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Camera Maliutka review and instructions

Maliutka is a simple miniature camera for kids. A minimum of functionality, but you can get real pictures. Those.simple, but a camera, not an imitation.


Malyutka was produced at GOMZ before World War II.
The line of children's Leningrad cameras began with a model called Liliput. The baby replaced Lilliputian in 1940.

The reason why Lilliputian needed a replacement is simple.

Let me remind you that although this device was charged with a standard 35 mm film, it did not have a frame counter. Therefore, the film had to be laid along the entire length with a paper leader, on which the frame boundaries were marked. The user controlled these marks visually through the red window in the rear wall of the device while moving the frame.

So, the film seems to be standard, but dances with tambourines are still needed. Film adapted for Lilliputian was in short supply.

Therefore, the main difference between Baby and Lilliput is that she has control over the advance of one frame. No, this is not a counter. The user carries out the countdown of the captured and remaining frames "in his mind" independently. The baby only allows you to stretch exactly one frame.

Moreover, the broach is not blocked, of course.

As a result, due to the absence of a leader in the reel, it became possible to load a film with a length of up to 48 frames into Malyutka. It was recommended, however, to use a shorter film - up to 32 frames, but this was still significantly more than 12 frames of Lilliput.

As a reverse side of the coin, charging the Baby with a film became possible only in complete darkness, of course.

In this regard, several changes were made to the design of the device body to improve the reliability of light isolation.

Malyutka was produced for a short time - from 1940 to 1941. The release was interrupted by the Second World War.


The first editions had a brown body, the later ones had a black one. Photo of brown Malyutka from fotocataloque.ru. In the review - black.

The volume of the issue is not known exactly, there are no numbers on the devices. There is information that Liliputov and Malyutok together produced about 15,000 pieces. But the sources are conflicting.

Now the Malyutka is much less common than Lilliput. The bodies of the apparatus are made of brittle Bakelite, and therefore finding a copy in good condition is an even more difficult task. Although Malyutka appear on sale quite regularly, all the same.

Among the Malyutka, variants with a brown body are less common than with a black one.

In the literature there are references to the Malyutka of blue and green colors, but it seems that no one has seen them live.

In the review, a black copy is in excellent condition. Let's consider it in more detail.

Camera Malyutka

The Malyutka was produced at GOMZ from 1940 to 1941. The volume of the issue is not known exactly, most likely - up to tens of thousands of copies.

The device is very simple for children.

Designed for standard film type 135. The maximum capacity of the camera is 48-50 frames.

The Malyutka makes frames in 24x24 mm format.

Printing photographs from Malyutka's films was possible with the help of a special photo-magnifying attachment, which used the front of the device as a lens. So it was possible to get photographs up to 62x65 mm in size.

I was unable to find any images and I think this device was also very rare.


Malyutka lens is a single-lens "monocle". The lens does not have its own name. Aperture f9. The diaphragm does not change.

Focal length 38 mm. EGF of the lens of Malyutka in the equivalent of 35 mm photographic film is about 48.4 mm.

If you do not really understand what an EGF is, I suggest that you familiarize yourself with a special article on the crop factor.

The lens is rigidly focused at the hyperfocal distance. The nearest border of the RIP is 2-3 meters away.


The shutter is single-leaf (sector), lens-type, without preliminary cocking. In fact, the shutter is a plate with a hole corresponding to the diaphragm. When you release the shutter, the plate rotates and blows the hole past the lens. In this photo, the shutter is in an intermediate position and the edge of the hole is inserted.

Malyutka shutter beats one automatic shutter speed M ~ 1/50 and manual V.

Control elements

The Malyutka, in comparison with the Lilliputian, has a body of a simpler shape. The "relief depressions" between the boxes with the coils have disappeared

At the same time, the front part of the body with the lens and the shutter is identical to the Liliputov one.

To extend the frame, the Malyutka has a massive head at the top of the case on the left. The film in the machine moves from right to left.

To control the advance of one frame, the Malyutka is equipped with a roller inside the body and a metal washer with an index-pointer on the same axis as the roller.



When feeding, the film is pressed against the roller and rotates it. The washer at the top of the housing rotates. The moment when the pointer makes a full revolution corresponds to the advance of exactly one frame.

A simple and fairly reliable system.


An optical viewfinder of the "Alibada" type with a magnification of 0.6X is installed in the upper part of the device. The viewfinder body is long and tapers towards the front.

The picture given by the viewfinder is tiny, but completely bright.


Below the designers did not forget to place the tripod socket. However, Malyutka will not stand on a standard tripod. the thread in the socket is not standard.

The manual recommends purchasing a special adapter tripod nut.



Shutter speed switching is carried out by the L-shaped bar located on the right. If the bar is recessed, the shutter will operate automatically. If extended - manually.

Malyutka shutter does not need to be cocked first. This occurs when the trigger starts to move.


The trigger is at the bottom. It is also L-shaped, but it does not need to be pulled and pushed, but tilted in the plane of the film from side to side.

A very interesting feature is that the lever has no home position. The shutter will release the same when you move the lever both from left-to-right and from right-to-left.

If manual exposure is set, then when the lever is tilted to one side, the shutter will open, and when returned back, it will close again.

These are the simple manipulations when shooting.

As already mentioned, Malyutka has slightly better light transmission protection. In particular, the risk of accidentally opening the camera is reduced.



If Lilliputian had a back cover held, in fact, by friction, then
Malyutka has two metal locks on the sides of the case. The locks cover the projections on the sides of the rear wall and it is really impossible to open the device when the lock is locked.



The locks themselves, however, are kept closed only due to the same friction and can "slap".

My attitude towards the camera


Malyutka is still the same "cute" miniature camera, like Lilliput.

The fact that children's cameras were not only produced, but also underwent all sorts of improvements - arouses genuine respect for the pre-war photographic industry of the USSR.
Now Malyutka is a welcome and honorable exhibit in any photo collection

Source fotoussr.ru
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