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 #smena #review #8m #lomo #staff

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

  • A Salute to the Masters: Sports Through A Plastic Lens (A Tribute to David Burnett)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-06-21 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Sports Through A Plastic Lens (A Tribute to David Burnett)

    The great American photographer David Burnett is famous for his unusual photos of sports competitions. He uses a tilt-shift lens to create miniature fakes, or a simple Holga camera to shoot in black and white. To write this tribute, I used my Holga to take some pictures of amateur sport activities around my city. Take a look after the jump.

  • Everyday Family Shots with the Petzval Lens

    written by golfpunkgirl on 2014-05-08 in #lifestyle
    Everyday Family Shots with the Petzval Lens

    Who says you have to be a 'proper' photographer to enjoy the Petzval lens? The Lomography UK GM shows you how good (and easy!) this lens can be even for amateur shooters. Read on and find out more.

  • Family Photos with the Lomo'Instant

    written by ciscoswank on 2014-12-18 in #people #lomoamigos
    Family Photos with the Lomo'Instant

    Instant cameras are useful during birthday parties, Christmas celebrations, or even just simple family gatherings Mai Masuno, former staff member of Lomography Japan, became a mother nine months ago. She photographed her beautiful baby recently using the Lomo'Instant, and shares the lovely snapshots in this feature.

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • Lomopedia: Praktica MTL 3

    written by cheeo on 2014-09-08 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Praktica MTL 3

    Built tough and shoots well, the Praktica MTL 3 is the camera of choice for photographers who are rough on their gear and who expect nothing less than reliable when it comes to SLRs.

    4
  • Wide Angle Photography Tips: Photographing Architecture with the Lomo LC-Wide

    written by sirio174 on 2014-06-06 in #gear #tipster
    Wide Angle Photography Tips: Photographing Architecture with the Lomo LC-Wide

    In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the fantastic Lomo LC-A, and while waiting for the new Russar+ lens, I'll dedicate this article to an awesome super wide-angle camera: my Lomo LC-Wide that I like to use in architecture photography. Here you can read some simple tips I used to take a series of photos in the modern city of Latina in the center of Italy.

    2
  • Sprocket Rocket: a nice camera for my summer!

    written by sirio174 on 2014-04-30 in #reviews
    Sprocket Rocket: a nice camera for my summer!

    Are you searching for a different camera to document your outdoor life in the sunny days of spring or in the incoming summer season? Well, the funny Sprocket Rocket is a great camera - it's simple to use and capable of interesting results. Read more after the jump!

  • Shop News

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    You’ve shouted your analogue love from the rooftops and worn your heart on your sleeve – Now it’s time to take it to the next level and wear it on your skin! Our new Lomography Tattoos are fun, easy to apply and come in five designs.

  • Stacy_mcpommes and her Weapon of Choice: Lubitel 166B

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-10-09 in #lifestyle
    Stacy_mcpommes and her Weapon of Choice: Lubitel 166B

    Not knowing exactly how to do deal with its odd appearance, Nadica first regarded the Lubitel 166B as a complete monstrosity. She left it untouched on her shelf for months after receiving it as a gift. After using other Lomo cameras and getting familiar with the rules on exposure, she finally had the courage to test it. Find out what made stacy_mcpommes fall in love with the Lubitel 166B in this installment of Weapon of Choice!

    5
  • A Salute to the Masters: The Girl with the Scarred Face (A Tribute to Juergen Teller)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-05-16 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: The Girl with the Scarred Face (A Tribute to Juergen Teller)

    This is a tribute to Juergen Teller, a great fashion photographer who continues to work with analogue cameras. In the 1990s he radically changed the way to make fashion photography. His models appear "soap and water", without heavy make-up, and his images seem taken like an amateur photographer. Between his nice works, there is a photos that I like so much, taken in Cuba and called "The Girl with the Broken Nose." Take a look after the jump!

  • 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
  • Shop News

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Fly over to our 30% Discount Section to discover previously unavailable Editions & Clones! Be quick and make one yours before they are all gone again!

  • 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!

  • A Salute to the Masters: The Sirius Space Mission to the Third Planet (A Tribute to Peter Mitchell)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-05-06 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: The Sirius Space Mission to the Third Planet (A Tribute to Peter Mitchell)

    Imagine an alien space mission from a planet of the Sirius Star System to an abandoned industrial zone of Como, a city situated in the North of Italy. The alien photographer named sirio174, used a powerful futuristic camera, called Lomo Lubitel 166U loaded with a Kodak Portra film roll. Yes, no digital, because the future is...analogue! During his journey, he learned the most common language of our planet -- English -- and he wrote this article for us. Read more after the jump!

  • A Salute to the Masters: Football (A Tribute to Lothar Rübelt)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-10-11 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Football (A Tribute to Lothar Rübelt)

    This is a tribute to a great Austrian sports photographer, Lothar Rübelt. In an era with no high speed films available, he was able to immortalize wonderful moments in sports - from diving to gymnastics and football. In creating this tribute, I took a series of photos of an amateur football match using expired black and white film developed using an uncommon chemical. Take a look after the jump!