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T O P I C    R E V I E W
AidasCams Posted - Oct 20 2008 : 02:21:02 AM
Very good friend of mine Viktor Suglob have decided to spoil all his friends collectors with some unique material from the new book! Here we have an unique opportunity to see an ultra rare ISKRA-3 camera from private collection!!! (source: Mirfoto archives)

Thanks to Alain, we have heard about unknown Moskva-6 project already. Although the authentity of particular Moskva camera is very questionable untill now, the authentity of Iskra-3 camera is already confirmed by camera experts in Moscow and Minsk ...


Best Regards,
46   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
cedricfan Posted - Oct 28 2008 : 1:23:47 PM
Now there is only the waiting fo rthe book. Do you others feel like a 5y old boy one night before christmas...

Smena rules
nightphoto Posted - Oct 28 2008 : 11:25:54 AM
Hi Vlad,

Thanks for the translation of Viktor's letter. So now we know that these photos were doctored and have an explanation as to why it has been done. Sounds like a good reason to photoshop the photographs and also like Viktor had no choice but to do it if he wanted to include these cameras in the book.
I'm sure no one is questioning Viktor's devotion and huge amount of fine work to bring this book to us and other collectors. I know he has worked very hard and, as he says, we will rejoice at his new book. I'm sure it will bring many hours of discussion and pleasurable controversy.
Vlad, please thank Viktor for an explanation for the photo-manipulation that our sharp-eyed members have spotted!

Regards, Bill

Vlad Posted - Oct 28 2008 : 10:35:16 AM
Today I have received an email from Viktor Suglob, with a statement in regards to this thread. Please read below. I will post my translated English copy followed by original in Russian.


Hello Vlad,

Haven't corresponded for a long time, so now I have a free minute so decided to write you a few lines.

My friend Aidas with my permission had sent a few photos from the book. These photos of cameras were sent to me by my friends in Moscow. They were taken with a wide angle lens which created a lot of distortion on the cameras. We asked them to be re-shot but nothing came out of it and we had to process them on a computer to reduce the distortion. The owner of this collection flat refused to meet with us for us to retake the pictures ourselves. The problem was, from his words, that he had a very large collection and he wanted to sell it but he was scammed and cameras were stolen. That is why he does not want to meet with anyone. And agreed only on taking pictures via a middle-man. What we happened to receive, we tried to correct on a computer and put into a book.

Regarding Iskra-3, it was downright scary(distorted) since it was taken with a powerful wide-angle lens. Many [other] cameras after numerous pleading and requests were retaken with normal lens.

In regards again to Iskra-3: when we were in Krasnogorsk, the workers that worked the assembly line remembered this camera that it did exist. Other evidence confirming their statements after long searches we did not find.

We also talked there with designer Padalko, and he told us this story: by request of minister Ustinov (in Brezhnev's times) he created a Polaroid-type camera and today does not remember its name, even though he still works at the factory. According to him they made a lot of these cameras, these were experimental batches, which were not in any of the documentation at the factory and or were made as presents to people. I personally received a present camera Foton Super-1 (Zenit) Serial #1. It is actually shown on the cover of our book. These small batches did not get into any planning departments, since they were experimental or presentables.

By the way I have a camera Sport-1 which is not in any documents, but I have it and it does exist like many other cameras in my collection which did not make into any confirming documents of manufacturing factories and which are impossible to fake (I have dozens of these cameras). A question arises, what are these and who produced them, to "make them on your laps" is absolutely impossible ("making cameras on your laps" is favorite expression of JLP).

Basically, when the book will come out, the collectors of the world will rejoice from our materials, into which we had invested 15 years of hard research labor. During these 15 years we had interviewed hundreds of retired people which worked on the factories. The answers to many of questions were very consistent, and that why to any replies, statements, philosophical retorics [from collectors here] I can answer this: I invested into this research 20 years of hard labor, starting the research with helping Jean Loup [Princelle] for his first book "300 copies of Leica". I am sure that not a single person in the world had given this subject that much time for research of materials for Jean Loup and out book.

