Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Pannaroma camera by Thomas Roma

The "P-anna-roma" camera was made by Thomas Roma. He's "an American photographer who has worked almost exclusively since 1974 exploring the neighborhoods and institutions of his native Brooklyn, photographing scenes from churches, subways and everyday life, using a homemade camera"(from wikipedia).

Professor Roma built this camera from the gutted body of a Nikon F. The picture of which appears in Joseph Meehan's book. This I beleive one of the earliest examples of converted 35mm panoramic cameras.

Quoting again from wiki "He milled an adapter out of aircraft aluminum to go between the Nikon body and a Mamiya 50mm Sekor lens. He also made a bright-line optical viewfinder for the camera. The camera was called a “Pannaroma 1X3″, making a play on words between “panorama” and Roma’s wife’s name “Anna,” to create the word "P-anna-roma"." :)

Though I can't provide a picture of this camera at this moment, some example photos are taken by Danis Santella using this camera can be found here.

You can also read a 1978 newspaper article which tells about the inventor and his invention.

Some more information on Thomas Roma can be found from the Wiki entry , an interview of him from Columbia university website (where he's a full professor) and from his website .

I'm indebted to Mr. Olaf Matthes for all these informations. Do have a look at his great handmade panoramic cameras.

Mr. Roma made other camera's too including a 6x9. I'll write about it in my next post.


Chris Mitchell said...

Great site.
Here is a link to a photo of the camera.

Chris Mitchell

Somak Ray said...

Many Thanks Chris

Anonymous said...

maybe i have seen a report about romas work using this rather huge 6x9. its was not the nikon. i would like to see it.none of the links show it.
michael przewrocki

Somak Ray said...

Many thanks Mr. Przewrocki. I beleive soon I can provide some more pics of Roma's different cameras, as assured by one of his collagues.