Ken Smith  fine art photography  

Vintage Cameras - Rangefinders & Folders

Russian Cameras







At first, I had no desire to collect 35mm cameras, but these Leica-copy ex-Soviet Union cameras caught my eye, and I was hooked. First there was one, then another, and so-on. A unique model, then a wide angle and a telephoto lense. The history of how they were designed and their quirks...all of it was sort of invigorating. There was a need to learn to tinker on them to keep them running smoothly, which begat a sort of loyalty that is only known by people who keep machines operating that might otherwise be thrown into the junk heap. It is an affliction that is felt when collecting and using all vintage cameras, but these Russian ones have a peculiar character that some describe as addictive. Besides that, when you've adjusted the rangefinder, relubed the lense, and all is working smoothly, they can be used to make fine images.