Found this on a Russian current events and trivia blog ... they had a brief retrospective of Yuri Gargarin, showing some photographs of him out-of-uniform and doing 'regular' activities.
The blog mentions he was an avid photographer, and a couple of the photos in the blog show him handling cameras.
Here's the first photo:
Needless to say, I was quite surprised to see him with a Praktica camera around his neck! No plain-old proletarian Zorki or Fed for this famous cosmonaut! If I am not mistaken it's a variant of a Praktica Pentina.
In the other photo, we see Mr Gargarin at home with two cameras near by. The one in his hand looks like some kind of early SLR. An Exakta? Maybe a Soviet 'Zenit'? Maybe a 'Start'? I can't tell.
It's interesting to note the box behind him in the background in this shot -- somehow Mr Gargarin owned a Yashica! This would be extremely difficult for most people in the USSR ... imported consumer goods were scarce and extremely expensive, but I'm sure he had some good connections.
Anyway, just wanted to post these out of fun and interest. They were taken from the following website: