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Vladimir Zverew

20 Posts
Posted - Feb 23 2014 :  1:27:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

In the Soviet Union before its collapse was released about 200 models of cameras and about fifty models of flash bulbs.

Production of electronic flash massively started rather late, in the middle of 50-age.

In 1887 Adolf Myth and Johan Gedik used a mixture of magnesium with õëîðàòîì potassium. So was invented «flash powder» (or «flash powder» or «blitzlicht») and entered the lexicon of magnesium flash, which we believe companion format camera.

(picture 1)
Ðóññêèå ìàãíèåâûå ïîðîøêè «Ñèðèóñ» è «Ñâåò Ìîëíèè» («Ôàáðèêà êðàñîê Ôðèäðèõ Áàéåð è Êî»)
Russian magnesium powders «Sirius» and «the Light of the Lightning» («Factory of paints Friedrich Bayer & Co»)
The first models of magnesium flash-lamp were copies of German. They were respectively spread and silicon type. Flash cartridge as type Kodak was not prodused in Russia.

(picture 2)
The trigger sends a stroke on the paper clips, flammable powder..
(picture 3)

Magnesium flash production Cooperative "Electrometall". Prodused in St. Petersburg, and after the revolution, etc. in Leningrad

In 1925, Paul Vercotter patented the first lamp to the flash. In 1929 the first real flash-lamp-Vacumblitz was conducted in Germany. It was followed by the 1930 Sashalite in Britain and GE20 in the United States.

With the arrival in the 30-age replaced magnesium powder outbreaks type «flashgun» factory MELZ started production of disposable lamps. For the sample were taken device German company Leitz and American Graflex..
(picture 4)
For the Soviet cameras 30-40s biennium used disposable flash lamp MELZ «with light energy 25000 lumen-seconds» it was inserted a single flash lamp FO-1B (ÔÎ-1â). The sale of a set of flash lamp had called photo-illuminator «FO-1B»
(A.G. Simonov «Photographing under artificial illumination Art Moscow 1959, Guide for the Amateur photographer 1961))

(picture 5)
Soviet “Combi synchronizer”, which is mounted on the shutter button of the camera. He let the camera work with lamp and electronic flashes.

The electronic flash on the basis of xenon tube invented in 1932 and developed in 1935 M. Laporte (M. Laporte), Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Harold E. Edgerton suggested using multiple lamp and developed in 1939, the method of ignition of a lamp flash from the camera.
(picture 6)
But the outbreak was expensive and heavy (about 8 kg ) and up to 50-ies was only used by professional photographers.
(picture 7)
Frame from the film «the Case ¹ 306» 1956
In the late 50-ies in accordance with the five year plans in several republics have started production of the electronic flash. They do not yield to foreign, except for the championship. Even then, there has been some delay Soviet electronic filling. This was especially true of the Autonomous operation of flares.

(picture 8)
The first Soviet electronic flashes were in the 50-age :

1955 Moscow flash EV-1" type “Molniya”,
1957 Ukrainian instrument “Luch-57
1959 the Estonian e-flash „FIL-1”

The first Soviet photoflash from the late 50s until the beginning of the 70s produced by different factories of various departments, but one concept.
Actually flash lamp with a reflector was attached to the camera through the interposer. The power supply unit and condenser were independent element and connected with a reflector cable. Synchro cable connected the flash with the camera. In the «hot Shoe» (zuher-plank or the viewfinder) flash is not inserted.
Since 1964 an outbreak of "Luch» began to produce under the brand of "Chaika". Devices « Luch » and « Chaika » of various modifications have been for a long time and most powerful our outbreaks. And popular with reporters and wedding photographers.
Synchro contacts type PC-sync appeared on Soviet photo outbreaks in the mid-50s, and the legs under the hot Shoe “Hot shoe” since the second half of the 1970s.

They repeated the best foreign samples. «Samples» were German flash Metz Mecablitz firm Metz and Hobby Braun firm Braun .
The company Metz gave the world the concept of photoflash, as we know it today. From 1958 to 1962 transistor outbreaks of this independent manufacturer of photo outbreaks made a furor. Product weight decreased several times, reflector and batteries were merged into a single node.

1958. Paul Metz introduced the transistor voltage Converter in electronic flash METZ Mecablitz 45

It was a real breakthrough, greatly reduced the size and weight of the product

1960. Flash Metz MECABLITZ 103 was the masterpiece - it was the first to link all of the elements in a single node.

1961. Flash MINI Metz 106» had a miniature compact dimensions and almost similar to current.
For obvious reasons, Americans and Japanese in those days there were Germans competition. In America was a boom cheap disposable lamps AG-1, and the Japanese market was then mainly focused in America.

