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nightphoto Posted - Nov 29 2009 : 7:24:55 PM

I was looking through the "Military Cameras" section of the WIKI and I took a closer look at this camera which is represented as an early Soviet attempt which led to the F-21 or AJAX.


I must say that as I look closely at the photographs in the WIKI, I have a strong feeling that this camera is a fake, made from a German Robot II. It looks like it has some F-21 knobs added to it, new paint on the top-plate, and some USSR Army engraving which not only looks new, but not really correct.

The black covering on the body is identical to that of the Robot II and so are the other details. I think if the Soviet Army made at least 66 of these in 1949 then we would have seen more than one example so far.

Any other opinions about this camera?

Regards, Bill

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nightphoto Posted - Nov 30 2009 : 11:03:18 AM

After reviewing the discussion that we had last year about this camera, and the others in the article you have just posted, my opinion is that the camera that we have seen through Viktor's photo is either completely fake (a modified Robot) or has been painted and restored, which is unlikely. Why would anyone take an original of this camera (if one exists) and fix it up by painting it.

Also, why would Viktor's camera not have a GOMZ logo while the ones in the article do have it?

As far as the other cameras shown in this article, they could also be fake, or they can be real. If real, then I still think that they may have been made by GOMZ using German parts. This could be possible.

If Viktor has this camera, then detailed photos of the interior would be appreciated. Even if GOMZ did make a camera out of German parts for a short time, it should be represented in literature by a proven authentic example, and that can likely be known from photographs of Viktor's camera.

Reviewing our discussion thread from last year pretty much covers many important ideas about the details and thoughts of our members. It is all very interesting.

Regards, Bill

Vlad Posted - Nov 30 2009 : 10:06:12 AM
For convenience here's the repost of the article:



Vlad Posted - Nov 30 2009 : 10:01:57 AM
Also the camera pictured in that article in the original thread has a GOMZ logo under the hammer and sickle and the top wind knob looks a bit different too...
Vlad Posted - Nov 30 2009 : 09:55:55 AM

I had to go back to the original thread and reread it:

We are still faced with the article with pictures of different variations of this camera. Is your position that this particular black model is not authentic or the whole line of "Russian Robots" is not?

nightphoto Posted - Nov 29 2009 : 10:48:27 PM
Here are some photos of Robot II cameras:





Regards, Bill

nightphoto Posted - Nov 29 2009 : 10:38:33 PM

Well, I'm not sure how standardized the hammer and sickle emblem is and I have seen different versions, however, usually (as on the FS-2 Fotosniper - KMZ version) the handle of the hammer is not depicted as being behind the sickle, but instead is all one outline. This is also the case on lenses for the army by KMZ, that ?I have seen.

As well, usually the way the Soviet Army pieces seem to be numbered is just with a serial number and then the date is written below: ie. "No. 1067" under the hammer and sickle, and "1949" under the serial number. There could be variations depending on the factory that made them, but this is usually the way I see it on binoculars and cameras made before or during WWII.

Also, the positioning of the number and the logo seems very awkward and not very military-like.

And, to me, it would seem a bit surprising that the bottom plate of this camera is chrome, and it has decorative chrome strips, but the top is painted black. The black paint on the top plate looks very fresh. Also the chrome has a shiny, not matte finish, which seems unusual for a Russian camera in general.

When this camera is compared to photos of the Robot II, it sure seems like one ... an example that has been modified with some Soviet parts and artistic license, and probably not by or under orders from the Army of the USSR. At least that is my opinion as of now.

I think that there may have been some excitement when it was known that Viktor and his associates were putting together a special book about Soviet cameras, and it would not surprise me if some cameras were made up so that they could be published and thus increase their resale value to collectors at a later time. We will see how many cameras don't look right to us when we actually get the book in our hands and have time to look at the cameras shown. I think Viktor has been very forthcoming when we have asked questions about things we have already seen and discussed, so I would expect he will be honest with us if we have questions, which we surely will!

Regards, Bill

Vlad Posted - Nov 29 2009 : 8:59:27 PM
Thanks for reopening this topic Bill, it's been bothering me as well that we just kept it open-ended last time.. I guess if we approach this methodically step no.1 would be to determine the standardization of Soviet Army emblems on the field (or photographic) equipment. tell us again why is it not correct?


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