The Photax was a viewfinder camera made of Bakelite. It took 6×9cm exposures on roll film. The first version was introduced in 1937 by M.I.O.M., a maker of isolation material and cast plastic parts. It was the Photax, also sold as Camera 77 or Loisirs. Six different models were introduced between 1937 and 1960. Since the Photax II model, the cameras were also available as a blindé variant. "Blindé" stood for a Bakelite lens cover which protected the lens and shutter release.

Description[edit | edit source]

Technical details were kept as simple as possible. The body contained the film spools and the image frame. Outer parts were the optical viewfinder, the film advance wheel, the opening shifter, the tripod thread, and one or two uncloseable red exposure counting windows. All other functional parts were placed in the lens barrel's front plate, except for the camera's most characteristic feature: the lens barrel had to be turned 360 degrees (counter-clockwise) to be screwed out of the camera body into working position, except in model I on which a metal ring had to be turned to screw out the lens. The functional elements in the lens tube's front plate were the meniscus lens, the two round aperture masks, a shiftable nib to select one of the two apertures, another shiftable nib to select the shutter speed, the shutter and the tall shutter release button. The 5mm shifting travel of the shutter release button was enough to cock the shutter before exposure. Some of the postwar models had a flash cable connector in the lens tube front plate. Model VI finally even got a flash shoe.

specifications[edit | edit source]

  • Type: viewfinder camera
  • Film: Type 620 film rolls (except Photax I: type 120)
  • Manufacturer: M.I.O.M.
  • Viewfinder: Galilei type optical finder (except model VI: frame finder)
  • Exposure format: 6×9, except model VI with format 6×6, and models I and V, both with both formats

Photax(often classified as Photax I)[edit | edit source]

  • Year of launch: 1937
  • Lens: Boyer Serie VII meniscus lens
  • Shutter: Guillotine shutter with two speeds

Loisirs[edit | edit source]

  • Year of launch: 1937
  • Lens: Radior Serie IX meniscus lens
  • Shutter: Guillotine shutter with two speeds

Camera 77[edit | edit source]

  • Year of launch: 1937
  • Lens: Boyer Serie V meniscus lens
  • Shutter: Guillotine shutter with two speeds

Photax II[edit | edit source]

  • Year of launch: 1938
  • Lens: Boyer Serie VIII meniscus lens
  • Shutter: Guillotine shutter with two speeds

Photax III[edit | edit source]

  • Year of launch: 1947
  • Lens: Boyer Serie VIII meniscus lens, distances 2.75 metres to infinity
  • Shutter: Guillotine shutter with speeds 1/25 sec., 1/100 sec, or T (meaning B)

Photax IV[edit | edit source]

  • Year of launch: 1951
  • Lens: Boyer Rexar meniscus lens
  • Shutter: Guillotine shutter with speeds 1/25 sec., 1/100 sec, or B

Photax III VA[edit | edit source]

  • Year of launch: 1955
  • Lens: Boyer Serie VIII meniscus lens, distances 2.75 metres to infinity
  • Shutter: RIM shutter with speeds 1/25 sec., 1/100 sec, or B; now with cable release socket

Photax IV F[edit | edit source]

  • Year of launch: 1951
  • Lens: Boyer Rexar meniscus lens
  • Shutter: RIM shutter with speeds 1/25 sec., 1/100 sec, or B, flash-synchronized

Photax V[edit | edit source]

  • Year of launch: 1956
  • Lens: Angénieux Heanar Type V lens
  • Shutter: RIM shutter with speeds 1/25 sec., 1/100 sec, or B, flash-synchronized

Photax VI[edit | edit source]

  • Year of launch: 1960
  • Lens: Angénieux Heanar Type VI lens
  • Shutter: RIM shutter with speeds 1/25 sec., 1/100 sec, or B, flash-synchronized

Links[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

MIOM Photax by L. Gratté, R. Boissier, J. Charrat and S. Halgand Ed. by Club Niepce Lumiere

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