Lomo Smena 8M - Staff Review

7

Lightweight and simple to use, the Smena 8M is a good camera choice for the amateur photographer.

The word “Smena” literally means “Young Generation” in English – an apt name for a line of cameras produced by the esteemed LOMO factory in St. Petersburg, Russia – as it was designed to make photography affordable and convenient to the hardworking young Soviets at the time. Introduced in 1952, the Smena line proved to be very popular, sustaining production until the late 1980s.

The Smena 8M, a fully manual 35mm shootbox, came to light in the early 1970’s. It was lightweight and boxy, feels like a toy camera in your hands.

Surprisingly, for a plastic camera, it’s capable of producing sharp pictures. While the viewfinder is rather useless – it’s just a lens-less, clear frame that’s pretty inaccurate – it has a coated “Triplet” lens that delivers nice saturation and contrast. The fully manual controls (aperture, shutter speed, and focal distance) allow you to create your images as you please. It’s even equipped with a leaf shutter and PC flash sync – enabling flash syncing at various shutter speeds.

kylethefrench has a cautionary tale to tell:

Don’t try to do Lomography when intoxicated. With that being said, the 8M is the perfect camera for late night adventures – it is small and light as heck and has a fantastic B setting. In addition, it has a few simple features such as focus control, aperture, and shutter speed, making it very easy to screw up your pictures in the most fabulous ways, especially right before last call! When you add in the fact that you can make multiple exposures anytime you like or anytime you simply forget to advance before re-cocking the shutter, the fun cam reaches true glory. The pictures end up looking like how you feel in the morning and that is simply the best way to remember a great night out on the town … of course if you are clear heading you can use this mighty mini for all kinds of high quality realism but either way it is a winner!

Check out his gallery!

written by shhquiet on 2008-05-30 in #reviews #8m #review #staff #lomo #smena

7 Comments

  1. kylethefrench
    kylethefrench ·

    Nice, I made it!

  2. heppy
    heppy ·

    I found that loading this camera was tricky and in some cases didnt even produce exposures because the film wasnt loaded properly (even when it cocked to the next exposure!). My advice is to catch the first 'hole' of your film onto the first prong in the feed. Seems to work everytime for me [:

  3. jonasfx
    jonasfx ·

    very fun to use camera! trying to learn the basics of photography with this.
    btw, thanks for the links~

  4. tommyrambles
    tommyrambles ·

    Smena cameras seem to be tricky to load. I have a Smena Symbol (amazing if you get it right!) and have had numerous films come back blank and been really disappointed :(

    Might try an 8m, looks like you get some great pics when intoxicated! What film were you using?

  5. reachforeignhighs
    reachforeignhighs ·

    The Smena 8m is a bit tricky to load, and rewind, film. But with all my rolls I've managed to get decent, if not fantastic, results. This is the first camera I've owned that has a manually operated shutter and focusing, etc. But it's all in good fun; I think I've become a more accomplished photographer, for being an amateur, after using this camera. The viewfinder is a bit useless, but not as useless as say a Fisheye's.
    The best feature by far is the simplicity of double exposures. I would also recommend using at least 400 speed film unless you want to be patient and use a tripod; or settle for interesting blurs.

  6. javensbukan
    javensbukan ·

    I think the Smena 8M is soo much better looking than the Holga or Diana, I may start a war here; but for me, its just better looking.

  7. bumbles
    bumbles ·

    I have looked at some FANTASTIC results and reviews on this camera .. too bad they are unavailable to Canada T_T

More Interesting Articles

  • Athens Photo Festival to Hold Portfolio Reviews

    written by K. Aquino on 2015-05-08 in #world #news
    Athens Photo Festival to Hold Portfolio Reviews

    APhF has sent an open call for portfolios to be reviewed by a panel of 22 photography experts. Amateur and professional photographers are encouraged to join.

  • Review on the LOMO LC-A 120: A Real Lomography Camera? Yes!

    written by brettlaw on 2015-04-22 in #gear #reviews #videos
    Review on the LOMO LC-A 120: A Real Lomography Camera? Yes!

    When I held the Lomo LC-A 120 in my hands for the first time, I immediately noticed its good feel and beautiful design. The LC-A 120 obviously, is truly, related to the queen of all Lomo cameras, the LC-A.

    2
  • A Review of the Nikon F2

    written by Alexandra Pillet on 2015-06-15 in #gear #reviews
    A Review of the Nikon F2

    Considered as one of the best 35mm SLR cameras, the Nikon F2 is indeed one of the best experiences on film I’ve ever had. Fully manual and almost impossible to break, this historic camera is really marvelous to use.

