In the Soviet Union, photography was one of the most common hobbies. Both adults and children were engaged in it. Accordingly, the range of equipment for this leisure was quite wide. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that among the whole variety of Soviet cameras there was even one that can confidently be called “spy”.
The first camera of this series appeared in 1960 from under the conveyor of the Arsenal plant and was called “Kiev – Vega”. Soviet developers did not make a gadget from scratch. The prototype for it was the Japanese Minolta-16 camera, released five years earlier. Therefore, “Kiev – Vega” was practically its twin, with the exception of a few body parts.
1955 Japanese prototype.
The size of the device slightly exceeded the area of two matchboxes – 284686 mm, weight was about 190 grams. Lens “Industar-M” 3.5 / 23 with fixed focus from 2 meters. The shooting was carried out on 16 mm non-perforated film with a frame size of 1014 mm. In total, twenty frames could be made without changing the film.
The curtain shutter was located directly in front of the lens, and its cocking and transfer of the film was carried out by pulling the body out of the iron casing. On “Kiev – Vega” there were three shutter speeds: 1 / 30.1 / 60.1 / 200.
The size of the camera was really small.
Soviet production did not stop with one apparatus of this type. Already in 1961, a gadget called “Vega-2” was released, which had a more perfect set of technical characteristics.
So, for example, this camera has a scale focusing function, which its predecessor did not have. It made it possible to produce high-quality images from a distance of up to two meters. Thus, documents could be photographed on the Vegu-2.
Photo camera “Vega-2”.
But the next camera from the series was released only in 1975 and was called Kiev-30. He, in comparison with previous gadgets, has not only changed the design of the case, but also increased the frame size to 1317 mm.
The last modification happened at the end of the Soviet era in 1990. Then Kiev-30 was improved to Kiev-303: it again changed the design, as well as the shutter speed values.
A complete set of the Kiev-30 camera.