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Fotokor (or Photocor, or Photokor) was the name of folding-bed plate cameras made by the Soviet manufacturer GOMZ, starting in the 1930s. This camera was a typical amateur folding bed camera for 9x12 plates, maybe an imitation of Western European cameras made by such makers as Zeiss-Ikon, but just of moderate quality. Nevertheless it became the first million-seller of Soviet camera production. Estimated 1.1 million were made from 1930 to 1941. The Fotokor No. 1 had a f4.5/135mm lens and a 3-speed (1/25, 1/50, 1/100 plus B and T) shutter. Its bellows was extendable to double length. It had a brilliant finder with a good spirit level and a big sports finder. Lens and shutter were also GOMZ products.

FOTOKOR (ФОТОКОР) is a contraction of "foto-korrespondent" or photo journalist. The camera was originally intended for photojournalists, given its lightweight, portable, and easy to use (compared to bulkier field and view cameras of its period) features.

The Ortagoz lens fitted in Fotokor cameras appear to be a Rapid Rectilinear variant.



Embossing of Kremlin and communist party
emblem on red Fotokor, plate holder
images by Uwe Kulick
 (Image rights)