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Widelux F7
Widelux F7 panoramic camera-front.jpg
Widelux model F7
MakerPanon Camera Shoko
Typeswing-lens panoramic camera
Intro priceabout US$750 in 1988[1]
Lens26mm pivoting lens
F-numbers2.8, 4, 5.6, 8 and 11
Film format35mm
Film size24mm x 56mm
FocusSet at 5-6 feet
Exposure1/15, 1/125, 1/250
Exposure meteringNo
Shutter speeds1/15, 1/125, and 1/250
Made inJapan
Model FVI from 1969.

The Widelux is a fully mechanical swing-lens panoramic camera first developed in Japan in 1958,[2] by Panon Camera Shoko. There are both 35mm and medium-format models. Instead of a shutter, the camera has a slit that exposes the film as the lens pivots on a horizontal arc. This pivot allows for some distortion effects not available with traditional cameras. The last Widelux model F8 ended production in 2000. [2]


Widelux F series 35mm[edit]

  • Widelux FI (1959) with Vistar f/2.8 26mm
  • Widelux FV (1959) with Panon f/2.8 26mm
  • Widelux FVI (~1964)
  • Widelux F6 (~1970)
  • Widelux F6B (~1970s)
  • Widelux F7 (1979–1988)
  • Widelux F8 (1988–2000)

Medium Format model 1500[edit]

The medium format Widelux model 1500 make 50x122 mm frames on 120 film, and cover a 150-degree horizontal angle across the long side. It was described as newly introduced in 1988 and cost "about US$4,500" at the time.[1]


There are important differences between the F and 1500 series cameras. The 35mm cameras have a set focus (5 ft to infinity), whereas the 1500 Widelux can focus from a bit less than 1m to infinity with seven markers. The 35mm cameras have three shutter speeds, 1/15, 1/125 and 1/250 of a second, whereas the 1500 Widelux has shutter speeds of 1/8, 1/60 and 1/250 of a second. The F series cover a 140 degree view, whereas the 1500 series covers a slightly wider area (150 degree view-diagonally-140 degr.horizontally). Finally, the 1500 Widelux, like most manual film cameras, has a shutter that must be cocked before the camera will fire. When setting focus below 5m on Widelux 1500 the resolution will be reduced due to optical limitations. There were a lot of problems for the first models in the 90s, uneven rotation, filmplane so buyers are encouraged to test beforehand.[citation needed]


Actor/photographer Jeff Bridges started photographing movie sets with the camera in 1984. In 2003, he published a book of his panoramic pictures called simply "Pictures".[3] Bridges was recognized for his Widelux photography by the International Center of Photography's Infinity Award in 2013.[3]

A few of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick's Widelux photos appear in the book "Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures" by his wife Christiane.[4]

The Widelux has been used on some NASA missions for its 140° coverage.[citation needed]

Similar cameras[edit]

Cameras with similar functions include the Noblex and Horizon.


  1. ^ a b Meehan, Joseph (October 1988). "Superwide: A user's guide to the world of super wide-angle lenses and panoramic cameras". Popular Photography. 95 (10): 56–61, 82–83. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Widelux". Camerapedia. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b Estrin, James (30 April 2013). "Lens Blog: The Dude Abides on the Other Side of the Lens". New York Times. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  4. ^ Christiane Kubrick (2002). Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures. Retrieved 3 April 2015. Stanley took this photograph in the Dorchester Hotel ... in early 1965 ... he shot it with one of his favorite cameras: the 35mm Widelux.