|BelOMO Vilia Minsk to London to You|
|Created in Minsk :
The Vilia was produced at the MMZ BelOMO factory of Minsk, Belarussia (formerly of the USSR). Founded in 1957, the Belarussian Optical and Mechanical Association commanded a leading position in the optical industry of the former USSR, alongside their equally distinguished partners in St. Petersburg - the Leningrad Optical and Mechanical Association (LOMO).
To this day, BelOMO is a leading producer of all manner of serious optical devices - aerospace cameras, telescopes, military technology, etc. If you need to examine a bacteria sample, "form a digital pulse sequence," or blow up a tank, they can help you!
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|The Vilia :
A remnant of BelOMO's more playful days. Between 1973 and 1986, about 2,000,000 of these gems were produced. Since production ceased, their numbers have dwindled, making a mint-condition Vilia an increasingly rare find. Similar to our iconic LC-A Compact, the Vilia was intended as a manual, Soviet workhorse for everyday photography. It has a funky retro design with a hard plastic body reinforced by brushed metal plates on the inside and outside. Kind of a mix between Dad's favorite wrench and Mom's prized bakelite Fondue set (for special occasions only)!
As a special detail for the Cyrillic maniacs out there, the Vilia title is boldly emblazoned on the front in both Roman and Cyrillic characters (yes, that says "Vilia" as well). Its fully manual controls require you to think before each shot (..set the distance..check the speed..choose your aperture), but also place total creative freedom into your sweaty palms. Placed inside its twisting barrel lens is a "Triplet" multi-element glass lens that yields dazzling saturation and excellent sharpness. Needless to say, the pictures are beautiful; absolutely drenched in color and vibrance.
"Back to the Future" or "Forward to the Past," the Vilia is a priceless artifact of a simpler time that charms you with its old-school features while delivering truly gorgeous shots with a special character unattainable by any modern camera.
|Found in London :
It was a long ride, from the Vienna International airport to the 'burbs of London, but when we were offered the chance to pick up an exclusive quantity of authentic Russian cameras, there was no possible way to resist.We stepped through the door and were promptly greeted with excellent tea and a thick cardboard box. Inside was a shining new Vilia camera - still wrapped in its original tissue paper. Our good friend and business partner offered an additional 249 pieces to the one in our hands, all purchased years ago on his trip to Belarus. This quantity of Vilias are anywhere from 17 to 30 years old, safely stored in their stately photographic warehouse, never opened or touched, and still inside their original packaging. Of course we accept.
Coming to You :
You now have the opportunity to own one of these exceptionally rare Soviet-era gems. Still proudly emblazoned with "Made in USSR," a small quantity is available exclusively for the Lomographic community. Once they're gone, folks, the party is over. A laugh to hold, a gas to use, and an authentic addition to your personal collection, the Vilia is ready to swing around your neck and faithfully (snap!) at your everything in your life.