|Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:58 pm Post subject: Rectaflex: 70th Anniversary
70 years ago, at the Milan Fair of 1947, it was introduced and publicly shown the prototype of the first, industrially produced SLR camera: the Rectaflex, a creation of Dr. Telemaco Corsi of Rome, with his staff.
The complicate story of this camera and its sad end is well-known, thanks to the beautiful book of Marco Antonetto, but I would like to remember this date, with the pictures of my last find: a Rectaflex from the "Laboratorio Sperimentale": it's a body of the "30.000" series, to which the advance lever was added; an improvement that we can see on the so-called (and very rare) "Liechtenstein" Rectaflex, or "40.000" series.
The firm, had a test laboratory, where improvements were continuously studied and applied to a number of cameras, thus catalogued and numbered. My one, bears the inscription "L.S. 33" and, once sent for a complete overhaul, excellently done by Mr. Giampaolo Ferro of Buttrio, Udine, Italy (one of the finest specialists in the repair of old cameras, especially of italian production), he noticed that the modifications were not only exterior, but also some inner components and the shutter rollers showed improvements and ameliorating modifications.
Once the firm in Rome closed and part of its machinery was sent to Liechtenstein, most of the archives, prototypes and test cameras, went lost, destroyed or, simply taken home by various former employees and workers. The original drawings and some prototypes were personally taken by Telemaco Corsi, who preserved them until he passed away.
The camera now works flawlessly and, since once acquired it was a body only, I have now completed it with a Schneider Xenar 50/2 in the original, Rectaflex mount.
More, I would like to add the scan of the now scarce brochure, distributed to the public of the 1947 Milan Fair, with the details and description of the exhibited prototype; this paper, was found in a folder of my late grandfather's archive. He was among the first users of this SLR: