Smena 35 - Say Goodbye To Boredom, Forever!


Is the one to choose for all you creative and restless Lomographers! The settings and techniques possible with this camera are endless and I promise you will never be bored again, no matter where you are, with this one by your side. The name ‘Smena’ (young generation) is therefore completely appropriate.

Smena 35 is the latest model of the Smena series. I chose this after being familiar with the older Smena 8M, which I also love. The problem I had with the 8M however was that as they are getting old now and both the two 8Ms I bought were starting to have various problems with them. (No connection with the flash; shutter let light in when the shutter cock was pulled.) That’s why I decided to upgrade to the Smena 35 and bought one that had never been used, that came in the original box. It comes with a wacky, bright pink case that you can attach to your belt. It also has a wrist strap, a lens cap and a nice little manual in Russian.

The Smena 35s were produced until the mid 90s so the risk of having problems is less and the design of the camera is very cool and more sleek compared to the older ones. It has slight indentation where your thumb would fit and grooves and curves for a better grip of the camera. This along with the wrist strap makes you feel that this camera has been designed with care and with the user in mind. Another improvement from the older models is the hot shoe that makes using a flash easier.

The lens is ‘hard coated, three-element anastigmat T-43’ (according to the “translated manua” ) and produces sharp, saturated photos. You can set the aperture from 4 to 16 and the speeds from 1/15 to 1/250 secs as well as a B setting for long exposures. When using this camera with the aperture set to 4, make sure you focus carefully and the photos will have an amazing depth of field. It is important to consider these settings before every picture and this might be a bit tricky for beginners. New users might find this camera frustrating to use at first before you get used to how these settings behave together with different types of film. My advice is to just be patient, shoot lots of film and with experience you will produce amazing, fun and unique photos.

One of my favorite things to do with this camera is to take double (or multiple) exposures. Try shooting double landscapes, overlapping buildings on a cloudy day and multiply people at night time with a flash. Once you master this you will absolutely love this camera to bits! Also try shooting without using the viewfinder for some interesting compositions. The lightness of the camera makes it fun to point it around in all kinds of directions and snap unexpected portraits (for some genuine facial expressions). The ‘35’ also works really well with cross processing.

My only disappointment when buying this camera is that there is no longer a hole for a cable release on the shutter button. I never use this camera on a tripod for this reason, as I would probably cause the camera to shake anyway when pressing the shutter. The camera takes nice long exposure shots however, but I have noticed a few annoying flares that appear in my long exposures that really should not be there! Whether this is me or a flaw in the camera I am not sure of. Another quirk that happens quite often is a red semi-circle that appears at one end of the photo. Some kind of red reflection. This looks cool though!

The camera is so light and small and is very convenient to bring around with you anywhere. With this in your bag you are ready to shoot and have fun in all kinds of surroundings and situations. I recommend this camera to Lomographers who always want to try out new things and who always try to improve their techniques.

written by sibu_sen on 2009-07-01 #gear #film #russian #35mm #review #russian-camera #smena #manual #lomo #double-exposures #multiple-exposures #shoot-from-the-hip #cross-processing #original-plastic


  1. boredbone
    boredbone ·


  2. torium
    torium ·

    great shots !

  3. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·

    iv got this camera! but im still trying to get to know it. havent shot much rolls with it.hehe
    nice gallery!

  4. riki_87
    riki_87 ·

    i have it too!
    is a goood camera!

  5. grad
    grad ·

    very cool cam, better than 8M.
    i like this black plastic box

  6. quaisoir
    quaisoir ·

    can't wait to take pics like urs...:) only ran one roll on mine so far and haven't developed the results!

  7. sugiyamasatomi
    sugiyamasatomi ·

    3, 6, 9, 11. wow, amazing! specially love 6. it's a perfect double!

  8. redbohemia
    redbohemia ·

    Great article...definitely a camera that i under-utilize...must start taking it out more often...

  9. dfred
    dfred ·

    Woooooow 23,24 are really impresive

  10. lazara
    lazara ·

    great gallery! fantastic doubles! number 24 won my heart!

  11. mattydk
    mattydk ·

    great review and great gallery!

  12. mattydk
    mattydk ·

    great review and great gallery!

  13. dogma
    dogma ·

    Very very perfect fantastic turbo mega quadro beautiful gallery :)))))))))))

  14. sibu_sen
    sibu_sen ·

    Aw, thanks guys! :)

  15. stouf
    stouf ·

    Sweet ! Browsing this gallery is a real trip ! I love the bulb shots !

  16. sibu_sen
    sibu_sen ·

    @grad, Yeah, look at her isn't she beautiful!!! :D

  17. deeseeohecks
    deeseeohecks ·

    very cool gallery, made me consider getting one. shot 6 and 7 are my fav.

  18. rater
    rater ·

    Gorgeous gallery! Sweet camera! I can not decide which shot is my favorite!! Great review

  19. ethermoon
    ethermoon ·

    i love number 24 shot! fantastic gallery with the use of this camera! :)

  20. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Very nice gallery!! Cute camera!!

  21. yoka
    yoka ·


  22. andyzz
    andyzz ·

    Cool! Wanna have one!

  23. decuz
    decuz ·

    yeahhh great shots, awesome work, i used to shot with the smena 35 too but later it was stolen, congrats!!

  24. cyan-shine
    cyan-shine ·

    Phantastic shots ! :D

  25. brunomaya_r
    brunomaya_r ·

    hey! awesome shots! i liked so much that i got one smena35 too!
    however i cant change the focus, kinda worried wondering if its broken or something..

  26. newman9706
    newman9706 ·

    I LOOOOVE your gallery!
    I actually ordered myself a smena 35 today!
    I'm extremely new to lomography exactly do you get the shots to overlap? I can't find anything online to answer this question! :P

  27. larsofspain
    larsofspain ·

    Bought a Smena 35 off ebay. Tricky to use at first, but becomes really fun to use. Lens mechanism became a bit sticky, but some WD40 soon sorted that out. The Shutter became sticky.....WD40 sorted that out. Fun camera, really versatile, good for DIY and takes great multiple expos. Great value for $15 US.

  28. avocado-in-a-world-of-cucumbers
    avocado-in-a-world-of-cucumbers ·

    great shots!

  29. jvujnovi
    jvujnovi ·

    I just bought a Smean 35. It proved to be very easy to use (although the shutter cock took getting use to). I expected some pictures to be out of focus because I've never used zone focus. But no, they're all good.
    Lomography should really consider manufacturing this camera.

  30. adash
    adash ·

    Lovely photos and a cool camera indeed! The Smena has made quite a change in appearance during the decades it was made, but it never gave up on the sweet, saturated and slightly vignetted photos....

  31. coadyb
    coadyb ·

    @sibu_sen Awesome gallery, I got one coming in the mail. Your shots you've shown here excite me!

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