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nightphoto's Soviet/Russian Photographic Equipment Collection

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KGB Movie Camera Disguise for F-21 "Electronic"

nightphoto's Description
Body Serial #:
Lens Serial #:

Wiki Catalog Entry
A rare and sophisticated surveillance device, for use by the KGB, using a KMZ Quarz 1x8S-2 Super-8 movie camera as a disguise for an F-21 Electronic "Nailon" miniature clockwork mechanized spy camera.

The amatuer movie camera has had the inner workings replaced with a device which holds the F-21 with the lens pointing towards the right side, so that when the user is pointing the movie camera forward, they are actually viewing (through the viewfinder) and taking a photograph of their their subject, who is to their right, secretly while pretending to be making a movie!

To make this disguise work perfectly there is a tiny battery powered motor inset into the interior of the movie camera lens which makes a realistic sound of a movie camera filming! This motor is activated by a small button next to the shutter release, on the front of the Quarz. So, the user can first push the motor button to make the filming sound, then release the shutter, with the motor noise covering the sound of the shutter successfully ... and all with one hand.

The target subject is seen through the regular Quarz viewfinder, which has been altered to make a non-reversed, right-side-up, very clear image through a tiny, pin-head sized lens that is set into the slot of a small screw on the upper right side of the Quarz. An amazing feat of optical engineering!

When the shutter button is released, a small window, lower down on the right side of the Quarz, opens, the F-21 shutter is released, and the window closes. Also there is a short fiber-optic cable which allows the F-21 electronic light meter to take a light reading of the subject.

This example seems to be made in 1982, as the serial number of the interior device is No. 82270. The Quarz movie camera is also from 1982 with serial No. 823161 (on the lens). This surveillance disguise device was made at the KMZ "special workshop" where things like this were designed, developed, and constructed for the Soviet KGB and other police agencies.

collection of Bill Parkinson
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