It’s that period in time where film cameras are gradually getting extinct, the digital cameras are beginning to take over, and the brand new hot collectible is, would you believe, the Russian cameras. Brand names like Kiev and Sputnik are beginning to garner attraction, and increasing numbers of collectors are discovering the rare Russian Cameras possessing a nostalgic quality and as well have a touch of mystery that’s thrown in.
Let’s review a few of the world’s most collectible Russian cameras that have caught the fancy of the collectors.
This Russian camera had been a product by LOMO and it was produced between 1955 and 1973 in Leningrad. Sputnik is really a stereo camera and it produces 6 pairs of pictures (6 x 6 cm) on 120 films. It weighs slightly less than 2 pounds and has aperture sizes ranging from 22, 16, 11, 8, 5.6 and 4.5. The camera has a self-timer and synchronizer, and has shutter speeds of B, 1/00, 1/50, 1/25 and 1/10.
This 35mm Russian camera was the one that laid the foundation for the Lomography movement. The LOMO LC-A camera has a plastic body on black color and automatic leaf shutter. The electronic shutter has speeds ranging from 1/500th of a second – 2 seconds, and the aperture sets itself automatically. The camera offers manual setting as well, having 1/60 shutter speed along with a manually chosen aperture. The camera aperture sizes range between 16, 11, 8, 5.6, 4 and 2.8. The special features of the camera include a picture counter and flash contact (hot contact).
These Russian cameras had been manufactured by Arsenal factory located in Kiev. These were box type cameras having adjustable shutter speeds ranging from 1/000 to 1/2 of a second. Kiev-88TTL supported a wide range of lenses including the Jupiter 36V, Kaleinar 3V, Mir 38V, Mir 26V, ARSAT/Zodiak, and Vega 28V. These lenses have apertures ranging between 2.8 and 22.
FT-2 is a panoramic Russian camera using curved film as well as a lens for minimizing distortion. This camera has all the controls on the top side, and also includes a button for operating the shutter release, chrome levers for setting shutter speeds, and leveling bubble. Very first version of these Russian cameras can be identified using a spring tension adjustment located at the bottom, and the second model can be identified using the wind lever that has two wings. The FT-2 has shutter speeds of 400, 200, 100 and 50.
This Russian camera, similar to the FT-2, is indeed a panoramic camera. However, unlike the FT-2 camera, the Horizon makes use of a detachable optical view finder. The very first model could be identified by a solid, round aluminum handle, and the second model has got one round aluminum handle containing a small compartment for keeping the filter. The camera’s nameplate normally consists of Horizont at the top and with KMZ at the bottom; however, the even rarer Russian cameras will be Global-H and Horizont Revue.
Collecting the Russian made cameras is indeed an interesting hobby, and that is made even more fascinating by the different manufacturing techniques that had been adopted in the earlier verions.