The 1952 Ferrania Condor II rangefinder camera, alongside with some famous and well sought-after postwar productions, is normally considered a Leica copy, although it shows many original features, like the rangefinder patch inside the viewfinder or the rewind lever, that Leica would adopt with the M series only starting from 1954, and other solutions, like the central plane shutter, the loading spool with opening back or a curious but useful articulated rewind lever, that would never be adopted by contemporary or following Leicas.
Equipped with the lovely collapsible EsaOG 50 mm f/2 lens, probably the fastest Italian-produced lens in history, this fine piece of machinery was also the camera my dad purchased in 1953 with his first wage as a young schoolteacher and used for more than 20 years, until a Leicaflex SL became the new official family camera. Now I look after it for the generations to come (you can hope it with all-mechanical solid-metal film gear) and it serves my big family, shooting fond memories of everyday life.
Here you are some samples of family life taken in my hometown Cagliari, Sardinia, with Kodak BW400CN film, digitised at home with my Nikon D90 body and Leica R 135 mm f/2.8 lens mounted on Leica R bellows.
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