Gianni Berengo Gardin is an Italian photographer who has worked for Le Figaro and TimeMagazine. Considered a artistic heir to Henri Cartier-Bresson, like Bresson he has long used and admired Leica rangefinders. His work has been published in more than 200 photographic books and shown in the most prestigious galleries and museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Now 82, Gardin boasts a personal archive of more than a million pictures.
Q. How long have you used a Leica? A. Always: although in the fifties I used a Rolleiflex 6×6 because the clients preferred medium format to the smaller, 35 mm film, but I always had a Leica III in my bag for my own use. Then in 1954, when Leica released the revolutionary model “M” bayonet, I was among the first in Italy to buy it in a shop in Venice, where I lived. I had to pay for it in installments because German quality has always been expensive here in Italy. Since then I’ve owned and used, in order, an M2, M4, M6 and M7, and I still continue to use my M7 as my primary camera, even today.