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Smena Symbol (Смена Символ)

Reviews
Posted by Bengt Köhler Sandberg 2014-08-28

Smena Symbol

Made by LOMO between 1971 to 1991.
Found several dates on different sites so I'm not a 100% on how accurate this is.


Specs:

Lens: LOMO T-43 (Triplet) 40mm f/4
3 elements in 3 groups
Closest Focus: 1m (3.3ft)
Aperture: f/4 to f/16
8 bladed aperure
Shutter: 1/250s to 1/15s + B (Bulb)
Leaf shutter
Light meter: None
Battery: None
Flash: Yes, hot shoe
Weight: 365g

Takes 135 film

Operating
Smena Symbol

Viewfinder:

Very simple and small but still works quite good and are bright.


Image quality


Analogue B&W film
Smena
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Smena
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Smena
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Smena
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Smena
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Smena
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Smena
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Smena
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Smena
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Smena
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Bokeh
Smena
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Smena
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Smena
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Smena Symbol
Smena
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Smena
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Flare / Backlight
Smena Symbol
Smena
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Smena
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Smena
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Build quality

Most of the body are plastic but the lens are mostly metal.
So the camera feel a little cheap but has its charm.




Usability

It is a simple, all manual viewfinder camera with no lyzory.
You do have some help when it comes to exposure.
The aperture shows like most cameras a regular f-stop but also a ISO value between 16-250.
Shutter ring also have two set of info, symbols representing different weather conditions like sun, cloud etc.
Plus also the regular shutter speeds.
So this system work by you set the aperture to match your film and then you only change the shutter speed to match the light conditions.
Works quite good and can be handy if you don't have a external light meter.



Conclusion


For those that like these old Russian cameras will probably like this one very much.
The simpleness and the almost all plastic body do narrow down the users which would enjoy it.
But most people that are into lomography will probably like this.

I find it very fun to use and while it has very few features it do have shutter and aperture settings which covers most handheld use.
The lens is however a f/4 so somewhat good light conditions or a fast film may be required.

This camera is also a very similar to the more famous Smena 8 series.
These look more or less the same and also has the same lens from LOMO.
A lens that is somewhat what I expected when it comes to image quality and it didn't disappoint.
Renders very nice with good contrast and bokeh.
Center sharpness it good but corners are soft at bigger apertures.
It handles flare and backlight a little better than expected which is always a nice plus.


Thumbs up:
Image feel
Lightweight
Quiet shutter
Usually very cheap

Thumbs down:
Very plasticky
Corner sharpness
Very noisy to cock the shutter for the next frame



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Technical Info
Scanner: Plustek OpticFilm 7600i
Film: Kodak Tmax 100
Developer: Kodak D76

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