Gandolfi Large Format Camera….The Epitome of Analog?
First, let me say that at one time, long, long ago, Gandolfi Large Format Camera was considered the pinnacle of large format. Way before Toyo or Horseman was even a twinkle in anyone’s eye. They have been making cameras since 1885! Nikon and Canon owe more than they could ever imagine to the Gandolfi family and their heirs. Finding info on these great, handcrafted wonders is like pulling teeth!
So, let me quote from Wikipedia, and their limited resources on these wondrous mechanical devices. I don’t claim to be an expert, but am in awe, given the context and time period. Some say they are returning in this digital age. We’ll see, but they are a very welcomed addition,…especially in the face of the mountains they’ll have to climb to continue the tradition and purity,… true analog in a digital world. Can it be done? The film resurgence is here for a reason. Let’s hope so.
Wood and Brass
Gandolfi is a British manufacturer who have made large format cameras in the traditional style using wood and brass for many years. Recently they have begun making more modern versions, still large format but using newer materials and techniques, although the traditional cameras are still made as well. They are one of the oldest camera makers still in existence.
Gandolfi was founded by Louis Gandolfi in 1885. In 1928 he handed over the company to his sons, Arthur, Frederick and Thomas, who continued to run the company in the traditional way. They never employed more than a few staff, and were a small craftsman-type operation. They made many cameras as one-offs, to individual requirements. The last Gandolfi brother, Arthur, died in 1993. The Gandolfi company was sold a few years previously, when the brothers retired, but still continues to make cameras, both the traditional mahogany and brass models and the new Variant models. And repairs! (sadly, now closed)
Although finding this work of art is rare, you can try Ebay here; you never know. Find Gandolfi