Fotokor-1

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Fotokor-1 is a folding bed plate film camera, manufactured by GOMZ , (Gosularstvennyi Optiko-Mekhanicheskii Zavod = State Optical-Mechanical Factory), Leningrad, USSR, and produced between 1930-41. Formerly the factory's name was VOOMP. Fotokor (Фотокор) is also known Photokor or Photocor in the west. Fotokor means Photo journalist (= Foto-korrespondent in Russian). It is deeply inspired from ICA Ideal or Nagel Recomar; in fact all plate cameras of the same period resemble each other, but just of moderate quality. Nevertheless it became the first million-seller of Soviet camera production. Estimated 1.3 million Fotokor-1 were made. Fotokor-1 offered with Compur, and Vario (in very early models) and GOMZ shutters, Ortagoz (most common), and Industar-2 lenses. There are a lot of versions of Fotokor-1. Fotokor-3 (1938-41) is a late version of Fotokor series.

Specifications

This data belongs to the camera in the pictures.

  • Model: 1934, type 4d, (produced only in 1934). This type 4d is a very rare camera in the Fotokor-1 series [1]
  • Format: 9x12cm plate
  • Lens: VOOMP Anastigmat Ortagoz (ВOОМП AHACTИГMAT OPTAГOЗ), 135mm f/4.5; Aperture:f/4.5-f/36[2]
  • Focusing: bellows focusing by a thumb wheel on the right of the front plate, pointer on the lower left of the lens standart, distance scale on the left of the front plate; Focus range: 1.5-10m +inf
  • Shutter: GOMZ ( ГОМЗ); speeds: 1/25, 1/50, 1/100 + B & T (К & Д = K&D) [3], [4]
  • Cocking and Shutter release: by the same lever, manual shutter cocking and releasing on the same time, for the speed settings, by pressing once the lever, the diaphragm opens and closes
  • Viewfinders:
    • Waist level Brilliant Finder on top of the lens standard, turning 90 degrees left on its own axis for landscape pictures, w/ red sprit level
    • Sports finder: A big wire sports finder, hinged on the lens standard and used with a folding rear peep sight frame,
  • Bellows: double extension, slides vertically and horizontally with the micrometer screws on the lens standard
  • Back cover: as a ground glass screen, w/ lid and cloth hood, removes by sliding upwards via unlocking its latch, then you can fit the plate film holder [5]
  • Others: Tripod socket 3/8inch; Lugs for leather hand grip [6]
  • Body: metal ; Weight: 1035g

Notes and references

  1. Formerly in Fotoua by Alexander Komarov
  2. Ortagoz lens seems a Dallmeyer Rapid Rectilinear variant
  3. GOMZ shutter is a copy of Vario shutter of Gauthier
  4. Engravings on the shutter dial: ВOОМП (VOOMP) logo and very early ГОМЗ (GOMZ) logo
  5. Engraving on the back cover: VOOMP logo
  6. Engraving on the hand grip:Фотокор No.1 (= Fotokor No.1, the T's italic form is M in Russian)

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