BelOMO Vesna is an old good tiny camera that won't leave you indifferent. If you love the really old stuff, then jump in and let me introduce you to this museum piece.
Vesna cameras were produced by BelOMO (Minsk) in the 60s, and they are relatively rare. Luckily, I found my Vesna in a closet in our old appartment. Vesna means “Spring” in Russian. The ones with a red logo are issued to first revision and were producing since 1962 to 1964. So mine is probably a guest from these times.
The camera’s body is made of plastic. My wife painted it violet to match the color of our room’s walls. To load film, you need to remove the bottom cover. There’s no rewind, so the exposed film is fed into the empty spool.
You can use standard 35mm film with it. But, the camera’s frame format is slightly reduced — 24х32 instead of standard 24×36. Such a feature allows you to shoot 41 times on 36-frame roll. By the way, reduced frame format may deliver some troubles if you scan exposed film from Vesna at the photolabs. But if you do it yourself, it should be easy to frame right.
The shutter and film wind mechanism are separate, but it seems that you can’t do multiple exposures — the shutter button is locked by the frame counting mechanism.
Let’s see some other specs of this camera:
- Shutter speed range is 1/250 to 1/8 and it has Bulb mode.
- Triplet T22 f/4,5 40mm lens.
- Aperture range is from f/4,5 to f/22.
- Minimal focusing range is 1.3m.
There is a delicious moment related to the flash — you can use flash at any shutter speed. There’s no hot shoe, so the synchronization is done via special cable.
I tried it with Kodak Gold 200 just for a test and was afraid of taking mostly bad exposed shots, as Vesna is fully manual. But the Sunny 16 rule and a piece of luck helped me to take almost full roll without white and black shots. Let’s take a look at some photgraphs I’ve made: