|Premises of the Panon Camera Co. in Tokyo|
image by Keita Sato (Image rights)
Panon Camera Shoko was a small-scale Japanese camera manufacturer, founded by Nakayama Shozo in 1952. The company is best known as the maker of the Widelux panoramic cameras. The Widelux, as well as its predecessor the Panon, uses a lens which swivels through a horizontal arc, projecting an image onto a cylindrical film gate. The principle is similar to the Kodak Panoram series, begun in 1899, and was emulated by Horizont (for 135 format) and Noblex cameras (for 120 format).
Panon was the name of the company's original 1952 panoramic camera for 120 film. In 1958 the company introduced the Widelux FV which used 35mm film (135), and which underwent various model upgrades (last model F8, ceased production about 2000). In 1987 Panon resumed offering a model for 120 film, the Widelux 1500, but production was ended when the factory suffered a fire in the mid 1990s. The company shut its doors in about 2005.
Panorama cameras 120 format
|Panon AIII for 120 film|
image by Dirk HR Spennemann (Image rights)
- Panon 50A (1952)
- Panon AII (1952, Oct) first with Konica Hexar f/3.5 50mm then with Konica Hexanon f/2.8 50mm. Variants are known.
- Panon AIII (1953, Jun), with Panon f/2.8 50mm Variants known.
- Panox AIII with Panox f/2.8 50mm (identical to Panon AIII)
- Panon Camera AI (1954)
- Panophic (1963)
- Widelux 1500 (1987)
Panorama Cameras 135 format
|Widelux F7 panorama camera|
for 35mm film
image by Rachel Rayns (Image rights)
- Widelux FI (1958) with Vistar f/2.8 26mm
- Widelux FV (1958) with Panon f/2.8 26mm
- Widelux FVI (~1964)
- Widelux F6 (~1970)
- Widelux F6B (~1970s)
- Widelux F7 (1979-1988)
- Widelux F8 (1988–mid 1990s)
- Septonflex accessory reflex finder
Notes and References
- Movies showing the turret of a Widelux F7 turning at various exposure speeds as seen from camera front and camera back
- Detailed information on Panon is very hard to come by
- According to Japanese Wikipedia entry
- Panon AII serial 57114, with Hexar 50 mm f/3.5, sold as lot 799 of Westlicht Photographica Auction no.2/3 (23 May 2003)
- Panon Camera AIII at Map camera; Sociedad Ibero-Americana de la Historia de la Fotografia
- Panox offered for sale at the 28th Camera Auction by Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 21 November 2015; several excellent pictures of the camera.
- Seen in on-line auction