Vintage and Classic Cameras
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Smena Symbol (Lomo), 35mm film camera c1970s +

Smena Symbol, made in USSR, from 1970s Soviet era and continuing right up to the modern Russian era, production ending around 1993. The shells are injection moulded plastic whilst the internals are housed in a thermosetting plastic akin to "Bakelite". Entirely manual, it features a focus scale with both metric and imperial numeric and pictorial distances, with a smooth and light action. Shutter speed is set using pictorial lighting conditions, the one in use indicated by a neat yellow flag around the lens barrel, this is unusual, most cameras would use these symbols for the aperture settings. The aperture is set around the front using a ring that indicates the ASA rating of the film loaded, although conventional F numbers are also there. In practice the photographer sets the aperture via the ASA rating, then changes the shutter speed by setting the indicator to the appropriate lighting. Underneath, the shutter speed is also indicated should the user be interested to know. It's actually rather good, and probably a good way to teach exposure to novices - so it gets a "thumbs up" for being different. Lomo cameras gave their name to the art of "Lomography".

This little Smena Symbol is a humble and unpretentious little camera, gladly accepted into the collection as a kind donation from Mrs. Anna Furman, handed to me through a car window as we left Irkutsk in Siberia during our visit in August 2016. This example was made in 1982, as indicated by the first two digits of the serial number, it required no work, merely a clean.

Smena Symbol, Russian Camera

Body No. 82898199
Shutter, three blade leaf shutter, speeds B, 15,30,60,125,250th
Lens, Lomo T-43 f/4, 40mm
Condition, 5F

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