"EV-1" type “Molniya”, mid 50 age Moscow electric-bulb plant (MELZ), the First Soviet electronic flash lamp

"EV-4" Zarya type, IP 220 V (device worked without a storage capacitor)

"EV-5" type «Leningrad», 1962 ,the Moscow electric-bulb plant (MELZ) the Instrument has been a removable diffuser
In the 60-70s mainly produced inexpensive devices feeding from network of 220 V. Names was a bit : the “SEF”, “FIL – Norma”, “Crystal”, "Peleng”, “Electronika”. A standard plastic boxes with GN - 24. The Soviet government and the party decided that not what the people of expensive electronic appliances, stand-alone, compact, with automatics and turning reflector. But, «to meet the wishes of the workers,» such outbreaks and manned by a separate battery pack.

(picture 9)
Flash type Chaika-Induktor beginning of the 60s were rather the exception. Like a flash of Salyut-2" in the late 70's ahead of its time. It first appeared inclined reflector.
In a limited number were produced in automatic flash, powerful hammer, with rotary reflector. But they immediately fell into the category of rare goods.

List of Soviet producers of electronic flash units

Flash type «EV-.....» series «Molniya», «Zarya» , «Leningrad» and "Light," " since the mid-50's to mid 60's produced Moscow electric-bulb plant (MELZ)
Flash type FIL-..." since 1957 the plant "Norma", Tallinn,
Flash type "Luch-...", from 1957 at the plant "Radiodetal", Kharkov
Flash type " Chaika...", since 1964, at the plant "Radiodetal", Kharkov
"Elitan" " produced flash "Chayka-2" in 1974., "Luch-M1" in 1981, electronics L5-01" in 1981 and "Photon" in 1981.
Flash type "Salute-..." produced in 70-80s biennium Association "Sigma" (Vilnius butts calculating machines of them. V.I. Lenin).
Flash type "SEF-..."from the mid-80s has established production of Arzamas plant of radio components
Flash type "Peleng -...", Minsk produced BelOMO since the mid-80s .
Flash “Electronika” since the early 80s produced NPO "Zenit" (Zelenograd).
And Disposable flash Cube, in the early 1980s, Zelenograd as a response to the popular «cubes» Kodak late 60 age.
"Polaron" in the late 80's and early 90's produced automatic flash “Electronika"
Sometimes confused with the name of «Danko» on the outbreak and labeled on the back of the product. Believe marking on the back... Named «Danko» want to assign all of the Soviet outbreaks type Nikon Spedllight or Canon Speedlite. But not caught the new labelling. The fact that in the USSR there were no systematic cameras with these flash systems.
In the USSR the system flashes for «Zenit», «Zorkiy», «FED» and «Kiev» was not. «System» means a flash control with the camera, for example, TTL control, and therefore the availability of additional (low voltage) of contact for coordination with flash. Almost all cameras made in the Soviet Union were purely mechanical, and flash – only one contact. Camera produced at the plants of one Ministry, flash - on factories of other agencies.
To TTL flash control with the camera, which introduced Olympus in the mid-70s, our industry has not held. But automatic flash with built-in sensor finally released in the mid 70's (1976).
"Polaon" in the late 80's and early 90's produced automatic flash electronics "FE-16A" (1989-1990). But Perestroika made their rare collectibles

A little about the pulse lamps for underwater photography
They developed a designer Alexander Semyonovich Massarsky, cooperating with the LOMO. In the USSR, lived and worked in the absence of competition, when inefficient industry was not interested in the release of the new equipment offered to the enthusiasts of the sea, and all our ideas were implemented with great difficulty. Much remained «behind the scenes».
In 1960 he was released first in our country Boxing UPK (universal camera underwater). Using a variety of small appliances in Boxing UPK worked 14 models of cameras. The weak link manufactured boxes was no impulse illuminators for subsea
Had to develop pulsed laser illuminator for that box, but the production he did not go. Every craftsman-submariner did such outbreaks yourself. Made very complex lighting .

As an additional source of powerful pulsed light apply servo blitz is the same flash placed in a separate sealed housing.
(picture 10)
In Russia servo- blitz as underwater flash is not produced, all of the developed models were solely those of the authors. In the 1980s, the device of similar design, «Blick», was produced by Kharkov specialists. He had adjustable pulse power 75-145 J. and depth of exploitation of 60 m Range tripping device depended on the power lead of the flash light and water transparency. As a power electronic circuit used battery «Molniya» (330-ÝÂÌÖÍ-1000).
In 1988, was born soviet domestic pressurized apparatus, which was named «Aquacon». For it was developed and flash lamp. In the apparatus was a mechanism «LOMO-compact». In 1990 Massarsky decided to modernize its built-in flash and developed « Aquacon -2».
" Aquacon " was much cheaper than Western analogues, "Nikonos" and very competitive. Preparations started industrial production of this camera. But then perestroika began, the LOMO was not until these devices. Preserved only prototypes, which have become a rarity for collectors of photography.

