"Smena" is Russian for "Stinky camera," and this camera lives up to its
name. Not because of its performance
my dear comrade, but by the way it smells.
Have you ever been driving your car and smelled something burning
? You know, that brake pad/electrical fire smell.
Ever overheated a starter motor or burned a clutch ? If you have, then
you know the aroma of the Smena 8.
I'm sure many Soviet camera store workers died from Smena fumes. It's
enough to make a commie try to
wash the smell away with multiple glasses of vodka after a day at the
The aroma must have been legendary at the GOMZ/LOMO factory in
Leningrad. You could probably smell it
all the way to Grzdizxydygrad.
There are unconfirmed reports that Adolph Hitler inhaled Smena fumes
before giving himself a lead lobotomy.
The Soviets were accused of using the same gases against Nazi troops
during the siege of Moscow
As an experiment, I placed the Smena 8 in a brown paper bag and
inhaled the fumes for one full minute. During the
next hour I discussed quantum physics with Elvis Presley. I went
fishing with Sandra Bullock and started a new
religion that worships Ed Sullivan.
The DIN reminder dial is looser than a goose with diarrhea. It will
remind you what your film speed is until you
move the camera. The red dot to the right of the shutter release shows
you where the shutter release is.
There's another red dot on the shutter release itself (see first
photo.) This red dot shows you where the shutter release is.
The case seems to be real leather. I can't tell by the smell though. It
smells like a burning clutch on a 1958 Pontiac
Star Chief. Instead of bringing cows to a slaughterhouse, the Soviets
simply marched them through the
GOMZ/LOMO factory and butchered them in the parking lot.
Export versions of this camera were called "Cosmic 35," "Global 35" and
*** *** *** *** *** ***
The soviets used to lay claim to every invention and technology in the
world. I think they even claimed to
invent baseball. Soviet cameras are frequently copies of other
cameras. The same goes
for soviet lenses. I think they did a worthy job on their optics
The Smena lens is prone to a bit of flare in the highlights. Or is it
Smena glow ? This is a sunny 16 exposure 1/250 at f16.
Same for the previous photo.
The Smena lens zone focuses. This is at two meters. f16
Holyoke range and apple trees. f11.
Gate and lock at 1 meter f11.
February sun. 1600 hours. f16.
Yellow barn - f16
#393 Sabin Street - f5.6
The low sun was just to the left and I thought it was out of the frame.
What you see is isn't
always what you get. This is an excellent example of flare.
Like many cheaper cameras. The Smena performs well within its limits.
More flare. - f8
Film cameras have diverse personalities. I like the Smena 8
personality. It may not have
the mystique of a Leica but it sure as hell smells more.