Diana Mini isn’t the best choice for dark Finnish winter, so I decided to get something brighter. Budget was low and this Soviet wonder seemed to be just what I wanted..but was it after all?
38mm f2.8 lens, 1/30-1/650s shutter, auto exposure, hot shoe, tripod thread, cable release thread and bulb mode. Beside the bright lens I got much more. Almost perfect camera, it’s small enough to carry with you everywhere, but little bit on heavy side (over 400g). It’s mainly made of metal so it should be able to take some beating. It’s easy to use and doesn’t need batteries because the metering is done by selenium cells, similar to Olympus Trip 35. Beyond all that it looks pretty cool with black paint job and that odd Cyrillic font.
But nothing is perfect, there are three shooting modes, but none of those give you full control. First there’s automatic, which obviously gives you the correct combination of aperture and shutter speed. Second option is the “manual” mode, which lets you select the aperture yourself between f2.8-16. But when you choose aperture yourself, the camera will always use 1/30s shutter speed. It kind of spoils the whole point of “manual” mode, but I mainly use the auto mode anyway. The third mode is bulb and it’s also little bit annoying, when you set the camera to bulb it fixes the aperture to f2.8. It’s not the end of the world, but I know there will be times I would want to get long exposures with smaller aperture.
Photos turn out great! I wish there were little bit more vignetting, but otherwise I’m pleased. Old selenium cells still work and on auto and camera gets exposure right most of the times. Maybe it tends to underexpose a little, but that can be fixed by choosing lower ISO setting. Loading film is bit tricky, but not that hard after getting used to it. Few flaws, but still great companion!