Most items of photographic equipment from the Soviet Union are marked with the logo of the factory where they were made.


Soviet Union best quality logo

It is suppossed to indicate that the item which stamped with this logo is equal of any other similar item world wide.



Zavod Arsenal (Завод Арсенал = Arsenal Factory), Kiev, Ukraine. Arsenal is one of the oldest and most famous industrial factories in Soviet Union and later Ukraine. The factory mainly specialized in optical components for the Soviet military and space programs. The factory also produced the professional grade photographic cameras. They were Kiev 135 film and 120 film series, Salyut series, and some others.


BelOMO logo


BelOMO (Belorussian Optical and Mechanical Association) formed in 1971 by the merger of MMZ and the Vilejka Factory, and apparently Peleng. BelOMO continued to produce cameras and lenses, cine cameras, accessories, projectors, etc. The plants may continue to use their original logos on the products produced in each plant of the association.


FED logo original


F.E. Dzerzhinsky Factory, Kharkov, Ukraine. FED is the initials of F. E. Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the NKVD, in honor of him the factory was named. The NKVD was the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (= Народный комиссариат внутренних дел = Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del, (НКВД = NKVD), a secret police organization of the Soviet Union later known as the KGB. The factory was originally an orphanage workforce was based on youths living and working together in a commune. After the groundbreaking introduction of the Leica II in 1932, Soviet leaders stopped the import of photographic equipment and set the FED factory to its task of creating a Leica of their own. Only 18 months later, in 1934, the FED factory began churning out its first clone of the Leica II rangefinder camera. Since then, they have produced millions of cameras, some good and some not so good. The variations in the engravings on the FED camera tops make it worth a special mention, reflecting the changes within the Soviet Union.



KMZ logo early


KMZ logo early 2


Krasnogorsky Mekhanichesky Zavod KMZ (Красногорский механический завод = Mechanical Factory of Krasnogorsk), near Moscow. KMZ is known largely for its cameras like Iskra, Kristall, Mir, Moskva , Start, Zenith (early series), Zorki series and some others. Some of these were produced several millions. It also has a large military optics and mechanical engineering division.


Kazan logo

Kazan KOMZ

Kazan Optical and Mechanical Plant (КOMЗ) first started to operate on 1940. During the Second World War KOMZ produced a wide range of optics instruments like binoculars, photographic objectives, photo controlling devices, marine range finders, dive-bombers scopes. Camera lenses was Industar-22, Industar-27, Industar-50, Industar-51, Industar-37, Jupiter 11, Jupiter 37 and Fodis 1K.



LOMO logo


Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory (= Лыткаринский завод Оптического Стекла ЛЗОС), in Lytkarino, 100 km north of Moscow. It was a KMZ satellite plant, included in KMZ's production union and the most famous for manufacturing various lenses for KMZ cameras like Industar-50, Industar 61 L/Z, Jupiter 12 2.8/35mm, MC MTO-11CA 1:10/1000mm.



MMZ logo


Plant 69 logo (early NPZ)


NPZ logo modern


Rostov logo

Minsk Mechanical Factory named by S.I. Vavilov (Minskiy Mechanichesckiy Zavod imeni S.I. Vavilova). Founded in 1957, MMZ was located in Minsk, Belarus, approximately 450 miles SW of Moscow. Initial production was optical glass and the Smena-2 camera. In 1971, MMZ became BelOMO.


Novosibirsk Instrument Factory, Novosibirsk (=Новосибирский приборостроительный завод Нпз = Novosibirskiy priborostroitel'niy zavod NPZ). The former name of the plant was Plant of Precision Mechanics, Krasnogorsk and later Plant 69. After the WW2 this plant was known as NPZ. The plant was evacuated in 1941 from Krasnogorsk to Novosibirsk. The plant made various military products, and at least one camera, Vostok. The logo is still used by NPZ, now specialized in telescope making. NPZ factory modern business emblem has a slightly altered ratio than early plant 69 logo.

Rostov ROMZ

Rostov produced viewfinders.


Optical-Mechanical Factory Valdai is located about 400km north-west of Moscow. Very little is known of this plant, but it has been a prolific producer of lenses for KMZ, and Zenit. The SLR lenses were Helios name.

Leningrad Electronic Factory “Vibrator”



Vibrator (Leningrad Electronic Factory “Vibrator”)


Vilejka Factory, or officially OM RUP "ZENIT". In Soviet times it was known as Vileiskiy Zavod Zenit. Founded in early 1970 in Vilejka, near Minsk, as a Zenit camera manufacturing factory for MMZ and KMZ. The Vilejka Zenits were apparently intended primarily for home use, and earned a poor reputation for quality. Vilejka, has produced the following Zenit models: E, 12SD, TTL, ET, 11, 15, under slightly different designations. Vilejka is apparently still producing Zenits, i.e. Zenit 130.

By the way. In addition, the model 12SD is not cheap. Was available for most amateur photographers. In addition 12SD- reliable kinematics, electronics has been applied, namely the built-in light meter (new technology in those years). A new camera lens had a high resolution of adjustments (comparatively on the local market in 1985). The following model was TTL, and it has sharpening technology used by Russians onto military submarines. Worked just fine. Without any errors. But it was much more expensive.


Vologda logo


Vologda logo late

12cd 01

Zenit 12SD


Vologda produced Jupiter 21 and Helios 44 lenses.


In 1929 the Council of Labour and Defence of the USSR decided to join all optical and mechanical factories of the era under the same name, "Union Trust opto-mechanical enterprises" (VTOMP), (= Всесоюзный Трест Оптико-Механических предприятий ВТОМП). In 1930 VTOMP name changed as the Union of Optico-Mechanical Companies (VOOMP), (=Всесоюзное объединение оптико-механической промышленности, ВООМП). Under this name a small number of cameras and lenses were produced in the pre-war years, like folder Fotokor-1, VOOMP II Pioneer (one of the first Leica II copies made in the Soviet Union). In the transition times, VOOMP and very early GOMZ logos are seen together on the Fotokor-1 cameras. In 1932 the company was renamed again as "State Optical Mechanical Plant (GOMZ).


ZOMZ logo early


ZOMZ logo late


Zagorsk Optical and Mechanical Plant (ZOMZ=ЗОМЗ), Zagorsk in Russia founded in 1935. Factory manufactures of a wide spectrum of the optical mechanical and optical electronic devices. Lenses that Zagorsk produced are Jupiter 3, Orion 15, Mir 1, Mir 1b and Tair 3A.


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