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Variously written as Komsomolets, Komsomolec or Comsomolets, and variously translated as "Young Communist" or "Communist Youth", this camera is the forerunner of the famous
Lubitel TLR and is basically a copy of a late 1930's Voigtlander Brilliant V6. The Komsomolets is not a true TLR. Whilst resembling a TLR, the viewfinder does not focus at all - but is just used for composing the picture.

HERE for a potted history of how the Voigtlander Brilliant, Komsomolets and Lubitel cameras fit together.

The Komsomolets is a rare camera - and I didn't really expect to find one. This example was bought from a very good classic camera shop in the UK,
Arundel Photographica.

Photo of front of Komsomolets

Photo of Komsomolets filters in compartment

Photo of Komsomolets shutter

Voigtlander Brilliant V6


Lens Type

Uncoated T-22 (taking), Uncoated ? (viewing)

Focal Length

7.5cm (75mm)

Maximum Aperture

F6.3 (taking), F4.5? (viewing)

Film Type

120 Roll Film

Picture Size



5 speed ZT-5? + B

Flash Sync


Thanks to Per Backman who emailed me the following information:

"There were two models of Komsomolec, at least according to a book by D. Bunimovich, Prakticheskaya fotografiya (before 1953, I only have a Polish translation). The first model, A, had a "signal mechanism and a counter for transporting the film and counting the pictures made" (the translation to Polish is obviously not made by a  photographer). According to this book, the need for this disappeared as films with numbered backing appeared, and the counting mechanism was replaced by a red  eye, which made the camera and its use easier.

The first model A and earlier B's had the T-21 lens (80/6,3) the later ones (only B) had T-22 (75/6,3)."

Initially the point about the backing paper seems odd as numbered backing paper must have been around at least since 1897 when 120 film was introduced. However 120 film was originally designed for 6x9cm photos and were only numbered for this format (side numbered). When used on 6x6cm format cameras the numbers would not line up with the red window so it was impossible to know how far to wind the film on. Centred numbered backing paper suitable for 6x6cm pictures was certainly around by the late 1930's, but the heyday of the 6x6cm format was not until the 1950's.

Some very helpful
instructions for the Voigtlander Brilliant V6 (of which the Komsomolets is basically a copy) can be found on the MarriotWorld site.

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