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/432014_(picture 1).jpg

Edited by - fototoka on Mar 04 2014 10:43:09 PM
248 Posts
Posted - Feb 24 2014 :  2:59:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vladimir hello!
Great information! Very interesting! And this is in Russian can be found somewhere?
If not, the Russian text can throw on my email?
Sincerely, Alex!
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Juhani Halmeenmaki
1015 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Feb 25 2014 :  10:29:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit cedricfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Many flashlights described and pictured:

My questions:
1. Was it because of poor and expensive batteries that most flashes are charged directly from mains 220 Volt?
2. How popular flashes were in USSR? Nowadays they are not for sale very often.

Best regards,
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Vladimir Zverew
20 Posts
Posted - Mar 03 2014 :  1:51:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Please accept my apologies for the lack of illustrations. I just haven't learned how to put them here.
Responding to Mr Cedricfan:
1. photographers in the USSR were technically competent. To make an additional source of supply for photo flash or himself to repair its own photographic equipment could very many.
2. On 220 volts power flash units produced by tens of times bigger than a mobile, battery powered. Uncommon had color film and we worked with black and white film. As a black and white film is not capricious on the Color balance photographers have used the light of conventional light bulb in the room.
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Vladislav Kern
4248 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Mar 04 2014 :  09:58:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello Vladimir, this is excellent information, you can create a wiki article in the catalog for this, or actually I'll do it, you can add images in there if you'd like.

Thank you!
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Carsten Bobsin
2 Posts
Posted - Apr 08 2014 :  06:53:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Vladimir,

that is an exceptional collection of information!

A fellow collector and I are currently researching for an article on flash units from Eastern Germany. In the course of our research we met several designers that had worked for Elgawa. It was mentioned the "Minitron" flash unit (about 1968) "was copied by the Russians". Would you know which flash unit that could be and which company manufactured it? If helpful, I could send the circuit schematic of the Minitron.

Second question. Elgawa designed the L2 flash unit in the seventies. This flash unit uses bulbs. The interesting fact about it is that it runs on a single 1.5V battery! Other flash bulb units of the sixties and seventies used a 15V or 22.5V battery. The L2 generates about 30V from the battery by an inductive pump. Do you know of any Soviet bulb flash working on juat a 1.5V battery?


Best regards,
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Vladimir Zverew
20 Posts
Posted - May 28 2014 :  4:30:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry for the delay with the answer.
I have not yet quite complete collection on Soviet photo flash. I have gathered the most rare: Leningad, Zarya,Chaika-Induktor,Ogonyok, Kristall, Elektron. I do not have complete information on this topic.
( "Minitron" flash unit (about 1968) "was copied by the Russians").These were the Estonian photoflash "Norma".
Second question. List of photo outbreaks and their power sources on "fotohistory.ru". In my next article I will try to address these issues. And accompany them to be worthy of illustrations.
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152 Posts
Posted - Aug 09 2014 :  11:14:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you very much Vladimir and Vladislav for very interesting article.

I have an interesting exemplar of EF-5 flashgun (still working!).
The interesting thing about this flash is that it has a logotype of Sigma factory in Vilnus (known for Saulute flashes from 70es). Does it mean that the part of EV flashes were assembled in Vilnus. Does anybody know something about this?

Here are some photos






Edited by - altix on Aug 09 2014 11:15:24 AM
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Luiz Paracampo
Luiz Paracampo
1995 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Aug 09 2014 :  8:19:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit Luiz Paracampo's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello Vlad
Excellent and useful reseach!
Also good for the Photohistory Abramov's site.
My best enthusiastic votes.
Something like this was needed after a long sleeping period
in this fórum!
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Vladimir Zverew
20 Posts
Posted - Aug 10 2014 :  5:02:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This product under the brand name "Leningrad" EV-5 is also produced at the plant "MELZ" (Moscow Electric Factory)
As mentioned previously in the Soviet planned economy the same model flashbulbs produced at different factories of the country.
In Association "Sigma", Lithuania included several factories. The logo on the flash unit to belong to the "Vilnius Plant calculating machines it. Lenin"
   Just flash produced Pabrade Plant Instrumentation countable "Modulis" in Pabradė, Lithuania. They were called "Saulute"
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Vladimir Zverew
20 Posts
Posted - Aug 10 2014 :  5:09:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ready illustrated catalog of Soviet flashbulbs. There will be a lot of answers to such questions. Since some photo quality unworthy I need time for his illustrations. Soon I will translate into English. And he will appear for comments.
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