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Chapter 7: The Heart: Minitar 1 Lens

Thereupon Mr. Sveriv, Design Manager of the LOMO PLC design office, began to take action. He gave orders to two renowned men in the Russian optical industry to improve the calculations for the Minitar 1 Lens: to Professor Radionov from the LITMO Institute, a respected emeritus with a goatee, and to Lev Sakin, the in-house optical specialist. It was Lev Sakin who was responsible for the recalculations and in 1984 presented the final calculations for the Minitar 1. This lens had a modified radius and a different glass type.

Photo shot with the LOMO LC-A by its head engineer M.G. Kholomyansky

However, before complete production was able to roll, the most important part of a camera, the lens, had to be finished. In contrast to the remaining construction of the camera, this, the praised Minitar I, was invented by optical experts from the St Petersburg’s State Optical Institute (GOI). Just as the compact camera project originally involved two companies – LOMO and Kiev, which then manufactured a copy of the Minox – two optical institutes were also commissioned for the complicated lens.

All soon as It was decided that LOMO PLC should begin with the mass production of their camera, the designers of the LOMO LC-A were also provided with the different GOI and LITMO lens models. Both of these optical Institutes are renowned In St Petersburg for their excellent lenses. After extensive tests Kholomyansky and Co. finally decided in favor of the “Minitar 1” from GOI. This demonstrated excellent quality and was also easy to produce – which for a mass produced camera such as the LOMO LC-A was a decisive point.

The plans were then transferred to the optical department of LOMO PLC where experts went through them with a fine tooth comb again. The people responsible for the optical calculations comprised Mr. Tarabukin (the ‘tar’ of Minitar 1 is taken from the first three letters of his surname) and Ms Zhukova, from the GOI Institute. Although they supplied first class work, difficulties arose during the final assembly at LOMO PLC. “Confound it all” sighed Irina Sowz, the senior person in charge of optical calculations at LOMO PLC and graduate of LITMO Institute, “Our dear friends at the State institute have supplied us with a really magnificent lens. The Minitar 1 produces colours and images brighter, more vivid and sharper than I would have ever dared to dream of. Unfortunately they completely forgot to take the production costs Into consideration. The optical glass of the lens Is simply too expensive and complicated to work on for us to be able to mass produce.”

Photo shot with the LOMO LC-A by its head engineer M.G. Kholomyansky

Irina’s hair stood on end: “Honourable Comrade Sveriv, what should we do?” Thereupon Mr. Sveriv, Design Manager of the LOMO PLC design office, began to take action. He gave orders to two renowned men in the Russian optical industry to improve the calculations for the Minitar 1 Lens: to Professor Radionov from the LITMO Institute, a respected emeritus with a goatee, and to Lev Sakin, the in-house optical specialist. It was Lev Sakin who was responsible for the recalculations and in 1984 presented the final calculations for the Minitar 1. This lens had a modified radius and a different glass type. Even today lenses are still being finished in accordance to the specifications.

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written by cruzron

1 comment

  1. jaalvarez

    jaalvarez

    Great book!!!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam

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