Speich

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Cesare Speich of Genoa is known for only one camera, made in 1953, in only prototype quantity (McKeown estimates about twenty may have been made[1]), though the camera appears to have been advertised.[2] It is a stereo camera, making pairs of images, each 10x12 mm, side by side on 35 mm film running vertically through the camera.[3] It has 20 mm f/2.8 lenses, mounted behind prisms which serve to increase the separation of the two views (the stereo base). Dario Mondonico states that there were two (very similar) models of the camera; the first, which he names the Microstereo, has Speich's own lenses; he states that only five copies of this were made.[4] The remainder, which Mondonico names the Microstereo II, have Rodenstock lenses; he states that 20-25 of this model were made, before Speich judged that popular interest in stereo photography was not enough to justify making the camera.

The example already cited at Westlicht has an unusual prism unit, rather crudely finished; other examples of the camera seen have wider prisms, and the Speich logo engraved on the front of the unit.[5][6]

The viewing lens is also a 20 mm f/2.8, engraved for Speich: this serves a waist-level viewfinder with a folding hood. The shutter gives speeds 1 to 1/250 second (Mondonico states that the first model of the camera has shutter speeds only to 1/200 second[4]) and is synchronised for flash, with a PC socket; there is a cold shoe on the left side of the camera.

The camera makes 110 exposures on a nominally 36-exposure 135 film cassette. Dario Mondonico states that the first model makes only 55.[4]

A viewer was made for the camera.[7][4]

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). p899.
  2. Speich, including an Italian advertisement for the camera, dated (by Novacon) to 1955 at Novacon
  3. Speich stereo camera, with unusually crude front prism unit, offered but unsold at the 24th Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 23 November 2013. The auctioneer's notes estimate only fifteen cameras were made. Excellent pictures of the camera.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Speich cameras at Dario Mondonico's Mistermondo.com.
  5. Speich stereo camera sold at Sale 5507 - Cameras and Photographic Equipment, the Property of a Collector,on 23 March 2004.
  6. Speich camera in the highlights of the auction Photographica and Film by Auction Team Breker, on 26-7 September 2008.
  7. Speich camera and stereo viewer sold at the eighth Westlicht auction, in November 2005.

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