Ansco Pix Panorama

From Camera-wiki.org
Jump to: navigation, search


The Ansco Pix Panorama is an all-plastic, focus-free 35mm camera made in China[1]. Effectively a box camera, there are no exposure adjustments and no provision for flash.

The film gate in the camera is masked so as to only expose an image of 13×36 mm, rather than the conventional 24×36 mm[2]. Photofinishers were expected to enlarge this cropped negative into wider-than-standard panoramic prints: 89 x 254 mm or 3.5" x 10". This effectively doubles the amount of negative enlargement required (compared to standard 3:2 prints), with a resulting increase in the graininess of the image.

The Pix Panorama's lens has a focal length of approximately 27mm, and in contrast to other cameras in this class its two-element design offers reasonable sharpness.

A few Pix Panorama users discovered that the film-gate mask could be snapped out, and that its lens gives good coverage over the entire standard 24x36mm frame—although the viewfinder remained cropped to the panoramic format. However the front of the camera shell can be removed by loosening four small screws, revealing that the viewfinder optics themselves are the same ones used for conventional 3:2 proportions; so if desired, the viewfinder mask can be cut away. The Pix Panorama does have the flaw of being a bit larger and boxier than some other "cult" plastic cameras, such as the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim.

The bottom of the Pix Panorama cites U.S. Patent 4,595,269[3], for a double-exposure prevention mechanism. This patent dates from 1986, and is assigned to Haking in Hong Kong. Haking became the owner of the Ansco name, and offered its own version of this camera branded as the Halina Panorama. It was also sold as the Hanimex Panorama 35, Suntone MM350, Arico Panorama CL-168 and Revue Panorama.



Notes

  1. A sample has also been seen labeled "Made in Thailand."
  2. 13×36 mm is the typical image size for for inexpensive 35mm panoramic cameras; its "widescreen" aspect ratio of about 1:2.7 is greater than Cinemascope.
  3. (PDF) U.S. Patent 4,595,269 from Freepatentsonline.com.

Links

  • Part I and part II of the Pix Panorama owners' manual. At the time of this manual's printing, the panoramic format was apparently unfamiliar to many photofinishers, and a sheet of self-stick labels was also included, to be pasted onto the film cassette to alert the lab about the special print size required.