Antonio Bencini loved flying. He had served in aviation, and in 1948 decided to name the camera he was about to launch on the market after one of the first jet planes to fly at the time: the Comet. The Comet S came only two years later, with very slight changes (notably, the flash attachment).
The small, die-cast aluminum camera was an instant success; for many Italian youngsters in the 1950s, it was a gateway to photography.
With its simple and streamlined design, the Comet S became the iconic product of the recreational camera manufacturer Bencini had founded in Milan in the mid-1930s. It was solid, comfortable, and easy to use – a breakthrough that came after a series of “folding” models and before a wide range of instruments the company would make to capture the world on film.
Many will remember the names of the most successful ones: Gabri, Robi, Rolet, Relex, Koroll, Minicomet, Unimatic, Janua… but Comet always remained the epitome of essential genius.
And today – although Bencini shut down in the mid-1980s, after fiercely holding up against the German and Japanese competition – the brand’s cameras are still in high demand among aficionados who love beauty and simplicity.