LOMO or Leningrad Optical Mechanical Amalgamation is a manufacturer of advanced optical instruments, medical equipment, consumer still and movie cameras, projectors, lenses, film editors, splicers, professional sound recorders for motion-picture production based in St. Petersburg, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. The factory is the holder of three Lenin Orders.


The company was founded in 1914 in Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...


It was established as a French - Russian limited company to produce lenses and cameras. It manufactured gun sights during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. In 1919, it was nationalised. In the ensuing years, the state optical industries were reorganised several times. In 1921, the factory was named the Factory of State Optics, G.O.Z. In 1925, camera production was resumed, and several lens designs tested between 1925 and 1929. In 1928, the factory was ordered to manufacture a 9x12 camera, known as the FOTOKOR.

Further reorganisations of the soviet optical factories in several stages finally resulted in that the factory at Leningrad became GOMZ, the Russian Optical and Mechanical Factory.

In the transition period 1932 to 1935 a copy of the Leica camera was developed, the VOOMP I. It was followed by the VOOMP II or the "Pioneer" that was manufactured in small numbers. Simultaneously designers began the development of a single-lens reflex camera for 35mm cine film, possibly inspired by similar work in Germany, especially at Zeiss Ikon in Dresden, since the lens mount is quite similar to that of the Contax cameras of the time. Zeiss themselves were not allowed to pursue their ideas, due to the German armament. The new camera, called the "Sport"
Sport (camera)
The "Sport" camera is the series production model of a prototype camera called Gelveta. The Gelveta was designed and built by A. O. Gelgar between 1934 and 1935. It is the earliest known 35mm SLR camera ever to be built, but less than 200 examples were made...

, was introduced at about the same time as the Ihagee Kine Exakta
The Exakta is a pioneer brand camera produced by the Ihagee Kamerawerk in Dresden, Germany, founded as the Industrie und Handels-Gesellschaft mbH, in 1912.- Characteristics :Highlights of Exakta cameras include:...

 in 1936.

Today LOMO makes military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 optics, scientific research instruments, criminological microscopes, medical equipment, and a range of consumer products. It produced the first Russian camera
A camera is a device that records and stores images. These images may be still photographs or moving images such as videos or movies. The term camera comes from the camera obscura , an early mechanism for projecting images...

 in 1930.

Known as GOMZ (State Optical-Mechanical Plant), the company was transformed under the direction of Mikhail Panfilov, who united several industries and founded the LOMO Association in 1962. Panfilov was the General Director until 1984, when he retired and was replaced by Georgy Khizha as Director General. In 1990 - 1997 Ilya Klebanov
Ilya Klebanov
Ilya Iosifovich Klebanov is a Russian politician. He currently is the Plenipotentiary Presidential Envoy to the Northwestern Federal District of the Russian Federation....

 was the Director General of LOMO Association.

Amateur movie equipment brands were LOMO and AVRORA for cameras and Russ for projectors. Ritm is also used after LOMO for professional sound equipment. It produced the one and only Super 8 sound camera and projector in the USSR.

The company went public in 1993, and was renamed LOMO PLC; it is traded on the RTS
RTS Index
The RTS Index is an index of 50 Russian stocks that trade on the RTS Stock Exchange in Moscow. The list of stocks is reviewed every 3 months by the RTS Information Committee.The index value is calculated in a real-time mode...

 Classic Stock Market.

The company is ISO 9001 certified and exports world-wide. Night-vision devices and telescopes account for 30% of the company's exports. Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 is the largest importer of LOMO products. Medical equipment, fiber optic cables and Endoscopes, optical components and cameras are consumed mainly by the Russian market and other states of the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Military equipment and science research instruments make a significant share of production for export to such countries as Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, USA, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, and other international markets.

Its Maksutov telescope
Maksutov telescope
The Maksutov is a catadioptric telescope design that combines a spherical mirror with a weakly negative meniscus lens in a design that takes advantage of all the surfaces being nearly "spherically symmetrical". The negative lens is usually full diameter and placed at the entrance pupil of the...

 range is highly regarded by amateur astronomers
Amateur astronomy
Amateur astronomy, also called backyard astronomy and stargazing, is a hobby whose participants enjoy watching the night sky , and the plethora of objects found in it, mainly with portable telescopes and binoculars...


The word LOMO is often used to refer to the Lomo LC-A
Lomo LC-A
The LOMO LC-A is a fixed lens, 35 mm film, leaf shutter, zone focus, compact camera introduced in 1984. The design is based on the Cosina CX-2....

and other LOMO branded consumer cameras; while the cameras have a large following around the world, the cameras themselves are a minor product for LOMO PLC.

LOMO is also currently a manufacturer of die-cast models in 1:43 scale. LOMO factory mass produces 1:43 scale models of the 1930s-1950s vehicles on AMO, ZiS, ZiL and GAZ chassis.

Social standing

LOMO is regarded in St. Petersburg for its advanced medical centre, with well equipped facilities for advanced treatment of a range of medical conditions. LOMO medical centre has a steady reputation in general surgery and trauma, oncology and radiology, OB/GYN, pediatrics, physical therapy and other specialties of medicine.

Medical instruments, such as Endoscopes and Surgical Microscopes made by LOMO are used by the doctors at LOMO medical centre, thus helping a prompt feedback from doctors to engineers and designers of medical equipment.

External links

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