by Paolo Mazzanti
In the article A film view camera at the time of digital photography we investigated whether, in an era dominated by the development of digital technology in photography, there could be some new company that searched for different solutions. We found it and presented the “Gibellini Projects” (gibellinicamera.com).
Not satisfied with just the research, we decided to go and see the place where Gibellini View Cameras are made.
With very little notice and almost by surprise we found ourselves heading to Polinago (Modena). We are in the middle of the Northern Apennines in the first breeze of autumn, the road is pleasant among the hills, the air is clear.
The view is serene and, curve after curve, we arrive at the production site of Gibellini.
What did we expect to find in an artisan workshop that produces precision view cameras? Counters with files and lathe for metalworking?
Far from it! We find CNC numerical control machine tools and 3D printers of the best contemporary technology, because Alessandro Gibellini’s dream is to create images with the highest possible quality directly in the shooting phase. Therefore, he chose to conceive, design, and build view cameras for the various plate formats and offer the best results for all those photographers and artists who want to work with the main tool of photography, the large format.
A fascination of times gone-by perhaps, but with priceless satisfaction in terms of results. An old method supported by modern technology that allows us to have the great control and comfort we are used to.
Three main materials make up Gibellini view cameras: aluminum, titanium and plastic supported by carbon fiber, leather, technopolymer and PLA (poly-lactic acid, derived from corn starch).
The production cycle follows a totally personalized program based on customer requests because, beside basic models that we can easily find on the company’s website, it is also possible to customize some parts for specific needs. In fact, the use of computer design allows to modify some parts easily and with the guarantee of reproducibility of the components.
Every detail has been meticulously forged and checked in all its phases up to the last check carried out during the assembly phase.
We hope that Gibellini still maintains the possibility of this personal contact, such as to be able to have ad hoc customizations, before it becomes a large structured company with high production volumes.
Images of the Gibellini Projects production site: © 2020 Paolo Mazzanti
November 30, 2020