The Rise of Communist Chic - 'Sent from my iPhone'

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There's a sort of notion that if something was made in the Soviet Union/Eastern block, then it's reliable/easily repairable by an end user, like you see with Trabants. It's a sentiment very much echoed in popular media, even on Top Gear with respect to communist cars. That's partly behind the appeal, as well as the desire to be 'edgy' - etsy is partly to blame for facilitating it, since it's flooded with trinkets and goods from the former Soviet Union. From the humble matryoshka to all sorts of medals.

Also, their copies of luxury goods weren't too bad in some cases, such as film cameras, since they ended up importing all the technical knowledge, toolings, equipment, etc. of Leica factories into the USSR as part of war reparations from Germany. Zorkis are known as a 'poor man's Leica', but I don't see that so much as a bad thing with early post-1940s ones since they were made with real Leica equipment and are alright substitutes. East German cameras were still superior to whatever the Russians could put out, however, as Russia's development of consumer cameras stagnated severely.

If we want to go into videogames dabbling in communist aesthetics, then there is one particularly noteworthy convergence of autism that's worth mentioning. It even released on the centenary of the revolution!
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Late, but I don't remember Top Gear ever praising Soviet cars, they were always called garbage that barely worked and when they did paled in comparison to even the shittiest euro car. Being easy to repair were usually aimed at some brands of old cars that you can actually fix with a hammer and a sealant.

OT, the biggest consoomers of this shit is liberal youth who live in a bubble and fantasize about gay space age communism where everyone has everything they want without anyone needing to work for it.
 

Cool Dog

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That, and the cameras were pumped out in the 'quantity over quality' ethos so the USSR could get foreign currency from rebadging importers and tourists.
The quality control shit is what happens when your industry is insulated from foreign competition, it just turns to shit. Same shit happened in my country even tho we werent commies but we have tons of import restrictions and tariffs so local companies can basically sell you a turd in a box and you cant do anything about it.
 

Pixy

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OT, the biggest consoomers of this shit is liberal youth who live in a bubble and fantasize about gay space age communism where everyone has everything they want without anyone needing to work for it.
Don't forget the LARPers and preppers buying former USSR military and political kit like gas masks, badges, helmets, etc. off Etsy.

The quality control shit is what happens when your industry is insulated from foreign competition, it just turns to shit. Same shit happened in my country even tho we werent commies but we have tons of import restrictions and tariffs so local companies can basically sell you a turd in a box and you cant do anything about it.
Funnily enough, it was the East Germans who were by far the most 'innovative' in the Eastern Bloc camera industries, trying to keep up with latest developments, albeit a decade or two behind. It isn't too surprising, considering they were right next door to the hub of camera development in West Germany; there no doubt would have been some degree of industrial espionage going on.

Of course, they couldn't really afford to manufacture modern cameras at a significant volume, and quality control was still a rampant issue for them. They had only just begun plans to introduce their own autofocus-capable camera just before the reunification happened, but there's no telling if it would have even been up to West German standards, or even if anyone would have wanted to buy something that was already outdated before it released.
 

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I've never met a single person into historical chic/kitsch who wasn't a massive sperg. If you think this kind of thing is everywhere then you're spending way too much time with history spergs. The general population still gives zero fucks about it.
 

Cool Dog

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Don't forget the LARPers and preppers buying former USSR military and political kit like gas masks, badges, helmets, etc. off Etsy.


Funnily enough, it was the East Germans who were by far the most 'innovative' in the Eastern Bloc camera industries, trying to keep up with latest developments, albeit a decade or two behind. It isn't too surprising, considering they were right next door to the hub of camera development in West Germany; there no doubt would have been some degree of industrial espionage going on.

Of course, they couldn't really afford to manufacture modern cameras at a significant volume, and quality control was still a rampant issue for them. They had only just begun plans to introduce their own autofocus-capable camera just before the reunification happened, but there's no telling if it would have even been up to West German standards, or even if anyone would have wanted to buy something that was already outdated before it released.
That LCD looks like a sticker tho
 

Pixy

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That LCD looks like a sticker tho
As stated in the article, only engineering mock-ups [The images are of one] were ever built, though they had plans for real cameras.

An old Soviet camera brand, Zenit, teased/released a "new" full-frame digital rangefinder camera, but it's done in collaboration with Leica. The general understanding is that it's Leica internals with Zenit branding and lenses. Up til now, Zenit has mostly been putting out decent lenses.