Silvestri Cameras timeline

1981

 

SLV


   

The production of the Silvestri cameras started in Florence, Italy, at the beginning of the eighties by the work of Vincenzo Silvestri who designed and developed the original project.
The intents were that of providing the photographers of architecture with a wide angle camera extremely compact and light-weight, compared to the large view cameras produced in that period, and with the essential movements for the perspective correction. The SLV was born with the 6X7 / 6X9 format, with a rotating back with click stop each 90 degrees and the lens, a Super Angulon 5,6/47mm in focusing helical mount by Schneider, was not interchangeable. The shift mechanism permitted a total rise or fall of 25mm, it consisted in a control knob and two counterposed screws right/left and allowed a precise setting and locking of the shift.
The attachment of the roll film back was Graflex compatible that opened the system to the application of various backs like Mamiya, Horseman, Wista, etc. The image viewing and the focusing were made on the ground glass by mean of a magnifying lens in a leather bellow.
The whole camera structure was made in anodized aluminium worked with CNC machineries, ensuring constructive exactness and reliability.

Pratically the SLV camera allowed to shift in any direction by simply placing and levelling the back horizontally or vertically and by orienting the camera body leaning it to the right or left, or upwards or up side down.
Some samples of this first model were made in an almost handcraft way but meeting a good interest among the specialized photographers, Silvestri was pushed to develop a new and improved model of SLV.

This second model had a bayonet for attaching the lenses and an interchangeable system for the backs.
This gave the SLV a major extension and flexibility and the range of lenses grew to 3 Schneider lenses: Super Angulon 5,6/65mm,  Super Angulon 5,6/75mm and Symmar 5,6/100mm, beside the Super Angulon 5,6/47mm, all lenses had a bayonet attachment and a focusing helical mount. The interchangeable backs allowed to insert the extension rings to compensate the difference in focal distance among the various lenses. The 4 points of 8° attachment, quick and precise to use, also accepted backs of different formats like the 6x12cm and the 4x5”.

1991

 

SG612


   

Wide angle camera designed around the Schneider Super Angulon 5,6/47mm lens. The 6x12 format is perfect for medium format panoramic photography. When complete with its special viewfinder, with internal sighting level, lens protecting cage and handgrip with cable release, the SG612 is ready for handheld use. Since the panoramic format uses all the available image circle of the lens, no shift mechanism was provided.

1992

 

Model H


   

Shiftable camera offering a total shift of 25mm, 15mm rise and 10mm fall. The micrometric self-locking shift command is an easy to use ribbed wheel located just below the lens housing. The incorporated viewfinder with interchangeable frames is linked to the shift movement of the lens. Standard format 6x7cm and 6x9 cm, backs available for 6x12cm and 4x5 inches formats. Rotating back with click stop every 90 degrees allowing horizontal, vertical and infinite intermediate positioning of the film holder. Several spirit levels are located both on the cabera body and on the rotating back. Some of the first samples of the Model H camera have a plate with the name "Hermes".

1994

 

S4 4x5" shift camera


   

The S4 camera was designed later to answer the need of full coverage of the 4x5 inches format. Standard 4x5 inches back with format adapters for 6x9 and 6x12, interchangeable backs with short rotation attachment 8° and bayonet attachment or interchangeable lens boards for the lenses. Provided with a front bellow (Flexibellow) that performs the lens focusing, tilting and swinging. With this accessory the lenses can be used without focusing mount and permitted the focus extension on the two orthogonal axis by using the lens tilting and swinging. Some of the first samples of the S4 camera have a plate with the name "Nova".

1997

 

T30


   

The T30 camera was presented in Wiscomm East at the Javitz Center of New York in November 1997. The T30, natural evolution of the SLV camera, offers 30mm of vertical shift requested by the lenses with larger image circle produced at the time. Possibility to turn the camera body upside down by using the incorporated quick mount. Basic format 6x7/6x9, Graflock type mount, coupling the rotating system by a quick 4 point, 8° of rotation. Click stop every 90°. Setting of the format in the 360° without discontinuity. A lever can block the rotation in order to facilitate the ease of both attaching and removing accessories. Interchangeable backs also available in 6x12 and 4x5" formats.

1998

 

Bicam


   

With the arrival of digital photography and considering that it would  substitute le film in a short time, Silvestri began to study a camera able to face the double need of working with film but at the same time reconvertable to digital applications, creating a compact, easy to carry, proportioned to the small size of the high resolution sensors. Its main characteristics are the possibility to work with lenses mounted in helical focusing mount and bayonet, or with a bellow system which add to the camera all the necessary correction movements typical of view cameras; side shift, rise and fall, tilt and swing; all movements are extremely precise and micrometric. The Bicam camera is provided with a sliding back adapter with ground glass and attachments for the Hasselblad V, Hasselblad H, Mamiya 645 and Contax 645 systems.

2004

 

Bicam II


   

The succesful Bicam camera body is redesigned with a fine and elegant look. A top rail for the quick mounting of accessories and the camera overturning, a bottom rail for the fitting of the Flexi Bellow Maxi and a fitting for the side accessory holder are added. Carbon fibre inserts.

2005

 

S5 micron


   

The prototype of the S5 camera was presented at Photokina 2004. Designed for digital studio photography, it has full micrometric movements. The peculiarity of the S5 micron is to be built on two separate shifting blocks that do not interfere between them allowing the two standards to get to touching. This characteristic make it possible to use extreme wide angle lenses and to perform adjustment movements otherwise impossible.

S5 micron was published in the prestigious INDEX 2005 of the ADI , the Association of the Italian Industrial Design, among the products selected to compete for the Compasso d'Oro award.

2007

 

Flexicam


   

First prize Vespucci 2008 for the best industrial project. This camera was conceived for on location works, light weight and with absolute precision for the use of high resolution digital backs. It offers the flexibility of a mini view camera having the same essential correction movements. Rise and fall, rail extension with the micrometric movement of the focus, tilt and swing. 

Flexicam can attach Canon EOS and Nikon SLR cameras by mean of a T type adapter.

2012

 

Bicam III - Wide angle modular shift camera


   

Side shift, Rise & Fall movements on a compact and lightweight wide angle camera.

Bicam III offers a new horizontal 15+15mm movement performed on the camera body. Micrometric and auto-locking control for a fast and precise image correction.

The wood inserts in the camera body and the control knobs improved in the aesthetic and functionality complete the camera restyling.

Presented at Photokina 2012


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