mercoledì 15 novembre 2017

Ducati Sogno, a real Dream!

Leica? Minox? No, the best microcamera for 35mm film was  not german, but italian and it was made in a Motorbike and Radio factory. Its name? Ducati!
Until today, I din't know very well the Ducati microcameras because I am more interested in other kind of cameras, so you can imagine the surprise I had when I kept the little Sogno in my hands. The Ducati is quite smaller of my Pentax Q, the camera I used to take the three pictures you see in this page, and it's very heavy (245 grams). 
The Ducati Sogno is very original and well done, but in those years the italian people had not so much money to spend so this élite product became an economical flop. Ducati in six years sold less than 10'000 pieces of the two models on catalogue: Sogno and Simplex. The aim was to sell 10'000 pieces every year. At the end of its commercial life the Simplex was offered as gift to the Ducati motorbikes customers.
The main reason of this sale failure could be due, over to the high price, at the necessity to reeling the 35mm film in a smaller cartidge, probably too small, and with a tiny shaft that could create damages at the photographic emulsion.
On the other hand the mechanical costruction was very accurate. The curtain shutter on the focal plane was very peculiaran it was controlled by a spring. Probably the shutter was too small to be made with two curtains like Leica or all the other 35mm cameras. The Ducati Sogno is the only camera with a single curtain shutter.
Somebody thinks the project of the camera resurfaced from a drawer of what had been left of the Borgo Panigale factory after the WWII, because Ducati during the world worked at the war effort with the german allies. This is why Ducati was bombed by the Anglo America during the october 1944.

 One of the last Ducati Sogno produced in 1952.

 Ducati Sogno had interchangeble lens produced by Officine Galileo from Florence and studied by the italian Physical Giulio Toraldo di Francia.

A detail of the spring of the shutter and of the serial number of the Ducati Sogno.

Many collectors all around the world are searchng for a Sogno in good condition; the camera is quite well known, so I just will add a few pictures and the rare reproduction of the final 1952 original italian catalogue.

Ducati Sogno Orpho
Ducati Sogno - The 1952 original catalogue page 1

Ducati Sogno Catalogue
Ducati Sogno - The 1952 original catalogue page 2

Ducati Sogno - The 1952 original catalogue page 3
Ducati Sogno - The 1952 original catalogue page 3

Ducati Sogno - The 1952 original catalogue page 4
Ducati Sogno - The 1952 original catalogue page 4

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