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Eclair Cameras: Variable Shutter

The design of the ACL is so compact, there is barely enough space for the very thin shutter as it is, let alone imagining a variable shutter which would add to thickness. It is also hard to imagine how you'd get inside to adjust the shutter, unless it could be designed so that the switching mechanism would be accessable if the viewfinder were pulled. I imagine that the most practical thing to do is to either have shutters of various angles and change them, (of course there are 3 types that now exist --- 172.8, 175 and the HD-144 shutter) or else add some black tape to close the shutter down further. I could see the need for a 90 degree or 45 degree shutter if someone were shooting music videos.

The prototype of the convertible R-16/S-16 next generation ACL, called the PANORAM, had a variable shutter that could be set to 180, 172.8, 150 and 144, and it abandoned the oscillating mirror in favor of a spinning mirror --- that probably accounts for the slight bulge in the very bottom front of the Panoram body. The Panoram would accept standard ACL magazines, as well as mags designed for S-16. Lens mount was a PL-type, and the motor electronics were in the base so that the motor looked more like the Aaton. Eclair called its system of changing from R-16 to S-16 the Eclair VARIGATE. The handle and viewfinder appear similar to that of the ACL II.

Somewhere in the world there may actually exist a few pre-production demos. Anybody know where a pre-production run PANORAM can be picked up?

PANORAM photo at <A HREF="www.members.aol.com/super16acl/panaran1.htm">www.members.aol.com/super16acl/panaran1.htm</A>

Probably Aaton still has all the Eclair molds in a dusty storage space (they bought Eclair out in the 1980s) if any entrepreneur wants to try to acquire the rights to manufacture it --- in high impact plastic?
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