Thursday, March 09, 2017
Feeding the Panda
The little Panda is my favorite box camera. I think it would likely find more favor among today's remaining film shooters if it did not require re-rolling 120 film onto 620 reels. That is not a very difficult or time-consuming process, but it seems enough to discourage a lot of potential users.
At first glance, it is difficult to understand why Ansco would choose a unique Kodak film format for any of its cameras as the company had its own film producing capability. It seems very likely that the film format selection was tied to the fact that Ansco had merged with the German Agfa company in 1928 and the conglomerate's U.S.-based operations were seized in 1941 by the U.S. government and held as an enemy asset into the 1960s. So, the decision process at the time of the Panda's appearance in 1946 was under the direction of government-appointed overseers who quite probably had a cozy relationship with Kodak which had many government war production contracts at the time.