A close look at the Brilliant reveals the Lubitel’s early roots - as the two cameras are quite similar in features and shape. It’s widely believed that GOMZ’s Komsomolets camera was directly copied from this unassuming chap - right down to its non-focusing viewing lens.
The Voigtländer Brilliant
Following on the heels of the Rolleiflex’s success, another German firm (which was actually founded in Vienna back in 1756), introduced its own TLR. The Voigtländer Brilliant was designed as a low-cost and highly simplified alternative to Rollei’s professional offerings, and it entered the market in 1932. A close look at the Brilliant reveals the Lubitel’s early roots – as the two cameras are quite similar in features and shape. It’s widely believed that GOMZ’s Komsomolets camera was directly copied from this unassuming chap – right down to its non-focusing viewing lens. Like the Komsomolets, the original Brilliant’s viewing lens was strictly for getting an idea of your composition. Focusing was set separately on the taking lens. In 1938, a new “Focusing” edition of the Brilliant was released – which featured little gears that coupled the viewing and taking lens. In relation to the Lubitel’s lineage – this focusing camera was the direct inspiration for the first Lubitel camera – introduced 11 years later in 1949. Better late than never!
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