This is my reply in regards to discussions and arguments about the Iskra, whether it's fake or not.

If you have any more questions - write, the rest is in the book.
That's all I wanted to say.

Best regards,
Viktor Suglob.

Привет Влад.
Давно не писал, вот выдалась свободная минутка, и решил написать пару строк.

Мой друг Айдас с моего разрешения отправил несколько фотографий из книги. Эти фотоаппараты прислали знакомые ребята из Москвы. Они были сфотографированы широкоугольным объективом, что вызвало искажение на аппаратах. Мы просили их переснять, но ничего из этого не получилось и нам пришлось их выравнивать на компьютере. Хозяин этой коллекции категорически отказался встречаться с нами, чтобы мы сфотографировали аппараты сами. Дело в том, что, с его слов, у него была большая коллекция, он хотел продать ее, но его обманули и ограбили. Поэтому он не хочет ни с кем встречаться. И согласился только на фотографирование через посредников.
Что к нам попало, мы попытались исправить и поставить в книгу.
Это касается и Искры 3, которая была вообще страшная, т.к. снята была мощным широкоугольным объективом. Многие аппараты, после долгих просьб были пересняты нормально.
По поводу искры 3 . Когда мы были в Красногорске, работники, которые работали на конвейере, и они вспомнили, про Искру 3 такая была. Сведений подтверждающих эти слова, сколько мы не искали, не нашли.
Также мы беседовали с конструктором Падалко, он рассказал нам такую историю. Что по просьбе министра Устинова (в эпоху Брежнева) он создал аппарат типа поларойд и сегодня он не помнит его названия. Хотя он по-прежнему работает на заводе. С его слов выпущено было много аппаратов, это были экспериментальные партии, которые нигде не отражались в документах, или делались как подарочные варианты.
Лично мне он подарил аппарат Фотон супер 1 (зенит) под номером 1. он находится, кстати, на обложке книги.
Эти малые партии не попадали в плановые отделы, т.к. были экспериментальными или подарочными.

Кстати, у меня есть фотоаппарат Спорт 1, которого нет нигде в документах, но он у меня есть, как и много других фотоаппаратов в моей коллекции, которые не вошли ни в один подтверждающий документ заводов-изготовителей и которые нельзя подделать (в моей коллекции их десятки). Вопрос, что же это такое и кто их изготовил (на коленях их изготовить просто не возможно и нереально, изготовить на коленях фотоаппарат - это любимое выражение Жан Лу). В общем, так, когда выйдет книга, коллекционеры всего мира возликуют от нашего материала, которому мы авторский коллектив отдали 15 лет упорного поискового труда.
За эти 15 лет мы опросили сотни людей-пенсионеров, которые работали на заводах-изготовителях. На многие наши вопросы ответы разных людей были практически одинаковыми. И поэтому на разные реплики, высказывания. И философские риторики я могу ответить одно: я вложил в этот поиск около 20 лет упорного труда, начиная с поиска и помощи Жан Лу для его первой книги 300 копий Лейки Я уверен, что ни один человек-коллекционер в мире не отдал столько времени поиску материалов для Жан Лу и нашей книги.

Это мой ответ по-поводу споров об Искре, подделка это или нет.

Если есть вопросы, пиши, а остальное в книге.
Вот и все, что я хотел сказать.

С уважением, Виктор Суглоб

Kievuser Posted - Oct 27 2008 : 10:02:34 PM
Originally posted by Luiz Paracampo

Observe again! The light effect disguises reality! Enlarge the picture! At first I thought there were a button in its center like Zenit E but the screws on the Iskra 3 lever go up to the two holes in the center!
The camera exists it is not a photo montage but it can be results of a Dream of a Summer Night!
Now two recent cameras from Zhang (our Chinese consultant) the Seagull 203 (rare) and similar Tahiu........

These have complete different levers.
I love these investigations!!!!!

