MMZ Vintage Camera Brand
MMZ Brand Overview
|Founded:||1957 — Minsk, USSR|
|(modern day Belarus)|
MMZ Brand History
MMZ (ММЗ) was a factory founded in 1957 in the Soviet city of Minsk, now capital of modern day Belarus. Short for “Minskiy Mechanicheskiy Zavod” (Минского Механического Завода or Minsk Mechanical Factory), MMZ started off producing industrial optical goods as well as cameras designed by GOMZ including the extremely successful Smena line of inexpensive viewfinder cameras.
In 1971, the Soviet government decided to restructure and consolidate a portion of its state optical industry by establishing the Belarus Optical and Mechanical Enterprise (Белорусское оптико-механическое объединение)—more commonly known as BelOMO (БелОМО) for short—by combining the efforts of MMZ in Minsk along with several other plants including the Vilejka factory located in the nearby town of the same name.
As the heart of BelOMO, MMZ continued to contribute to the global photography industry by manufacturing products like the famous Chaika series of 35mm half-frame cameras as well as SLR lenses like the Helios 44 and its ubiquitous variants until the company ceased camera production entirely.
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McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), 92.
“Information About Company,” BelOMO-MMZ, http://www.belomo.by/en/about/info