35mm Russian Spy Camera Masquerades as a Harmless 8mm Video Camera

Soviet photo equipment collector Vladislav Kern recently purchased this crazy camera contraption. Upon first glance, it might look like a 8mm motion picture camera that an ordinary tourist might use, but take a closer look (or open it up) and you’ll see that the design is simply a façade. The device is actually a still camera that exposes 35mm film using a smaller lens on the right side of the body!

Presumably used by a spy/policeman/detective for clandestine photography, the camera features an internal 90-degree prism that directs the view from the lens on the right to the viewfinder in the back.

Most of the “video camera” functions on the camera are for aesthetic purposes only, and the lens on the front is a blind dummy lens.

Various buttons and dials on parts of the camera allow the ninja photographer to adjust camera settings such as shutter speed, focus, and aperture.

For a modern day equivalent of this, check out this Right Angle Spy Lens designed to be used with modern DSLRs.

Just bought a really weird camera, analysis needed [USSRPhoto]

Image credits: Photographs by Vladislav Kern and used with permission

  • kendon

    yo dawg…

  • Travis

    If you look at it, it’s basically a Smena 8M. Same lens, same knobs and dials… Well played, Russia.

  • Ken Shin

    When it was apparent the normal pens couldn’t be used in the International Space Station, the US spent millions developing a pen that could write in space while the Russians just used pencils.

  • 9inchnail

    A camera disguised as… a camera. Amazing. No wonder, Russia is number one in the world. Oh, wait…

  • Vladislav Kern

    9inchnail – LOL!!

  • Jacqui Dee

    That camera is *tiny* in standards of 35mm or even 16mm, particular from a camera 30+ years old. It’s a great display of innovative technology. What’s ‘being number 1′ got to do with it? It’s possible that it was used for internal policing, it may not have been used for the cold war if that’s what you’re implying with ‘number one’.

  • val escobar

    Those wacky Russkies

  • The_photographer_Tom

    Re the title. It’s actually masquerading as an 8mm FILM camera.