Hello Luiz,

in case you need more pictures, please let me know. I assume I am the 'zhang', your Chinese consultant?
I published many chinese camera photos on other forums. I believe you have found some from there too.


nightphoto Posted - Oct 27 2008 : 11:12:58 AM
Yes, I agree that this photo also looks like it was photo-shopped or doctored. Please look at the sharpness of the "66" compared to the "ZENIT" lettering. The "66" is much sharper and the "ZENIT" is soft. That would be OK and due to depth of field except ... then look at the textured covering on the body. Below the "66" is soft and on the left side of the body the covering is sharp! Just the opposite of the lettering .. so can't be depth of field and my guess is that at least the "66" is added by doctoring.
And I agree with Luiz about the shapes of the knobs. Good eyes Luiz & Paul. I think if I was the one receiving photos from this source for publication in a book, I would check all of the photos of unknown cameras (hopefully before the book has been printed).

Regards, Bill

Vlad Posted - Oct 27 2008 : 08:35:35 AM
I wouldn't rely on JPEG compression artifacts much though, don't forget these were sent to Aidas as paper prints, then scanned, compressed to JPEG by Aidas, and then re-sized and re-compressed by this forum's image engine.. Even if these were printed from digital by Viktor there is no knowing when these compression artifacts appeared in this this 3rd generation JPEG...

Paul Sokk Posted - Oct 27 2008 : 02:02:37 AM
Luiz, I don't want to get a reputation as a naysayer here but I think that you are correct about the knobs. Also a couple of other points that cause me some concern.

Whilst I know nothing about what the 66 should look like, the fold in the prism that goes up one side, across the top and down the other looks like a groove to me - surely it can't be a real reflection on a simple angled edge?

Also the right hand end of the top plate (left on the photo) has a nice metallic look and a radiused edge as expected from stamping. However, the front is completely flat in both tone and edge shaping -its as if the front has been filed flat. Related to this is that the top edge is a bit wonky and the shadow from the knob ends unnaturally at the line without any gradation. May simply be blown highlights but it doesn't look right to me and the lighting is too flat in any case.

With due acknowledgement of imcphoto's assessment of the Iskra 3, the name and model text both have significant pixelation artefacts. Testing several photos of Zorki 4s, this can happen around characters but usually similar effects can be found near other hard edge contrast areas too. Here, the artefats appear to be inconsistant with other areas other than the viewfinder trim. I am sure there are other issues as well but somebody else can look for those.

I think it was said in the original post that the sources of the photos were the same. If that is the case, then my suspicions would be even greater. The Iskra 3 image is an impossibility, this one is more subtle but my personal opinion is that it also is a fake. Others may think differently and have good reason to do so.
Luiz Paracampo Posted - Oct 26 2008 : 7:14:29 PM
What you say about the Zenit 66?
see Perspective distortion on ellipses!


Luiz Paracampo Posted - Oct 26 2008 : 6:58:49 PM
Hello Bill
Perfect explanation! true photo montage!
imcphoto Posted - Oct 25 2008 : 9:01:48 PM
I copied the image from the site to the local drive and zoomed in to the Iskra inscription. The pixalization around the edges of the name does not blend smoothly into the silver surface of the camera. It could be inserted from another location or it could be JPEG artifact can't tell for sure.
Vlad Posted - Oct 25 2008 : 09:47:50 AM
I humbly yield the floor. . You guys obviously know what you are talking about here much more than me. All I can say if it weren't for your catches, I would've passed this image...
mermoz37 Posted - Oct 25 2008 : 04:18:37 AM
huuuhuu hhhuu...
I confirm :
checking my chinese cameras collection : some parts came from china cameras (top from seagull, lever too (or shangai or hongmei ....)
lever came from seagull 203 etc.
may be this camera never exist : it's only a pictures assembly as you wrote...
very sharp eyes guys !!! ((zorki's evindently )
Paul Sokk Posted - Oct 25 2008 : 04:03:36 AM
Thanks Bill. You certainly have an eye for subtle detail! As Zoom and you discussed before, the lever wind and shutter button are obvious issues too. The very sharp top left (looking at the camera)corner of the viewfinder frame could be a production problem but looks unnatural to me compared to the other three as does the rest of the top plane of the frame and I am largely persuaded by the other anomalys as at least something to analyse further.

