Boniforti and Ballerio

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Photography supply industry in Milano, Italia
Bencini | Boniforti and Ballerio | Cappelli | Nuova Closter | Ferrania | Filma | Filotecnica Salmoiraghi | GGS | G.P.M. | Industria Scientifica Ottica | Koristka | Lamperti and Garbagnati | Murer & Duroni | Officine Galileo

Boniforti and Ballerio was a camera maker in Milan in the years after the Second World War.[1] Carlo Boniforti began making and repairing cameras in the 1930s.[2] Boniforti patented a film pack and a magazine to hold such packs.[3]

Boniforti was joined by his partner Agostino Ballerio after the War, and they produced the Perseo Leica-copy in 1947.[2] Boniforti died the next year, and the company coninued under the ownership of his heirs, together with Ballerio. They made a second model of the Perseo in 1949, and in 1955 Ballerio made a prototype of a colour-separation version of it, though this was not manufactured in any large numbers.

In 1952 the firm made the Kobell professional medium-format rangefinder camera for 6x9 cm plates or film. This was re-worked in 1955 as a 6x7 cm camera for roll film. Dario Mondonico states that only about 400 cameras of the Kobell series were made.[2]

Finally, in about 1967, Ballerio's last camera was a 9x12 cm folding-bed plate or film camera, the Linear. This camera is aluminium-bodied, with leatherette covering on the body. Most of its components are machined in aluminium, and quite simply shaped. The camera is at least double-extension. The lens-board is engraved 'Linear 9x12', and at least 'Linear' is printed or painted on the bed, below the rails. The example seen has neither viewfinder nor rangefinder, nor attachment points for these.[4] Again, very few examples were made.


  1. The company name may have been Officina di Precisione Meccanica e Fotografica S.r.l; this is stated in the book Made in Italy by M. Antonetto & M. Malavolti; cited in notes on the Perseo formerly at Fotocamere Italiane (text in Japanese): this post archived (without pictures) at Internet Archive, 9 October 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Boniforti e Ballerio at Dario Mondonico's site: text in Italian, with pictures of the Perseo I and II, Kobell and the folding Linear.
  3. US Patent 1613379, Cut Film Pack, and US Patent 1613378, Cut Film Magazine, both in the name of Carlo Boniforti in January 1927; at Espacenet, the patent search facility of the European Patent Office.
  4. Linear 9x12 with 135 mm f/5.6 Symmar and Copal 0 shutter, offered for sale at Ebay, January 2015 (item 261729773472).