Here’s the Iskra, a particularly well made Russian 120 folder from 1960. This may be one of the
best Soviet cameras ever made! It seems to have been based on the Agfa Isolette II.
The Iskra (means “spark”) was the 2nd to last Russian 120 folding camera (Iskra II was the last and had a selenium light meter), and was a very high end effort by KMZ in Kraznogorsk. They were made from 1960 to 1963, and they replaced the Moskva 5.
I bought my example from the Fedka Store for US$205 with guarantee, and it works perfectly. The things to watch out for are light leaks in the bellows, and worn out frame counter. It has a an automatic frame counter like a Rollei Automat. They were very well made, but many were very heavily used by pro photographers. Some were converted to the red window and the counter removed. Mine appears to have
only been lightly used, and only had dry grease on the shutter, easily remedied by Harry at Camera Max. It has a sweet little leather case, and looks very Indiana Jones. It folds very flat, and if your coat pocket is wide, it might fit.
Anyway, the data:
Size: not all that big.
Weight: very heavy.
Materials: metal, glass, leather.
Viewfinder/rangefinder: integrated, very bright, 55mm baseline, parallax correction. Accurate!
Lens: Industar 58, Tessar type, 4 element, f/3.5 to 22. Sharp! Excellent bokeh!
Focus: helical, rangefinder coupled, 1m to infinity.
Shutter: Moment leaf type, 1 to 1/500sec. plus B. Accurate! Flash sync with all speeds, PC socket.
Note: the shutter and aperture have an interconnect for setting same exposure values, and most important, YOU MUST CHANGE THE SHUTTER SPEED BEFORE YOU COCK THE
SHUTTER!! This is the opposite of almost every other Russian camera.
Film: 120 rollfilm only.
Service life: with a CLA’ing every decade or 2, probably forever. Harry at Camera Max tells me that there is a leather processor in LA that makes bellows to order in colours. The bellows can be replaced, if necessary for about US$100.
I think that for reasons of fine art, 120 film will be around for the foreseeable future. If you find one of these, your multiple-great grandchildren may use it.