However in all fairness, the image has been extracted from its original background (which can be seen through the right hand strap lug) and some of the edge uneveness, such as near the accessory shoe, could be due to that. Or not. Removing the background would make manipulation easier but it may be innocently done for effect as well.

Personally, I think your theories about how the composite was achieved and its purpose are very logical although no one of course can know for sure. As we agree, a genuine image and proof of the Iskra 3 it is not.

I hope it gains no credibility through Victor's book which in other regards certainly seems to promise an interesting addition to our knowledge base. I guess that if there are too many inaccuracies as Aidas fears, it will not be a reference work as such but will become an alternate source of information engendering many hours of discussion about the more perplexing entries. Whilst that would be amusing and perhaps informative, there are also dangers in perpetuating myths which may not have real substance.
nightphoto Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 9:25:29 PM
Here is the photo with arrows:


Regards, Bill

nightphoto Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 9:22:05 PM
Hi Paul, and by the way ... Welcome to the forum from me too!

You are exactly correct and the photo is an optical impossibility for just the reason you stated. As you say ... no way can the back part of the lowered step appear to be even with the back edge of the higher part of the top plate.

I think that this photo is made up of about three photos ... probably of Iskra-2 and a Shanghai-203 or possibly an Agfa model, as Luiz brought up. Here is the photo with some red arrows added where I thought it looks doctored or separate photos joined together with. To me the red logo also looks weird, with little or no depth to it. All of this would be easy to do because of the bright lighting and flat planes ... but it could have been done better.


Regards, Bill

Paul Sokk Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 8:03:20 PM
Maybe I was too subtle beforehand. Whilst the shapes and elipses are all indicators of a problem, clearly the photo is an optical impossibility. There is a step in the left hand side of the front of top plate where the lever/knob is. Even though the photo tries to convey that there is a step on the rear edge, it defies the laws of perspective. Hold up any camera at the same angle with a step and not only will there be a step down at the front, there will be an obvious step down at the back (here the two edges are in line - impossible except in circumstances noted in my first post). Whether the Iskra 3 exists or not is not for me to say but this is a 100% certain manipulated photo.
Luiz Paracampo Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 3:15:54 PM
About distortion:
See this picture from http://www.zenitcamera.com/mans/iskra-2/iskra-2.html

This is a drawing , but obtained from a picture.

Luiz Paracampo Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 3:11:04 PM
Another Shanghai from Zhang


Now you can see copy of the light meter that now is only an indicator.
Vlad Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 3:02:28 PM

I'm not claiming anything, just merely stating my perception, it may be very well wrong and the opinion of people who I showed it to got group-polarized.. you do have a good point with the release button, the ellipses are off... my first thought was that since the winding knob is in the top left corner of the lens of the camera that took this photograph, this may be some odd corner distortion... but yes, very very strange and I will probably go with your expert opinion since I know you have much better eyes at these kind of things than me ... just also trying to play devils advocate here to further develop the discussion and maybe get to the root cause...

AidasCams Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 2:59:34 PM
and the good news is ... Viktor have decided finally to participate in Bievre Fair next year, so many interesting stories will be told about origins of his book ... and much more as he said recently ...

nightphoto Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 2:52:41 PM
Dear Vlad,

