The GaMi16 probably, was produced for a period of 11 years between the 1953 to 1964. During that period several variations was made to the original project but didn't alter the original model. There are four important different models. Initially, the first model sold had the distance scale in meters and the max. exposure meter to 100asa. A second model, for the Anglo-Saxon market, had the distance scale in feet and the same max. exposure meter to 100asa. When the new films with increased speed became available the max. asa was increased to 200asa in the two models "feet" and "metric". Several aesthetic variations, and one important modification of the film pressure plate were carried out during the production.
How many variations are known? Shown below are the most prominent and by these variations is possible to find the period when they were done. A very accurate search of the serial numbers and of the variations of the camera are listed on the "Fotoclub Antiquario Italiano" site.
Color of the paint in the grove around shutter release collar.
This is the only variation that hasn't a precise period of start during the production. Seven different colors are known. No correlation between serial numbers, neither with the meters or feet models, nor with the color of the case. From the examinatation of some GaMi with the original "Test Certificate" is possible to see that the color is matched with a tester signature. A different tester a different color? Up to the present it has been impossible to do a complete check because is very difficult to find a GaMi with the original "test certificate". These are the seven known colors:
Last color found is "Blu". A fellow collector sent me the picture. All the pictures of GaMi16 with Blu collar are in the link: http://www.pbase.com/cendres/gami16
The seven known colors of collar
Film Pressure Plate
The first cameras have a pressure film plate in black milled, after 1000/1550 cameras was replaced with bright plated dimpled stamped. Probably in the second version the film has a better uniformity on plane but from tests on the two type of pressure film, also to f/1,9, there isn't any difference of sharpness. The only difference that is possible to see is that with very bright subject the plated pressure film gives some reflection that the black type doesn't.
The two different pressure plates
Ridge on back cover
This variation appears random during the production. The very first GaMis had the ridges but sometime there are models without ridges...
Back cover with ridge and without
Rivet strengthening of the cover door closing latch
This variations starts near the serial numbers 3387xx. Sometime it's possible to find a cover door without rivet also in very high serial numbers like 342xxx. But only the first 750 GaMi are without the rivet.
The two versions with and without rivet
Body in two tone finish
Some GaMi were produced less than 50 cameras, during the last years of production, with numbers near to 34270x, with the body in a two tone finish, the external area, as before, in shiny finish and the central area in a "satin etched" non glossy finish.
On left variation in two-tone finish
At the beginning of the production the engraving PATENT appears below the serial number. After 1600 numbers the engraving PATENTED appeared. This engraving appeared, probably, with the beginning of trade in the U.S.A. of the camera or generally with the feet distance scale variation.
Variations 100/200asa. Distance Scale in meters and in feet
At the start of selling in the Anglo-Saxon market the variation with the distance scale in feet and initially with the exposure meter to 100asa appeared. Successively the variation with exposure meter to 200asa with distance scale in meters and in feet appeared. The variation to 200asa appears after 2000 numbers, while the feet scale after 1100 numbers.
Variations 100/200asa and distance scale metric and feet
We can suppose this production schemes of the GaMi16:
From n.338500 to n.339400 Metric distance scale 100asa Patent: around 900 GaMi made
From n.3394xx to n.3398xx Metric distance scale 100asa Patented: around 400 GaMi made
From n.33982x to n.34052x Feet and Metric distance scale 100asa Patented: around 700 GaMi made
From n.34053x to n.34278x Feet and Metric distance scale 200asa Patented: around 2250 GaMi made
Probably were made around 4500 GaMi16.
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