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Most of us have spent at least part of another year in lockdown, and here at Kosmo Foto HQ that has meant getting to grips with a bunch of new cameras. Amidst all the flitting about London – socially distanced, of course, I’ve also been working on a bunch of reviews for the site.

Not as many as I’d have hoped, I’m sorry to say – I only ended up adding two reviews to the site this year, and one of those was revisiting an earlier review of the Lomo LC-A. (Well worth revisiting, in my book, as that’s the camera that singlehandedly lit the spark for film photography 20 years ago.)

But Kosmo Foto’s readers have very much come to the rescue, and reviewed some weird, wonderful and workmanlike cameras over the course of the year. Here we’ve rounded up all the reviews of 2021 for you to take a look. 

Lomography Sprocket Rocket (Jay SE1)

The Sprocket Rocket is one of Lomography’s more interesting original cameras, a plastic panoramic with some decidedly retro styling.

Mamiya 35D (Giacomo D’Agostini)

In the 1960s and 70s, most major camera manufacturers competed for the rangefinder market, and Mamiya was among them. Giacomo D’Asgotini takes a look at a sturdy, classic 60s model from the Japanese camera maker.

KMZ Moskva-5 (Howard Sandler)

The mighty Soviet camera works at KMZ made much more than the well-known Zenit and Zorki ranges. The Moskva cameras were well made copies of the Zeiss Ikon Ikonta cameras, and the Moskva-5 is widely regarded as the best of the bunch.

Gevabox (Keith Walker)

Heard of the Gevabox? Us neither, at least until Keith Walker presented us with this review of the 1950s-era box camera. 

Kiev-4 (Hubregt Visser)

In the 1940s, the Contac rangefinder production plants in Dresden were m oved lock stock and barrel to Kiev in the Soviet Union; the Kiev-branded Soviet Contaxes were produced right up until the late 1980s. Hubregt looks at the late-model Kiev-4.

Praktica Nova 1B (Keith Walker)

During the Cold War the massive camera factories of VEB Pentacon churned out a bewildering number of Praktica M42-mount SLRs, most of them low on frills but very reliable. Keith Walker looks at the late-60s-era Nova 1B.

Minolta Maxxum 7000 (Kevin Lane)

It’s the mid-1980s, and SLR manufacturers are falling over themselves to try and take ground in the newly competitive autofocus-SLR market. The Maxxum-7000 (or 7000Af) was one of Minolta’s flagship models in this new age of autofocus.

Lomo Voskhod (Ivan Bernal Palli)

In the 1960s, Soviet camera designers brought out some truly beautiful designs intended to compete with Western cameras. One of them was the Lomo Voskhod, a really interesting viewfinder camera with some luxurious touches. 

Minolta X-300s (London Camera Project)

When London Camera Project picks up with his Minolta X-300s, images of the Steven Seagal canon flicker in his mind. Only one thing to do – get it down on paper. At least one of the things mentioned in this review is an unarguable classic….

Olympus Pen D (Jay SE1)

Olympus’s Pen family of half-frame compact cameras are stylish and much loved. Jay SE1 looks at one of the best, the diminutive Pen D.

Canon 7 (Lester Ledesma)

Canon didn’t just make groundbreaking SLRS – their screw-mount-Leica rangefinders were a deserved hit and still have a loyal; fanbase. Lester Ledesma looks at one of the most iconic, the Canon 7.

Olympus iS-3000 (Bill Watts)

In the early 1990s, Olympus pre-empted digital cameras with a range of ‘bridge’ SLRs, featuring integrated zoom lenses in a larger camera body. Bill Watts puts one of them, the iS-3000, through its paces.

Ricoh FF-9 (Kosmo Foto)

The next cult compact? It won’t likely be seen on the red carpet and is unlikely to spark an Instagram influencer explosion, but Ricoh’s FF-9 is a fantastic little camera, especially for its modest price tag. 

Lomo LC-A (Kosmo Foto)

The Lomo LC-A isn’t just your average Soviet knock-off of a Western camera; it spawned a genuine new movement in photography based on experimentation and shooting from the hip. Kosmo Foto does a deep dive on life with this camera after using it for more than 20 years.

Salyut-C (Jayden Guthrie)

Meet the Hassel-vlad: the modular medium format SLR made in the image of Sweden’s groundbreaking design, butmade in Soviet Kiev. It’s heavy and low on frills, but is this Ukrainian monster worth a second look?

Want to review a camera for Kosmo Foto in 2022? Drop us a line at foto.dowling@gmail. Every published review earns you two rolls of Kosmo Foto film.

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Stephen Dowling
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