The Cirkut camera was patented in 1904. It used large format film, ranging in width from 5" to 16" and was capable of producing a 360-degree photograph measuring up to 20 feet long. Both the camera and the film rotated on a special tripod during the exposure.
Cirkut cameras were used mostly by commercial photographers to capture city views, group portraits, and special events.
Unlike conventional cameras, many panoramic cameras distort images. Distortion is most evident in street scenes where the camera is positioned at the intersection of two streets. In this panorama, the straight street, which is parallel with the camera, seems curved. Distortion occurs as the distance between the lens and the subject changes.
The Czech photographer Josef Sudek was a master of the Kodak Panoram Camera. He is renowned for his panoramas of Prague. Sudek made contact prints, not enlargements, of his negatives in order to show as much detail and tonal range as possible.
The panoramic format continues to thrive. Contemporary photographers can choose between traditional panoramic cameras and highly engineered modern models.