It's a Smena!

1.13.2006

So I completely forgot that I was going to share my cool new toy with you all. Without further delay...here it is:

A Smena 8m camera! It's widely known among those who, well, know Herman and me, that he's the tech guy and I'm the old fashioned one. While the world is flying ahead with its digital cameras and such, I'm enjoying going to the past. Thus the Smena.

It's a camera made in the former Soviet Union (note the "made in USSR" inscription) in the 1970's. Apparently, they don't make them anymore; instead, fans of the basically, cheap and piece of junk camera refurbish them and sell them for much more than they are worth. So that people like me can have something fun to play with. You can find other kinds of lomography cameras here.

One of my favorite descriptions of the camera:

"The Smena 8M was scientifically engineered to waste as much shots as possible. Shutter cocking and film advance are separated, allowing to superimpose pictures, or half-pictures if the film partially advanced all by itself. One then usually forgets to focus as the viewfinder gives no focusing indication of any kind.

When shooting, the cocking lever returns to its initial position. Its trajectory naturally meets the fingers of the photographer, stopping the shutter release. Surviving pictures will finally benefit from light leaks, the body being horribly adjusted."

True to form, I had to tape one end of my film to the cassette winder because the film will not actually go through it as promised. Also, of the first role of 36 that I shot, only 6 pictures came out. The ones below are not my photos, but are taken with a Smena 8m, and are the sort of photo I'd love to take with mine.


The instruction booklet is fantastic as well. It's completely in Russian, but I managed to find an English translation on-line. That's where I discovered this gem of information:

"It is necessary to remember that it is expediently to use the weather symbols approximately from 8 a.m. to 17-18 p.m. in the period from April to August and from 10 a.m. to 14-16 p.m. from September to March."

Yikes. Do you think I'll end up on the No-Fly List for having one of these?

3 comments:

Wesley said...

Hmm, I like the 10 rules of lomography, but I'm not sure I have a crappy enough CMEHA to pull it off.

Are the lower shots yours?

Traci said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Traci said...

Well Wesley, I'm sure you can wrap any old shoe box in a garbage bag (make sure you have some sort of mirror in there) and get the same results.

Or not.

Nope, those two on the bottom aren't mine, but they are what I'd love to whip my little Smena into shape and see if it can give me shots like! Here's the person's link (so bad of me not to do that!):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/scootiepye/sets/1836285/

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