I like half frame photos due to Diana mini, and this old Russian camera – Chaika II is a birthday gift from my overseas friend.
When I open up the parcel and saw this dusty Russian camera, I felt surprised and excited. My friend knew that I am into analogue photography but he has no knowledge about film cameras. Besides, I had never told him about my love for half frame photos, so it is really a pleasant surprise to receive this gift!
My friend bought it in a flea market in France, it is really dusty throughout…(I used an air blower to clean it for a long while…) As there is no instruction manual, I used a roll of problematic film to practise loading, shooting, and rewinding. In the end, I realised that there are rewinding problems despite me trying several methods. The only way is to rewind the film manually in a changing bag.
Besides the rewinding issues, other functions operate normally, and the images are sharper than I had imagined.
Aperture︰ f/2.8 – 16
Shutter speed︰ 1/30s、1/60s、1/125s、1/250s & Bulb mode
Focal range︰ 0.8m till infinity
It is easy to operate Chaika II, and the effects of the half frame is great.