GOI Leningrad prototype 1948

GOI Leningrad prototype 35mm film rangefinder camera 1948

Rare prototype of the famous Leningrad camera made in 1948. The GOI-Leningrad was widely unknown for many years and remained mysterious until 1990 when a drawing of the camera appeared in Pont/Princelle's “300 Leica copies” and in 2004 photos of a camera number 2088 has been shown in the second edition of Princelle's “The Authentic Guide to Russian and Soviet Cameras”.

The GOI-Leningrad is an advanced piece of machinery, a 35mm film rangefinder camera, manufactured to very high standards, with a unique lens mount, allowing a quick change of the lenses. Unlike the serial production Leningrad, it does not use a spring drive but a folding, single-action winding lever on the back of the top plate.

The set includes three matching prototype lenses: GOI Uran-14 2.5/3.5cm no.4215 (in a collapsible mount, with front cap), GOI Jupiter-3 1.5/5cm no.4395 (also in a collapsible mount, with front cap) and GOI Industar-33 2.8/8cm no.4320 (with front cap), all three showing amazing technical precision and attention to details, unseen in the Russian serial production cameras.

Photo credit: © Leitz Photographica Auction