November is a month when the landscape of the Jura mountains lays in mist – sometimes for days and weeks. It can come as thick fog making orientation in the mountains difficult, or as a light mist obscuring trees.
The Horizon S3 U-500 is a panoramic film camera going back to a Russian model developed by Zenit and made near Moscow (KMZ: Krasnogorski Mechanitscheski Sawod). Unlike the Hasselblad X-Pan, the camera has a swing-lens that mechanically moves from left to right to expose a 120° angle on 35 mm film. About 22 exposures, each with a 24×58 mm format, fit on a film roll. My camera had a light leak that I was able to seal using tape.
The camera has seven shutter speed settings, the faster set ranging from 1/125 sec to 1/500 sec, the slower from ½ sec to ⅛ of a second. The lens of the camera is fixed and has a focal length of 28 mm. It’s quite small, and its optical quality is surprisingly good. Aperture goes from f/2.8 to f/16.
For the photos shown here, I exposed Kodak Tri-X 400 black and white film as ISO 200. The film was developed in Kodak HC-110 syrup developer in 1+31 dilution for 5.5 min. Finally, the negatives were scanned, and then printed using Hahnemühle Bamboo matte paper with my Canon Pro-1000 printer.
The Russian Horizon is a nice camera – I like its swinging lens, it’s like turning your head to look around. It’s a pity that the camera body is made from plastic – instead of solid metal like the much more expensive Panon Widelux swing-lens camera.