Leningrad FAS-1 Space Camera


Hammer Price
incl. Buyer's Premium

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Product number: A00137
Starting Price €30,000
Estimate €60,000 – 70,000
serial number : 61087
Condition : A/B
Manufacture Year : 1961
Leningrad FAS-1 Space Camera

The space race, a defining competition between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War era, ignited a fervent pursuit of technological supremacy in space exploration. Beginning in the late 1950s, both nations vied to achieve significant milestones, such as the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 and the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. This race not only pushed the boundaries of space travel but also catalyzed remarkable advancements in various fields, including camera equipment technology.

The offered camera is an early version of the FAS-1. This highly specialized camera was developed in the 1960s as a part of the Soyuz-3 program, to document the moon's surface.⁠ The construction is a heavily modified Leningrad, featuring a clockwork motor drive without a viewfinder. Every component of this camera is crafted to the highest quality standards. It has a shutter speed of 1/140 and a Bulb mode. The design of the negative window is unique and seems to have been shaped to capture a round object, such as the Moon. All the components are robustly constructed, suitable for use with gloves. It offers both mechanical and electric release options, either direct or remote. It connects to the onboard electronics through a special 19-pole plug. The diaphragm is controlled by a substantial lever located on the left side of the lens, offering three positions: down (fully illuminated moon at f/11), level (half-illuminated moon at f/5.6), and up (light at the moon's terminator at f/2.8). You can find a schematic explanation on a plate located on the hinged camera back.

This camera is extremely rare, with very few known to exist. We auctioned two later Version 2 models in our 22nd and 29th auctions, both in grey versions. The camera is in near-perfect, almost new, working condition, and it includes the original wooden box with the camera's name and serial number.