I feel sweet appreciations for this camera though I don’t use it too much nowadays. It was a kind of pass to photography universe and first camera in my life
Basically this camera not so differ from other cameras of Lomo-Smena family. From other Smena’s it’s distinguished by renewed body (black color plastic with small square texture, yellow color of signs, and The Leningrad-St. Petersburg’s Admiralty symbol – sailing ship in round). It also has cocking shutter lever combined with film transport mechanism. Shutter release button is situated on the right side without cable release thread. I’d also add a roulette type film rewind mechanism and built in take up film spool. The lens is the famous T (Triplet)-43 4/40. Shutter speeds 1/15-1/250 and Bulb. Aperture 1/4-1/16. All these things are what bring together this camera with its predecessor – Lomo Smena Symbol. The main distinction is a body design and years of production (1985-1989). As a useful feature I’d mention symbol distant metering.
My personal experience with Smena 19 started in glory Soviet days, in 1988 to be exact. I bought it for 20 rubles (Smena 8M price was 15 rubles). With this camera I learnt basic photo rules in first time: shutter speed, aperture, distance and depth of field and so on. As a pioneer, I took pictures in pioneer camps which were also very fun and touching. This camera was a very convenient tool for me because of cocking shutter lever combined with film transport. So you need to make just 2 steps: cock the shutter and press shutter release button (e.g. with Smena 8M and related Smena’s it takes 3 steps: film transport action, cocking shutter and pressing button). But this comfort facility prevents multi-exposure feature.
So the pluses:
1. Comfort feels while shooting.
2. Uncommon design.
3. Hot shoe and synchronization with flash for any shutter speed.
4. Great with b&w films (pictures have some touch of soft focus and retro look).
1. No multi exposure feature.
2. Some blurring at aperture setting 4 and 5.6. (I mostly use aperture from 8 and above).