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Gomz Sputnik, Stereo triple lens reflex camera for 120 roll film, c1950s (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 design flaws, the major one being the use of nice shiny bakelite for the body. No attempt at preventing reflections within the shell have been made, and this impacts the ability of the camera to produce contrasty images. Also if you drop a Sputnik onto the paved roads of St. Petersburg, it will explode into many pieces. We know, oops. Fortunately, soaking the parts in water (to bring the moisture content up) and gluing with cyanoacrylate, produces near invisible repairs. 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. Advancing the film is achieved via a knurled knob, shooting two rolls of film in one day will result in "Sputnik Finger", a medical condition chracterised 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. The camera also has an inscription on one side, "To the beloved school from the graduates of the VIII grade of the Anniversary year". Quite how it wound up on a street stall I don't know. The photographs produced are much better than those from the collections' much earlier Verascope. From a pointless trivia perspective, the camera predates the orbiting satelite of the same name, that Sputnik was lanched October 4th 1957.

Click on "this camera's pics" button, below, to see sample images.

Gomz Sputnik, Stereo triple lens reflex camera
Body No. N/A.
Shutters, LOMO, unserialled.
Lens, LOMO T-22 75mm f/4.5. Shared serial 043194

 

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