Russian week part two

Credits: gauthierdumonde

You are all familiar with the Lomo Smena 8M, a favorite of many lomographers. The Cosmic35 is identical to the Lomo Smena 8. It has the same triplet f4 40mm lens. The 8M is definitely in my top 5 design camera’s it is just very beautiful, the Smena 8 is actually an ugly duckling. But I like it more than my Smena 8M and I’ll tell you why. It weighs a hundred grams more (330 grams – 8M weighs 230) and even though it is made of plastic it feels more solid. The viewfinder is closer to the lens and it has a self timer. That’s about it. You can do lovely doubles with the Cosmic35/ Smena 8 and 8M

Credits: gauthierdumonde
Credits: gauthierdumonde

The Zorki 10 is a beautifully designed camera. It has that Russian styling all over. Strange if you know that it is based on the Japanese Ricohmatic 35 and that it actually looks very similar. The early Zorki’s were copies of German rangefinder camera’s the newer Zorkis just follow the market and are copies of Japanese camera’s. The rangefinder on my model works perfectly well and that’s the least you can expect with Zorki as they have experience in building rangfinders (I am a fan of the Zorki 4). It has an automatic mode that sets the speed from 2 to 1/500s. It does not work on batteries but on selenium cells. You can be sure of one thing when you find one: the automode is not going to work anymore. A big fail on this camera is the manual mode, you can set the diaphragm bu you can’t change the shutterspeed it will always be 1/30s as the manual mode was meant for flash sync. So you’re stuck at 1/30s. this means you have to put in slow film and you have to keep the camera very steady, so shots from the hip while your are walking will be difficult. Another disadvantage regarding the shutterspeed is the shutter release button: you have to push it almost 2cm down. This creates for sure a little camera movement. I’ve done shots with the Agfa Clack at 1/30s which are great, but the Clack has a tiny lever you can push without shaking the camera. The same goes for the Lubitel. So theoretically the Zorki’s f/2.8 45mm should be sharper than the Lomo Smena but because of the low shutterspeed your shooting at, the pictures come out less sharp.

The first one is Zorki, the second Smena

Credits: gauthierdumonde


Credits: gauthierdumonde

Anyway the slow shutterspeed can be fun. here I jumped in the middle of the pigeons to make the fly.

Credits: gauthierdumonde

The camera is designed to prevent unwanted double exposures but I found a way to do it (by accident and I don’t know it will work on every model). When I press the rewind button on the bottom of the camera I can wind it, cocking the shutter without moving the film for one frame. The rewind button jumps back out after cocking the shutter. I amafraid the Zorki will be on my attic soon.

Update on the Lomo Sokol: Great thing about Russian tank-like camera’s is that they are easy to unscrew. So I removed te top plate and I adjusted the rangefinder. Now I have a 780 grams working rangefinder with a decent lens :). But as it is not easy to handle and I like the Zorki 4 more, the Sokol will remain on my attic.

Greets Wouter

written by gauthierdumonde on 2012-09-27


  1. buckshot
    buckshot ·

    Nice comparison! For the Zorki in manual at 1/30s, I think you meant you need to use fast film - not slow film. P.S. The rewind-button trick for double exposures works on my Pentax P50 too.

  2. gauthierdumonde
    gauthierdumonde ·

    @buckshot I call ISO 100 and below 'slow' film. And ISO 400 and up 'fast' film. When you use ISO 200 film in real sunny weather you get overexposure at f22 and 1/30s. My shots were all taken at f22 with an ISO 200 film on a mild sunny day in the northern hemisphere. I just googled it and 'slow film' is used for films from 25 - 100 Iso.

  3. buckshot
    buckshot ·

    You're right - I get your point now. Merci!