to be taken to get the horizon straight in camera.
Before activating the shutter, I’ll often pull my head back and align the top edge of the camera with the horizon to ensure the final image will be level.
When you are done shooting, you’ll need to pop your camera into the film changing bag in order to extract the film and rewind it back into the 35mm container.
This will take a few minutes, and you won’t be able to see what you are doing, but it’s fairly straightforward and tactile to feel it out with your fingers.
I usually insert the larger of the 35mm spacers into the bottom of the 35mm canister to more easily wind the film back in. Once you can feel that it’s securely back in the canister, you’re good to open the film changing bag and remove the camera/film.
Scanning Sprocket Holes
Many home scanning solutions, whether you use a flatbed scanner or DSLR setup, are already conducive to being able to capture the whole edge-to-edge panorama, so you shouldn’t have to alter your workflow too much.
However, if you are using digital software to automatically convert your photos (i.e. Silverfast), the presence of the sprocket holes can confuse the software and lead to washed out images, so it’s best to apply any automatic adjustments using only the middle of the frame as a reference before expanding the crop to include the sprocket holes.
If you send your film off to a lab you’ll want to make sure they are capable of handling edge-to-edge 35mm scans first since not all scanning processes are conducive to this
I primarily use theFINDlab for my processing and scanning, and they are able to do this as a matter of routine upon request. I just make sure to note which rolls were shot as panoramas, and if I’d like them to include the sprocket holes in the final scans (I believe their Frontier scanner is the go-to for this type of work).