There is an unknown camera in the “Lomo meccano erector set”. It's a cam made for children from 8 to 14 years old, during the 70’s. This cam is a sort of mix beetween a Smena 8M and a USSR panzer, made for children. Let me introduce you the Meccano erector set cam!
The “Lomo meccano erector set” is a dead stock story at LSI, from the “LOMO” at St Petersburg. It was a set, for children from 8 to 14 years old, during the 70’s, make up to 5 different models: a magnifying glass, a film viewing device, slide projector, photographic enlarger and a camera, a strange plastic cam that I’m going to show you. You will not find this cam at LSI because they sale the last unit of their dead-stock in 2006.
Smena 8M is well known, probably you’ve seen many pictures of this cam. This little classic Lomo got an easy multiple exposures and manual controls. And, above all, the gorgeous lomo lens.
Now, imagine that the Camera inside the Lomo meccano erector set is a fake Smena 8M. A Smena, for sure, but more simple and less efficient. But that is exactly what I like in this camera!
They got the same body, but forget your classic Smena. First, you make the camera yourself. You put the lenses inside the cam, you use screwdriver etc. So strange, but magic! Then you put the spools inside. And you try to take pictures. Yes, you try. But you are happy to try, as there is something very friendly in this home-made cam! This Lomo 35mm Camera use a basic shutter, advance mechanism, and plastic housing – so you craft a fully-functional 35mm compact camera with Lomo optics. The shutter speed is 1/30 (and is not too bad) and there is a B setting. You decide exactly where in the film you want to take your picture. Basic, but in russia basic means solidity. Just forget the design: not aerodynamic at all, yes this cam got the design of a USSR panzer!
This Smena is a half frame camera. But you can transform it in a complete frame cam by putting out a piece of metal of the cam. Easy –if you understand instructions in Russian-. I discover half-frame with this cam, and I must confess that it’s cool and cheaper to have 72 pictures on a single film (even if it is some small pictures)!
Of course, to be sure not to have any perfect picture, I process films by myself. And I like to use some very old Kodak or Gevaert papers, perfect for half-frame pictures. I enlarge them with the meccano erector set, by myself. And I’m a bad lab technician…
As I hate reality, and as I like art, dream, ghosts, this cam makes exactly the pictures I like!
Take a look!