We’re sure USSR cameras are part of many, if not all, vintage camera collections and film camera arsenals out there. They’re great starter cameras, and they provide an easy route to camera collecting since they’re often cheap and easy to find. Our latest vintage find, however, is anything but both: a curious-looking prototype panoramic camera that takes medium format film. It’s so unique and unusual that you most likely won’t find anything like it.
Very few details are known about this intriguing camera, listed by Russian eBay seller benefit_store. They believe this USSR camera was made during the 1960s to 1970s and is a prototype from an unknown manufacturer. It’s made of metal, has an approximate dimension of 18x12x10 cm, and weighs around 1550g. The swing type lens has eight aperture blades and is clean and clear. The camera still works, but the lens already stops in the middle.
As pointed out by the seller, there’s not a lot of medium format panoramic cameras made in the history of photography, especially in this era and with this design. The best known are perhaps the Widelux Model 1500, introduced in 1988, and the Noblex medium format models. This mysterious medium format prototype also looks significantly different from the FT-1, FT-2, and FT-3. These known, boxy prototypes were made beginning in 1948 by Krasnogorsky Mechanicheskiy Zavod (KMZ). KMZ was also the makers of the Horizon series of 35mm panoramic cameras, which also had a medium format model in the form of the limited-run Horizon 205 PC.
So yes, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll find a camera similar to this mysterious unit. Whether it’s worth the hefty Buy It Now price of $40,000, we let you decide. Check out the eBay listing to find out more and get in touch with the seller, and either Buy It Now or make your best offer.
Photos from the ebay listing by benefit_store