Here’s a review of an uncommon Soviet camera from the early 1980’s, the LOMO Electra 112.
The LOMO Electra 112 was manufactured by LOMO from 1979 to 1984 and the total production was only 22,800 due to low demand because of high price of 160 rubles. It was a sturdy, metal, compact rangefinder camera, the size of a Ricoh 500G with most of the features of a Yashica Electro 35, with a much sharper lens.
It fits well in the hands, focuses very quickly, has aperture priority, and is one of the best street cameras I’ve seen. I found my example at the Sun Thrift Store in Sunland, CA for US$45 + tax. They almost give away plastic cameras, but want gold for metal ones. Much haggling required. My example is in GOOD- condition with wear and a dead overexposure LED, but a clean lens and works fine.
Anyway, here’s the data:
- Type: Compact rangefinder.
- Film: 35mm.
- ISO: 25-500. DIN: 13-28. GOST: 13-500.
- Lens: 40mm Industar 73, f/2.8-22 (SHARP!!).
- Focus: 0.8m to infinity.
- Filter: 49mm.
- Shutter: Magnetic leaf type, 1/500 to 8sec. (Note that shutter will try for exposures of minutes in deep dark, like LOMO LC-a).
- Aperture priority.
- X-sync: 1/30sec. when flash inserted in hot shoe.
- Size: Rather small, 12.2cm x 7.7cm x 6.6cm.
- Weight: heavier than it looks, 0.55kg.
- Batteries: 4 px625’s work, originally 4 MR9’s.
- Material: Metal, glass, leatherette, and bits of plastic.
- Accessories: Came with leather strap, cheap leatherette case, and a water
damaged instruction book in Russian.
I recommend this camera to anyone who can find one, but they might be risky in the same way as a Yashica Electro 35. It’s a powerful thing. It’s an LC-A with a rangefinder, aperture priority, and a lens that’s actually GOOD.
I think that Lomography NEEDS to resurrect this camera with the following
1. Make the viewfinder and rangefinder a bit bigger and brighter.
2. Make the film transport gearing less weird and a bit faster.
3. Make the ISO range 10 to 1600.
4. Provide for multiple exposures.
5. Run it on 4 SR44’s.
6. Provide a B setting.
7. Make 1st curtain x-sync speed 1/100sec. or faster.
8. Provide 2nd curtain flash sync.
9. And, finally, make the camera, strap, lens cap and case in all sorts of designer colours and patterns! I’d like one in medium red to match my pickup truck.
This camera can fill a need for a film street camera that is, presently, only covered by things like Leicas that cost many thousands, plus you can make it a fashion accessory. So I say to Lomography, “PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!” Thank you. Enjoy!