Does anyone have information on the current situation of Gandolfi? I looked at their website today and it looks quite unlike what the site looked like some months ago.
That one? Looks like the last time I dreamed.
I see what you mean - doesn't look promising. As you know the Gandolfi brothers died in poverty with collections being taken up to help them out.
Originally Posted by sanking
Seems like the recent factory at Andover is now defunct.
Huh? http://www.gandolficameras.com/ looks unchanged.
Originally Posted by Mark Layne
I last had contact with the company 3 or 4 years ago, when they made a part for a view camera for me. I note that:
a) The price list page hasn't been updated for 3 1/2 years
b) Ed. Hill is describing himself as an engineering draftsman.
It does rather look as if running Gandolfi is not uppermost in his mind!
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The collapse of the US dollar has reduced Gandolfi sales in the US to almost nothing, and as that was one of his bigger marets, Eddie has indeed been earning his money elsewhere. Gandolfi is still very much in business, but the cameras are even more bespoke than usual, i.e. you get hold of Eddie (increasingly difficult as he diversifies) and he makes it for you.
The factory hasn't been in Andover for a long time, but rather, in a village a good way outside: a huge old farm/manor, converted to a small industrial estate. A few months ago Gandolfi moved from one unit to another, but as I say, last time I spoke to Eddie -- within the last three months, say -- they were still very much in business.
Incidentally, 'dying in poverty with collections being taken up' is a considerable exaggeration. I have visited all but the latest Gandolfi factories in the last 40 years, beginning with New Cross. The Gandolfi brothers were pretty eccentric at the best of times, always afraid someone was going to 'steal their secrets', and I've been on good tems with Brian Gould (who bought them out and moved from New Cross to Andover) Sir Kenneth Corfield (who came in with Brian on the business, and took it over when Brian died) and Eddie (who bought it from Sir Kenneth).
Last edited by Roger Hicks; 08-28-2007 at 12:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.
It looks a lot like it did last year, and the year before that, and...
Originally Posted by sanking
That could be worrying in itself, though...
I tried getting hold of Eddie some months ago, but couldn't in the time I had available then. That was the main reason I brought the 4x5" Speed Graphic to Italy instead of the 7x5" Gandolfi - I couldn't find my #1 and #2 lens boards! If Eddie could have made me replacements in time - well, I would now have backup boards. I found them when I got home.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
The marketing and overall sales strategy of Gandolfi seemed far better when Sir Kenneth Corfield was involved. But then he had been involved designing and manufacturing innovative cameras in the 1950's and early 60's and had a great many industry contacts. To quote Hicks 2004 "Sir Kenneth Corfield is very much the Grand Old Man of the British camera industry, a man of legendary knowledge and experience".
It is a problem that prices from Chinese manufacturers have seriously under-cut Gandolfi, and of course the low value of the US $ makes buying from the US extremely favourable for those of us in Europe, and as mentioned elsewhere makes Gandolfi cameras very expensive in the US.
Last edited by Ian Grant; 08-28-2007 at 03:11 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Add a quote
As far as I can see the only that's changed is the new banner across the top. Otherwise it's exactly as usual. I confess I haven't used one of their cameras since I was at college and that's an awefully long time ago. Nice bit of kit though...
Roger seems to be the man with the answer, as usual
Well, I have three and a half Gandolfis (2x 4x5s from the 90s, a 5x7 conversion for one of the 4x5s, and a hundred-year-old 12x15) and with the exception of the Gandolfi brothers themselves who were from another age, I've got on really well with all the owners. But I have to confess (as I suggested on my other post) it's taking me longer and longer to get hold of Eddie.