In 1914, a plant for the production of optical and mechanical devices was opened in St. Petersburg. At the first stage of its activity, the plant produced instruments for checking the sighting lines of guns, sights, stereo tubes and periscopes for artillery.
In 1921, this plant was renamed the State Optical Plant (GOZ). After that, the plant was renamed and reorganized several times, until in 1930 the company was renamed the State Optical and Mechanical Plant (GOMZ).
At GOMZ, such cameras as Fotocor, Tourist, Reporter, Sport and the first versions of Smena were created.
Since 1962, the plant was again transformed and renamed the Leningrad Optical and Mechanical Association (LOMO). This association included several other, smaller plants.
At LOMO, such legendary and world-famous cameras as Smena 8m, LOMO compact, and Lubitel were created.
It so happened that due to the peculiar system of organization of production in the USSR, different plants occupied strictly defined market positions. Kiev factories created high-quality (by Soviet standards) products for professional photographers. The KMZ plant mainly produced middle-class cameras for advanced enthusiasts (for example, Zorki and Zenit cameras). And the LOMO plant was considered a manufacturer of simpler products for the most inexperienced photographers or schoolchildren.
But despite this, the cameras produced at the LOMO plant were not so bad. For example, the Smena cameras allowed absolutely everyone to get acquainted with photography because the price of these cameras were very low.
Also, this company produced Lubitel cameras, which were the only medium-format twin-lens cameras in the USSR. Despite their low price, these cameras also gave excellent image quality, and in fact, to this day are the most affordable way to start taking medium format photographs.