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Ducati: Great Italian 35mmHalf-frame Mini "Leica"
Leica never made a production small bodied half frame interchangeable rangefinder. If they had, it may have looked a lot like the wonderful rare Ducati of Bologna Italy whose production spanned W.W.II. Yep, you guessed it, these are same folks who later made quite a name for themselves in motor bikes. All 5 Ducati camera bodies shared the same basic body with focal plane shutter and removable back, taking special Ducati 15 frame half frame 18mm x 24mm 35mm film cartridges. Illustrated is the OR 6401.1 Sogno.
Imagine a 2/3 scale Leica, that's the Ducati "Sogno" (the Dream). This is an amazing little camera, with focal plane shutter, interchangeable bayonet lenses, coupled rangefinder focusing, and beautiful workmanship -- kind of a miniaturized Leica. Both Leica and Nikon made special half frame rangefinders based upon the regular full size rangefinder bodies. If the Ducati Sogno is not the premier small bodied interchangeable lens half frame rangefinder, I would like to know what is. The Ducati's counterpart in SLRs is the fabulous Olympus Pen F half frame 35mm system - not to be confused with their much later digital Pen cameras.
Ducati Camera models
OR 6401.1 Ducati Sogno, interchangeable lenses, rangefinder coupled with all lenses
OR 6401.11 Ducati Sogno, latest batch with synchro flash, only a few made
OR 6402.1 prototype at Ducati factory
OR 6403 "Tipo SPORT" one made, 1/3000 # 01224
OR 6404 Ducati Simplex, no rangefinder, non-interchangeable lens
Ducati Lens Line
OD6409.1 Dugon 19/6.3 Collapsible
OD6406.2 Argon 28/4 Collapsible
OD 6401.2 Vitor 35/2.8 Collapsible standard lens
OD 6401.1 Vitor 35/3.5 Collapsible standard lens
OD 6404.1 Eltor 40/2 Rigid
OD 6405.1 Luxtor 40/1.5 Rigid (the rarest Ducati Lens)
OD6403.1 Lator 60/2.8 Rigid
OD 6408.1 Teletor 120/5.6 Rigid
60/2.8 Teletor 120/5.6
Ducati lens shade, 40/60/120 finder code OR 2404.2, camera case
As an American collector I've found Ducati cameras extremely rare in the US. I've only seen two, neither of which had accessory lenses or even the mandatory Ducati film cassette needed to shoot the camera. All the pictures and most of the information here were supplied by Ducati super collector Gianni Medici. He lives within footsteps of the original Ducati factory in Bologna, Italy and has interviewed retired Ducati workers who helped produce the cameras. All Ducati pics on this page are Copyright 1999 by Gianni Medici.
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Revised: January 08, 2016 . Copyright © 1998-2002 Stephen Gandy. All rights reserved. This means you may NOT copy and re-use the text or the pictures in ANY other internet or printed publication of ANY kind. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.