The Leningradskoe Optiko Mechanichesckoe Objedinenie (LOMO, or ЛОМО, in Cyrillic) was one of the largest and most secret companies in the Soviet Union. Before 1966 it had been GOMZ. They designed and made almost all of the optics used by Soviet military and space programs, but also made normal cameras like the Voigtländer Brillant copy LOMO Lubitel 2. In 1976 LOMO made the world's largest telescope, with a mirror that is 6 meters in diameter.
Now, however, Russia has lost her client states and hence LOMO has lost most of its military and scientific contracts. The company that once employed over 30,000 people now employs about 10,000 but still remains the largest firm in St. Petersburg.
Today, the LOMO company produces microscopes, spectral instruments, measuring instruments, sighting tubes, objective lenses, telescopes, sights, night vision devices, and more. LOMO no longer manufactures cameras.
After the decline of the Soviet Union, two Viennese marketing students - Matthias Fiegl and Wolfgang Stranzinger - came upon an LC-A while traveling in 1991. They shot random snapshots of their travels with their new LOMO, not knowing what would turn up on film. To their surprise, the resulting images had amazing colour and saturation, and were unlike anything they'd seen before. And so the Lomography movement was born. Fiegl and Stranzinger then founded Lomographic Society International, a camera retailer and obtained exclusive rights to distribute the LOMO LC-A.
In 2006 Lomographic Society International released a version of the LOMO LC-A called the LC-A+. This camera was not manufactured by LOMO but was made by Phenix Optical Instrument Company in China. Some LC-A+ models did use lenses manufactured by LOMO however.
Cameras made by the LOMO factory
by Latente (Image rights)
The list of all Smena models is in the article Smena Series by GOMZ & MMZ & LOMO.
- Princelle, Jean-Loup. The Authentic Guide to Russian and Soviet Cameras. Hove Foto Books, 2nd edition, 1995. 200 pages. ISBN 1874031630.
- GOMZ/LOMO TLRs at USSRPhoto.com
- GOMZ/LOMO Smena Cameras at USSRPhoto.com
- Other LOMO Cameras at USSRPhoto.com
- LOMO PLC
- Home of the Lomographic Society International
- A Trip Through The LOMO Factory, by Mahlon G. Kelly
- Lubitel pages at Antique Russian Camera
- Russian camera instruction manuals - English including Fed, Kiev, Zenit and Lubitel
- Cameras and User manuals on www.collection-appareils.fr by Sylvain Halgand
- Picture Gallery using Lomo Cameras www.picturenoise.com