LC-A Big Book Chapter 52: Smena Rapid, Smena SL, Smena 8M and Smena Symbol

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Most of the camera models that were released between the 19605 and the 19805 were models of the Smena. So came the introduction of the Smena-Rapid (1968), the Smena SL (1970), the Smena SM (1970) and the Smena Symbol (1970). The most extraordinary models are probably the Rapid and the SL, as they used a new kind of film format.

At this cheerful time, many of the proud LOMO PLC workers found the time to try out some of their own company’s products and shoot around with LOMO PLC cameras. Most of the camera models that were released between the 19605 and the 19805 were models of the Smena. So came the introduction of the Smena-Rapid (1968), the Smena SL (1970), the Smena SM (1970) and the Smena Symbol (1970). The most extraordinary models are probably the Rapid and the SL, as they used a new kind of film format. The “Rapid” film format came out in the late 605 and was invented by Agfa and intended to substitute 35mm film. It had indeed a few advantages, as it functioned like middle-format film, which meant that the film streamed from one cassette to the other (so you didn’t lose the complete film when opening the back of the camera) and you did not need to rewind the film when you finished it. Unfortunately, it only allowed 12 exposures per film, which proved unsuitable for a small and cheap amateur camera. Briefly, the SL-System was the East-German copy of the Rapid-System and stood for “Schnell-lade Kassette” – but like the Rapid and many other postdating systems, such as the Kodak Disc and APS, it could not compete against 35mm film in the end. Due to this, the Smena Rapid and SL weren’t on the market for long, as good old Russia was often out of film stock. In contrast to that, the Smena SM became widely popular amongst amateur and experimental photographers and remains today a widely sought after camera.

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written by ungrumpy on 2011-02-16 in #library #history #lc-a-big-book #excerpt

4 Comments

  1. nick_a_tron
    nick_a_tron ·

    Nice!

    small heads up: 8M not SM

  2. rav_bunneh
    rav_bunneh ·

    Wow! The Smena 8M was made the very year I was born! It's kismet.

  3. homer
    homer ·

    Of all the cameras I've ever used the 8M is by far the favourite

  4. onegreenfan
    onegreenfan ·

    just bought 2 8mʻs right before reading informative news.canʻt wait and keep up good works.

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