on 3 January 2006
I have always had a soft spot for Russian cameras since owning a couple of these basic, but rugged cameras in my youth. Now with Russian cameras available cheaply on eBay and the Internet I decided to consider a small collection of interesting cameras and bought this book. It provides a definitive and painstakingly researched guide to Soviet cameras made in the 20th Century. It is well laid out and has a ten page 'potted' but interesting history of Russia. This sets the scene well and enables the reader to understand some of the reasons behind the Russian camera development and production as well as an insight into the psyche of the Russian poeople. The book also has brief histories of photography in Russia in both the 19th and 20th Centuries. The book has well laid out in sections covering each of the production factories. It also has sections on subminiature, military and special cameras; amateur movie cameras; light meters, projectors, enlargers and accessories. In each of the main sections there are photos of most of the cameras, lenses and other items with excellent technical and manufacturing details. This is a definitive catalogue of cameras and lenses but understandably no current prices are shown. There are some small gramatical errors and very small sections untranslated from French, but the book reads very well and is full of interesting anecdotes. If you are looking for as good a guide as you can get on Russian cameras.... this is it!