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1947-1958. PB-20 or PB-16 film, plastic camera. Also known as "Agfa Pioneer".

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Ansco: Pioneer camera

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by bill339 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:38 am

The Ansco Pioneer was made from 1947 to 1958 in Ansco's Binghamton, New York plant. It was manufactured in two film sizes, 620 and the larger 616 (2 1/2 x 4 1/4 inch negative). Ansco used their own designations of PB20 and PD16, respectively, for these two sizes. 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 like this one 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. For the Christmas shopping seasons of 1949 and 1950, Ansco offered a special Jr. Press Photographer camera, intended as a children's gift. This was a renamed Pioneer, in a kit with flash and instructions aimed at the budding photojournalist.

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