Galileo GaMi

(1953-1965) The first true subminiature camera system, the Gami it had an incredible array of features and accessories.  It sported a six-element, focusing Esimatar 25mm lens with f-stops from f1.9 to f11.  Close focusing to 13 inches.  The camera had speeds of B, 1/2-1/1000. It produced a large 12x17mm negative, has a motorized film advance, a built-in meter (manual exposure only), and a rangefinder focusing viewfinder -- with automatic parallax correction.  And it all came in a package that was the size of the later 110 cameras -- 4.5 inches long.  Its accessories included a 4X telephoto (100mm), a 8X telephoto (200mm), close-up lenses, underwater housing, enlarger, developing tank, film splitter, film loader, panorama device, stereo device, filters, right angle finder, waist level finder, diopter correctors, flash attachments, copy stand, microscope adapter and more.  With all this, it's no wonder that it is considered by many to be the best submini ever produced.   And to top it all off, it is rated as having one of the best submini lenses ever made.  One noteworthy feature of this camera is the film transportation and the shutter charging mechanisms. One open-close operation of the front cover transports the film and charges the shutter for three exposures, meaning that the shutter can to be released three times before charging it again.  It used a double lobe cassette that is similar in appearance to the Minolta cassette.  Although the cassette was designed for single perf film, unperforated film can be used as well.  The camera was manufactured in two versions, one marked in meters and another in feet.  Although the Gami produces the best results of any 16mm submini, it failed to catch on due to it's high price -- nearly $350 in 1960.  It is still expensive to buy today, but well worth the price.

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