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Camera Moscow-2 review and instructions

Moscow-2 differs from the first model, mainly only in the presence of a built-in rangefinder. Moscow-1 is a scale apparatus. The first Moscow came out in 1946. The second - a little later - in the 47th.
Until 1949, these devices were produced in parallel, then the first model was curtailed, and the second was in production even before 1956.

The chambers are structurally similar. The first Moscow has an Ikonta C 521/2 camera as a prototype.


The second is Super Ikonta C 531/2. Probably something like that. Photo from the Web.

After the end of the Great Patriotic War, the USSR received from Germany as reparations quite a lot of various kinds of equipment, materials, technologies. Including in the field of photography.

Equipment, components and documentation were exported to the Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant from the Carl Zeiss factory in Jena. Also, many specialists moved to the USSR who helped to establish the production of cameras at the KMZ.

The first releases of the Moskva-1 and -2 apparatuses were completed with shutters and lenses exported from Germany.

Moscow-2 began to be produced later and there is an opinion that German lenses were no longer installed on it - they were over. Moscow-2 was equipped at once with the domestic lens Industar-23 1 / 4.5 f11cm.

But the shutter on the earliest cameras really was COMPUR RAPID with shutter speeds of 1, 1/2, 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/200, 1/400 and V.



Photo cameras from fotocataloque.ru. Close-up photo of the shutter from the book "Moscow 12345" Pavlenko EV.

With a German shutter, the Moscow-2 devices were produced for a very short time. There is information that literally until mid-1947. This means that very few of them were released. Maybe hundreds, maybe tens. In 1947, only 605 units were assembled in Moscow-2.

Later releases were equipped with Russian-made Moment-1 locks.

At the time of its release, the Moscow-2 rangefinder had practically no domestic competitors.

In 1947, about 14 thousand scale Moscow-1 were produced.

This year, GOMZ has already produced a two-objective scale Komsomolets for the same medium format film.

And here, in fact, that's all. Moreover, not only for the medium format, but in general. Nothing comes to my mind anymore.

The first Vigilant and FEDs appeared in the next - 1948. All other Soviet post-war apparatuses - even later.

Well, there were still about 1800 really Berd FEDs of 1946. Did they go on sale at all, I wonder?

The Soviet industry was still just rising after the Second World War.

Moscow-2 was produced for a long time and therefore its mass versions are not particularly rare. Finding one is easy. It is more difficult to find a specimen in a well-preserved state.

Earlier editions are correspondingly more rare. The devices released in the late 40s are very rare. Finding a copy with an imported shutter is unrealistically difficult and expensive.

At the same time, due to the fact that the lens and the shutter are separate and independent units, there are cases of counterfeiting when foreign lenses or shutters are installed on relatively late bodies.

Experts identify many species within the Moscow-2 model, but such a deep classification is beyond the scope of my site.


I can only say that there are (rarely) options with brown leather wrapping instead of the classic black one. Photo from the book "Moscow 12345".


Of the very rare variants, I also note such a prototype - with a built-in viewfinder instead of a folding one.


And this is also a transitional model between Moscow-2 and Moscow-4. It has the ability to shoot in 2 frame formats (6 × 6 and 6 × 9 cm) using an additional insert frame. There is also a second inspection window in the rear wall. In the book "1200 Cameras from the USSR" the model is called Moscow-2A.

Both photos are from fotocataloque.ru.

In the review we have a copy of Moscow-2 in very good condition, 1953, number 5321943.

On the Moscow-2 apparatuses, separate numbers are affixed on the lens, shutter and on the body (on the inner surface of the hinged cover). The number of the device is the number on the case and in these numbers the first two digits indicate the year of manufacture.

Early editions of the year did not contain lens and shutter numbers. Later, the year appeared in their numbers (as in this instance).

Camera Moscow-2

Moscow-2 is a folding medium format camera. "Harmonic".

The size of the frame is 6X9 cm. On a standard film type 120, 8 frames are obtained.

The device is a rangefinder, and the principle of operation of the rangefinder is based on a wedge optical compensator. This device is old and widespread, but it has not been used in the Soviet photo industry since the beginning of the 60s and therefore now looks exotic. Below we will look at it in more detail.

Foldable optical viewfinder, not coupled with rangefinder.


Fixed lens Industar-23 1 / 4.5 f11cm. Aperture limit - f32. MDF - 1.5 meters.

Optical design (lenses / groups) - 4/3

Aperture blades - 10

Central shutter Moment-1. Beats shutter speeds 1, 1/2, 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/250, V.

The device does not have a sync terminal. The self-timer was on the part of the releases with a German shutter.

The weight of my copy is 854 grams.

Control elements:

The building Moscow-2 is of complex shape and its main surface is covered with leatherette pasting. The lining consists of several parts, with light metal elements and molding in between.

All this together makes the device very aesthetically pleasing. Beautiful, I would even say.



When folded, the body of the device is quite thin. On the right side there is a small leather strap for carrying.

As far as I know, a case was not provided for the second Moscow. My copy was sold in a narrow black cardboard box with nice embossing. When folded, the body of the device is quite thin. On the right side there is a small leather strap for carrying.

As far as I know, a case was not provided for the second Moscow. My copy was sold in a narrow black cardboard box with beautiful embossing.



Accordingly, owners carried their cameras in their pockets and under their bosoms. This is the reason that many devices now look very worn.


