The Russian Contax: Kiev 4 & Jupiter 12

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There is a camera that I love very much, but I haven’t been too lucky with. It’s the Soviet version of the legendary Zeiss Contax II, which in the 30’s and 40’s disputed the primacy to the eternal rival Leica in the 35m range. Immediately after the war, as partial compensation for damages, all equipment and materials present in the Zeiss factories were moved (along with a good number of technicians and specialized workers) behind the Iron Curtain, in Kiev, at the plant of Zavod Arsenal. Here, in the years immediately following the war, they were therefore produced the Kiev II (almost exactly the Contax); later underwent some changes in later models III and IV. Unlike Zorki and the Fed, that “copied” the Leica models from afar … these Kiev, in fact, can not be considered copies but, delocalized productions …

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Lomo Smena Sl – Just twelve frames of (1992) Expired Orwo Np20

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This time I deal with one of the most popular cameras in the world: the Lomo Smena. In the specific case (just to complicate a little the affair) the SL version, adopting a sort of variation of more known “Rapid” loading system, introduced by Agfa in 1964. Born as an antagonist of the Kodak 126 system, it was adopted by some brands, but didn’t have long nor too fortunate life. I have to say about, that in my childhood I used repeatedly Kodak Instamatic cameras, either in 126 or 110 and perhaps one Agfa 110 … but I’ve never seen a Rapid or SL model.

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