I have carefully considered all of the points in your last post and have referred back to the photo from Aidas to consider each of your points. As gently as I can say it ... in my opinion you are wrong about both the shape of the elipse (comparing the shapes of the film advance wind knob, the release button, and the rewind knob), as well as the fact that the viewfinder-rangefinder-meter frame is not parallel with the top edge of the top plate.
Although there is a senario where a lens can distort elipses, this is not one of them. If it was, the release button would have the same shape as the film advance knob, or very close to it, since they are next to each other.
As far as the frame being not parallel, you can see, by looking at the non reflective black edges of the window, that this is not a case of an optical illusion.
Of course, the longer you look at the photo the more right it becomes as this is a function of the brain making visual images correct to our expectations.
Yes the lighting is from one side, but many photos are like this and do not show these distortion. IMHO something is either wrong with the photo or the camera ... or maybe both.
Many good reasons to send photos of fantasy cameras anonymously, saying they are real, to an author who may publish them in a book, and who has put out a call for unusual cameras in a public way! Much money to possibly be made by forgers when the book comes out! I have been photoshopping photographs for ten years so I know it is not so hard to do this type of thing.

Regards, Bill

AidasCams Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 2:52:38 PM
Originally posted by nightphoto

Hello Aidas,

Thanks for the story and opinion from Viktor about the origins and what he knows about it. It sounds a bit unusual that Igor would want to be so anonymous in every way. Possibly this story is true, however it sounds strange and could also just be a story given for some other reason. For example, if it is known that Igor's father was a KMZ worker, then it must be known who this KMZ worker was ... unless that is just what Igor has said...
I am not in Viktor's position, but if I had all these photos from Igor and was planning to use them in a book, I would examine all of them very carefully to see if others had details that looked unusual or if the photographs themselves had things that looked like they may have been doctored, etc.

Regards, Bill

Hello Bill,

If I rememeber correctly, Viktor possess material about 1700 soviet cameras (including variations either ...) right now. He did a great job to collect this huge information, but ... ... beeing an artistic nature, sometimes he's not concentrated enough to the pragmatic studies of camera origin, i could say ... That's why I'm afraid to find a lot of inaccuracies in his new book ...

Best Regards,
Luiz Paracampo Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 2:43:08 PM
Observe again! The light effect disguises reality! Enlarge the picture! At first I thought there were a button in its center like Zenit E but the screws on the Iskra 3 lever go up to the two holes in the center!
The camera exists it is not a photo montage but it can be results of a Dream of a Summer Night!
Now two recent cameras from Zhang (our Chinese consultant) the Seagull 203 (rare) and similar Tahiu.



These have complete different levers.
I love these investigations!!!!!
Vlad Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 2:22:38 PM
I've been looking at it all morning and couple of more people here as well that I asked just to look at the picture.. A lot of of this perceived distortion on the photograph I and whoever I showed it to believe is from extreme lighting from the left which does create some shadows on the camera that create optical illusions... the differences in the ellipses of the left and right hubs can be in opinion attributed to the slight rotation of the camera counter-clockwise as well as the distortion of lens and the harsh left lighting creating optical illusion... the top cover and rangefinder frame line parallelism is also optical illusion IMHO, the gradient shadow emphasize these lines and create non-existing curvature since the camera is slightly rotated to the right.

To Luiz - yes the levers look almost identical but center screw seems different..

Please go easy on me ,
Luiz Paracampo Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 2:10:34 PM
A careful examination proves the origins od Iskra 3 lever:
- Clearly came from Shanghai 203....As also the holding screw. .... But the camera top cover? We call it the Capot, Like the French indeed.
Luiz Paracampo Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 2:03:42 PM
Ok Now for comparison, Zhang send these Shanghai pictures.
Shanghai were the forerunner of Seagull cameras,


Now it is possible to compare lever and shutter buttons
nightphoto Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 1:04:50 PM
Hi Luiz,
Thanks for that information about the Agfa cameras and the differences. Very helpful. Could be that Iskra-3 is authentic prototype, or maybe just a workers project. Zorki-35M has at least 4 examples made and it is known who the designer is also. Maybe more information will turn up about the Iskra-3.

