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The Cyclocamera (Циклокамера) is an early camera for 23x24 mm exposures on 35 mm film, made by Artel "Novaya Skhola" (Артель "Новая Школа"; "New School' Workshop) in Leningrad, in about 1935.[1] Aidas Pikiotas states that the workshop also ran a photography school, which used these cameras.[2]

The camera is more or less a 35 mm box camera. It is wooden-bodied, with black leatherette covering. The camera's and maker's names are impressed in the leatherette of the removable back. It has a 38 mm meniscus lens; Pikiotas states that this has aperture stops 6.3 and 7.6;[2] Georgi Abramov gives 6.3 and 9.6 (a better choice of stops).[3] The shutter is a simple 'I' and 'B' sector type. The camera has a single Watson-type finder with a ground-glass.

The film advance is the only sophisticated element of the camera, operated with the metal tab which protrudes from the left side of the body. When in the body, this tab acts as a second shutter, preventing accidental exposure, so pulling it out enables exposure. Pushing the tab back in activates a pair of claws which engage the film perforations and advance the film. This advance mechanism, drawn from 35-mm film's original use in cinema, resembles those of several earlier west-European cameras; the Minnigraph and Cinescopie, for example. Pikiotas states that the film was loaded in the darkroom, in a cassette,[2] and it seems likely that it passed from one cassette to another, as in the Agfa Rapid film system. None of the examples cited has cassettes, however. One of the examples shown by Abramov has a take-up spool and knurled winding knob; perhaps a later version, or an alteration.[3]


  1. Sources (cited below)) give different estimates of the date. G Abramov estimates 1935-40, and Aidas Pikiotas 1935; auctioneers notes at Westlicht estimate the date as about 1920.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Cyclocamera at Aidas Pikiotas'; brief notes and pictures of an example.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cyclocamera at G. Abramov's; brief notes (in Russian) and pictures of several examples, including one with a built-in take-up spool and winding knob. Abramov gives the format as 24-mm square, not 23x24 as other sources.