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KGB
BelOMO
  
S-112
Compact reproduction camera

S-112 (Russian: С-112) was a compact covert reproduction camera, developed in the mid-1980s by BelOMO in Minsk (Belorussia) 1 for use by Soviet intelligence services like the KGB, the MVD and other special services. It was also actively used by the Soviet Union's Border Security services for copying passports and other documents. S-112 is the successor to VUNOCK and ZASLON [2].

The camera uses 21 mm film, which can be cut from a standard 35mm perforated film by means of the supplied film cutter. It uses an internal light source, so that it is not sensitive to varying ambient lighting conditions. For this reason it uses a fixed shutter speed. In fact, it can be used in complete darkness during a covert operation.

The S-112 was delivered to the KGB in a sealed purple carton box, that included the camera, an instruction leaflet, a film cutter and a soft napkin for cleaning the lens occasionally. Batteries were not included and had to be sourced elsewhere.
  
S-112 on its side, with expanded flap

Cameras like the S-112 were used by the Second Chief Directorate (counterintelligence) of the Soviet KGB, when conducting searches of residences and hotel rooms of suspected targets like dissidents, spies, agents, foreign politicians, business men, diplomats, terrorists, etc. The camera was used to copy small documents, like receipts, diaries, notes, identity papers and photographs.

The S-112 was introduced in the mid-1980s, to replace older portable document copy systems, like VUNOCK and ZASLON (C-313), both of which had been developed at the KGB laboratory. It was succeeded in 1992 by the improved KOPIR, which was also made at BelOMO in Belarus [2].

  1. At the time, Belorussia (Belarus) was part of the Soviet Union (USSR).

Original karton in which the S-112 was supplied to the KGB Opening the kit Complete kit (KGB) S-112 camera S-112 on its side, with expanded flap Film cutter Interior S-112 with open film compartment
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Original karton in which the S-112 was supplied to the KGB
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Opening the kit
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Complete kit (KGB)
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S-112 camera
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S-112 on its side, with expanded flap
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Film cutter
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Interior
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S-112 with open film compartment

Features
The diagram below gives an overview of the features of the S-112 camera. The camera is shown with the target opening (i.e. the part that is placed over the document) facing the top right. At the bottom left is the film compartment, which is shown here without a film present in the chamber. At the side is the rectangular shutter-release button. The film advance lever is not visible here.


Before using the device, two special 332/FBS-0.25 batteries should be installed in the battery compartment at the center of the device; one at either side of the lens. Two spare batteries can be stowed inside the protective cover, which also holds two spare 2.5V/150mA E-10 light bulbs.

When ready to shoot, the protective cover is removed by pressing the two circular red buttons (one at either side) simultaneously. At the same time, the flap expands itself, which effectively make the target opening larger. The opening is now placed over the target (e.g. a signature) and the shutter release button is pressed. This turns the four internal light bulbs on, and releases the shutter. Once the shutter is closed again, the film should be advanced to the next frame.

Releasing the expandable flap Protective cover (wit spare light bulbs) removed Light bulbs Lens and battery holders Film compartment (opened) Cleaning cloth Instruction leaflet wit S-112 camera Instruction leafet
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Releasing the expandable flap
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Protective cover (wit spare light bulbs) removed
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Light bulbs
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Lens and battery holders
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Film compartment (opened)
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Cleaning cloth
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Instruction leaflet wit S-112 camera
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Instruction leafet

Bulk cutter
A simple handheld film cutter was supplied, to convert standard 35 mm perforated film into 21 mm unperforated film, suitable for the S-112. The handheld cutter was provided only for ad-hoc purposes, in case the user ran out of film.

In addition, professional cutting devices were available, to produce 21 mm film from 35 mm film in bulk, such as the one shown in the image on the right. It is crank-operated and accepts a standard 35 mm photo film cartridge.

 More information

  

Checklist
  1. Reproduction camera S-112
  2. Film cutter
  3. Cleaning cloth
  4. Passport
Specifications
  • Distance
    Contact with document
  • Target area
    50 x 66.5 mm
  • Lens
    Industar
  • Focal length
    30 mm
  • Aperture
    f/5.6
  • Film width
    21 mm unperforated
  • Film length
    1.25 m
  • Frame size
    18 x 24 mm (negative)
  • Exposures
    36
  • Light source
    4 x light bulb 2.5V/150mA, E-10
  • Power
    2 x 1.2V battery, type 332/FBS-0.25
  • Dimensions
    164 x 82 x 41 mm
  • Weight
    1.3 kg
Documentation
  1. S-112 Passport (Russian)
    Issued 30 May 1991.
References
  1. KGB Spy Museum, S-112 camera
    Lithuania, November 2017.

  2. H. Keith Melton et al., The secret history of KGB Spy Cameras
    ISBN 879-0-7643-5616-2. 2018. pp. 74.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Wednesday 22 November 2017. Last changed: Monday, 21 January 2019 - 10:30 CET.
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