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Ansco Pioneer

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The Ansco Pioneer was made from 1947 to 1953 in Ansco's Binghamton, New York plant. It was manufactured in two film sizes, 620 and the larger 616 (2½ x 4¼ inch negative). The cameras are identical except the 616 has a larger body. The Pioneer is interesting in that the film plane is curved and the lens is designed to match the curvature of the film plane. It was basically the same as the Agfa Pioneer. It has a quite reliable viewfinder if the optics haven't become milky. Shutter speeds are instant (ca. 1/50 sec.) or bulb mode. Together with the f/14 lens this makes fast ISO 400 film preferable even for fine weather shots. The older models have no bulb mode and a red-capped shutter release lever at the lens tube instead of the red release button. The camera was designed by New York-born industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss who had made telephone designs for Bell Telephone Laboratories before.

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