Condor 1

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Italy 1947 – Compact – 35 mm – Rare.

Ferrania, was formerly known as SIPE and had been manufacturing dynamite since 1882. In 1917 they started producing celluloid and in 1947 the first european color film.

In 1947, they signed an agreement with the renowned optics manufacturer, Officine Galileo, to produce the Condor, their first rangefinder 35 mm camera. Models of the Condor exist both with and without the Ferrania branding depending who sold them, but otherwise they are identical.  

The Condor was a simple, but well built fixed lens rangefinder with separate viewfinder and rangefinder windows and a leaf shutter. It is often called an ‘Italian Leica’, and even if it loosely resembles a Leica II of the same era, two cameras share very little in common.

The partnership between Officine Galileo and Ferrania produced a couple of different Condor cameras.  A very similar Condor 1c with a faster lens was available, as well as a rangefinder-less Condor Junior.

The Condor is a very important milestone in post war Italy, in a time when Italian cameras were still a thing. For the collector, the Condor is a desirable model, both for its looks, unique history, and quality.

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