The compact beauty of the Luxia

In 1949, the Rome-based company Comi (Costruzioni ottico-meccaniche Italiane) launched the Luxia camera. Its brochure read, “The smallest and most elegant camera in the world… small enough to fit inside a pack of cigarettes”.

Indeed, the smallness of the device – which used 35mm film for a “half frame” format of 18 x 24 millimeters – is obvious: its eight-by-five-by-two centimeters weighed barely fifty grams.

Its elegance is just as incontrovertible: it came in various colors of lizard skin, with metallic parts chrome- or gold-plated, and could be purchased either in a refined case lined with red satin, in a leather container, or in a small shoulder bag.

What a tiny technological gem.

January 9, 2014