The Cold War was a secretive era. Both camps had their own way of gathering intel, not to mention their own research and development departments that thought of ways to get the drop on their enemies. For the Soviets, spy cameras were already a piece of cake as proved by a lot of Russian-made spy cameras we featured a while back but this shooter is definitely one to remember. While other spy cameras are made to look like other objects, this camera was built inside of another camera. Camera inception!
Kidding aside, this is a real deal spy camera that was part of a lot auctioned off last July. The whole collection comprised of 25 Cold War-era spy cameras and was sold at Aston’s Auctioneers. While they served their purpose as high tech tools of espionage back in the day, they are now parts of a collector’s prized stable of unique cameras.
This particular camera is encased in a leather camera case that had a slit at the side, where the camera strap is usually situated. Whoever developed the design thought ahead. They saw that it just might be possible to take photos discreetly, given the look of the encased camera. Whoever who was on the mission just needed to point the side of the camera to the subject and push a small button to make an exposure. Job’s done.
The spy camera encased in the leather case is an F-21 AJAX-12 camera loaded with 21 mm film and fitted with a miniature f/2.8 lens. When its shutter is activated, a flap on the side of the case is kicked open to expose the lens. It was also fitted with a spring-powered “clockwork drive” that allowed the users to take images in quick succession.
Aside from this cleverly designed piece, other interesting spy cameras included a briefcase spy camera, a camera disguised as an umbrella, a rare Riga miniature camera, and one that looked like a regular ladies bag. There are other out-of-this-world spy cameras that were sold in the auction.
How about you? Would you spend some of your hard-earned money on such unique finds? Let us know in the comments section below!