In the number 8 issue dated June 1985 of "The Nikon Journal" a curious article of Robert Rotoloni appeared, whose title was: "The Nikon-16 prototype... The Japanise GaMi??????". The article speaks about a mysterious prototype of a microcamera 16mm constructed by Nippon Kogaku to the end of the fifties. Until that date the author had never seen this prototype, even if he had heard someone speaking about it. The article published a few photos demonstrating that Nikon 16 did truly exist. The author compares the GaMi16 with Nikon16 sometimes clearly demonstrating the impressive resemblance between the two models. For example, the mechanism of closing, the hinge of the posterior door, the hinge of dragging of the film and some external and internal finishes, are absolutely identical. All the project shows the influence of the GaMi16 project. Below the article is reproduced, for kind concession of Robert Rotoloni, the original article appeared on June 31 1985.
From "The Nikon Journal"n°8 June 1985
Robert Rotoloni has inserted in his beautiful book "Nikon Rangefinder Camera", a chapter on Nikon16.
In the last 2007 edition of "The Complete Nikon rangefinder system" by Robert Rotoloni you can find a more complete article about the curious history of the Nikon16 prototype.....
Click on you can visit the NHS (Nikon Historical Society) site where you can buy the terrific book "The Complete Nikon rangefinder system" of Robert Rotoloni.
Nikon16 versus GaMi16
By courtesy of R.Rotoloni (Nikon Historical Society)
GaMi16 Exhibition support
(By courtesy of A.Natale)
The exhibition support for GaMi16 was a "gadget" that the "Officine Galileo" gave to the most important authorized dealers. It's interesting to notice how the support was realized. Two small brass cylinders support a ring of a diameter of approximately 90mm in which there is a lens of 83mm of diameter, a red logo GaMi is printed on. A 3/8" screw allows to fix the GaMi to the support.
The exhibition support for GaMi16
(By courtesy of A.Natale)
An interesting curiosity is the type of the lens which was used for the support. The lens had an origin very prestigious. It was the front lens of the anamorphic objective for "Cinemascope" movies. This objective was a true masterpiece of optical and mechanics. This objective has 6 lenses and was made in the "Officine Galileo" of Milan where the GaMi16 was produced. Probably is the best anamorphic objective "Cinemascope" never produced in the world.
Anamorphic lens for "Cinemascope"
On the support was applied a GaMi16 "dummy", that was a camera that was only an "empty box" with the outer aspect of a real GaMi16. The GaMi16 "dummy" was modified directly from the "Officine Galileo". The chassis served to support the external parts. The objective there wasn't neither the pressure plate and the system of dragging. The two windows of view-finder and of the lens were masked with two darkened glasses. The insertion selector of the yellow filter was blocked in position "F". All the controls are blocked and not operative. The serial number was milled and the remained space painted in black. A little number of "dummy" was realized during the first period of production only. They had metric scale and the exposure meter to 100asa. The shutter release collar is black.
GaMi16 "dummy" with darkened viewfinder and a real GaMi16
Inside of the "dummy" without lens,dragging and pressure plate.
GaMi16 "dummy" opened, backward the two darkened frames.
Milled serial number
The GaMi16 "dummy" weighs half of the real GaMi16, 145gr. against 290gr.
X-ray examination. On left the Dummy on right a GaMi16
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