Iskra is a Soviet 6×6 medium format folding camera produced at the KMZ plant from 1960 to 1963.
The Iskra camera replaced the Moskva medium format cameras, which, unlike the Iskra, could shoot not only in 6×6 format but also in 6×9 format. But despite the fact that the camera does not have the ability to shoot in 6×9 format, Iskra not only surpasses the Moskva camera in all respects, but is also one of the best Soviet medium format cameras.
- Type: 6×6 medium format rangefinder folding camera
- Manufacturer: KMZ plant
- Production period: 1960-1963
- Format: 6×6
- Lens mount: fixed lens
- Lens: Industar-58 f3.5/75
- Shutter: leaf shutter with speeds from 1 to 1/500 sec.
- Viewfinder: optical parallax viewfinder
- Lighmeter: none
- Flash synchronisation: sync socket “X”
- Selftimer: mechanical
- Weight: 925 grams
Iskra is not only one of the best medium format Soviet cameras, but one of the best Soviet cameras in general. The camera has all the necessary characteristics for comfortable shooting, and besides, it is very well built and looks just great.
The body of the Iskra camera is made of aluminum alloy and has a removable back cover. The front cover of the camera is opened by pressing the button on the upper surface of the camera.
The Iskra camera is equipped with an Industar-58 f3.5/75 lens, which is one of the best lenses of this family. This lens is in no way inferior to the German Tessars, has excellent sharpness, contrast and beautiful bokeh.
The lens has an angular field of view of 52° (according to other sources of 55°, and even 58) and focusing limits from 1m to infinity. Industar-58 lenses are chemically coated.
The Iskra rangefinder camera is equipped with a shutter with speeds from 1/500 to 1 sec. This is a very good set of shutter speeds, especially for a medium format camera from the 60s.
The shutter has a sync contact with 2 sync modes and a self-timer. Focusing is carried out by moving the entire lens associated with the rangefinder-viewfinder.
As with most of these cameras, most of the controls are located on the front around the lens barrel. Here you can see aperture control, shutter speed control, shutter cocking lever, focus lever, self-timer and sync contact.
The rest of the controls are located on the top of the camera. There you can see the film advance knob, the shutter release button, the camera front opening button, the cold shoe and the film speed and type reminder knob.
One of the coolest features of this rangefinder camera is that it has a frame counter that turns on automatically after the film has been advanced to the desired position.
That is, you just need to load the film into the camera, close the back cover and turn the film advance knob until it stops spinning and the number 1 appears on the frame counter.
As mentioned above, the Iskra camera is one of the best representatives of the Soviet photographic industry. This camera was valued among professional photographers due to its sharpness and synchronization with electronic flash at any shutter speed.
Having all these advantages, Iskra is a very compact camera that can be carried in a pocket or a small bag. With its compactness, the camera takes excellent pictures in 6×6 format.