Drug, Rare LTM Rangefinder

Drug (pronounced as DROOG - A Friend in Russian) is one of the rare and exotic Soviet cameras. It is known for its Leicavit type film advance mechanism.

Quoting McKeown: "Rapid film advance level hinges down from bottom. It pulls in a straight line across the bottom to advance the film and tension the shutter, similar to earlier Leica & Canon cameras. Collimated viewfinder (projected frame lines). Interchangeable 39mm Leica-thread lenses".

Some numbers: years or production: 1960-1962, a total of 23,702 cameras were produced by the KMZ (by J.L. Princelle) . This is the first Drug ever offered in the Fedka.com store.

The camera has many other unique features - the film cassette is loaded on the right side and the take-up spool is located on the left, the rewind knob is on the bottom, and the shutter release button is on the front of the camera, above the self-timer lever.

The Drug is very well made, the body is cast and rigid, the finish is much better than on other Soviet cameras of the same vintage. The viewfinder window (combined with a short-based but very accurate rangefinder) has two brightline frames - for 50mm and for 85mm.

The lens is the Jupiter-8 (50/2), the shutter speeds are B, 1/2 - 1/1000.

The film advance mechanism is quite simple - it consists of two sprockets and a chain wrapped around them (like in a miniature bicycle). A linear movement of the lever (which is connected to the chain) turns the sprockets and winds the film. The bottom cover can be easily removed to access the chain which needs periodic cleaning and lubrication. The leather case is also very sturdy, it has an opening on the bottom, so the lever can be retracted and used with the camera in the case.

This particular Drug was made in 1960. It is in good condition, shows some wear and age, but clean overall.

As in any Soviet camera equipped with slow speeds it is important to remember to change the shutter speeds only after the shutter is wound.


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