Belarusian Optical and Mechanical Association (BELOMO)

BelOMO (Belarusian Optical and Mechanical Association) – Belarusian manufacturer of optical, opto-mechanical and opto-electronic equipment, the business combination of optical-mechanical industry of the USSR and the Republic of Belarus. Founded in 1971 on the basis of the S. I. Vavilov Minsk Mechanical Plant.

According to the company, it occupies 2-3% of the world market for small arms sights, observation devices, fire control systems for armored vehicles, about 10% of the Russian market and about 80% of the domestic market for these products. The enterprise also manufactures automobile units, gas meters, infrared emitters, refrigerant hermetic compressors, and household appliances.

Since 1992, the company was headed by Vyacheslav Bursky. In January 2019, he was detained by law enforcement agencies. In February 2019, the President of Belarus approved Alexander Moroz for the position of General Director.

The composition of the association

  • OJSC “MMZ named after S. I. Vavilov” – the managing company of the holding “BelOMO”, Minsk – especially complex optical-mechanical and optical-electronic equipment (space, topographic, spectrozonal, photogrammetric systems and complexes; cine-theodolite equipment; armored, gyro-stabilized optical sights, laser guidance devices; industrial mobile and stationary cinema installations)
  • JSC “Zenit – BelOMO”, Vileika (Vileika plant “Zenith”) – photographic equipment, optical sights for small arms, observation devices, weighing equipment.
  • OJSC “Rogachevsky plant” Diaprojector “” Rogachev – overhead projection equipment, various types of sights and guidance devices for armored vehicles.
  • JSC “Zhlobin plant” Light “” Zhlobin – reproduction equipment, photographic enlargers, optical devices for the needs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
  • STC “LEMT” BelOMO Minsk – development and manufacture of laser products and products for medicine.

Product examples

Joint ventures

  • joint Belarusian-German enterprise “Zeiss-BelOMO” – manufacture of high-precision optical products
  • Belarusian-Italian joint venture JV “BelOMO-Koemar” – manufacturing of lighting equipment

Photo equipment BelOMO

List of cameras produced at factories that are part of the Belarusian Optical and Mechanical Association (BelOMO).

Cameras “Smena”

In 1958, the Minsk Mechanical Plant (MMZ), together with LOMO, produced the Smena camera (post-war model LOMO).

“Smena” is an uncomplicated small-format scale camera for novice amateur photographers.

Bakelite body, removable back wall.

Used photographic film type 135 in standard cassettes. Frame size 24 × 36 mm.

There was no rewinding of the film, the filmed film was fed into an empty cassette.

Film rewinding head. The shutter platoon is separate from the film rewind.

Central shutter, 1/200 – 1/10 and “B”.

Lens triplet “T-22” 4.5 / 40. Focusing from 1 m to “infinity” on the distance scale.

Lens aperture from f / 4 to f / 16.

Optical parallax viewfinder.

Synchronous contact “X” was installed only on a part of the release. There is a clip for attaching a removable rangefinder (or flash unit).

The number of cameras produced at MMZ is unknown.

In addition to the first Smena, MMZ produced:

  • “Smena-2” (1957-1961) – modification of the post-war “Smena” with a self-timer and synchrocontact.
  • Smena-M (1961) – modification of the post-war Smena. The main difference is the presence of a sync contact, a photographic shutter with a different exposure range and a modified shutter release button. Lens triplet “T-22M” 4.5 / 40.
  • Smena-2M (1961) – modification of the post-war Smena. The main difference is the presence of a self-timer and synchrocontact, a photographic shutter with a different range of shutter speeds and a modified release button. Lens triplet “T-22M” 4.5 / 40.

Cameras “Spring”

“Vesna” – small-format scale cameras for beginner amateur photographers.

Cameras with a frame size of 24 × 32 mm. In terms of their level and technical characteristics, they are close to the Smena cameras. Produced from 1962 to 1966 at the Minsk Machine-Building Plant (BelOMO).

  • Spring (1962-1964) is the basic model. Lens Triplet “T-22” 4.5 / 40 with a central shutter and shutter speeds from 1/8 to 1/250 s and “B”.
  • “Spring-2” (1964-1966) – modification with a lens of increased aperture (“T-22M” 4/40) and a shutter with a reduced range of shutter speeds (from 1/15 to 1/250 s and “B”).
  • “Vesna-3” – a prototype with a 3.5 / 28 lens, not mass-produced.

Semi-format cameras

Cameras “Chaika”

In the second half of the 1960s – the first half of the 1970s, BelOMO produced semi-format cameras of the “Chaika” family.

