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The Professionalnaya Klappkamera „Reporter“ was designed by A.K. Ionissiani with the help of the engineers Rybnikov, Postnikov and Pimenov. It is a Klapp-type folding camera (the German word “Klapp-“ means “folding”), half Plaubel Makina (format, body appearance, struts, rangefinder), half Zeiss Ikon Deckrullo-Nettel (focal plane shutter).

But the “Reporter” is not a mere copy, it shows that Russian engineers had mastered the complex camera technology of the 1930s in only a few years and were capable of quite original improvements of the original design.

Presented in the July, 1937 issue of the “Lubitel Foto” and in the November, 1937 issue of Sovetskoe Foto in an article by I. Uvarov, then director of the firm of GOMZ, the “Reporter” actually did not enter into series production until 1939 (cited from Princelle, The Authentic Guide  to Russian and Soviet Cameras, 2nd edition 2004).



Production period: ca 1937-1940
Name: „Репортер“/ "Reporter"
Produced by GOMZ.
Format: 6.5 x 9 cm plates, film packs, roll film with adapter.
Lens: GOMZ Industar-7  f/3,5 f=10,5 cm.
Focal plane shutter  1/5s - 1/1000s, B, T.

Quantity: appr. 1000 units.




PK0820 - Reporter  #0006.






PK0805. In 1937 at least a dozen of prototype Reporter cameras were fitted with central shutter/lens units that had been "borrowed" from the rather simple "Tourist" cameras manufactured by GOMZ in 1936-1940. Focusing was done by turning a knurled wheel located on the left side of the front panel of the camera (see picture below). 


The picture opposite was kindly provided by the authors of the already famous SSK book "1200 cameras from the USSR".


PK0805 - Reporter prototype camera.



PK0810. Prototype Reporter camera already fitted with focal plane shutter. The wheel on the right side of the body tensions the shutter and sets the shutter speed. Dedicated Industar-7 lens f/3,5  f=10,5cm with nice art-deco lens cap (see below). The camera has no serial number yet. GOMZ logotype placed on the upper part of the front panel. Focusing is achieved in the same way as in the PK0805 camera above. Changed design of the neck-strap lugs. Very few cameras released in 1937 (only two examples known to exist).



PK0810 - Reporter prototype camera.



PK0815. Short-run preseries version of the Reporter, very similar to type PK0810, but with new lens bayonet (see camera opposite). Significantly changed design of the lens mechanics, now the lens is focused by a radial lever on the front panel. The GOMZ logo is located in the upper part of the front panel.


Sample from LOMO (Russia) archives.


PK0815 - Reporter camera.



PK0820. The camera is identical to PK0815, but with the GOMZ logo situated in the lower part of the lens panel already. Serial number engraved on the rear side of the body casting (normally covered by the ground glass adapter or the cassette). Chrome plated rim on shutter tensioning knob. An arrow engraved on top of the rangefinder housing shows how to open the folding viewfinder. This is probably the first series version of the Reporter camera.




PK0820 - Reporter  #0006.



PK0825. Identical to PK0820, but without the GOMZ logo in the lower part of the front panel. Changed front rim of Industar-7 lens. There is no quatation-marks around nameplate markings (see picture below). The only camera so far known has serial number 0189 (in a private collection).


The opposite picture of this camera was kindly provided by the authors of the already famous SSK book “1200 Cameras from the USSR”.


PK0825 - Reporter  #0189.



PK0830. It seems that GOMZ had released yet another limited batch of Reporter cameras with central shutters (see camera montage opposite). The camera is fitted with a Zeiss Ikon Compur shutter (speeds 1, ½, 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/250, T, B) and a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar lens f/4,5  f=10,5cm. An additional accessory shoe is mounted instead of the folding Galilean viewfinder. New shape of the front panel without cut-outs for the focusing wheel on the left side. A version without engravings on the front panel is known (Note:  the PK0830 camera is possibly a fake).


PK0830 - Reporter camera.



PK0835. Less common version of the regular Reporter camera. New shape of the front panel with no cut-outs for the focusing wheel on the left side of the lens panel already. Different mounting of the rotating wedge part of the rangefinder with no visible screws. Black rim of the shutter tensioning wheel. At least a few examples are known to exist, e.g. serial number 0286 (Alain Berry coll.)


Camera opposite is from a private collection in Europe.


PK0835 - Reporter camera.



PK0840. Identical to PK0835, but with regular front panel again. This is the most common version of the “Reporter”. Reshaped accessory shoe (see below), black shutter tensioning knob, some minor details of the front panel have changed as well. The highest serial number known so far is No. 0475 (private collection in Europe). 





PK0840 - Reporter  #0432.



PK0845. Very rare version with redesigned top portion – the rangefinder is already integrated into the viewfinder (combined range-viewfinder), the accessory shoe is relocated to the left of the top of the rangefinder housing. New design of the rotating wedge part of the front panel. No maker’s logo any more. Otherwise the camera is identical to PK0840.

This picture was kindly provided by the authors of the already famous SSK book “1200 Cameras from the USSR”.


PK0845 - Reporter camera.