GOMZ Vintage Camera Brand
GOMZ Brand Overview
|Founded:||1914 — Petrograd, Russian Empire|
|(modern day Saint Petersburg, Russia)|
GOMZ Brand History
GOMZ was one of the Soviet Union’s oldest optical factories. GOMZ stands for Gosudarstvennyi Optiko-Mekhanicheskii Zavod, Russian for “State Optical-Mechanical Factory” and is famous for early models of the Lubitel TLR and Smena cameras as well as designing what some believe is the very first 35mm SLR ever: the Sport.
The company was originally established during the Franco-Russian Alliance as a joint French and Russian photographic factory in 1914 on the outskirts of the newly renamed city of Petrograd (both formerly and currently known as Saint Petersburg). When World War I erupted, production switched from cameras and lenses to military optics such as gun sights. After the Great War ended, the company was nationalized and underwent a series of reorganizations that lasted until 1932 when it was finally rechristened as GOMZ.
GOMZ continued to manufacture consumer cameras over the next thirty years or so, including the original Lubitel, Lubitel 2, and several models of the popular Smena series of 35mm viewfinder cameras. Then in 1965, GOMZ underwent yet another restructuring and became known by a new name: the Leningrad Optical Mechanical Association or, as most of us know it, LOMO.
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