Baby Lynx

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The Baby Lynx is a 35mm viewfinder camera launched by the French maker Pontiac in 1948[1] The camera body is cast from aluminium (McKeown notes that aluminium was one material not in short supply in France during the War[2]), with leatherette covering. It has a fixed lens, usually a Berthiot Flor 50 mm f/3.5 or f/2.8 with front-cell focusing, and a Prontor II leaf shutter with speeds to 1/200 or 1/250 second,[3] or a Prontor S to 1/300 second. The very last bodies have the Flor 50/3.5 on an Atos 2 shutter to 1/250 with Pontiac Baby Lynx written on the shutter, and brown leather covering. One example has been observed at an eBay auction with a Boyer Saphir 50/3.5 and a Prontor II shutter with speeds 1 - 1/200 second. This lens variant is also mentioned by P-H Pont. A cheaper variant called Baby Standard is reported, with a Roussel Trylor 50/3.9 three-element lens on a Pronto shutter from 1/25 to 1/200.

The lens tube collapses into the camera body when not in use. The camera was the least well-specified and least expensive of the Lynx and Super Lynx cameras; both the Lynx II (also of 1948) and the Super Lynx have a focal-plane shutter.

The Baby Lynx has a reverse-Galilean viewfinder built into the top housing. Also on the top is a frame counter, separate from the winding knob; advancing the film does not cock the shutter.

Production of the camera moved to Morocco in 1951 and stopped in 1954 when the Pontiac company ceased trading.


Notes

  1. Both McKeown and Vial say 1950, but a Pontiac advertisement dated 1948, previously visible at Stereocollection, shows the Baby Lynx.
  2. McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). p796.
  3. Baby Lynx with f/3.5 Flor and Prontor II shutter to 1/200 second, and Baby Lynx with f/3.5 Flor and Prontor II shutter to 1/250 second], sold by Swedish auctioneer LP Foto Auktioner in their Auction 29 in March 2008.

Bibliography

  • Vial, Bernard. Histoire des appareils français. Période 1940–1960. Paris: Maeght Éditeur, 1980, re-impressed in 1991. ISBN 2-86941-156-1.
  • Pontiac Lynx, Super Lynx, Baby Lynx, Fotofiche 15, Patrice-Hervé Pont, Ed Fotosaga

Links

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