Mr Kwan Kee brought along a few cameras yesterday for me to catalog and among these cameras was The Widelux.
This is a fully mechanical swing-lens panoramic camera that was first developed in Japan in 1948 in both 35mm and medium-format models.
The Widelux manages to capture 140 degrees field of view in those days via a 26mm lens that pivots on an axis when the shutter is released.
This pivoting allows for some special effects not available with traditional cameras.
The 'newest' model as of 2006 is the F8 ..... Mr Kuan Kee showed me his ...... an F5 from 1960
This camera from 1960 has a set focus distance ....... 3 feet to inifinity ....... the 2006 model has a set focus from 5 ft to infinity.
There are 3 shutter speeds of 1/10 , 1/100 and 1/300 sec
Trivia fact, the Widelux in its latter years has been used on some NASA missions for its 140° coverage. Of course this model from 1960 did not make it into space as there was no space program then on both sides of the Cold War
Another Trivia .... The Widelux trademark has still a lot of fans and users: one of them is the actor/photographer Jeff Bridges who published a book of his panoramic pictures in 2004.
With the back opened
The back...... notice the unique position where the Lock and Unlock switch is located