Smenas are the most fun cameras I ever used. I used it during the day only because of the darky apperture (F4). For a whole year it's been my carrying camera, I had a Smena 35 in my backpack everyday.
I got this Smena 35 for free from a guy in a flea market who didn’t know how to operate it. Since then I took around a thousand pictures with it, taking it with me on trips, to the mountain, on the seaside, to work, in the mud and finally to its death (I promise I will repair it soon).
This a very reliable camera, so simple and easy to operate. it has little atmospheric icons besides the main exposure times so you can take a look outside and use “sun” if it’s sunny, “cloud” if it’s cloudy, “rain cloud” if you’re inside.
I noticed the vignette effect is stronger while using the most open aperture (F4) i tend using F4 the most, with 1/250 (“sun”) at the outside. With an ISO 100 film the exposure is almost ok, maybe just a little overexposed – which make my pictures lighter, also colorful. On darker days just use 1/125 and for interior try still F4 with 1/30 or 1/60 if you’re not very sure of your hands.
f\For telling the distance I use “The Door Method” – knowing the a door is 2 meters high, you can approximate common distances. also “At the Reach of Your Hand” is the smallest distance accepted by Smenas – 0,6m. Good to know that one (male) step is 1m. Approximation of distance is important when using F4 because the camera has good optics and it can separate your subject very well from the background if you approximate correctly, or it can hide your subject forever if you don’t! Needless to say it is my most light weight camera!
For slide film you should use an separate light meter because of the precise exposure needed.