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Panamate: The $1 Panocam

The $1 Panoramacam that is worth every penny.

Some weeks ago, I was browsing Flickr and stumbled across so-called “pseudopanoramas”. These are basically wide-angle captures where the upper and lower third of the negative is covered by a mask and thus stays unexposed. The resulting pictures have a ratio of approximately 3:1. But the best thing about it is that the cameras that take these pictures only cost around 1$ (check eBay or Craigslist or the Yardsale just across the street).

I got myself a Panamate for €1 + €2 shipping on eBay but there are several models that are alike (e.g., Ultronic Panoramic). I apologize for not showing you an actual picture of my Panamate. I actually took one but then I couldn’t find the USB-cable to connect my digital camera to my computer :D So I just scanned the box.

The camera is worth every penny, but to be fair, not much more…Plastic lens with fixed focus, fixed aperture (roundabout F11?) and a fixed shutterspeed (somewhere between 1/60 and 1/125 I guess). Point and shoot at it’s best. And from time to time, a nice light leak adds a little lomo-flavor.

I was not sure which film I should load to try it out and I decided to go for an Ilford Delta 400 which turned out pretty overexposed and I had to tune up the black point during scanning.

The second film I tried was an expired Fuji Superia ISO 200. And ISO 200 turned put to be the perfect speed for sunny afternoons, of course when the sun approaches the horizon it gets a little slow but still usable.

As you can see on the pictures it gets a little smooth to the left, probably due to not completely plain film. But I love the look of the pictures and I thought I should share my experience with this new piece in my collection.

If you got yourself such a toy, don’t forget to tag your pics as “pseudopanorama” so we can find ’em.

written by phalanx

4 comments

  1. ericeast

    ericeast

    it rocks!

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. itsdebraanne

    itsdebraanne

    wow. most cheap cameras that claim to be "panoramic" just crop the image. i wonder what the focal length of the lens is? 20mm? 21mm? anyway, this camera looks legit. (:

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. chucknoz

    chucknoz

    I have a similar pseudo looking panorama which I am currently working through a roll on. I bought it from ebay for a similar price, and then later found it had been given away free with a magazine in the 80s. Can't wait to see the results.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. strummy

    strummy

    The camera looks VERY similar to the Ansco Pix Panorama. The photos even have the same hazy blue/green retro look. http://www.lomograph(…)x-panorama/

    about 3 years ago · report as spam