Whether you take photos or collect cameras, in some regions of the world being a photography enthusiast can be though. One of the most curious photography news in a long time is about an Ukrainian camera collector, who faces up to 7 years of prison, for possession of antiquated soviet spy cameras. Yes, you’ve read that correctly, just because he has two of the “F-21”, aka Ajax-12, in his collection Alexandr Komarov will have to defend himself at court this Tuesday.
And this is what the KGB snap-o-mats, made in the 1950ies, look like:
In comparison to today’s smartphones, these old “boxes” are quite laughable espionage tools. And the perverse thing is, even in the Ukraine, you can buy the technically identical Lomo Zenit MF-1, which is not on the black list. Yep, that’s the kind of difference a label on a product can make, when outdated laws are still being applied to the letter.
But don’t fear, in the West, namely in the USA, this problem has been recognized long since, that’s why photographers, who “behave suspiciously”, are subject to government surveillance. In fact, regardless of whether you are holding a soviet F-21, the technically identical Lomo, a smartphone or a DSLR in your hands. To be classified as suspicious, all you have to do is look like a “Middle Eastern” or “a Chinese national”. In addition, should you be taking photographs of bridges, dams, courthouses, and post offices, you should know that there is trouble ahead. For more details read the following article.