Voigtländer Prominent (1952)

This is a Voigtländer Prominent 35mm rangefinder camera made by Voigtländer AG Braunschweig between the years 1952 and 1958.  At the time of it’s release, it was Voigtländer’s top of the line 35mm camera and was designed to compete with Ernst Leitz’s Leica series.  It has an interchangeable bayonet lens mount, a coincident …

KMZ Zenit-E (1965)

This is a Zenit-E 35mm SLR camera, made by Krasnogorski Mekhanicheskii Zavod (KMZ) in the former Soviet Union between the years of 1965 and 1986.  The entire Zenit (Зенит) line was extremely successful and not only sold very well, but it has become an iconic camera of the Soviet Union.  Millions …

GOMZ Smena-4 (1958)

This is a Smena (Смена) 4, a 35mm compact camera made by GOMZ in Leningrad, Russia and was produced between 1958 and 1960.  It was the 4th in the Smena family of cameras, and the last to be produced with this body style, made entirely of Bakelite.  The camera was …

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 earlier Kiev-17 which was the first Soviet camera to use Nikon’s F bayonet mount.  Most Nikon F-mount lenses will work …

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 alternatives to German or Japanese models.  Even the lower end Industars can be good options for people looking for acceptable …

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 variant with a red Zorki-5 logo engraved into the body, and a square rangefinder window.  Later Zorki 5s had a …

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 other Soviet rangefinders, the Leningrad is not based off any existing German design like the Zenit or FED rangefinders that …

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