User Review: Horizon Perfekt


The Horizon Perfekt is a very unique camera! It boasts versatile specifications, yet also has certain limitations. But, at the end of the day, it is still a beast of a camera.

There is truly something special about the Horizon Perfekt. First of all, it is a panoramic camera whose swing lens technology captures 120 degrees of whatever is in front of you. This means it could take gorgeous landscape photos, capturing a lot of details that a normal camera would normally miss.

It is purely mechanical, thus operates without the use of batteries. This is good since you don’t have worry about it being rendered useless when the battery dies in the middle of a shoot. That has happened to me a couple of times when I use battery-operated cameras, and it could surely be a bummer. Sort of a down side is, since it does not have metering, good exposure would really depend on your skills in determining appropriate shutter speed and aperture, given your film’s ISO and the available light conditions. Learning exposure techniques such as the Sunny f16 rule is surely necessary if you are to use the Perfekt.

Credits: renenob

Another thing I love about this camera is the fact that it has multiple shutter speeds and apertures to choose from; hence you are not limited in terms of which lighting condition you should shoot. The aperture runs from f16 to f2.8, while the shutter speed choices are 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, and 1/500. It is notable the shutter speeds 1/15 and 1/30 are missing, possibly due to limitations in the camera’s mechanical space; although it would have been better if they were available. Nevertheless, this can be compensated for by adjusting the aperture to match the available shutter speeds.

Credits: renenob

There is a switch the separates the slower shutter speeds and the higher shutter speeds, and I usually forget to do the switch, which sometime results to shooting at 1/8 in broad daylight, or shooting at 1/250 in a dim lit hallway. If you do not accustom yourself to checking this switch before pressing the shutter, you are bound to waste a couple of frames, miss certain decisive moments.

Another thing that is missing in the camera is focusing. You cannot determine the distance of your subject using the camera. You simply have to rely on the hyperfocal distance that is indicated in the manual. If your aperture is open at f2.8, you will surely get an out-of-focus shot if your subject is a mere meter away. Perhaps, since it is assumed that you will take landscape photos using this camera, focusing was deemed unnecessary. For best results, the minimum distances of the subject are as follows:

  • 1 meter for f16
  • 1.5 meters for f11
  • 2 meters for f8
  • 2.9 meters for f5.6
  • 3.9 meters for f4
  • and 5.5 meters for f2.8
Credits: renenob

Considering its limitations, the Horizon Perfekt remains a beast among cameras. It is heavy by any camera standards, but that is just a small price for the amazing photos it can produce.

Credits: renenob

written by renenob on 2013-06-17 #gear #film #review #panorama #camera #panoramic #horizon #lomography #perfekt


  1. clownshoes
    clownshoes ·

    Great shots!

  2. renenob
    renenob ·

    thanks @clownshoes!

  3. ihave2pillows
    ihave2pillows ·

    Great review! I always wonder why my close-ups aren't as sharp as I want. I got a second-hand Horizon Perfekt, wonder if that's the reason my panoramas tend to lose focus on the right hand side, and leaks on the left...

  4. hal_incandenza
    hal_incandenza ·

    been using my horizon for a long time (+10 years) here is my two cents:
    The good:
    - the cheapest and fun to use swing lens on the market
    -with the most apperture and speed available among all.
    -no batteries everything mechanic (I love it).
    The bad:
    -Really Bad build quality and materials, treat the camera with super caution.
    -Lens and drum mechanism not reliable at all, expect awful light leaks (not those hipsters love with colors distortions, just ugly white washed blurs), weird lens flare that happens in a random basis (even if everything set up, it may occur) so after 10 years in a roll of 21, i loose 4 to 6 pictures. And i always carry in a bag, clean in a regular basis.

    Things internet say but its not true:
    -You can use it without the hand grip, just buy a hand strap to click (but never carry using it because the bad quality of the materials)
    -The lack of photometer is not a problem, buy a portable one and you can measure the light in a specific point.
    -dont fall in the trap to take just panoramic pictures like, on the top of a mountain or things like that. nowadays digital camera can do this better than horizon, but they cant take action/street panoramic pictures like Swing lens do.
    -photolab cant scan your photos, it cost a lot. so save some money and buy a cheap flatbed scanner.

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