How to fix your Smena 8M


You get your Smena 8M and suddenly you realize that they are not a peace. You feel hopeless and crazy. You feel like it's the end of the world. But not, it's not the end, because everything has a solution and here it is.

We all know Smena 8M and for those who don’t, we say that it’s a camera made in the 70’s in the Soviet Union and now belongs to Lomography family. It technology is very simple and basic, manual and using 35mm film.

It’s a camera that was designed to be cheap, so everybody could buy and have one, specially the young people. If you want to know more about its history you can visit the Lomography Microsite about the Smena 8M and to know more.

But now, we will enter in my story, one day I bought one secondhand Smena 8M, I didn’t know much about its history, but I caught my attention. At the end I’ve realized that its a good camera, classic but with good results and surprising.

Well, I got my Smena and when I went home to play with it… WHAT A TRAGEDY! I realized that one fundamental piece of the camera wasn’t there and It was going to be impossible to shoot with the camera, it was the take-up spool, which receives the film and helps it pass.

Suddenly I felt so faked, angry… but i decided to have a look in internet, then I realized that there are more people with this problem, so… the take-up spool should have any magic power or big value, because of this, the sellers wanted the take-up spool hahahaha I had no reason for this..

But soon, I found an easy solution, so easy that it’s a little stupid to tell.


1. Use your other film cameras
2. Develop the film in the lab and ask them for give you the film canisters
3. In your home open the canister
4. Extract its take-up spool and put it in your Smena, the film suits perfectly
5. You’ve fixed your Smena!!

As you can seen this process is so simple as using an old canister and it’s a good way to solve this problem.

PS: If somebody knows the reason of the strange disappearance of the take-up spools, help us to solve this case! :)

written by carlosbull on 2011-08-11 in #gear #tipster #take-up #8m #tricks #canipster #spool #fix #smena #lomo
translated by carlosbull


  1. nicx
    nicx ·

    Same thing happened to me!

  2. superlighter
    superlighter ·


  3. usha_berg
    usha_berg ·

    SMENA 8M great camera! It is easy to use, because it was invented for beginner photographers!
    Here is an authentic user guide:
    Good luck!

  4. goomba
    goomba ·

    Russia wants their spools back! ;-)
    Just kidding, helpful tipster!

  5. tetrahexadecabyte
    tetrahexadecabyte ·

    I bought a Smena 1, and it was also without the spool.
    I took one out of a fuji roll, and paste the film with tape.

  6. justasknico
    justasknico ·

    Great article, I enjoyed your sense of humour too... I'll gladly send the take-up spool that I got inside my Smena 8M back to the Russians, it's too narrow for 35mm film and caused me to waste a roll of film! I'm also going to break open a used film canister and use the spool inside it.

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