Toronto. A while back I posted a note about Ansco’s answer to Kodak’s baby Brownie – the Ansco Panda. In this summer 1950 LIFE ad (thanks George!) the marketeers promote the little beauty with FOUR Ansco films at a special price (in the USA, of course).
The camera is marketed with its short-falls and common Ansco features as special: The large viewer is touted as “twin lens” and a “brilliant reflex-type finder centrally located”. It has an “automatic spring-type shutter – almost all shutters were spring operated,”, “plastic body”, “red shutter release button – a feature of most Ansco cameras”, “easy to load and use – like any cheap box camera”, “sharp, big pictures”, and “12 exposures on standard 620 roll [film] – the number of shots depended on the size of the negative, and was usually 8 or 12 per roll”.
And being 2-1/4 square negatives, the Panda could also take colour prints and slides when used with colour film which was much more expensive and far less light sensitive. Kodak’s 35mm Kodachrome of the day was about ASA 10 or perhaps less. Ansco Color (later Anscochrome) was about three times faster at ASA32.
And like Gillette or Kodak, the reusable product at a low price introduced the consumables (be they razor blades or film rolls) to a new audience.