Luxia

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The Luxia and Luxia II are half-frame cameras for 35 mm film, made in 1949 by Costruzioni Ottico Meccaniche Italiane (COMI) of Rome.[1] Dario Mondonico states that the camera was presented at the Milan Fair of that year, but was not a commercial success, and that COMI closed the following year.[2]

The cameras are small and quite elegant. The camera's top, bottom and front plates can be in chrome- or gold-plated finish, with either black or coloured reptile leather elsewhere.

The camera has a fixed, coated[2] 27 mm f/2.9 Delmäk lens, with helical focusing down to 0.7 metre.[3] It stops down only to f/11.[2] The shutter is in the lens, and has speeds 1/25 - 1/250 second, plus 'P' ('B' shutter). It is not synchronised for flash. There is a depth-of-field calculator on the bottom plate. On the top plate are the film advance knob, frame counter, and shutter release plunger. There is also a reverse-Galilean viewfinder.

Film is loaded in special, compact cassettes, and passes from one cassette to a second (rather like the Agfa Rapid film system). Dario Mondonico states that each cassette is sufficient for just eighteen frames.[2] The back of the camera is removed for loading:[3] the only significant difference between the two models is the closure mechanism that fastens the back on.[2]

Notes

  1. McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). p209.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Notes on COMI and the Luxia: text in Italian, with pictures of examples in several finishes, including gold-plate, and of film cassettes, and a box of Luxia-branded film, at Dario Mondonico's Mistermondo.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Luxia II in chrome-and-black finish, sold at the 23rd Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 25 May 2013.
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