These were non-automatic scale cameras for novice amateur photographers with a frame size of 18 × 24 mm (film type 135), with a central shutter (shutter speeds 1 / 30-1 / 250 s), an Industar-69 2.8 / 28 lens. A selenium exposure meter was on board Chaika-3.

I was attracted by the compactness and lightness of the cameras.

The Chaika cameras cost more than the Smena cameras, which were most widespread in those years, with a larger frame size and similar technical characteristics; therefore, the Chaika cameras were not very popular.

  • “Seagull” – from 1965 to 1967, 171400 pieces were produced. Exposure “B”, non-removable lens.
  • “Chaika-2” – from 1967 to 1972, produced 1.25 million units. Exposure “B”, removable lens.
  • “Chaika-3” – from 1971 to 1973, produced 600 thousand units. Lack of “B” shutter speed, removable lens, exposure meter, hammerless shutter and film rewind.
  • “Chaika-2M” – from 1972 to 1974, 351 thousand pieces were produced. Option “Seagull-3” with a trigger, but without an exposure meter. Lack of “B” shutter speed, removable lens.

“Agat-18”

BelOMO returned to semi-format cameras in 1984, releasing non-automatic scale cameras for beginners “Agat-18” and “Agat-18K”.

The camera body is detachable.

Used photographic film type 135 in standard cassettes. Frame size 18 × 24 mm.

Lens “Industar-104” 2.8 / 28.
Central shutter-diaphragm. At an aperture of 2.8, the shutter speed is 1/60 s, at an aperture of 16 – 1/250 s. There is no shutter speed setting ring on the camera, only aperture setting ring. Setting the exposure – according to the weather symbols. You cannot change the shutter speed-aperture combination.

The simplest medium format cameras

In the second half of the 1960s – the first half of the 1970s, BelOMO produced the simplest medium format Shkolnik and Etude cameras designed for wide 60-mm roll film type film. Frame size: “Schoolboy” – 6 × 6 cm, “Etude” – 4.5 × 6 cm. The bodies of the devices are plastic, the lens is the simplest single-lens, without focusing (focused on the depth of field). Central photographic shutter with one automatic exposure (1/60 or 1/125 s) and “B” (“freehand”). The diaphragm is lamellar with two or three holes of different diameters. Due to their low price (6-8 rubles), these cameras belonged to the category of children’s toys, so a small number of surviving copies have survived to this day. Are collectible items.

Cameras “Viliya”

Developed in the 1970s, small-format scale cameras of the Viliya family were popular among novice amateur photographers due to ease of use, optimal price-quality ratio and a large number of released copies. Unified cameras of the “Viliya” family had the same appearance, were equipped with T-69-3 4/40 triplet lenses and differed only in the principle of exposure setting.

  • “Viliya-auto” – from 1973 to 1985. Programming machine.
  • “Viliya” – from 1974 to 1985. There is no exposure meter, manual setting of shutter speed and aperture.
  • “Silhouette Electro” – from 1976 to 1981. Aperture-priority automatic.
  • Orion-EE – from 1978 to 1983. Shutter priority automatic.

“Silhouette machine”

Further development of the Viliya family was the Orion-2 and Silhouette-automatic devices (Silhouette-2). Manufactured in metal housings, lens – “Industar-92” 2.8 / 38. In terms of technical characteristics, they practically did not differ from the previous Orion-EE and Silhouette-Electro cameras. “Orion-2” was not mass-produced, the “Silhouette-automatic” camera was produced in small quantities, because of the high price it was not in demand in the USSR (in 1981 – 140 rubles, in 1985 – 95 rubles).

Cameras “Zenith”

Some models of Zenit single-lens reflex cameras, developed by the Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant (KMZ), were also produced at BelOMO (Vileika Zenit Plant). In cooperation with the Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant (KMZ), Zenit-E was first mastered, then Zenit-TTL production began. As the KMZ mastered new models, BelOMO mastered Zenit-ET (including with the Helios-44M lens with a pressure diaphragm, Zenit-ET without an exposure meter), Zenit-12pro, Zenit-122 in including without a light meter. On the basis of Krasnogorsk Zenits, Zenit-15 was produced, including without an exposure meter, Zenit-15M, Zenit-21XS, Zenit-130. Zenits of BelOMO were equipped, as a rule, with Helios lenses produced by the Valdai plant Jupiter, while Industar-50-2 lenses were supplied from KMZ. BelOMO cases were made of leatherette, in contrast to the leather production of KMZ. In the late 1980s, it became widely practiced in cameras to replace metal parts with plastic ones.

Cameras “Elikon”

In the 1980s, to replace the Viliya family, small-format (frame size 24 × 36 mm) cameras of the Elikon family were developed.

