Gandolfi

Stephen Batey

Well-Known Member
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There was a BBC documentary available which I downloaded; as I recall it was made as the last brother was retiring as he was making/made one for himself.
 

Ian Grant

Active Member
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Four months ago (Sept 11th 2017) the Gandolfi website was stating that "We are happy to announce that we are again building Gandolfi cameras."

Of course it never happened.

Ian
 

Ian Grant

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Registered User
Sir Kenneth Corfield helped to keep Gandolfi going after the last 2 brothers retired and bought the company in 1982 with Brian Gould to keep the company going.When Brian died the company was run by Eddy Mees who resigned from the company on October 2017.

I met Sir Kenneth and Brian quite a few times at Focus on Imaging, or what ever it was called before that, they were both great enthusiast who took pride in the business and keeping the traditional cameras in production as well as introducing newer products. After Brian died the company was never the same and went downhill it was virtually inactive for some years.

Ian
 

Robin Brigham

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There are two short films about Gandolfi on the web, one of them very trivial. There have been rumours of a more serious film, but no actual sighting of it.
This may be of interest:
http://www.gandolfi-film.co.uk/index.html
hi David

I emailed the producer a few years ago and he sent me a copy
it was a very nice ramberling documentary
Fred and Arther were very english eccentric
I hope they get it released soon

best

robin
 

Ian Grant

Active Member
Registered User
I'll place an order, thanks Martin.

My £30 Gandolfi included a tripod (broken) and lens (no shutter blade). While it has no makers name the fittings are typical Gandolfi, Watson, or Perken, however the front standard attachment system is the type Patented by Gandolfi, it's a very early Half Plate model.

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Apart from a broken front strut it's in overall good condition except for the bellows :D I already have a Gandolfi Tripod which my unknown 12x10 camera lives on.

Ian
 

Paul Kay

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Registered User
I have a half-plate 'Gandolfi & Sons' 'Precision' camera which I suspect is of post-war vintage simply from its clean condition. I picked up a lesser condition 5" x 4" reducing back for it which the buyer confirmed to be Gandolfi from the build quality and size, and sure enough it fits perfectly. Again rather unobtrusively stamped in the black interior area (I don't think that the seller must have seen it) is 'L Gandolfi' dating it to before 1931 I believe. Frustratingly though, I also have a half plate Folding Flat-bed Gandolfi which does not share the same rear section dimensions so I'm going to have to build an adapter plate for it. Fortunately I have a smaller 5" x 4" Precision with a back which is just a little too small for it, so this should be a relatively easy build. So much for standardisation! If anyone hears of any Gandolfi reducing backs for sale ......

Also FWIW the lens boards also appear to be highly variable partly due I am told, to the Gandolfis often building to a customer's requirements and fitting extra adjustments if asked to do so. My 5" x 4" 'Precision' has vertical adjustment on the front lens board which is compromised by the smallish aperture in the board which it sits in front of. A classic example of specification over usability.
 

Ian Grant

Active Member
Registered User
Here's one I got recently, I believe it's one of the models Louis made in the 1890's before he settled on the pro. designs that became well known. Called the 'Special', when it was sold in an outfit like this it was called the 'Briton'. For the chaps in straw boaters to carry on their new bicycles, it was good quality but simpler, & I don't think he was making much money, all those bought in extras must have affected his bottom line. No makers name, but it matches the 1890's adverts.
Not come across that one, I didn't think Gandolfi used circular lens boards but late 1890's adverts show they did :D

I doubt the Gandolfis ever made much money, they were artisan craftsmen rather than businessmen, one reason they survived so long they had a niche market from the 30's onwards.

Ian
 
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