You can’t even believe it but it’s an authentic Lomo rangefinder camera with auto exposure
It’s not so well known but Lomo factory produced even rangefinder cameras in Soviet glory days. I’ve mentioned complicated cameras such as Leningrad (1956-1966) with spring wind driven shutter, Sokol (1966-1978), Lomo 130A (1974-1975) and Sokol-2 (1977-1986) which is quiet similar, Unost’(1957-1961), Selena-E(1966-1968) and Selena-auto(1967-1969).
There was some dark horse amongst this proud line too. Please welcome, the Electra-112 Lomo rangefinder camera! This camera was produced by factory LOMO (Russia) since 1980 up to 1984 and only 22 800 units were made. It has a chrome-and -black or all black metal body which is quiet compact and ergonomic on my taste. As for some design versions there was an Olympic model as well as 3 different logos, LOMO, arms of the city of Leningrad and a Hemisphere (my with Hemisphere).
The Electra 112 is an electronic rangefinder combined with a viewfinder camera. It has a CDS meter coupled to an electro-magnetic shutter. For me it’s a strong point that this camera’s life is pretty long compared to selenium based electronic shutter cameras. It features 3 diodes in the viewfinder to control under-over exposure and a hot shoe. This camera has aperture-priority auto exposure mode only and no manual controls for changing shutter speed which is 2-1/500 sec. Of course you can play with shutter speed via pseudo +/- EV correction by changing ISO settings (up to 400 ASA). The Electra 112 has Industar-73 f2.8/40mm lens from “Tessar type” Industar family. Well, this lens is well known for its sharp and rich contrast pictures but so called “bokeh” wasn’t its strong point as well. The lens has handy thread (M49x0.75) for a filter or hood.
Some interesting facts. It’ says that this camera is a very close copy of Yashica Electro 35. I’d agree except with the lens. The production of this camera were stopped because of very high price (160 rubles, compare to average salary of those days between 80-120 rubles – it’s about 50-75 USD by official currency rate, so camera price is around 100 USD) and lack of 4 53 batteries. Now it perfectly works with 4LR44 plus some small coins for pressing it.
For me pluses of this camera:
1. Aperture-priority mode. I find it more useful in creative sense instead of shutter priority or even full automatic modes.
2. Sharp lens is also good especially in some cases.
3. Sturdy full metal body and convenient handy shape.