USSR 1958 – Compact – 35 mm – infrequent.
The Gomz Leningrad is a 35mm Soviet rangefinder camera produced between 1956-68.
It was designed for reportage, sports and technical photography and allowed burst shooting using a spring mechanism. It takes about 20 pictures after one full actuation of the spring and can achieve up to 3 frames per second.
As a particularity, the film take-up system ignores the sprocket holes on 35mm film and winds the film onto a fat drum. No account is taken of the increasing diameter of this spool as film is wound onto it, resulting in increasingly wide gaps between the frames on a roll.
The Leningrad is an incredibly dense camera, built to a very high degree of precision. It is said to be the most advanced (and expensive) Soviet rangefinder ever made. At the 1958 World Exposition in Brussels, it was even awarded the “Grand Prix de Bruxelles”.
Many were given as presents to party members and visiting dignitaries and modified Leningrads were used in the Soviet space program.
Just 76,000 units were made, a small number by Soviet standards, making it a very sought after collectible.