The zenithal photography of architectural subjects is a genre that I have been dealing with for many years, refining my technique and knowledge over time, initially with traditional 35mm reflex cameras and then, since 2008, with a photographic device designed and built specifically for zenithal shots, equipped with a 12mm / 5.6 Voigtlaender Ultra Wide Heliar rectilinear wide-angle lens with M39 screw coupling and with a viewing angle of approximately 128°, mounted using a special adapter -without frame elements- on Sinar-Copal leaf shutter.

The entire circle of the image projected by the optic (diameter about 50mm) is thus collected by the sensitive material contained in a Hasselbald 120 film holder, generating photographs with a wider overview than that which could be observed with the naked eye. The system is completed by a suitably modified Topcon survey instrument basis, a Starrett #98-4” toric level for correct leveling and a remote-controlled remote release actuator. For the exposure, obviously manual, I use a Quantum CalcuLight-XP reflected light meter.

When needed, I use a studio flash with a modified reflector to achieve the barebulb effect, and also, alternatively, a 150W LED illuminator with adjustable intensity. In these cases I use a Minolta Flash Meter for exposure. At the end of 2015 I equipped the film loader with a USB endoscope to check the correct advancement of the frames via my smartphone. In early 2018, I replaced the lens mount with a Leica M bayonet, again using the M39 screw mount 12mm / 5.6 ultra wide angle Heliar lens, using a Leitz adapter.

About me

I'm a freelance architect, living and working in Florence, I'm a lover of Architectural History and have various interests in the photography area. My range of professional activity mainly involves historical-building renovation and restoration, and interior design.

Thanks to

Luca Vascon, for ispiring the initial idea of my camera.

Mauro Meco from Sismec, Florence, for creating some masterful camera components and for being its main assembler.

Giuliano Ricchetti from Erregì, Rubiera, and Sandro Chiavieri from Officina Domotica, Carpi, for mechanical and electronic essential contributions for the right camera system development.

Walter Daviddi, for the upgrade of lens mount and other small camera updates.

Chiara Gini and Begonia Rodriguez, for their kind assistence in the translation.

Sorin Kelemen, for my portrait on this page.

Marco Zampetti, for creating this website and the previous.