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GOMZ Nyeva

These pictures illustrate the surprising degree of innovation GOMZ introduced with the Nyeva. Focus was by the knurled wheel to the left of the taking lens, which rotates the upper (viewing) lens and moves the taking lens in and out via a helical gear without rotation. The camera has both an automatic frame counter above the crank and a red window at the rear.

The crank is a spring-return type which rotates about 270 before returning, and thus like the prewar Ikoflex III rather than the Rolleiflex in style. It is not particularly well-designed from an ergonomic perspective, perhaps owing more to a desire to be different. Aperture and exposure are coupled in EV settings, with a rather neat sprung catch below the taking lens to adjust the coupling; the concept seems to have been copied from the Rolleiflex T, although I find the GOMZ approach neater and simpler in concept.

The hood design is from the Lubitel, but with a rather stylised top, with a unique Nyeva logo incorporating a Leningrad steeple (see at right). The viewfinder itself is an adapted Lubitel one (itself a copy of the prewar Voigtlander Brillant) with a brilliant finder and ground-glass focusing spot in the centre. Purists will differ, but I find this design rather easier than the usual full ground-glass screen in upper-end TLRs, which can be very difficult to see through in poor light. (See also the photos at the bottom of this page of the other camera to use this logo and name).

The camera is well-made, with all the parts seeming of high quality; little wear is evident, even after fifty years. Markings are in Russian, and I suspect that the Nyeva never got beyond the point of distribution to higher Party officials and Russian professional photographers. Why production ceased is rather a mystery. If any one can provide more information PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

The other camera to use the Nyeva name is a strange three-lens movie camera, which is reasonably common in Eastern Europe.