Many of you will have heard of the Lomo, the charmingly cheesy Russian-manufactured film camera that has become the god of its own lo-fi cult in the decades since the fall of the Iron Curtain. Like other less well-organized cheap-camera cults (there’s one that swears by the Chinese-made Holga), the Lomographers counterintuitively embrace the Lomo’s lens vignetting, its oversaturated colours, and even the light leaks in its plastic body. But how many of them know about the role of Vladimir Putin in saving their strange hobby from oblivion?
Meanwhile, Metafilter recently had an entry on that camera collector’s treat, the Soviets’ FED (ФЭД) knockoff of the legendary Leica 35mm rangefinder. Some Eastern Europeans may still be shooting with cameras stamped FED, little suspecting what the initials stand for.