Two Lubitel Twin-Reflex Bakelite Cameras - Joined to make a stereo camera ..... 6 x 6 mm
Serial Nos. : 52227188 & 57138 ........ lens: T-22 / 75 mm f. 4.5 ..... viewing lens: 60 mm f. 2.8
factory : GOMZ - LOMO / Leningrad, USSR ....... designer: probably home-made construction
year : circa 1960s / Lubitel production was from 1949 -1957
notes : Cyrillic hand-plated name plate reading "STEREO ... Lubitel S ... STEREO"
This fully functional camera consists of two Lubitel cameras, expertly joined together with glue and with an added mechanism that trips both shutters at the same time, to make a large stereo camera.
The added mechanism has milled aluminum handles, the right handle having the new shutter button protruding from the top of it. The mechanism attaches to the twin camera-unit using the red bakelite tripod screws from the original leather cases. Pushing the shutter activates a lever system, attached with wires to the original shutter release levers on the taking lenses. Focusing is synchronized through the use of a removable gear, attached to the added mechanism, that engages the gear wheels around both lenses. The film-wind knob on the left camera has been moved to the left side so that the film can be separately wound on each camera.
Everything on this camera is very functional to be able to create high quality medium-format images. The only inconvenient feature is that the added mechanism must be completely removed from the camera to load the two film rolls, and then re-attached in order to make the exposures. One advantage over the SPUTNIK is that using two rolls of film at once doubles the amount of stereo images produced from a single session or loading
This camera was probably home-made during the 1950s or 1960s in Russia. Although the SPUTNIK Stereo camera had been released (1955), it may have been beyond the financial means of some photographers, leading to the successful design of this camera. There is also the possibility that the camera was made for one of the "factory design contests" held for workers at the different Soviet camera zavods to encourage creativity, enthusiasm and new designs for the factory to use or modify in the future.
The photographer who made this camera was very proud of their work, as can be seen by the beautifully painted label and excellent craftsmanship. This camera came from Taganrog, Rostov Region of the Russian Federation and arrived with two partially exposed rolls of film still in place in the camera. I have not developed them yet, but they look to date to the 1950s - 1960s.
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