05/11/2017

The Italian analog photo community is a really small one, so it wasn’t long until I knew about Samuele Piccoli, a camera maker from Pistoia, a city not far away from Florence. I immediately got curious not that much about his beautiful cameras, but about the whole process of production. The background, the attitude, the goals, the overall personal energy is quite important, especially in such an emotional world of film photography, where individual approach matters more than industry. I asked to come for a visit and an interview, and luckily for me Samuele turned out to be a super open sweet person, who welcomed me a few days later at his workspace!

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I caught him in the process of building an 11×14″ camera for a client, and wondered whether he can make any camera on demand… turned out to be a “yes!”. This started me thinking I want one with blue bellows maybe?:) Because Samuele’s cameras are truly a work of art, a bit heavy compared to other field 4x5s, but the movements are absolutely exceptional. Oh and the magnet-connecting pieces, from front to bellows to the back, are just a joy. I wonder why no one else has done it before!

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In the video you can hear his story and see the Stenopeika in action.