Macro Function on Lomo Smena 8M


Did you ever want to take a photo of a subject that is closer than 1m from the lens using the Smena 8M? Or did you want to make a self-portrait with your Smena 8M? I think I've got the solution for you!

This was actually an accident. I needed to disassemble the lens of the Lomo Smena 8m is a classic mid-80s for overhaul and I didn’t know how to do that. I had more of this camera, and I was trying to build one working piece from those 3. It’s super simple, you’ll need just one thing, a marker.

The tip that I didn’t know before was to mark when the lens is on “Infinity” and “1M” with a marker to remember the factory focusing. You can make a short line, like me, or just a dot, or anything what does the job.

So I turned the lens on “infinity focusing distance” and then continued screwing. A little more pressure and the little pin broke inside (more about it later) and I could unscrew the lens completely. When the top of the lens was off, I saw that a little pin was released. The pin’s work was to avoid twisting the lens behind the 1 meter mark and the infinity mark. On the photo, there’s a hole where the pin was inserted.

On the lens part there was a stopper, you can leave that where it belongs.

Just take the pin from inside of the lens and screw it back. You may miss the thread and end with the different distance from lens to the shutter (or film). To fix this you have marked the edge of the body on lens with the marker. When it doesn’t fit, unscrew it, move a little bit and try again until it fits.

What this allowed me to do is to turn the lens on a distance closer than 1 meter! Unfortunately, you don’t know how much to turn it for focusing on certain distance, so it’s just about guess and practise. Here’s a gallery of my “focused on shorter than one meter” lomographs. Some of them are badly focused as I explained earlier (mostly a little behind the subject), but they’re still focused shorter than 1M….like the self-portraits shot from 60 centimetres..

It should be possible to calculate the circular distance of turning the focusing ring depending on the distance I want to focus on, according to existing values written on the lens by manufacturer. But I wasn’t very good at school so if there is someone who could help with the Math you should leave a comment below!

The Lomo Smena 8m is a classic mid-80s icon dug deep from LOMO factory. Its 3-element glass Triplet lens yields eye-popping colour and contrast, and its manual settings gives you full control over your images. Get your hands on this piece of photographic history here.

written by tomas-scigulinsky on 2012-04-26 in #gear #tipster


  1. whitemikerocks
    whitemikerocks ·

    great tipster!

  2. alexander_krolikowski
    alexander_krolikowski ·


  3. tomas-scigulinsky
    tomas-scigulinsky ·

    Since then, I got better with the focusing so here are some new pictures taken thanks to this modification:

  4. paologigli
    paologigli ·

    There are easiest way, without braking anything.
    Consider 4th photo and 1st one. On distance metering ring are holes (photo 1, one is visible) on 120 degrees. Behind them are 3 small bolts connecting distance metering ring with lens tube.
    Unscrew them (1.8x0.3mm screw driver, maybe you have to make it using 2mm tempered wire) 4 or 5 turns anticlockwise and metering ring will be free to pull from lens tube.
    It is wise to put aperture to 4 and metering ring to minimal distance distance before freeing the ring.
    Then you could turn lens tube maximum 3 turns clockwise. You could check it by putting distance ring back to minimal distance with aperture on 4 (numbers are on distance ring) to be able to use aperture markings. Screw 3 bolts (tight enough but not to much, distance ring is aluminium part and thread is small, to much force will ruin the thread)

    I was going to use lens tube to my mobile phone macro contraption but lens tube did not fit optically. A small field of view. I proceed to use laser pointer lens...

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