After a couple of rolls using my Smena Symbol and framing many pictures horribly, I finally found out how to frame subjects right and get better pictures from my Symbol!
I don’t know how many of you have tried out your Smena Symbol and ended up with horribly framed pictures like the one above. I have… Unfortunately for more than a couple of rolls.
When I first got my Symbol, I was so excited to get a roll of film into her and start shooting. And so, I brought her to my hometown, Sandakan in Sabah, to shoot. I was worried about framing my shots as I had read an article reviewing the Symbol, which said that it was pretty hard to estimate the framing as the viewfinder is not compensated for parallax error.
Even so, I was determined to use her and began shooting. My first roll turned out somewhat iffy. And as I had read, it was incredibly hard to estimate how to frame the shot.
Nevertheless, I loved shooting with my Symbol and so loaded her with another round of film. I ended up with somewhat similar results to the first roll of film
But on my 3rd roll, I brought it to Central Market in Kuala Lumpur for an outing with a couple of friends. Shooting was a lot of fun, but I when I got my film back, most of the pictures were horribly framed.
However, I managed to learn something about my beloved Symbol. The lens seems to magnify the object that you are photographing, while the viewfinder kind of decreases the size of the object you’re viewing. These to things combined make you feel like you’re too far away from the object, when in fact you are too near.
And since the viewfinder is not placed above your lens, instead it is a little to the left, taking vertical shots is a challenge. I still haven’t found a solution to it.
The best thing to do is to take horizontal shots and from a significant distance. Or if you’re taking of something close, whatever you see through your viewfinder, imagine it 2 times bigger and frame your shot accordingly.
Hope my tips helped!