about me

Freelance architect, living and working in Florence, I'm a lover of Architectural History and have diverse interests in the field of photography. My range of professional activity mainly involves historical-building renovation and restoration, and interior design.

the technique

The zenithal photography of architectural subjects is field I've worked in for many years, initially with traditional 35mm SLR cameras and then, since 2008, with a new camera, specifically designed and self-built for zenithal shooting. This camera is equipped with a rectilinear 12mm/5,6 Voigtlaender Heliar Ultra Wide lens, M39 screw mount, with an approximately 128° angle of view, and mounted with special adapters on a Sinar-Copal leaf shutter. The entire circular projected optical image (about 50mm diameter) is collected in this way from the sensitive material contained in a 120 Hasselblad film hold, generating pictures with an overall vision much wider than it could ever be seen with a human eye.
The system is completed by a base from a Topcon surveying instrument, suitably modified, by a toric spirit level Starrett 98-4" for proper camera leveling and an actuator for shooting, remote controlled.
For the exposure, manual of course, I use a Quantum CalcuLight-XP light meter. When I need it, I use a studio flash with modified reflector to achieve bare-bulb effect, and also, if necessary, a dimmable 150W LED illuminator. In these cases for the exposure I use a Minolta Flash Meter.
At the 2015 end I fitted a usb endoscope to check the correct frame advance through my smartphone.
At the beginning of 2018 I replaced the lens mount with a Leica M bayonet, while continuing to use the 12mm / 5.6 Ultra Wide Heliar optic with M39 screw mount, with a Leitz adapter.

thanks to

Luca Vascon, for inspiring the initial idea of the camera.
Mauro Meco from Sismec, Florence, for creating some masterful camera components and for being its main assembler.
Giuliano Ricchetti from Erregì, Rubiera, and Sandro Chiavieri from Officina Domotica, Carpi, for mechanical and electronic essential contributions for the right camera system development.
Walter Daviddi, for the upgrade of lens mount and other small but useful camera updates.
Chiara Gini and Begonia Rodriguez, for their kind assistance in the translation.
Sorin Kelemen, for my portrait in Contacts.
Marco Zampetti, for creating this site.