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List of soviet optical factories


On this page, you will find the main (not all) factories that produced soviet optico-related things.

For the youngests of you, here is a map of western USSR, with location (red dots) of factories described in this page.




1 : KOMZ ( Казанский оптико-механический завод : Mechanical-optical factory of Kazan)

 In this factory, located in Tatarstan's capital (autonom republic) was built since fifties the Tair 300mm/4.5 for the Photosniper FS-2. They also buill the Jupiter-11, Jupiter-37, things for laboratories, googles, and many other stuffs for military purpose.

The logo is a pentaprism with a light ray through it. We also can see the letter "K" from KOMZ et Kazan.




2 : VOMZ ( Вологодский оптико-механический завод :  Mechanical-optical factory of Volodga)



Vologda, historical city, is a great destination for russians who like to relax on the border of the Valdai lake (with his isles) or in his forest. Appart from behind quite and nice, this city is hosting the VOMZ factory, where was built the Mir-1V and Mir-47.
The first logo is representating the B from Vologda (B is V in russian) with a light ray through it.

This logo has been used till the end of eighties.
The new logo represents 3 converging lenses. We can read the V letter with the borders of the logo.








3 : ROMZ ( Ростовский оптико-механический завод :  Mechanical-optical factory of Rostov)

Rostov is not Rostov on Don (which is a bigger city). "Our" Rostov is located bit less than 200km away from Moscow, on the borders of the Nero Lake. The factory builds optical military stuffs. The most famous product from this factory is the Cyclop 85mm/1.5.

The logo show the bulbs of the Kremlin's church, in Rostov, with a lens underneath them.





4 : ZOMZ (Загорский оптико-механический завод :  Mechanical-optical factory of Zargorsk)


The City Zagorst is now called "Sergiev Posad". The factory is known to have built the Jupiter-3 and the Mir-1, untill their production was transfered to Vologda.

The first logo, used till 1962, represents an optical bloc, made from 3 lenses. Be careful to not mix up with the MMZ logo (see underneath).
The second logo is a stylised eye with a light ray through it. Why an eye? Just because since 1962, they got specialised to ophthalmic stuffs.










5 : LZOS (Лыткаринский завод оптического стекла : Optical glasses factory of Litkarino)

This factory, located in the south of Moscow, provided a lot of things, mainly for military purpose (laser, nightvision stuffs). In civil domain, LZOS provided lenses for Kiev mount (Jupiter-12, Jupiter-9), but also M42 mount (Undustar-61 L/Z, Volna-9...), and catadioptric lenses (mirror lenses) like the MTO or ZM.

You can see in the logo the stylised letter Л (L in russian), the O, and C (S in russian).




6 : KMZ (Красногорский механический завод : Mechanical factory of Krasnogorsk)



Krasnogorst is not a factory, but a militaro-industrial complex, a city-factory like those that russian love to build. Like Tilliati for Lada, Krasnogorsk was (and maybe still is) the bigger optical factory of the univers (yes!). All lenses calculated by the GOI were sent to KMZ in order to create first series of the new lenses. That's why a lot of "early" lenses were made in KMZ, before the production was sent to other factory.

The logo show a Dove's prism, with a light ray passing through it (since 1949).









7 : Юпитер, (Оптико-механический завод «Юпитер» :  Mechanical-optical factory "Jupiter")located in Valdaï

Valdai is an industrial city built on the Valdai mont. There was build Helios 44-2 and the whole Helios-77 family.

The logo is a stylised Ю.






8 : LOMO (Ленинградское оптико-механическое объединение : Mechanical-optical union of Leningrad)

Leningrad, today called Saint-Petersburg, hosted the "brain" of soviet optical industry, with his State Optical Institut (GOI).There were calculated formulas in order to create lenses. LOMO is the consequence of fusion of GOMZ, LOOMP and OOMZ. The factory producted lot of compact cameras and different lenses (but few part were made for cameras). It is totaly forbidden to mix up LOMO with the "Lomography" compagny.

The Logo is made of the OMO letter with a bit Л (L). The L is the spear of the Admiralty building in Saint Petersburg. Sometime, you can find also a logo made of little ship (like on the top of the spear).



9 : FED (Харьковский машиностроительный завод «ФЭД» : Construction machine factory of Kharkov "FED")

FED is for the initial of the funny Felix Edmundovich Dzerjinski, the head of the Tcheka (soviet secret police), who died few time before the construction of this "working community for children", the FED factory.
This is so much things to tell about this factory, that I won't say anything. They produced the first Leica II copy (made by teenagers!!!). Then, they produced lot of FED succesful camera series, with their lenses.

The logo is the name of the factory in russian, ФЭД.



10 : Arsenal, in Kiev

Founded in 1764, this is one of the oldest factory of Ukraina. After the WW2, the factory received as "gift" all the "Contax" cameras from Zeiss factories, with lenses fitting to Contax. That's how they started the production of the "Kiev", a the soviet Contax.
Arsenal also produce medium format cameras : Kiev-6 (soviet Pentacon-6), Kiev-88(soviet Hasselblad) and their variations.

The logo looks to be a stylised A with looks like a prism.



11 : MMZ (Минский механический завод : Mechanical factory of Minsk)

Founded at Minsk in 1957, the factory produced compact cameras (mostly plastic) and lenses for Zenit (some Helios 44-2 and later versions) It also produce Peleng lenses, reproduction lenses...

The logo is a optical lens.





Bibliography :

The authentic guide to russian and soviet cameras, J-L Princelle, Le rêve édition, 2004.
Zenitcamera.com
Thanks to Thierry Hacquard for some corrections!

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