Dissolution of the Soviet Union
Dissolution of the Soviet Union

The dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on December 26, 1991, officially granting self-governing independence to the Republics of the Soviet Union.  It was a result of the declaration number 142-Н of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.  The declaration acknowledged the independence of the former Soviet republics and created the Commonwealth of Independent States.  On the previous day, December 25, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, resigned, declared his office extinct, and handed over its powers, including control of the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. That evening at 7:32 p.m., the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag.


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И́гры XXII Олимпиа́ды
И́гры XXII Олимпиа́ды

he 1980 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Moscow, Soviet Union, in present-day Russia.  The 1980 Games were the first Olympic Games to be staged in Eastern Europe, and remain the only Summer Olympics held there, as well as the first Olympic Games to be held in a Slavic language-speaking country.  They were also the first Olympic Games to be held in a socialist country, and the only Summer Games to be held in such a country until 2008 in Beijing, China.  Led by the United States at the insistence of U.S. President Jimmy Carter, 66 countries boycotted the games entirely because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Ю́рий Алексе́евич Гага́рин
Ю́рий Алексе́евич Гага́рин

Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin; 9 March 1934 – 27 March 1968) was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut.  He was the first human to journey into outer space when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961.  Gagarin became an international celebrity and was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, the nation’s highest honor.  Vostok 1 marked his only spaceflight, but he served as backup crew to the Soyuz 1 mission (which ended in a fatal crash).  Gagarin later became deputy training director of the Cosmonaut Training Centre outside Moscow, which was later named after him.  Gagarin died in 1968 when the MiG-15 training jet he was piloting crashed.

Иосиф Сталин
Иосиф Сталин

Joseph Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili; 18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was a Soviet revolutionary and politician of Georgian ethnicity. He ruled the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953, holding the titles of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1952 and the nation’s Premier from 1941 to 1953.  Initially presiding over an oligarchic one-party regime that governed by plurality, he became the de facto dictator of the Soviet Union by the 1930s.  Ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalize these ideas as Marxism–Leninism while his own policies became known as Stalinism.

Октя́брьская Pеволю́ция
Октя́брьская Pеволю́ция

The October Revolution, officially known in Soviet literature as the Great October Socialist Revolution and commonly referred to as Red October, the October Uprising, the Bolshevik Revolution, or the Bolshevik Coup, was a revolution in Russia led by the Bolsheviks and Vladimir Lenin that was instrumental in the larger Russian Revolution of 1917.  It took place with an armed insurrection in Petrograd on 7 November (25 October, Old Style) 1917.

Союз Советских Социалистических Республик
Союз Советских Социалистических Республик

In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin’s death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin committed the state’s ideology to Marxism–Leninism (which he created) and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization.

Featured Guides

These how-to guides were written in an attempt to help the novice collector start a collection, use it, and what to do when things go wrong.
The Outdoor Eight Rule – Metering without a Meter for Beginners
Whether you are new to shooting film or are a grizzled veteran, you've likely heard someone mention a fundamental rule of photography called "The Sunny 16 Rule". The Sunny 16...
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Breathing New Life into Old Cameras
I made my first old camera post in August 2014.  At that time, I had no idea where this hobby would take me.  I already had an interest in digital...
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What Is My Camera Worth?
As a member of the Vintage Camera Collectors group on Facebook, the most common "new member" post is from someone who in one way or another, has acquired an old...
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Mike’s Guide to Buying Old Cameras
As my collection of old cameras grows, I feel as though I have learned a few things along the way.  There are many sites on the 'net from people like...
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Welcome to my site.  My name is Mike Eckman and I’ve been running this site for a few years without any predefined direction for what kind of content would be here.  In late 2014, I had a “re-discovery” of film cameras which took off into directions I never could have imagined.  I grew a collection of film cameras made in nearly every decade of the 20th century and started reviewing them.  Although this site seemed to turn into a vintage photography blog, I am retaining the original intent of this site to be a personal blog.  I plan on continuing to make a variety of vintage camera reviews and other photography related articles, but the site will still be sprinkled with posts covering a variety of other topics.

This entire site is maintained entirely by me and hosted on a custom built Windows 2008 server in the basement of my home in Dyer, IN.  Every review and article was written by me using mostly cameras from my personal collection.  A small number of reviews were written about cameras that were loaned to me by other collectors.  I often source my factual information from other sites on the Internet and I do my best to provide credit wherever I can.  This site generates no ad revenue and what few costs are associated with running it are paid out of my own pocket.

Newest Posts

Everything from the latest vintage camera review, a Keppler's Vault blast from the past, or some other camera related article, it's all here in reverse chronological order.
Keppler’s Vault 24: Russian Cameras Today
Last week's Keppler's Vault featured two different Russian Lens articles, so this week I thought I'd include a couple articles I've found that talk about 1950s and 60s Soviet cameras. ...
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Kiev-19 (1985)
This is a Kiev-19, a 35mm Single Lens Reflex camera made by the Arsenal Factory in Kiev, Ukraine between the years 1985 to 1994.  It was a replacement to the...
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Keppler’s Vault 23: Russian Lenses Reviewed
In the last couple of decades, Soviet era cameras and lenses have enjoyed a generally positive reputation, making lenses like the Jupiter-8 and Helios-44 sought after by people searching for cost-effective...
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Zorki 5 v1 (1958)
This is a Zorki 5 rangefinder camera made by Krasnogorskiy Mechanicheskiy Zavod (KMZ) in Krasnogorsk during the years of 1958 - 1959.  This particular camera is an early and much less common...
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Keppler’s Vault 22: Russians Shoot the Moon…Or Did They?
Unless you have a strong interest in history, specifically the US/USSR Cold War, most people under the age of 40 will never remember the back and forth competitiveness of the...
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GOMZ Leningrad (1956)
This is a Leningrad 35mm rangefinder camera made by GosuDarstvennyi Optiko-Mekhanicheskii Zavod (GOMZ for short) between the years of 1956 and 1968.  Although using the same M39 screw mount as many...
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Данный сайт был захвачен и конфискован Коммунистической Партией Российской Федерации! Сайт будет доступен только при условии ликвидации всего содержимого кроме статьёй содержащих информацию о фото-продукции СССР! Единственная возможность получить доступ...
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Keppler’s Vault 21: Alpa Reflex 6c
The first 5 words of the article below from the February/March 1962 issue of Camera 35 magazine are: The Alpa Reflex is expensive... Talk about the understatement of the year! ...
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Ikko Sha Start 35 K-II (1958)
This is an Ikko Sha Start 35 K-II 35mm camera made by Ikko Sha Co. Ltd. of Japan starting in 1958.  It was the second to last model in Ikko Sha's...
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Mike Eckman Dot Com

If you would like to contact me about a review on this site, or a question you have about a particular camera, use this form.

I likely won’t have any useful information about a camera if I haven’t already reviewed it.  I only have experience with models in my own personal collection.  I do accept donations, but if you are looking to sell your camera, you’ll get more money by selling it on eBay than I’d likely pay you for it.  I am a notorious cheapskate!