Iskra is a medium format folding rangefinder camera, manufactured by Krasnogorsky Mekhanichesky Zavod KMZ , (Mechanical Factory of Krasnogorsk), Moscow, USSR. Искра = Iskra means Spark. All Iskra first series produced between 1960-63, quantity made 38722.

The name Iskra was the name of the secret Marxist newspaper founded by Lenin in 1900. It was a political newspaper of Russian socialist emigrants established as the official organ of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. Iskra inspired by the Agfa Super Isolette of 1954. The shutter is a copy of Synchro-Compur RMX/RMXV with the Solinar 75mm f/3.5 lens of the Agfa Super Isolette.

Original Iskra has 3 types and 1 sub-types with some changes on the body.[1] [2] [3] [4]

Types[edit | edit source]

Type 1[edit | edit source]

  • Produced in 1960
  • Distinctive feature of the type: without adjustment bolt on the top plate
  • Lens: Industar-58

Type 2[edit | edit source]

Type 2a[edit | edit source]

  • Produced between 1961-63
  • Distinctive feature of the type: an adjustment bolt on the top plate

Specifications[edit | edit source]

  • Format: roll 120 film, picture size 6x6cm
  • Aperture and speeds are coupled and turning the coupling ring on the front of the lens, turns the aperture and speed rings together, according to Exposure Values
  • Lens: Industar-58 (ИНДУСТАР), 75mm f/3.5; Tessar design 4 elements in 3 groups; Aperture: f/3.5-f/22, possible to set separately
  • Focusing: Yellow rangefinder images must be matched in the viewfinder for exact focus, via focusing ring w/ grooved silver handle, behind the lens-shutter barrel,
  • Shutter: FXCh-18 central leaf shutter, speed: 1-1/500 +B, very quiet, possible to set separately.
  • Viewfinder: Coupled rangefinder/viewfinder
  • Winding: Do not work without film
  • Double exposure prevention: Film advance system blocks the spool reel when reaching the next frame, warning us that when we feel that resistance
  • Frame counter: Auto resets, advance type, not work without film
  • Other: Self-timer; Flash PC socket; Flash sync: at all speeds; Cold-shoe; Memory dial
  • Body: Aluminum; Weight: 912g
  • Serial no.engraved on the back of the top plate with KMZ logo, first two digits show the production year
  • Caution: You must change the shutter speed before you cock the shutter. This is the opposite of almost every other Russian camera.

Type 2b[edit | edit source]

  • Produced between 1961-63
  • Distinctive features of the type: with inscription "made in USSR"
  • Lens:Industar-58

Type 3[edit | edit source]

  • Produced between 1961-63
  • Distinctive feature of the type: Iskra name on the front is with script Latin letters, export type

Foto: in Fotoua

Iskra-2[edit | edit source]

The second version of the series is Iskra-2, and produced between 1961-64, with quantity 6118.

The only change in this model is a Selenium meter added. Controls for the meter are integrated into the knob that was the film reminder in the original Iskra.

There are 3 types of Iskra-2.[5]

  • Type 1 with Cyrillic inscription of Iskra on the top plate
  • Type 2 with Latin inscription, export type
  • Type 3 Microscope version, bellow with the lens replaced by plate with MFN-9

Notes and References[edit | edit source]

  1. According to Alaxander Komarov in Fotoua. You can also find serial numbers for dating of the cameras in this site. There is another former USSR cameras classification and info by Aidas Pikiotas in SovietCams
  2. There are usefull books about cameras of former USSR and have classifications also.
  3. Pages from the the book of former USSR cameras by Suglob, Shaternik, Kochergin
  4. Discussion about clasifications in the books of Princelle and Suglob, Shaternik, Kochergin in USSR Photo Forum
  5. as to Alexander Komarov in Fotoua

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

In English

  • Princelle, Jean Loup - Made In USSR - The Authentic Guide To Russian And Soviet Cameras, Le Reve Edition, 2004 (ISBN 2952252106 (ISBN13: 9782952252102) Paperback

In Russian

Links[edit | edit source]

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