German PANTA camera. Has anyone seen this model before.

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by diwan_bhathal, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. I got this camera a while back. I had to have it, because it looks
    to me as being the cleanest "art deco" looking camera that I have
    ever seen.
    It is named PANTA. It is indicated in the back that it is made in
    Germany. The back has an aluminum exposure table riveted to it. The
    markings are both in English and German.

    The lens is a Steiner-Bayreuth Steinar 1:4.5 75mm in a Vario
    shutter. Speeds of 200, 75, 25 and B. Apertures of 4.5, 5.6, 8, 11
    and 22. This shutter combination looks very similar to the one in my
    Zeiss Nettar.

    The format is 6x6 and this is achieved by pulling on the
    lens/shutter to extract the chromed tube. I took a roll with it, and
    I will post it when I find it.

    I have never seen anything like it. An internet research was
    fruitless and I have never heard of this brand name.

    This camera looks to be from the '50's or later to me, not sooner.

    The looks are really slick, it is so clean that the designer did not
    incorporate the loops to attach the strap. The camera is made from
    aluminum and is quite lightweight.

    Any indication as to its provenance will be welcome.

    Thank you.

    P.S: I made a mistake and posted this on the Alternative Cameras
    Forum. I included there all the photos of the camera.
  2. Another view of the Panta camera.
  3. Top view. This camera is a 6x6.
  4. Its an interesting camera but I see nothing about it that is typical art deco style.
  5. tgh


    From what I found, it was probably made in German in 1950-1955 by Dr. Rodehus. Apparently there were other lens/shutter combinations. Found another one here that the owner was also looking for information about it.
  6. What a neat camera! It looks "Arty Deco" to me. Is the lens coated or not, (probably a good way to guess if it's pre or post WW2).
  7. What a fantastic piece. If I had one of those, I would cling tightly to it.

  8. If you want to tag its esthetic design with a label, how about Bauhaus? IMHO it's too form-follows-function to be Art Deco. Real classy looking though!

    Check out this Zenit 1 for a beautiful example of an Art Deco inspired camera. It was made in the 50's I think, after the Art Deco era, but the Russians weren't always in sync with global design trends.

    Peter Wilson
  9. I have a Panta for 6.5x4cm on 127 film. Dr Rodehueser founded his company in Heessen (near Hamm, in northern Germany), the plant was some km away in Bergkamen. Heessen is a small town in my home county, about 20 km from my place of birth, this was the only reason why I bought this camera.

    Dr. Rodehueser made several models of the Panta in the early 50s. I have not seen the 6x6 variety yet. Also, there are probably several variations of lens/shutters. Mine has a Pronto shutter (similar to Vario but with self timer), I forgot the lens designator but I am sure it is not a Steinar lens.

    Dr. Rodehueser went bancrupt after some years. Despite their exterior design, the cameras were crudely made and in no way competitive with other manufacturers. He refounded the company with the name 'Westfaelische Apparate Bau' and made similar cameras even in 24x36mm with the Narvax designator. The latter is not to be confused with the ultra-rare Narva, a german early post-war Leica clone.
  10. Gentlemen:

    After reading your posts, the style of this camera is more "Bauhaus" than anything else. The one which is absolutely "art deco" is the Rolleicord.

    Yes, while this camera has a super clean design, it is quite crudely manufactured. It is made of cast aluminum and the tolerances are not very precise. It definitely does not possess a solid look to it, feels in the hand quite flimsy, but looks terrific.

    As to the lens, it was fogged when I purchased the camera. After a good cleaning it became totally transparent. Definitely, no coating whatsoever. If this is a mid-'50's camera, this indicates, at least to me that it was quite inexpensive at that time.

    The film transport carriage inside the camera is of lesser quality than my Zeiss Nettar, and the whole thing is a truncated pyramid attached to the body by big screws ( I guess that those are cheaper than the really smalls ones ).

    I just thought that I would share the looks of it. As to the lens, I still have to expose some film trough it, to see the results. Too many things to do, so little time... I need another lifetime !

    Thanks to all, especially to Winnfred, which precisely dated the origin and location of its manufacture. Now I know thanks to this great forum.
  11. The Panta 6.5x4 I have does not even have a rear door (or rather rear part) lock. There is a tiny groove on the side edge of the body. You press your finger nail into it and then you take off the whole rear part which is held into place by friction only.
  12. I've been coveting one of those Rolleicords for quite a while. It's one of the few Art Deco designs outside of Kodak's impressive set of Teague-designed cameras.
  13. Just to beat this dead horse a bit more: the reason I cited that Zenit 1

    as an example of Art Deco was because of the beveled tiering of its upper regions. This is typical of a variant of A.D. architecture known as Streamline Moderne:

    While the graphics and lettering on that Rolleicord are pretty A.D., I wouldn't say its overall shape is, particularly.

    These are all beautiful cameras though, no matter how you describe the design!

  14. Absolutely! Beautiful cameras.

    Now that I think of it... These cameras well in a seashore setting in combination with old style Ray Ban sunglasses and Sophia Loren posing by the palm tree with the blue of the sea behind her.

    It was the "look" from a time past. It is still with us, but it got colored "professional black".

    ...Just rambling.

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