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Gomz Sputnik, Stereo triple lens reflex camera for 120 roll film, c1955 (CNYTHNK)

The Sputnik (in Cyrillic it appears similar to CNYTHNK) which translates as Travelling Companion, is a Russian made triple lens reflex stereoscopic camera for six stereo pairs on 120 roll film. Focus is achieved in the same manner as a twin lens reflex type camera. The impression of 3D being achieved by taking two pictures simultaneously and viewing the resulting prints through a special viewer, supplied with the original kit. Construction is basic with many accepted shortcomings, the major one being the use of shiny thermo-setting plastic (similar to Bakelite) for the body. this is a very efficient method to create the body though, producing parts that require little finishing - even the leather appearance texture being moulded in. No attempt at preventing reflections within the shell have been made, and this impacts the ability of the camera to produce high contrast images. Also if you drop a Sputnik onto the paved roads of St. Petersburg, it will explode into many pieces. We know, oops. Focus is achieved by the centre lens onto a small circular frosted part of a bright finder, with a small hinged magnifier to help - this is a far from satisfactory arrangement but it just about does the job. Despite this it produces stunning results, not especially good images on their own, but when viewed as a stereo pair the images really come to life. The shutter composes a master and a slave leaf shutters, linked by a lever visible below the viewing lens. Advancing the film is achieved via a ridged knob, shooting two rolls of film in one day will result in "Sputnik Finger", a medical condition characterized by a blistering on the side of the right index finger. This example was purchased in July 2003 from a stall on The Old Arbat Street, Moscow. This particular camera has an inscription on one side, "To the beloved school from the graduates of the VIII grade of the Anniversary year". Assuming the anniversary to be of the 1917 October revolution, then this camera dates from 1956/57. Quite how it wound up on a street stall I don't know, but the lack of wear suggests it was never used. From a pointless trivia perspective, the camera predates the orbiting satellite of the same name, that Sputnik was launched October 4th 1957.

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Gomz Sputnik, Stereo triple lens reflex camera

Body No. N/A.
Shutters, LOMO, un-serialled.
Lens, LOMO T-22 75mm f/4.5. Shared serial 043194

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