“Elikon-1” and “Elikon”

“Elikon-1” and “Elikon” are compact automatic rangefinder cameras of caseless design. The shooting lens, photoresistor lens and viewfinder lens are closed by a sliding plastic cover during carrying. Objective “Minitar-2” 2.8 / 35, non-replaceable, thread for filter M46 × 0.75. Focusing with a coupled rangefinder (eyepiece magnification 0.55 ×, rangefinder base 19 mm) Lens diaphragm from 2.8 to 16. The diaphragm is two-blade.

Cameras “Elikon” and “Elikon-1” are automatic devices with aperture priority. Exposure meter with cadmium sulfide (CdS) photoresistor. Exposure compensation is possible only by changing the photosensitivity value of the film. In automatic mode, the electronically controlled central shutter operates continuously from 10 s to 1/500 s.

  • “Elikon-1” – with an attached automatic flashlight of a special design.
  • Elikon is a modification of the Elikon-1 camera. The attachment bracket allows the use of a conventional electronic flash unit with a center sync terminal.

“Elikon-2”

“Elikon-2” is a scale modification of the “Elikon” camera with the “Minar-2” 3.8 / 35 lens. The rangefinder “Elikon-2” was produced in very small quantities. A total of 393 copies were produced.

Scale cameras “Elikon” with built-in flash (classic body)

  • “Elikon-35SM” Small-format scale cameras with a built-in flash had a similar appearance, differed in lenses and the principle of exposure setting.
  • “Elikon-3” is a small-format automatic scale camera with a single exposure priority (1/125 s) with a built-in flash, “Minar” lens 4/35. Central mechanical shutter. No B shutter speed.
When shooting with a flash, the lens aperture is set depending on the light sensitivity of the film and the distance to the subject (when focusing, the lens aperture changes).
  • Elikon-4 is a small-format scale camera with manual aperture setting and built-in flash.
Lens “MC Industar-95-02” 4/38 or “Minar” 4/35.
Mechanical central shutter with single exposure 1/125 s. No B shutter speed.
  • “Elikon-35S” is a small format automatic scale camera (programmable machine) with a built-in flash.
Lens “Industar-95” 2.8 / 38.
Electronically controlled central shutter-diaphragm. No B shutter speed. In automatic mode, the shutter operates continuously from 1/8 (at an aperture of 2.8) to 1/500 s (at an aperture of 16). You cannot change the shutter speed-aperture combination.
When shooting with a flash, the lens aperture is set depending on the light sensitivity of the film and the distance to the subject (when focusing, the lens aperture changes).
A modified model “Elikon-35SM” with the possibility of manual diaphragm setting was produced.

” Elikon-autofocus “

Elikon-autofocus is the first Soviet small format camera with automatic focusing. Designed on the basis of Elikon-3, Elikon-4, Elikon-35S cameras. Lens “Industar-95” 2.8 / 38, non-replaceable. Focusing is automatic in passive mode.

Auto focus range from 1.1 m to infinity. Electronically controlled central aperture shutter. No B shutter speed. In automatic mode, the shutter operates continuously from 1/8 (at an aperture of 2.8) to 1/500 s (at an aperture of 16). You cannot change the shutter speed-aperture combination. The camera “Elikon-autofocus” is a software machine. When the flash is extended, it automatically turns on. When shooting with a flash, the lens aperture is set depending on the sensitivity of the film and the distance to the subject (the lens aperture changes during autofocusing).

“Elikon-535”

“Elikon-535” is a small format compact scale camera with a caseless body with manual exposure setting. The last camera designed by BelOMO.

Lens “Minar-2” 3.8 / 35.

Central shutter-diaphragm. At an aperture of 3.8, the shutter speed is 1/90 s, at an aperture of 16 – 1/512 s. No B shutter speed. There is no shutter speed control on the camera, there is only aperture control. Setting the exposure – according to the weather symbols. You cannot change the shutter speed-aperture combination.

Medium format cameras

“Relay race”

In the late 1950s – early 1960s BelOMO together with LOMO produced a medium format scale camera “Relay” with a tubular (folding) triplet lens “T-35” 4/75. Center shutter, exposures from 1/8 to 1/250 s and “B”. Frame size 6 × 6 cm, insert 4.5 × 6 cm (roll film type film). Self-timer, synchrocontact.

“Angle”

“Rakurs-670” and “Rakurs-672” are medium format (rollfilm-type film) single-lens direct-sight cameras (without a viewfinder, on frosted glass instead of film). On the optical bench, there is a mounting unit for a cassette with a photographic film and a movable objective panel connected to it by means of fur. The objective panel allows you to shift the lens relative to the film, making perspective correction (shift lens). Professional cameras for pavilion photography, no more than 2,200 copies released.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *