Japan 1988 – Panoramic – 35 mm – Rare.
The Widelux F8 is a fully mechanical swing-lens panoramic camera. It was first developed in Japan in 1958 by Panon Camera Shoko and production ended in 2000.
The Widelux uses a unique process to create almost 130 degree panoramic exposures on standard 35 mm or medium formats. On 35 mm It produces 24 by 58 mm exposures.
Instead of a shutter, the camera has a slit that exposes the film as the lens slowly pivots on a horizontal arc. This pivot allows for some distortion effects not available with traditional cameras. The same process is now popular in smartphones.
The result is really unique and has been a photographer’s creativity playground for decades. Actor/photographer Jeff Bridges started photographing movie sets with the camera in 1984 and published a book of his panoramic pictures in 2003. Stanley Kubrick’s Widelux photos appear in the book “Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures” by his wife Christiane. The Widelux was even used on some NASA missions.
Based on serial numbering, it seems that only about 20,000 total 35 mm cameras were produced.