Vilejka Vintage Camera Brand
Vilejka Brand Overview
|Founded:||1969 — Vilejka, USSR|
|(modern day Belarus)|
Vilejka Brand History
Vileiskiy Zavod Zenit (Вилейка завод Зени́т or “Vilejka Zenit Factory”)–better known simply as “Vilejka”–was a Soviet camera factory established just outside the modern day Belarusian capital of Minsk in 1969. The Vilejka factory was originally built as a joint effort between the factories MMZ (Минский механический завод or “Minsk Mechanical Factory”) and KMZ (Красногорский механический завод or “Krasnogorsk Mechanical Factory”) to assist in producing the long-lived Zenit line of 35mm SLR cameras.
Shortly after its founding, Vilejka and MMZ (along with a couple of other factories) were reorganized into a new firm named BelOMO (Белорусское оптико-механическое объединение or Belarus Optical and Mechanical Enterprise). Under the BelOMO brand, these factories produced cameras and lenses while continuing to use their own individual logos.
Now known as Zenit-BelOMO (a separate entity from the MMZ factory which is now known as BelOMO-MMZ) the Vilejka factory has grown to become the largest producer of optical scopes across all Post-Soviet states. They also produce other optical products such as microscopes and binoculars.
Check eBay to see what’s available.
McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg, WI, USA: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), p 92.
“About Company,” JSC Zenit-BelOMO, http://www.zenit-belomo.by/index.php/en/about-company/about-company.html
“Information about Company,” BelOMO-MMP, http://belomo.by/en/about/info
“Soviet Factory Logos,” Camera Wiki, http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Soviet_Factory_Logos