Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-08-2015, 07:06 PM - 4 Likes   #1
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: GMT +10
Photos: Albums
Posts: 10,660
Soviet CIA spy was a Pentax user :)

I found this Pentax snippet in a recent article about a Soviet military rader designer (Adolf Tolkachev) who became a CIA spy in the late 1970's/ early 1980's:

QuoteQuote:
He would leave the office during the lunch hour with secret documents tucked inside his coat, and make the 20 minute walk to his empty apartment. There, he would take out the Pentax camera given to him by the CIA, clamp it to the back of a chair, position a lamp nearby, and make copies of documents. He would return the documents to the office after lunch. He gave the film to the CIA over the course of 21 meetings on the streets of Moscow.
How Adolf Tolkachev Became a CIA Spy in the Soviet Union - The Atlantic

It's a sad story in many ways, like most spy dramas, but I couldn't help but wonder: what model camera was he given?

Probably something simple, compact and capable of fully manual operation like a K1000 or MX, plus a fast and sharp compact prime like the M 50 f1.4.

Nowadays, of course, he could just use his phone.

08-08-2015, 10:54 PM   #2
Pentaxian
g026r's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,329
Given the time period, I somewhat suspect it was an Auto 110.
08-08-2015, 11:15 PM   #3
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: GMT +10
Photos: Albums
Posts: 10,660
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by g026r Quote
I somewhat suspect it was an Auto 110.
That makes a lot of sense - it was available 1978 onwards, it was very compact, it was easy to use (auto exposure, plus used film cartridges), it was well-built, and also capable of very good IQ.
08-09-2015, 03:06 AM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
clackers's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Albums
Posts: 8,092
Defending the Free World ... is there anything Pentax can't do? :-)

08-09-2015, 07:21 AM   #5
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: GMT +10
Photos: Albums
Posts: 10,660
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
is there anything Pentax can't do? :-)
Can Pentax into space?
08-09-2015, 08:17 AM   #6
Site Supporter
gofour3's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 5,174
QuoteOriginally posted by g026r Quote
Given the time period, I somewhat suspect it was an Auto 110.
Yeah makes sense probably something smallish, so I guess that rules out the 6x7?

I bet the "Shaken, not stirred" agents liked the 6x7 and wooden grip.

Phil.
08-09-2015, 02:08 PM   #7
Veteran Member
Cuthbert's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2013
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,573
For copying documents you would be needing a wide angle with little distortion, the Soviets in the 60s used a special "briefcase" with inside a modified Zorki 4 and a Orion 15:



Does the 110 have any wide lens?
08-09-2015, 02:38 PM   #8
Site Supporter
ChrisPlatt's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Queens NYC
Posts: 4,621
Minox, Pentax; same thing...

Chris

08-09-2015, 06:47 PM   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: GMT +10
Photos: Albums
Posts: 10,660
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
Does the 110 have any wide lens?
It had wide primes and a wide zoom. Eg a 18mm wide f2.8 prime, but the field of view wasn't really very wide. In 135 terms the 18mm lens was about 35mm.

Speaking of tiny film cameras, my Olympus XA is more compact than the Pentax 110, and was available at about the same time, and was 'full-frame', not 'crop' like the 110. And there were tiny Minoxes, of course. So if Tolkachev was shooting with the Pentax 110, or even another Pentax model entirely, I would be curious to know why the CIA chose Pentax over other brands.
08-09-2015, 08:43 PM   #10
Loyal Site Supporter
clackers's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Albums
Posts: 8,092
QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I would be curious to know why the CIA chose Pentax over other brands.
We could tell you, Rawr, but we'd have to kill you afterwards!
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, cia, course, documents, office, pentax, pentax user, spy
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
So who was the spy and who just shot off his .... pinholecam Pentax K-3 16 10-15-2013 07:23 PM
Was out with GF1 today, EVF was a necessity djc737 Pentax K-01 6 03-19-2012 06:42 PM
The Independent: Modern art was CIA 'weapon' deadwolfbones General Talk 1 11-03-2010 02:55 PM
I spy a sane person :-) eclipsed450 General Talk 6 12-15-2009 02:56 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:02 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top