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The Leningradskoe Optiko Mechanichesckoe Objedinenie (LOMO, or ЛОМО, in Cyrillic)[1] was one of the largest and most secretive companies in the Soviet Union. Before 1966 it had been GOMZ. It designed and made almost all of the optics used by Soviet military and space programs, but also made humdrum cameras like the Voigtländer Brillant copy LOMO Lubitel 2. In 1976 LOMO made the world's largest telescope, with a mirror six meters in diameter.

Now, however, Russia has lost her client states and hence LOMO has lost most of its military and scientific contracts. The company that once employed over 30,000 people now employs about 10,000 but still remains the largest firm in St. Petersburg. It produces microscopes, spectral instruments, measuring instruments, sighting tubes, objective lenses, telescopes, sights, night vision devices, and more. LOMO no longer manufactures cameras.

Two Viennese students of marketing - Matthias Fiegl and Wolfgang Stranzinger - came upon a LOMO LC-A while traveling in 1991. They shot random snapshots of their travels with this, not knowing what would turn up on film. The resulting images, they claimed, had amazing colour and saturation, and were unlike anything they'd seen before. And so Lomographische AG and "Lomography" were born. Fiegl and Stranzinger then founded Lomographic Society International, a camera retailer and obtained exclusive rights to distribute the LOMO LC-A outside Russia.

Cameras made by the LOMO factory

LOMO cameras

Lubitel cameras


  • Princelle, Jean Loup (2004), The Authentic Guide to Russian and Soviet Cameras ('Made in USSR'), Le Reve Edition. ISBN 2952252106; or the earlier edition: Hove Foto Books, 2nd edition, 1995. 200 pages. ISBN 1874031630. Paperback.


  1. Ленинградскoe Оптико-Механическое Объединение; Leningradskoe Optiko Mechanichesckoe Objedinenie [Lenigrad Optical and Mechanical Enterprise].
  2. In 2006 Lomographic Society International released a version of the LOMO LC-A called the LC-A+. This camera was made not by LOMO but by Phenix Optical Instrument Company in China. Some LC-A+ models did use lenses manufactured by LOMO, however.