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LC-A Big Book Chapter 47: The Smena: A Camera for Everyone

The Smena, which roughly translated means "Young Generation", was the one camera that was clearly designed for mass production, and has bravely accompanied millions of photographers throughout their lives.

One of the most popular cameras of all time first ran off the belt of the LOMO PLC factory in 1954 and underwent steady development until the 19905: the Smena.

The Smena, which roughly translated means “Young Generation”, was the one camera that was clearly designed for mass production, and has bravely accompanied millions of photographers throughout their lives. The Smena 1 was the first Soviet camera that was not a copy of any other camera and had a 40mm focal length lens that provided a great depth of field. It was followed by the slightly improved Smena 2 in 1955, which was then proceeded by the slightly modified Smena 3, 4 and 5 as the years went by. The Smena 5 used plastic parts for the first time along with the usual Bakelite body. The positive attributes of all Smenas, handy black 35mm boxes with a manual focusing system, have always been easy handling, an affordable price and fast and cheap mass-production. They were later also copied exactly in China under the names “Chang Jiang” and “Hua Shan”. Out of the total 40 million photo-cameras that have been produced at LOMO PLC-works, 22 million have been Smena-models. Moreover, many a schoolboy or schoolgirl got presented with a Smena camera when they successfully finished first grade – it is truly the camera that almost every Soviet photographer has had in his hands at least once in his life. Various models of this camera were produced up until 1993 .

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written by ungrumpy

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish & Deutsch.