Regards, Bill

nightphoto Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 12:49:52 PM
Hello Aidas,

Thanks for the story and opinion from Viktor about the origins and what he knows about it. It sounds a bit unusual that Igor would want to be so anonymous in every way. Possibly this story is true, however it sounds strange and could also just be a story given for some other reason. For example, if it is known that Igor's father was a KMZ worker, then it must be known who this KMZ worker was ... unless that is just what Igor has said...
I am not in Viktor's position, but if I had all these photos from Igor and was planning to use them in a book, I would examine all of them very carefully to see if others had details that looked unusual or if the photographs themselves had things that looked like they may have been doctored, etc.

Regards, Bill

Luiz Paracampo Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 12:17:12 PM
Hello people!
This Iskra 3 seems to be authentic. It is not a fake. may be a single unit made somewhat like the Zorki 35M. in a beautiful This camera has nothing to do with Seagull once the lever is really different from chinese Segull and Hong-Mei. Iskra has a larger body. This unit however seems to have no automatic frame counter.
Iskra cameras are based upon Agfa Super Isolette while Chinese are based on smaller bodied Agfa Isolette cameras.
Chinese cameras have no autostop but a clever interesting lever advance: All of them uses double format, so, from the number 1 on film back, two strokes on the lever advance 4.5x6 and three strokes 6x6 frame.
AidasCams Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 11:26:37 AM

thanks for you comments indeed! Just half an hour ago I was talking with Viktor Suglob and have told him all the suspicious about the particular camera. After the close examination of Iskra-3 photo, Viktor is ready to agree with Zoom's and Bill's opinion. He asked me to tell you the true story about these cameras ...

Viktor have received these cameras from anonym person in Moscow. The man, called Igor, refused to meet with Viktor, even refused to say his surname indeed ... He gave to Viktor photos of 70 cameras, which he possess recently. It's known, that Igor's father was a KMZ worker, who have assembled the collection of appr. 200 rarest KMZ cameras. Just few years ago (5-7) Igor have decided to sell the part of this unique collection. Unfortunately her was hurt very bloody and "the buyer" took 100 his cameras away ... Since then, it's impossible to find a contact with him.

Viktor does not think, that photomontage is possible, while these cameras were not for sale, but who knows ... He's almost sure, that particular Iskra-3 was made by creative KMZ workers inside the factory. No documents about Iskra-3 untill now (may be Zoom knows ...), so we could consider Iskra-3 as the some kind of "fantasy" camera indeed.

Best Regards,
nightphoto Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 11:11:15 AM

You are right. Both the Shanghai 203 and the Seagull 203 have the same exact shape top plate. The Shanghai 203 has the larger-sized film advance knob (also with a lever). But there is a difference in the shape of the cut-out window next to the rewind knob, on the top plate. Very interesting.

Maybe possibilities can be that:
1. this is a photomontage of Shanghai - Seagull and Iskra-2.
2. this is a fake made from Iskra-2 and Shanghai - Seagull
3. the real Iskra-3 prototype ... and somehow the Chinese got an example of the prototype to copy the top plate and wind lever design (not too likely in my opinion).
4. the real Iskra-3 prototype ... and KMZ decided to copy the Shanghai - Seagull design (also not too likely in my opinion)

Almost no possibilities that the Shanghai - Seagull 203s and the Iskra-3 prototype have nothing to do with each other and were just indepentently designed the same by accident. So I am thinking this is either a photomontage or a fake ... but still not 100% sure.

Regards, Bill

dmzi Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 10:49:15 AM
If it is interesting with what of camera the photo of the "another transmission gear" and "another top cover" could be taken, look "Seagull 203" of the Chinese manufacture
Paul Sokk Posted - Oct 24 2008 : 08:02:38 AM
Hi, I'm with Bill & Zoom on this. Just my 2 cents worth but you can see that the top plate at both ends has steps the height of the knobs/lever. However, the back line of the lower step near the wind on lever meets the back line of the highest part of the top plate. Look at the right hand end near the knob - it drops away to the bottom step as you would expect.

