I would like to take pictures on my 35mm film camera that are wider/longer. Is there any way to do that on a film camera without just cropping the photo? Can I use different sizes on film on my camera or would i have to buy a whole new camera?


5 Answers 5


The size of the photo depend of frame, which is inside the camera, usually between shutter and film. So to make panorama like photo (if this is what you mean by "wider/longer") you should crop the photo. Here is example of this "frame"

Or buy new camera which is created for such kind of photos.

EDIT: You can use one "hack" putting two bands of nontransparent material on the upper and lower part of this frame. But this will move the film slightly behind (loose focus), put in dangerous to scratch the film. And at the end there will be no different than crop in postproduction :)

Edit 2: "Using" answer from Horitsu you can buy anamorphic lens. Unfortunately those lens are quite expensive (> 500 USD/Euro) and often they come as adapter to particular lens. The downside is you should use anamorphic lens with same ratio when you print your photos on paper or stretch the scan in postproduction.


A roll of film is fully "photosensitive". It's not the case that there are predefined "frames" where a photo can appear – the size of the frame that is exposed depends explicitly on the camera – you can't buy "panoramic film". There are cameras that expose different frame sizes, but the standard size for cameras using 135 film is 24mm × 36mm.

If you are looking for a camera that exposes a wider image, take a look at the Hasselblad XPan or XPan II (aka Fuji TX-1 and TX-2 respectively). This is a discontinued camera, and a used (working) one will not be cheap, but it exposes much wider frames (24mm × 65mm) by essentially using medium format lenses (or rather, lenses that project an image circle wide enough for medium format). This is a manual focus, rangefinder camera, and will be a very strange beast for someone new to this kind of camera.

The Lomographic Society offer some cameras that will expose the image over the film's sprocket holes. Look for their Sprocket Rocket camera series – these are much less expensive cameras, and could provide for some fun experimentation.

There are also rotating-lens panoramic cameras, where the lens is in a kind of drum that rotates when you take a photo. I own one of these – a Noblex 135 S – and I love the results I get with it. The Lomographic Society also offer one or two models of this type – check out their Horizon camera series. This is a quirky style of photography, with its own idiosyncrasies – and not to everyone's taste.

Note that developing film is the same regardless of what camera is used, but printing/scanning images may not be as straightforward when the frames are not the standard 24mm x 36mm.

Take a look at these related questions also:

  • 1
    Also Lomo Spinner 360 and loading 35mm film into bona fide medium format cameras.
    – xiota
    Jul 26, 2018 at 10:40
  • Worth noting that developing panoramic negatives is different when using a lab rather than developing yourself. The unusual size means a lab’s ordinary 135 cutting, printing, and scanning procedures don’t account for unusually sized negatives. Apr 11 at 17:38

Buy a whole new camera if want to do it in-camera. 35mm panoramic cameras are special-purpose and built for this one task.

I could shoot 3:2 (C), 16:9 (H), or 3:1 (P) on the same roll with my old APS Canon Elph, but that was simply digitally recording on the APS-C magstrip how you wanted the frame to be cropped for prints. And of course, these days, APS is discontinued.

It's a bit arts'n'craft-y but you could just shoot multiple frames and overlap the prints in an album, which is what I used to do back in the day. Or you could go Cubist and do a Hockney joiner. :)

These days, you could also get the roll scanned and then panostitch the frames together with software.

  • I'd never heard of Hockney before. Love it. It's like if Ryan Brenizer embraced his inner cubist! =)
    – scottbb
    Apr 10 at 21:58
  • 1
    never heard of David Hockney?? Obviously not in the UK ;) Who is Ryan Brenizer?
    – osullic
    Apr 11 at 8:08
  • 1
    @scottbb, if you get the chance to see a Hockney in person, I highly recommend it; the online images don't do his joiners or paintings justice, and you don't get the scale. I also highly recommend trying to make a joiner, because it's a lot harder than it looks. :)
    – inkista
    Apr 11 at 9:43
  • @osullic He's a primarily wedding photographer who invented (or at least made famous) the so-called "bokehrama" technique to get apparent extremely shallow depth of field portraits with telephoto 35mm lenses. What is "bokeh panorama" (also called the "Brenizer method")?
    – scottbb
    Apr 11 at 21:24

There are purpose-made cameras that shoot very wide format shots on 35mm film, e.g. the Hasselblad XPAN, which shoots a 24x65mm image (standard 35mm format is 24x36mm).

Another option is a medium format camera with a wide-format 35mm back, such as the Bronica SQ series with the 135W back. It shoots about 24x58mm (I'm estimating the second measurement, but it'll be just shy of 60mm since the system is designed for 6x6cm rollfilm). These backs seem rare and quite expensive, which is unfortunate, since I'd love to have one for my SQ system. :)

Of course, you can just shoot standard 35mm images and crop the top and bottom (some cameras will have a built-in mask system that will do this for you, but you can simply do this yourself). You can also shoot larger formats, like 120 rollfilm, and do the cropping yourself and maintain higher quality, since you're using a larger negative.


A diagonal fisheye lens can provide a panoramic view.

  • As someone who shoots both a circular and a diagonal fisheye, I disagree. If I'm shooting a panorama with a fisheye, I still have to take multiple shots and stitch them together. And defished, a fisheye shot just looks like an ultrawide, not a pano. And the distortion of a fisheye isn't a look most folks go for.
    – inkista
    Apr 14 at 18:29
  • @inkista yes, since there’s no way to do what the OP wants and it was too much an answer to be a comment it’s here without hope of meeting the OP’s spec. But I feel the idea of separating perspective from crop is useful and if the man on the street is unlikely to love fisheyes, so what? It is easy to make a pano with an iPhone, but not with film and a new lens is about the same solution as a new camera. It is shopping either way. Apr 15 at 0:25

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