The Lomo Smena Symbol is an iconic (pun intended) camera. An evolution of the Lomo Smena 8m, it is a perfect camera for novices and carefree lomogurus as well. Its T-43 40mm Triplet lens produces images that have that awesome 70s look.
The Lomo Smena Symbol should not be missing from any serious lomo arsenal. It is the quintessence of lomo, a reminder of our roots. It is easily acquired in Europe, as it was in production until 1993. It shares the ruggedness of all Soviet cameras.
As an evolution of the 8M it shares all stylistic characteristics with it, like the weather and zone focus symbols. It has the same awesome lens and a simple viewfinder that does its job. A change over the 8M is the shutter button, which has been changed to a lever. This is very easy to operate and so there is no danger of camera shake like with the hard shutter release button of the 8M. The shutter is coupled to the film advance lever, which unfortunately makes multiple exposures impossible, unlike the 8M, but also has the advantage of preventing accidental double exposures when you absolutely must have that motif, as well as preventing not getting the shot because you forgot to cock the shutter.
The Triplet lens is absolutely awesome. It is nearer to normal than 50mm lenses, which I adore, as the images have a much more natural look. The lens produces really dreamy images and coupled with expired colour negative film leads to that 70s vintage look that so many of us like.
Of course, it has no meter, so you must either use a hand-held meter or eyeball the exposure. It also has a bulb function. Its array of speeds and apertures allows for quite some sophisticated shooting, like all full manual control cameras. If you are new, just use the sunny 16 rule and/or some 400 ISO film to be sure.
All in all, the Lomo Smena Symbol is a real gem and I adore mine!