|What a small world it is! After more than a half-century of isolation from eastern Europe, we are now seeing some of the products which were produced behind the Iron Curtain---and do they bear uncanny resemblances to products we've known in the west for years!|
|Perhaps you've read or heard somewhere that the Kiev 88 medium format cameras were designed after Hasselblad. Oddly enough, in some circles, it's said that Victor Hasselblad styled his camera after an old Russian camera. The fact is that both of these cameras borrowed their distinctive look from a German medium-format single lens reflex camera found in a downed aircraft duing World War II!
Furthermore, while the Kiev 60 and Kiev 645 medium-format cameras slightly resemble the Pentax 6x7 in appearance, 35mm cameras such as FED and Zorki are deadringers for some Leica screw-mount models. And the incredibly inexpensive Lubitel 166 medium-format from the LOMO factory (the same manufacturer of the LOMO 35mm and Sputnik stereo cameras) looks a whole lot like a Rolleiflex.
Then there's the Kiev 35A, which is an exact replica of the a Minox 35mm camera...
And so it goes, on and on, into the world of Russian and Ukrainian lookalikes at bargain-basement prices as compared to their western counterparts. Is it any wonder these cameras and lenses are gaining such popularity and high profile coverage in publications as prestigious as SHUTTERBUG and POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY magazines as we enter the third millenium?