60 Years in the Making
1967. While the “Summer of Love” movement was happenin’ in San Francisco, and Marvin Gaye with Tammi Terrell topped the USA sales charts with “Aint No Mountain High Enough”, something very crucial to the analogue world was taking place in the town of Krasnogorsk, Russia: the first Horizont swing-lens panoramic camera was born. From its initial introduction, this amazing and stylish instrument captured the imagination of both domestic and international customers – and sold an astonishing 50,000 pieces within its first 6 years of production due to the Horizon's camera technology, which was quite radical for its time.
Following the war in 1948, the newly minted Soviet Union was keen enough to learn from its mistakes and to move into its spot on the world stage as one of the biggest superpowers.
With this goal in mind, it commissioned Zenit for the development of the FT-1 camera – an optical wonder designed to trace the accuracy of artillery fire. Using a 50mm lens and a huge 110mm film cartridge, it could trace a full 120 degrees of vision – thereby verifying both the launch and impact of a projectile. This technology was refined by the later FT-2 and FT-3 cameras – and ultimately adapted into the civilian-use Horizont.
Moving on to 1989 – Zenit introduced the Horizon 202, featuring the same basic Horizon mechanics and principles, with its tooling and optics updated with the latest technology. Designed by P.A Tikhomirov and supported by Italian technical firms Manfrotto and Silverstri, this item was favoured by Lomographers approximately 10 years ago, and became the tool upon which we initially built our panoramic archive and business.
Together with our friends from Zenit, we bring you the Horizon Kompakt and Perfekt cameras! After reviewing the best features of the 202, we created the Kompakt for effortless snapshots and the Perfekt for precise professional work.
150 YEARS IN THE MAKING
Panoramic photography has been around for 150 years – thanks to Austria’s Joseph Puchberger, who patented a hand-cranked panoramic camera consisting of successive Daguerreotype plates. The resulting image yielded an amazing 150 degrees of vision.
Founded in Krasnogorsk, Russia - the Zenit factory dates back over 60 years to its original birth date of 1942.. A few notable spots on their timeline are as follows:
The Krasnogorsky Zavod plant is founded and open for business.
The special design bureau for developing aerial cameras and artillery optical devices is organized at the plant.
A projector for Lenin's library in Moscow and a charming set of opera glasses are the first peaceful production of the plant. The first home folding amateur camera "Moscow-1" is also produced.
The “Zenit” trademark is created and introduced onto every product.
The first “Zorki” rangefinder camera is introduced. These excellent items will live on for years as a mainstay of Zenit's photographic line.
The first Zenit single-lens-reflex camera is introduced.
The first pictures of the Earth's surface are taken from space with Zenit's amazing AFA-39 aerial camera.
Zenit's lenses win the “Grand Prix” in a Brussels-based optical competition.
Zenit's AFA-E1 camera supplies the first images from the dark side of the moon.
The Zorki 10 compact camera wins a Gold Medal at Leipzig 's World's Fair.
The plant is awarded with Lenin's order for outstanding service to the State and credited with fulfillment of the Seven-year plan of 1959-1965.
The first Horizont panoramic camera is introduced!
Zenit is awarded the Order of the Red Banner for innovation in technology
The Horizon 202 panoramic camera is launched!
The 50-year anniversary celebration is held. Everyone is late to work the next day.
Zenit becomes a private, shareholder enterprise under the name ”S.A.Zverev KRASNOGORSKY ZAVOD" Open-End Joint Stock Company.”
Compact cameras are introduced into the product line.
Zenit wins the Victoria Prize and Laureate Diploma for excellence in design at the 8th All-Russian design exhibition.
Entering into a historic partnership with the Lomographic Society International, Zenit introduces the new Horizon Kompakt and Perfekt panoramic cameras.