|Unique Soviet SLR design: the Sport|
image by Siim Vahur (Image rights)
The Sport (Cyrillic: "Спорт") is one of the two earliest SLR cameras using the 35mm film format, made by the Soviet camera manufacturer GOMZ, the other being the German Ihagee Kine Exakta. An estimated number of 20000 cameras were made between 1937 and 1941. According to some sources only the construction plans for the camera were near completion by January 1935, however an early prototype may have been ready by the second half of 1935 when the Kine Exakta prototype was ready. However, whilst the Kine Exakta was presented in the spring of 1936, the production start for the Sport was scheduled for the 20th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution on the 7 November 1937. According to some sources, the launch was around that date. If a working prototype of the Sport was ready before that of the Kine Exakta, it would be the world's first 35mm SLR, but that is not conclusively decided. The development of the Sport was a lengthy process for various reasons, including being a completely new and unique design, with a vertically running metal guillotine (housed in the large superstructure when the shutter is cocked) forming the closing blade of the shutter, whereas the Kine Exakta was merely a redesign of an earlier roll film camera. Abramov's Photohistory.ru states that the metal shutter is designed to be frost-resistant. The chief engineer for the early stages of the Sport was A. O. Gelgar, later also assisted by the constructors Rybnikow and Pimenov.
Very early cameras have a red window, for use with paper-backed film.
The Sport came in a well made leather ever ready case. Only the standard lens is known for the camera, but it is in principle interchangeable: a very small protruding tab releases it from the bayonet. An infinity catch is provided, assisting easy lens change.
There is a similar camera named the Gelvetta (Cyrillic: Гельветта), which is much less seen.
|image by Uwe Kulick (Image rights)|
- Type: SLR
- Manufacturer: GOMZ
- Year of launch: probably 1937
- Number produced: ~20,000
- Film: 35mm in special cartridges taking 2m, enough for 50 exposures of 24×36mm
- Lens: Industar-10 1:3.5/50mm
- Lens mount: special focusing bayonet
- Shutter: Opening blade attached to the mirror; closing blade is a metal blade in the focal plane; speeds from 1/25 to 1/500 sec. Shutter cocked by advancing the film.
- Viewfinder: SLR, looking into the finder at the top, and a direct vision optical viewfinder
- Film transport: cartridge to cartridge with sprocket drum advance
- Dimensions: 133 ×103 ×68mm
- Weight: 750g (with lens and one empty cassette)
|images by Siim Vahur (Image rights)|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Sport and Gelvetta at G. Abramov's Photohistory.ru.
- ↑ Gelvetta Serial no. 54, with green covering, sold (for 15,600 Euro) at the 24th Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 23 November 2013.
- a critical note on the Sport
- An Italian source confirming the Sport' claim.
- Sport on rus-camera.com (archived)
- Sport on Sovietcams.com
- Sport sold (for 600 Euro) at the 18th Photographica auction by Rahn AG, on 27 November 2011.
- Richard Hummel, "Kine Exakta" oder "Sport"? Welches war die erste Spiegelreflex-Kleinbildkamera? Die Lebenswerke von Karl Nüchterlein and A.O. Gelgar, 1997, ISBN 3-89506-160-3 (Kine Exakta or Sport? Which one was the first 35mm SLR? The life-works of K. Nüchterlein and A.O. Gelgar)
- sources of Hummel's brochure concerning the Sport: Sovjetskoe Foto, issues 1934/7, 1935/1, 1936/4, 1936/7, 1937/11