The Ferrania Ibis 66 – A Low Fidelity Camera from the Fifties


This camera is hardcore lo-fi. The only choice you have is to use or don’t use the bulb setting. Fire away and wait anxiously for the negatives to be developed!

photo source

My first camera memory is a Fisher-Price toy camera. My second camera memory is an old camera that was sitting in a closet. I used to play around with it, thinking it was broke. A while ago I was wondering what happened to this camera. Did it end up in the junk or was it still somewhere in the house? Lucky for me it was still around and my boyfriend and I tried to figure it out. I got impatient because I couldn’t get it to work and figured it was still broke. My boyfriend on the other hand took a closer look and found out that the lens was collapsible. You had to pull it out for the camera to work, like the Fuji Instax Mini, otherwise it is impossible to fire the shutter.

Once the lens was pulled out, the shutter seemed to work. That was the most important thing, because this camera has no other settings. It has a fixed shutter speed from around 1/30th of a second and a bulb setting. The aperture and sharpening can’t be controlled. Very low-fi! According to the text on the lens it’s a Primar 85mm. The camera has a cast aluminum body, the back comes off to load the film. There’s a little red window in the back to check out the frame numbers on the film. It takes 6×6 pictures on 120 film. Hence the ‘66’ in Ferrania Ibis 66.

A weird thing about this camera is that the knob to forward the film is on the left side. On most camera’s it is on the right side, and the rewind button on the left. So when you get your negatives developed you’ll notice the images are upside down!

To my surprise some of the images came out pretty sharp! I guess everything from a meter or two until infinity is sharp. I also was expecting some light leaks, and the camera didn’t let me down! Some images came out with a weird white shape though, that looked like the shape of the shutter. So I guess it has something to do with the shutter, but I haven’t figured out what exactly. I got the best results when using the camera in sunny weather. With this camera you are totally dependable of the weather and the ISO you choose. I think it would do great with a 1600 ISO black and white film for dark days or indoor shots. It’s also capable of making double exposures over and over again. I still need to try this out, time isn’t on my side lately.

Ferrania is an Italian company, it was founded in 1923. It mainly produces film but also produced a couple of camera’s, like this one. The Ferrania Ibis 66 was produced in 1955. There were two versions, a grey and a black one. I am the proud owner of a grey one, and I’m planning to hang on to it forever!

written by netsrik on 2010-06-27 #gear #medium-format #review #retro #ferrania #6x6 #120-film #lo-fi #ibis #ferrania-ibis-66


  1. basterda
    basterda ·

    The outcomes are nice! :)

  2. panelomo
    panelomo ·

    ... still waiting for that time when i can score some funky cameras like this.

  3. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    great gallery and review, only let you know that Ferrania produced more than a couple of cameras, here's some..

  4. dogma
    dogma ·

    Nice camera! I love cameras like this one! a specially the smell of them :)

  5. netsrik
    netsrik ·

    Thank guys! And superlighter, thanks, I looked over that so it seems!

  6. mrmex
    mrmex ·

    Thanks for the article, just got my first roll of film back from the lab and really like the results.
    (although it seems my Ibis gives different results)

    P.s. I also revered to your article on my site (if that is ok)

More Interesting Articles