The Ansco Ready-Flash 6×9 medium format camera is a classic from the 1950’s that will blow your mind with almost-panoramic capabilities, velvety vignetting and wild light leaks.
What did pre-fame-and-fortune-Elvis, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe use when they wanted to take panoramic shots? Why an Ansco Ready Flash, of course.
Unlike the Brownies floating around in the 1950’s the Ansco yields 6X9-sized photos, not 6X6. This makes for beautiful wide, expansive shots. It’s really as close as you can get to panoramic abilities in a film camera, short of the Horizon Perfekt. This compact little wonder is very simple yet quite sturdy. There’s no chance of the back flying off as it closes by inserting the top, or ‘guts’ of the camera into the bottom or ‘case’ of the camera. It’s also quite ergonomical. An added bonus, 120 film fits like a dream in this machine.
Let’s say Peggy Sue and Barbara Ann need some pictures full of light-leaks and vignetting for a mad modern art project. All they need is the Ansco. Every frame offers beautiful vignetting and on every roll, some unexpected and wild light-leaks. Those consistent leaks and purple streaks will make their beatnik art teacher swoon!
Described as the point-and-shoot of its day, you’d have been a lucky little sock-hopper to have the Ansco with you, even at night. As the name suggests, it’s ready for a flash unit so Marilyn, Elvis and James could take it to the Drive-In at night or document a drag race down main street in the middle of the night. When I bought mine it came with an excellent-looking round flash attached. If I could find the right flashbulbs and batteries I could probably still use it.
If you’re a lucky cat, you’ll be able to score an Ansco Ready Flash for 1950’s prices. They’re not very expensive, even on eBay, but they’re oh-so-worth-it! A camera that takes panoramic pictures AND costs less than a frosty malted milkshake? What’s not to love?