Photax

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The Photax is a French viewfinder camera made of bakelite. It takes 6×9cm exposures on roll film. The first version — the Photax (also sold as Camera 77 and Loisirs) — was introduced in 1937 by M.I.O.M., a maker of isolation material and cast plastic parts. Six different models were introduced between 1937 and 1960. Starting with the Photax II model, the cameras were also available as a blindé variant, with a Bakelite lens cover which protected the lens and shutter release.

Description

Technical details were kept as simple as possible. The body contains the film spools and the image frame. Outer parts are the optical viewfinder, the film advance wheel, the opening shifter, the tripod thread, and one or two red exposure counting windows without covers. All other functional parts are placed in the lens barrel's front plate, except for the camera's most characteristic feature: the lens barrel has to be turned 360 degrees (counter-clockwise) to unscrewed from the camera body out into working position, except in model I on which a metal ring has to be turned for this. The functional elements in the lens tube's front plate are the meniscus lens, the two round aperture masks, a sliding nib to select one of the two apertures, another sliding nib to select the shutter speed, the shutter and the tall shutter release button. The 5mm shifting travel of the shutter release button is enough to cock the shutter before exposure. Some of the postwar models have a flash cable connector in the lens tube front plate. Model VI even has a flash shoe. The image plane is curved to reduce sharpness losses by the lens's curvature of field.

specifications

  • Type: viewfinder camera
  • Film: Type 620 film rolls (except Photax I: type 120)
  • Manufacturer: M.I.O.M.
  • Viewfinder: Galilei type optical finder (except model VI: frame finder)
  • Exposure format: 6×9, except model VI with format 6×6, and models I and V, both with both formats

Photax(often classified as Photax I)

  • Year of launch: 1937
  • Lens: Boyer Serie VII meniscus lens
  • Shutter: Guillotine shutter with two speeds

Loisirs

  • Year of launch: 1937
  • Lens: Radior Serie IX meniscus lens
  • Shutter: Guillotine shutter with two speeds

Camera 77

  • Year of launch: 1937
  • Lens: Boyer Serie V meniscus lens
  • Shutter: Guillotine shutter with two speeds

Photax II

  • Year of launch: 1938
  • Lens: Boyer Serie VIII meniscus lens
  • Shutter: Guillotine shutter with two speeds

Photax III

  • Year of launch: 1947
  • Lens: Boyer Serie VIII meniscus lens, distances 2.75 metres to infinity
  • Shutter: Guillotine shutter with speeds 1/25 sec., 1/100 sec, or T (meaning B)

Photax IV

  • Year of launch: 1951
  • Lens: Boyer Rexar meniscus lens
  • Shutter: Guillotine shutter with speeds 1/25 sec., 1/100 sec, or B

Photax III VA

  • Year of launch: 1955
  • Lens: Boyer Serie VIII meniscus lens, distances 2.75 metres to infinity
  • Shutter: RIM shutter with speeds 1/25 sec., 1/100 sec, or B; now with cable release socket

Photax IV F

  • Year of launch: 1951
  • Lens: Boyer Rexar meniscus lens
  • Shutter: RIM shutter with speeds 1/25 sec., 1/100 sec, or B, flash synchronized

Photax V

  • Year of launch: 1956
  • Lens: Angénieux Heanar Type V lens
  • Shutter: RIM shutter with speeds 1/25 sec., 1/100 sec, or B, flash-synchronized

Photax VI

  • Year of launch: 1960
  • Lens: Angénieux Heanar Type VI lens
  • Shutter: RIM shutter with speeds 1/25 sec., 1/100 sec, or B, flash-synchronized

Links

In French :

Bibliography

MIOM Photax by L. Gratté, R. Boissier, J. Charrat and S. Halgand Ed. by Club Niepce Lumiere