The images below were produced by the Soviet Venera landers. 'Fish-eye' lenses were used by the landers to produce the widest possible view of the local landscape. As a result, the horizon, where shown, appears circular, instead of horizontal. (To see (partial) versions of these images corrected for this distortion, visit Ted Stryk's site, http://www.strykfoto.org/venera.htm).
I obtained these images from various NASA sites, such as the NSSDC Photo gallery. Use of images from NASA sites by educational, non-commercial sites such as mine is generally noncontroversial, providing credit is given where credit is due; but commercial use would undoubtedly require copyright releases from the original source, which is presumably the Russian (Soviet?) Space Agency, or whatever agency or subagency has inherited the copyrights, in the years since they were taken.
Surface image taken by Venera 9 lander
Surface image taken by Venera 10 lander
Surface images (above and below) taken by Venera 13 lander in opposite directions
Color images (above and below) of the surface of Venus by Venera 13
(Soviet Planetary Exploration Program, NSSDC, apod031130)
Composite of the left and right color images (above) and b/w image (below)
Venera 14: March 5, 1982
Venera 14 landed 13 degrees south of the Venusian equator, near the eastern flank of Phoebe Regio. Its electronics survived for about an hour before being 'cooked' by the high surface temperature, during which time the lander transmitted the images below, and performed an analysis of a sample of the surface rocks. (As with all Venera images, these are 'fish-eye' views, in which the horizon is shown as circular, instead of horizontal.) Flat, basaltic rocks, formed by presumably ancient lava flows, dominate the landscape. Unlike the images from other Venera landing sites, no significant degradation into soil-like material is visible, so perhaps the flows which produced these basalts were more recent than those at the other sites.
X-ray fluorescence analysis of the surface sample indicates that, as at the other Venera landing sites, the basalts shown here have very low amounts of sodium and potassium compared to basalts formed at the surface of the Earth; such alkaline-deficient (tholeiitic) basalts are, however, commonly found at mid-ocean ridges, such as the mid-Atlantic ridge.
Surface images (above and below) taken by Venera 14 lander in opposite directions
(NASA, Russian Space Agency, NSSDC Photo Gallery)