In real life, this can only happen two ways; if the lower step is angled as a wedge so that the back edge of the lower step is actually level with the higher part of the top plate (ie they merge into one level)or the lower part of the step on which the lever sits is significntly wider than the top part of the top plate ie there is a platform that extends behind the camera. Either possibility is not very likely in my opinion. In fact, I think this is rather poor manipulation.
nightphoto Posted - Oct 23 2008 : 5:41:09 PM
The advance lever has a round hub. When things are photographed from an angle, rather than from straight above, this round hub has the appearance of an oval because of the angle. Any other round objects that are on the same plane (such as the release button or rewind knob) will have the same shape oval if in the same photo. So, what I am talking about (and I think Zoom too) is that the shape of the ovals of the round part of the winding lever (hub part) is a different shape of oval than the release button and the rewind knob. So the hub or round part of the film advance lever looks like it is tilted towards us, the viewer.

Beside a doctored or photoshopped image, this can be due to two things ... the rewind lever is attached crookedly, not flat against the top plate ... or ... the top plate has a tilt towards the viewer, either as part of the design or from a bent top plate. So the way it looks, if a person was to wind the film to the next frame, the end of the lever where the thumb goes would travel up, as well as to the right, as the film was advanced.

You can actually measure, on the photo itself, the height of the top plate on the right side and on the left side, and you can see the difference in height on either side. So, maybe this is the design as it was meant to be, or a mistake in manufacturing (since the top plate is the main difference between this camera and the ISKRA-2) ... or it is a doctored photograph.

No doubt if someone made a doctored photograph, sent it to Vicktor, and it was published in the book as the ISKRA-3 Prototype, it would then be very profitable to then make up a few of these and sell them for a big price.

On the other hand, maybe it is the real prototype and the photo just looks weird for some reason. All I'm really saying is that because the photo looks so weird in several ways, I would not want to decide that it was the authentic ISKRA-3 unless I had more evidence, either more photos, documentary evidence, or a definitive statement by someone who actually saw the camera and was able to examine it in a detailed way. Nice if it's the real one, but as we all know, there are many fakes and misleading examples in our field of collecting and interest.

Regards, Bill

Vlad Posted - Oct 23 2008 : 11:18:03 AM
Zoom, I think with proper credit to him, you're fine ..

Bill, I guess with advance lever, I still don't see what the issue is... are you talking about the lever itself, that it's half-way cocked? Or are you talking about the housing in from of the lever wheel warped up a little? That maybe that is was damaged against something? I'm not saying he photoshopped the lever on top, I'm just saying the blur around the logo is characteristic to Viktor's photography...

And with angle from top like that it's hard for me to say whether the bottom of the rangefinder frame is aligned correctly or not...
nightphoto Posted - Oct 23 2008 : 10:43:00 AM
Hi Vlad,

So you think he actually took a photo of a separate advance knob at a different angle and then took the actual advance knob away from the image so that he could replace it with one at a different angle?

The viewfinder frame does not look crooked. Look how it lines up with the top plate at the bottom edge (both the frame and the top plate edge). Only the top edge of the top plate is crooked when compared to the top edge of the frame.

This photograph does not have the other distortions that you would see if it was taken with a wide angle lens.

So .... good idea to distort pictures so they can' be used without detection ... I think I will go back and distort all of the photos of cameras that I put in the WIKI ;-) ... you know ... twist them up a bit. No, all kidding aside, I think the serial number on the lens and the fact that there are no other ISKRA-3 photos around would prove that this is Vicktor's photo without him having to change it.

Regards, Bill

Zoom Posted - Oct 23 2008 : 10:28:00 AM
Originally posted by Vlad

so my guess it he made the picture look odd just to identify it if it is ever in public rotation and to prevent in some degree illegal republishing it in other publications because it can easily be traced back to original owner. It's like watermarking to some degree...

An "illegal republishing" like this?
Vlad Posted - Oct 23 2008 : 09:14:48 AM
Bill, Zoom,

regarding the photoshopping of this image (the photomontage as Zoom calls it), here's my 2 cents:

I've known Viktor to send out periodically some images of different rare cameras.. What I've seen him do on purpose was to either overexpose shots or modify them somehow to identify the origin of the photograph. The Iskra-3 logo looks blurred out and graphically stylized to me, but if you ever seen Viktor's art, that's how it looks like exactly.. so my guess it he made the picture look odd just to identify it if it is ever in public rotation and to prevent in some degree illegal republishing it in other publications because it can easily be traced back to original owner. It's like watermarking to some degree...

Regarding the top being slanted, it is possible that the frame is crooked since it's just inserted into a molded metal top and can shift if not tightened, rather than top housing being actually angled which is improbable... That is what I mean by optical illusion, it looks like top is crooked, but I think it's actually frame and it's hard to see it because of the slight angled nature of the shot... ]

nightphoto Posted - Oct 22 2008 : 7:33:06 PM
Hello Aidas, Zoom and eveyone,

1. Just because the scan that Aidas made was from a paper photograph does not mean that the photograph was not doctored or a montage of several photos. Of course once a montage is made in photoshop, it can be printed into a paper photograph.

2. Zoom is very correct! The shape of the elipse of the shutter release button does not match the shape of the elipse of the film advance circular hub. However the release lever does match the shape of the rewind knob or hub.

3. The unusual shape of the film advance hub is unusual because it is in a place where there is a difference between the other Iskras (which don't have a wind lever ... just the hub or knob).

4. This whole area on the left side of the top looks a bit photo-shopped ... slightly fuzzy with less detail ... slightly different reflections and of different colors ... than the rest of the camera.

5. I think Zoom mentioned that the front edge of the top is not parallel with the long rectangular window on the front of the camera (viewfinder, meter, rangefinder window). I don't think this would be the case on a KMZ prototype, which would be very carefully made as far as these details go. Unless this uneveness of the top plate is part of the design (which would probably throw the accessory shoe into an unlevel position! Bad design.).

6. I know that Viktor has received many photographs from many collectors and dealers around the world. I have sent him some myself, as have many of us here on the forum. Of course Viktor has not been able to see all of these cameras himself, or to verify in person the authenticity of the cameras by personal inspection.

7. The biggest difference between this camera, ISKRA-3 and the other two is the shape of the top plate. Please look at the other two and compare to this one.

My own opinion is that this photo looks pretty weird, however it may be the way the ISKRA-3 actually looks and so I would not be ready to call it a fake, or even say the photo is for sure doctored. It would be helpful to actually see several photos of this particular camera from different angles before deciding.

Regards, Bill

Zoom Posted - Oct 22 2008 : 05:58:09 AM
Originally posted by AidasCams

May be just wide angle lens were used by owner to photograph this beauty?

No. Look at the release button ellipse.
Zoom Posted - Oct 22 2008 : 05:50:51 AM
Originally posted by mermoz37

what differences between this and an Iskra 2 ,(except label !)

The cocking lever...
So: another transmission gear, another top cover.
AidasCams Posted - Oct 22 2008 : 02:53:56 AM

Indeed, I'm excluding the possibility of photomontage ... I have made this scan from regular photo 9x13. May be just wide angle lens were used by owner to photograph this beauty?

mermoz37 Posted - Oct 22 2008 : 02:48:41 AM
what differences between this and an Iskra 2 ,(except label !)
Zoom Posted - Oct 21 2008 : 6:29:32 PM
Originally posted by Vlad

Do you mean that top cover is slanted ( )?

Or the film advance lever is warped...
Or this is a photomontage.

All other details is ideally realistic.

Originally posted by Vlad

You sure it's not optical illusion?

This is not an optical illusion.
Vlad Posted - Oct 21 2008 : 12:34:42 PM
Do you mean that top cover is slanted (верх скошенный)? You sure it's not optical illusion?
Zoom Posted - Oct 21 2008 : 11:53:17 AM
Originally posted by AidasCams

Here we have an unique opportunity to see an ultra rare ISKRA-3 camera from private collection!!! (source: Mirfoto archives)

Only one is strange: the handles planes on the top plate are not parallel... Why?

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