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Catalog-Classifier "1200 Cameras from the USSR"

Catalog-Classifier "1200 Cameras from the USSR"

This publication is dedicated to the talent of Soviet scientists, designers and engineers have created for more than 60 years of huge number of models of photographic equipment, mass-manufactured in the Soviet Union. Soviet fotoapparatostroenie is one of the leading places in the world among countries producing cameras of the twentieth century, and, therefore, worthy to be told about it was described in detail.

Production of amateur and professional photographic equipment in the former Soviet Union was focused mainly on the territory of three republics. For ease of classification, these centers are conventionally called Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and regional industry groups.

The number of printed copies is 750. The book is mostly in Russian (cameras technical data with illustrations) but includes English summary and several articles.


Member of the Union of Journalists and the Union of Photographers of Russia,
the "Photography" creative union, the International Confederation of Journalists', head of Department of Technology and a member of the editorial board of the journals "Soviet Photo" and "Fotomagazin", title phototechnics editor of publishing house "Mir", physicist, optician, candidate of technical sciences

A word to reader

This well published book is the least intended to decorate your bookshelf. According to the concept and execution, it is an everyday desktop encyclopedia of Soviet imaging cameras for all the years of the Soviet Union, complete (or nearly complete, correct to say - the most complete), a systematic list of cameras from the most massive to the most rare, surviving perhaps in a few or even a single copy. There could be quite painful loss of a single product variants and memories of the rarity design remained only in memory, but on paper. The future of this publication seems to me a truly unique - a similar classified Encyclopedia remain in the history of photography unique. After the Millennium not only lost the old country, with its truly massive public photo amateurishness, but is itself a traditional imaging technology of silver halide photosensitive materials for their well-functioning fine optomechanical equipment and image processing. The old picture does not die completely, goes into the category of professional elite, and equipment for it become museum curiosities. And, as always a rarity, over time it is all unique and inaccessible, and more expensive not only to itself in the form of glass and metal, but as any true information about it.

It is essential that the contents of this book is not only collected (sometimes the bits) in a very different sources, but the carefully processed and systematized to the point, which coincides with the museum really needs. The degree of detail in the accepted classification does not yield the most detailed descriptions of the museum, including those adopted in international practice. By the completeness of the materials collected edition is definitely superior to any (alas, very few) local and foreign materials on Soviet cameras for all the seventieth anniversary of their production. Years which were dedicated to this work in love with enthusiasm include official visits to manufacturers and talk with their veterans, "the expeditions" for private collections and collectors, thorough wanted in libraries and books, technical documentation. Books were not on the bare ground, and on a solid material basis of one of the most complete private collections of existing Soviet cameras, collected by the authors in the Minsk museum, entitled "Mir Foto".

Collecting is a great passion. It allows you to combine the inherent human desire for ordering items outside world with the expansion of their knowledge and outlook. Photographic equipment in this regard is particularly attractive and promising, as it is material, rather small-sized and (in contrast to the medieval art or luxury cars) in the process of collecting available at a price. Finally, it qualitatively limited in time and space, but, being collected until the desired fullness, is becoming a full member of the most prestigious international auction houses and highlight major museum exhibitions. A good collection of equipment - it is not only the history of technology and its creators, it is a national asset of the country, testifying to its technical level and technological development. Collect and process such a collection for the years of Soviet power - in my opinion, one of the most important patriotic task of our generation. Collecting is a worldwide passion. For it, there are special shops, fairs, exhibitions, auctions, special publications and journals. This Encyclopedia is certainly a unique and indispensable information base for any collector and any dealer commission Soviet production techniques of photography. This niche not yet filled out and waiting for new members who understand that the museum of photo equipment and guide it like a time machine, instantly porting you in years past searches and success. And whatever you decide to collect from the Soviet photo equipment, do not forget that one should begin immediately.

Moscow, November, 2009

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