Komsomolets is a two-lens reflex camera, a clone of the Voigtlander Brillant camera, which was produced at the GOMZ plant from 1946 to 1951.
In 1946, the State Optical and Mechanical Plant (GOMZ) began to mass-produce a new inexpensive camera called Komsomolets.
It was a 120 film camera with rather serious characteristics. The Komsomolets camera was created on the basis of the design of the German Voigtländer Brillant pseudo-twin-lens camera.
This camera, like the original Voigtländer Brillant, is a pseudo-TLR because ground glass is not used in the viewfinder. Focusing was done exclusively using the distance scale. The upper lens was used only for framing, and shooting was performed through the lower non-removable T-21 6.3/80 lens. The focusing range was from 1.5 m to infinity.
The camera was equipped with a central shutter with speeds of 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, and B. The frame size was standard for this type of camera and was 6×6 cm.
Throughout the entire production of the camera, a number of minor changes have been made to the design and functionality. For example, in the first versions, there was a frame counter with blocking of film movement for one frame. But according to the “good old” Soviet tradition, this function did not work as it should, and it was decided to remove this feature and simplify the mechanism.
To control frame rewind, a small round window with red glass was made on the back panel. In some models, excessive light can leak through this window, and therefore it is advised to seal this window with black electrical tape. In our copies, such a problem was not observed.
So what can be said about this camera? This is a very well-made camera, which is not at all a toy. It is equipped with a fairly good Triplet lens, which gives beautiful classic photos. Materials were at a decent level, especially for the Soviet Union. Ease of use is also at a good level. But here we must thank the Germans who created the original camera.
In general, if you want to get a wonderful twin-lens camera and take medium-format photos while spending a small amount of money, then Komsomolets will be the perfect solution for you.
But at the same time, for the same money (and maybe for less) you can buy a more advanced Lubitel camera, which had a ground-glass dot in the center of the viewfinder. In addition, the Lubitel cameras were equipped with an improved Triplet T-22 4.5/75 lens.
The ability to focus using a ground glass circle and faster lens, combined with very low prices (in fact, Lubitel is now one of the cheapest non-toy medium format cameras), makes Lubitel cameras more interesting to buy than Komsomolets cameras in our opinion.