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Reviews on Rewind: Diana Multi Pinhole Operator

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-04-26 in #gear #reviews
    Reviews on Rewind: Diana Multi Pinhole Operator

    Pinhole photography is too simple, you say? Shake things up a little and push the limits of your creativity with the Diana Multi Pinhole Operator!

  • Reviews on Rewind: Pop 9

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-03-29 in #gear #reviews
    Reviews on Rewind: Pop 9

    The Pop 9 is an analog multilens wonder that allows you to take a mosaic of nine images in one frame à la Andy Warhol's famous pop art. In this Reviews on Rewind installment, we dug through our archives and found these informative reviews of the Pop 9 - just in case you're looking into snagging a fun camera in your arsenal!

  • Photo of the Day by lexikid

    written by lomography on 2015-10-12 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by lexikid

    A good balance between light and shadow is the key to create a compelling photograph.

    5
  • Shop News

    Pixelstick

    Pixelstick

    The most incredible lightpainting tool is here! Consists of 200 full color RGB LEDs in a lightweight aluminium housing will color your analogue world in different way! Create and animate different shades and shapes with the Pixelstick!

  • The Lomography XPro Slide 200 Film and My Holga: An In-Depth Review

    written by Lorraine Healy on 2015-03-23 in #gear #reviews
    The Lomography XPro Slide 200 Film and My Holga: An In-Depth Review

    An Argentinean writer and photographer living in the Pacific Northwest, Lorraine Healy is a long-time fan of plastic cameras and is the author of "Tricks With A Plastic Wonder," a manual for achieving better results with a Holga camera, available in eBook form at Amazon.com. In this article, Healy explains how she fell hard in love with the Lomography XPro Slide 200 film and why she takes it on her many travels.

    3
  • Cinematographer Michal Dabal on the Petzval Lens

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-01-05 in #people #lifestyle #videos
    Cinematographer Michal Dabal on the Petzval Lens

    Here’s what happens before we interview a photographer. We gush about the work though we have yet to find out the cameras and processes behind the brilliant composition or the light architecture. And even when they haven’t used a Lomo camera, we feature them anyway. But every once in a while comes a pro who uses one of our premium lenses at work and our fun cameras off-duty. This makes us mighty glad, more so when their images are good and worth sharing. We count cinematographer Michal Dabal's work among them.

    1
  • A Salute to the Masters: Barkers (A Tribute to Jack Delano)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-05-02 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Barkers (A Tribute to Jack Delano)

    This is tribute to the Farm Security Administration photographer, Jack Delano, and his photographic series dedicated to barkers. For this article, I chose a series of photos I took this year at the traditional Easter Fair in my city, Como, using a classic rangefinder camera loaded with a roll of black and white film.

    2
  • Shop News

    Ondu 4X5 Large Format Pinhole Camera

    Ondu 4X5 Large Format Pinhole Camera

    Want to push your limits in the field of photography? Go large format! This camera uses a 4x5” film and can capture all the subjects you want with this pinhole camera in large format!

  • Lomography X FOTO HITS Medium Format Rumble

    written by Lomography on 2015-11-26 in #world #news #competitions
    Lomography X FOTO HITS Medium Format Rumble

    With an expanded field of view and its ability to produce high quality images and capture minute detail, medium format photography has become the top choice of many photographers. Lomography is working hard to make sure that it keeps going with the continued production of medium format film and cameras. The current issue of German magazine FOTO HITS focuses on medium format photography. And with this rumble, we want to prove why medium format photography is king. Take your Diana F+, Holga 120, Lubitel 166+ or the new Lomo LC-A 120 and show us your best square shots!

    2
  • The LomoChrome Turquoise Meets the Very Talented Mandi K. Smith

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-08-16 in #people #lifestyle
    The LomoChrome Turquoise Meets the Very Talented Mandi K. Smith

    As a child, she would ask her peers to pose for her and photograph them using her mother's camera. That early fascination with cameras has evolved into a lifelong passion. At 25, Mandi K. Smith, the kid from Southern California who spent all her money on film, is now a full-fledged photographer.

    2
  • Robin Rimbaud Shoots with the LC-A 120

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-10-05 in #people #lomoamigos
    Robin Rimbaud Shoots with the LC-A 120

    Robin Rimbaud is a UK based artist, record producer, and composer who works under the name "Scanner" in reference to his use of mobile phone signals and police scanners in his early performances. He has worked on soundtracks for films, sound installations, radio, dance and theater. Robin also has a passion for medium format photography, owns a Holga camera and has a unique photographic style. Get to know him in this interview, where he talks about his personal work as well as his experience with the Lomo LC-A 120.