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The Soviet Union was famous for its rich history in all directions without exception. Cinema, directing, art did not stand aside. Photographers also tried to keep up and glorified the great power on their high-tech front. And the brainchild of Soviet engineers amazed amateur photographers around the world.
What is the secret of the success of the creators of cameras? Due to what, millions of people around the world, as if under hypnosis, watched the masterpieces of Russian photography? Due to what the cameras of the USSR are known all over the world? In this article you will see them in all their glory.
In 1954, this camera model was considered truly the most modern and high-tech development in the field of photography. Almost all amateur photographers, photojournalists, as well as scientists dreamed about "Zorkom". The basis for the successful operation of this device is the use of professional metal cassettes.
Spendphotography using the Zorkiy camera could be done with two hands and using a tripod. In the latter case, it should be remembered that there is a special socket at the bottom of the camera, which allows you to firmly and stably attach the support. And the leather case made it possible to shoot without removing the device.
The camera "Zorkiy" has become a real work of engineering. In the process of working with him, it was recommended to adhere to the following sequence:
- If the camera has a retractable lens, set it to the working position.
- One of the existing ways to determine the exposure time for a given aperture.
- Set the aperture on the lens.
- Start the shutter.
- Set shutter speed.
- Adjust the lens to focus.
- Start shooting by gently pressing the button.
When shooting with two hands, it was necessary to hold the camera confidently, but without unnecessary tension. This device once again proves that USSR cameras deserve respect!
The FED camera is a professional device for photographers, manufactured in 1952. In terms of condition and functionality at the time of the middle of the last century, it was a truly ingenious development and occupied an honorable place in the category "USSR cameras".
Shooting could be done from any positions and by any means known at that time. Snapshot, tripod, handheld, shutter speed - whatever. There was nothing for FED-2impossible. He was especially loved by journalists and photo artists who actively shot landscapes, sports events and panoramas.
FED was manufactured at a specially built plant of the Labor Commune of the NKVD of the Ukrainian SSR named after. F. E. Dzerzhinsky entirely from Soviet raw materials and materials. It used standard perforated film in 1.60 m lengths as negative material, which allowed the machine to be loaded simultaneously to produce 36 shots.
The design of the FED-2 camera was based on the principle of automatic operation and conjugation of mechanisms. In other words, by winding the shutter, the photographer was simultaneously rewinding the film and counting the number of shots taken.
The kit, along with this camera in 1959, included the camera itself with a professional shutter "Moment-24C", a case, a film reel, a release cable, a box for carrying and storing, as well as detailed instructions with a passport and a description of the operation of the device.
The manufacturer provided warranty service for the "Moskva" camera within one year after purchase, provided that the device was not opened and disassembled outside the factory.
The main feature of the camera was fast optics. Also a nice addition for all amateur photographers was a case with a special shoulder strap.
In the manufacture of this model, Soviet engineers truly outdid themselves. Optical focus, rangefinder with a wide base of 65 mm, as well asthe central shutter, which has eight automatic shutter speeds, coupled with a flash synchronizer, could not leave indifferent any amateur photographer in the USSR.
The "Moskva" camera could take as many as 12 pictures in 6x6 cm format without additional recharging. Now these figures may seem ridiculous to us, but in 1954 it was on the verge of fantasy, for which, no doubt, we should once again thank the Soviet engineers who produced such precise mechanisms in the post-war years. This device glorifies the cameras of the USSR, helping them to take a high place in the list of the best in the world!
"Zenith" belonged to the category of mirror devices. It was intended for a wide variety of types of shooting and could support both color and black and white film. The people who used this device most often could be described in two words: a highly skilled amateur photographer. At that time, the old Zenith model was still very difficult to use for an ordinary photographer and not so effective for a professional photojournalist, so it was classified as "above average".
The main advantage of the model was certainly the so-called mirror of the current focus. It made it possible to constantly observe the object, focus sharpness and increase the clarity and clarity of the image. The old Zenit camera could be used with lenses ranging from 37 to 1000 mm in focal length, as well as special elongated rings,allowing to make reproductions and shoot small objects close-up - the so-called macro- and micro-photography.
The camera "Smena-2" belongs to the class of small-sized devices. It has a rather rigid design, the main purpose of which is purely amateur photography. In Soviet times, professionals bypassed this model. For their purposes, it was too simple, although, on the other hand, for ordinary amateur photographers, its functionality was simple and intuitive.
This camera came with a technical data sheet, as well as a lens that easily provided the creation of five automatic exposures and a number of arbitrary ones. The device was also equipped with a self-timer function and a special synchronizer for working with a flash lamp.
By rotating the lens, it was easy to focus on the desired object. The boundaries of the image were indexed using an optical search engine, which was originally built into the Smena-2 camera. This device could be charged without problems in the light, which is also important. In addition, it was equipped with a special mechanism for rewinding the film by only 1 frame, which was truly a state-of-the-art development in the middle of the 20th century.
Announcing the release of the next model of the Sputnik camera, the manufacturer told the general public about the so-called stereo set. Manufacturersclaimed that a special stereoscopic photograph would help to take pictures that would give a true spatial representation of the location of things, objects and various objects.
This kit included the Sputnik camera itself, as well as a special frame for copying and a stereoscope. With the help of Sputnik, an image was obtained, consisting of several slightly different photographs, upon examination of which one could notice a merging, three-dimensional image. According to eyewitnesses, the spectacle was truly bewitching. The camera itself could be charged with a regular roller film. The photographer could take 6 specialized stereoscopic frames or 12 standard ones. In addition, this model was equipped with an automatic release function that actuated the shutters after approximately 7-8 seconds. Previously, the cameras of the USSR could not boast of such a thing.
"Voskhod" was produced in the USSR in the period from 1964 to 1968 in the city of Leningrad, at the plant of the Lenin Optical-Mechanical Association. This device had a rather attractive body, which was based on aluminum alloy and an opening back wall (by the way, it was very convenient). Rewinding the film, as well as cocking the camera, was carried out with the help of a trigger.
It is worth noting that the trigger was located on the very barrel of the lens, which is very unusual for models of that time. The camera "Sunrise" had a mass of 850 grams andhad the ability to shoot 24x36 mm frames using a flash with a sync contact of categories "X" and "M".
By the way, this seemingly not the most popular model in the Soviet Union at that time had a total number of 59,225 copies produced. Unlike other models, this camera can still be easily purchased in Russia and the CIS countries today. A fairly large number of ideally working Voskhod models have survived to this day.
We remember, we are proud
The article analyzed the technical characteristics, features and interesting features of the most popular Soviet cameras. Of course, progress never stands still, and, understanding this fact, I would like to once again note the work of Soviet engineers. It was thanks to their efforts that Soviet cameras were not ashamed to be shown to foreigners, and the photographs taken with their help were of the highest quality!