Beware the Pantium, my Son

Introducing the Pantium dl 1000.

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This streamlined beauty boasts:

–  a focus-free 50mm optical lens

– three aperture settings, reaching a giddying f/6.3

– two optical viewfinders: standard and a faux-TLR style top-down one

– auto wind and rewind

– flash hot shoe

And my favourite part – a lens cap which says ‘camera’ on it. Given the amount of times I’ve tried to put my lens caps back on the kettle, this is super handy.

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This camera set me back £1.20 on eBay. As shocking as this will be to camera aficionados – it’s not actually a very good camera. I can find next to nothing about these online, but it seems (surprisingly) it’s one of a variety of bootleg knock-off cameras from China designed to try and fool people who – I guess know nothing about cameras? – into thinking they’re buying a real brand. I’ve seen this same camera elsewhere on eBay branded as CANNON or NIKKER, but I’m not sure what PANTIUM is trying to rip off.

The eBay seller wasn’t trying to pass it off as anything, so I thought I’d give it a punt and see if it might make an interesting toy camera. It was bigger than I thought when it arrived, about the same size as a good SLR, and had a bit of weight to it, even though the body was very flimsy. The lens has three aperture settings – f/22, f/11 and f/6.3 – and rotating the aperture ring moves the lens in and out. It’s focus free (presumably why it only reaches f/6).

I put some batteries in it and tested it out. Unfortunately, the automatic winder kept slipping and jamming every other time I depressed the shutter, although the rewind worked fine. Given that a roll of film costs more than twice the price of the camera, that was a sacrifice I wasn’t prepared to make. I can’t feel too bad, though, only being £1 out of pocket.

I did pop the camera open and found out what gave it its weight. Let’s just say it wasn’t the electronics.

A lead weight?
A lead weight?

2 thoughts on “Beware the Pantium, my Son

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