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brigitte stahre
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/27/2004

a camera i never heard of before

my MIL gave me a camera she got free several years ago and asked me to look it up. it's a benz gant helioflex 3000t.
after hours of trying it took 5 of us to find how to open the thing. there was a 35mm film in it but the camera is a 50mm.. i'm strictly digital any input anyone?? btw, all inquiries on the web lead to "page not found"

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12/30/2007 8:50:50 AM

Darren S. Thomas  
This is what I found on google, not much on the net about it, well what I could find anyway

Has anyone ever heard of the Benz-Gant Helioflex 3000T, or have any experiences with it?

A few weeks ago I was at a church rummage sale, and found this camera mixed in with all the old point-and-shoot cameras. It was $5, and I bought it because it looked neat and I was intrigued by the "NEW COLOR OPTICAL LENS" printed on it.

I can't find a whole lot about it online. What I could find is that the camera apparantly was sold by International Home Shopping, one of the names used by Suarez Corp. Industries in Ohio. I guess that they ran a full-page ad in the paper for this "free" camera, but charged a ton for express shipping. I can't find a copy of the ad (I had before), so I really have no more details.

It has fixed shutter speed; I have no idea how fast it is. I'm guessing around 125 or so, as quite a few indoor and longer-distance flash shots came out underexposed. There's four aperture settings: 6.3, 8 11, and 16. The lens claims it's "focus free."

It's got a hotshoe mount, which works.

It's a hefty camera, but entirely made of plastic (including the lens).

The shutter release button is threaded for a release cable. I think this would work if my cable would screw into it.

Searching online I find a lot of auctions and sales claiming that it's a panaramic camera. I put a roll of film through it (it takes 35mm) and the photos came out just as 35mm photos should. The weird thing is that the film counter only incrimented to 12 (on a 24 exp. roll). I don't know if this is characteristic of the camera, or my counter is broken.

The ad states that the camera has a push-button panoramic option. My camera doesn't. I just took it apart because something was rattling inside, and I wanted to make sure it wasn't this button. I didn't see anything that might move about to make panoramic photos. Maybe there was an insert?

In all the photos I've seen online of the camera I can't see any panoramic button.

I did discover why it's so heavy. There's a big slab 'o metal inside it. I guess if that wasn't in there, the camera would be super-light


it sounds like the panoramic option is part of an additional package, with the flash and stuff:

"Benz-Gant will also offer a controlled number of the complete Factory Equipment Option Package to area residents that includes everything available in teh U.S.

"The complete option package includes: The Push Button Wide Angle Panaramic Function, The Continual Life Flash Unit, The Multi-Angle Tripod, ...."

Sounds like it may be an external attachment.

Original LINK


Here is a panoramic picture taken with that camera:

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12/30/2007 9:47:18 AM

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