To unfold the device, you need to press the button on the right side of the top panel.

The front cover is folded back with a spring to the left and the accordion fur with a shutter and a lens at the front end is pulled forward.

The viewfinder frames will automatically open at the same time.



All together it looks very impressive. But at the moment of opening, it is better to hold the front cover so that it does not hit the stopper. The spring is strong enough, and the blows to the mechanisms are not beneficial.


Finally, you need to manually flip up the compensator, which is located to the right of the lens.

There are two 3/8 ”tripod sockets on the body. The first is at the bottom of the case. The second is on the hinged lid. They need to be used when the frame is in vertical orientation.


Also, in vertical orientation, the device can simply be placed on any surface. In this case, the hinged leg on the front cover comes in handy.

The film in the device moves from right to left. The broach head is on the left side of the top panel. The direction of rotation is indicated by arrows, but there is also a counter for rotation in the wrong direction.

There is no frame counter. Medium format film type-120 assumes control of the frame boundaries by marks on the film leader. The entire length of the film is laid with a paper light-proof rakodorm, on the back of which there are marks of the borders of the frames and their numbers.



When moving the frame, you need to open the shutter in the window on the rear wall of the camera and control the appearance of the border mark through the red glass.


The shutter cocking is a separate operation and it is carried out by the lever on the right side of the lens. The lever must be cocked up.


The descent is carried out by a button in the upper left part of the case. The button is shifted forward, and it is, in principle, quite convenient to press it with your index finger, if you hold the camera, grasping the folded cover with your left hand (4 fingers on top, the big one supports the body from below). Like a camcorder, but grip with the left hand.

The button has a slot for a release cable. In addition, it locks after release until the broaching head is slightly rotated. This prevents re-exposure.


However, if re-exposure is needed or there is simply no desire to use the button, the shutter can be released with a lever to the left-bottom of the lens. It is not blocked.

The viewfinder consists of two hinged frames with lenses. It gives quite a large, sharp and light picture.



The rangefinder consists of several units.

The first part is located in the superstructure at the top of the hull. Everything is familiar here. There is one window in the back, two in the front. Inside the add-in, the mirror system superimposes two pictures on top of each other. Focusing consists in combining pictures into one.

But there is no swing mirror in the superstructure. Instead, Moscow-2 has a wedge expansion joint. It is in front, to the right of the lens, opposite the right rangefinder window.

The compensator consists of two round prisms. Round glass has one edge that is thicker than the other. There are exactly two of them in the frame.

The compensator is mechanically connected to the lens focusing ring. When the focusing ring rotates, the prisms in the compensator also rotate, moreover, in different directions.

To be honest, I do not really understand how everything is with the T.Z. optics occurs, but the picture seen through the compensator is shifted to the side.

All this is clearly visible in the video. I deliberately did not erase the dust on the compensator. Thanks to the dust, it is clearly visible that the two glasses rotate in opposite directions. And it is noticeable how the image of the superstructure of the apparatus visible through the compensator is displaced.

The right eye of the rangefinder looks forward precisely through the compensator. And it is thanks to the work of the compensator in the rangefinder window that one of the pictures is displaced when the focusing ring is rotated.


For focusing, there is a special wheel with teeth to the right of the lens - it transfers rotation to the lens focusing ring and to the compensator. But you can also rotate the front ring on the lens - everything will be transmitted correctly.


The front of the device is densely covered with scales, which are made with great care and look very nice.

The scale on the inner circle is the distance. They are printed on the focusing ring. The index is on the right under the compensator.


On the middle fixed ring of dark color, light numbers are the diaphragms. On the left is the scale of the diaphragms themselves. They are switched by a leash with an arrow on the left.

On the right is the depth of field scale.

The peculiarity of the Industar-23 lens is that it demonstrates its best performance at distances from 5-6 meters and beyond. Therefore, it is quite reasonable to use the focus on the GEM, for which the apparatus is adapted.

Dots are marked on the distance scale (between 8 and 15 meters) and on the aperture scale (between f8 and f16). If you set the parameters for them, then the lens will be focused on the hyperfocal distance and the entire space from about 4.5 meters to infinity will be sharp.


The outer circle is the shutter speed switching ring. The scale is on the right. The index is the same as for the distances.

ATTENTION. According to the instructions, the shutter speeds can be changed only BEFORE the shutter is cocked. This is not typical, please note.

Folding the apparatus is a more laborious procedure.

Fold in the viewfinder manually. First, we tilt the front frame, then cover it with the back one and snap it shut.

Do not forget to lower the expansion joint down!


Next, you need to press the two chrome levers and slide them along the curly slot in the guides towards the body. This takes some effort.


When the levers are pushed back, the lid will begin to close. Close it carefully and at the same time bring (correct by hand) the left side of the lens under the cover. The lens should dive under the half-closed cover, after which it can be closed all the way.

In the closed position, the lid snaps into place.

To load or remove the film - you need to open the back wall.



Latch on the right under the strap. The wall is hinged to the left.

Attitude towards the camera.

A device from the Moscow line should be in every photo collection. These are beautiful, technologically sophisticated, but solid and reliable cameras.

Nice to look at. Nice to hold. You can take pictures with a working camera now. It looks very impressive.

By the way, do you know how Moscow will be in the plural? Well, the city - of course - is one, but there may be many devices. These will be Moscow. With emphasis on "o". Sounds unusual, but they say so: o)

Source fotoussr.ru
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