PHSNE member Vladimir Khazan will offer a program on the Gelveta and Sport cameras on Sunday, October 1, 2023 at 7:30PM EDT via Zoom. Sign up now to receive the Zoom invitation.
The Gelveta, which later became the Sport, was designed and built by Soviet photography and cinematography enthusiast A.O. Gelgar in the 1930s. It derived its name from the first three letters of Gelgar’s name followed by the abbreviation of the manufacturer’s name, Military Electric Technical Academy (note: Military begins with “v” in Russian). “It is the earliest known production 35mm SLR camera ever to be built, but fewer than 320 examples were made” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_(camera)).
“The actual launch date of the ‘Sport’ is somewhat uncertain, however it was in series production by 1936 and must undoubtedly be one of the two earliest generally available SLR cameras using the 35mm film format, the other being the German Ihagee Kine Exakta, launched in 1936.” The engraved name “Cnopm” above the lens represents the name of the camera in Cyrillic.
The camera had a brief history because manufacturing ceased when Germany invaded the U.S.S.R. during WW II. Almost 20,000 were produced prior to the siege of Leningrad in 1941, but production was not resumed after the war. Khazan will talk about the invention and manufacturing of the camera, offer biographical background information about Gelgar, and explain how the camera “made its way to the customers.”
Khazan, a Russian-born photography enthusiast, has had a varied career as engineer, medical professional, and professor. He earned a Master’s degree in mechanical manufacturing engineering from Riga Polytechnic Institute and worked at the “gigantic” VEF plant in Riga, Latvia. He worked as an engineer in the U.S. until 2003, a cardiovascular sonographer until 2007, a professor until 2020 when COVID hit, and he recently returned to a position as a mechanical engineer. His passion for photography began when he was twelve years old and continues to this day. See http://www.sovietcams.com/index474e.html for more information about the Sport camera.
Don’t miss this engaging presentation and discussion Sunday, Oct 1, 2023 at 7:30PM EDT on Zoom. Be sure to visit the PHSNE Virtual-Meetings channel on YouTube (@phsnevirtual-meetings8752) for more photographic history presentations.
What the heck…
Are Those Even Cameras?!
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