Experimenting with creative effects is among the reasons why film cameras continue to be popular in the digital age, and today’s featured photos make perfect examples. While there’s a myriad of cool effects you can do with your favorite image editing software, being able to pull off effects with film cameras is still quite an achievement. Case in point is the pixel stretch effect achieved by using a mechanical swing-lens panoramic camera! If you have one or a similar camera, we’re sure these photos will get you curious enough to give it a try.
The amazing snaps above were the result of a collaboration between Redditors Jeremy Arimado (u/Jan-Michael-Vincents) and Jason De Freitas (/u/life_is_a_conspiracy), using a Widelux F7 with Kodak Portra 400 film to get a cool pixel stretch effect. In an r/analog thread, Jeremy shared that he first posted a photo with the same effect, but it was done in Photoshop, much to film purists’ dismay. When Jason, another r/analog user, said that he knew a way to do this in camera with his Widelux, the two set to work.
“Luckily, we didn’t live too far from each other (actually, like 4 hours drive away but at least we were in the same state…) so we came together to create these photos! In regards to how exactly this was achieved, the Widelux camera features a rotating lens, so all we had to do was start matching the rotation speed in the opposite direction at a certain point. Not easy to aim though!”
In case you need some help visualizing the process, Jeremy also shared a GIF showing the swing lens in action. With the Widelux on a video tripod with a smooth pan head, they rotated the camera in the opposite direction at the point where they wanted the stretch effect to appear. This made sure the lens captured the same frame across the rest of the film and created the effect seamlessly.
In case you’re interested in getting your own Widelux F7 and trying this yourself, we found one on eBay to check out.
Photos used with permission