LOMO 135 BC and 135M - Russian action sampler!


Almighty famous LOMO factory of St. Petersburg (or Leningrad if you want) has created this monster to attack all the camera loving people! Small, robust but still a great camera! If you are interested in unique Russian hybrid cameras, please continue reading…

Look at this! What is the first camera which comes to your mind if you see this little metal box? Rollei 35? Good old LOMO Smena ? A RICOH A-2 camera? Or something else? Well… you´re right! The LOMO 135 BC (and 135 M too) has some traits from other cameras. The inspiration is visible. It is a real monster. A LOMOstein!

There are two cameras in the LOMO 135 family. A LOMO 135 BC and a LOMO 135 M which is a bit younger. It has only a few design and internal modifications.

I like hybrid cameras very much! This one is a 35mm film eating Russian camera which was produced in LOMO PLC factory from year 1975 till 1980´s. It was a camera which was based on a spring driven motor! This motor allows you to make 7-8 shots per second. LOMO 135 BC camera is like an ancestor of a supersampler or an actionsampler. You have to wind all the 8 shots with a winding knob on top of the camera and just shoot-shoot-shoot-shoot-shoot-shoot-shoot and shoot. I does not mean that you should make only action pictures and shoot out all the 8 exposures in a row. You can wind your 8 shots and easily go for a walk and shoot without an intermission (winding to another exposure). I like this Russian motor system very much! But do not let your camera lay on a shelf with winded-up spring too long!!! It can damage your spring driven motor.

And what about the aperture? At first you should set your focus. No, it is not a SLR, even not a rangefinder. It is a viewfinder camera with a guess focusing system. You can find some small pictograms if you look in to a viewfinder, showing us a small girl (portrait), a girl with a parent (small group), a family (bigger group) and a building (far objects). You can focus your pictures with a meter distances situated on a lens of the camera too. You can choose from 1 meter to infinity.

Next you will need to set your exposure system. LOMO 135 BC (and M too) does not have a light-meter but you can easily adjust you’re exposure system with a intuitive table exposure system which you can find on your winding knob. (In case of LOMO 135 M – on the lens, on front side of your camera). Set your film speed first, you can choose from 16 to 250 ASA. There are four pictograms showing us a corresponding exposure values. For example if you want to use a 100iso film, set the film speed to 130ASA and our 4 pictograms will tell us more about the exposure. For 130 ASA,
there is: f/8 and a forest pictogram, f/11 an open field pictogram, f/16 a shore pictogram (a river, lake, sea, etc…), f/22 a snow pictogram…Easy

You should set your shutter speed too! You can adjust it from B to 250/s on the bottom of the lens which corresponds with small pictograms on the top of the lens showing us sunny weather, cloudy, etc…

The body of the camera is heavy (like many other Russian cameras) made by metallic parts combined with some plastic details. Rewinding knob, flash hotshoe and a sprocket disengagement ring is located on the bottom of the camera. It is funny to run among people with a LOMO 135 BC with a flash and listen to people asking you why are you holding your camera downwards..:)

It is made with an Industar-73 40mm f/2.8 lens. It makes some good quality shots. Really. Go and try it yourself you won´t be disappointed with this camera. Small enough, real Premium camera, unique with it´s spring motor feature. Thank you grandfather, it was really a beautiful gift!

Shutter Speeds:
1/15s, 1/30s, 1/60s, 1/125s, 1/250s + B
Frame size: 24×36
Lens: Industar-73 2.8/40
Film: 35 mm

written by engelbert on 2011-05-08 #gear #review #lomo-135-bc-m-camera-russian-action-windg-spring-motor


  1. the_detourist
    the_detourist ·

    Looks GREAT!! like a more heavy-duty Smena8M!!

  2. the_detourist
    the_detourist ·

    what are the differences between the BC and M model?

  3. pondz_pondz
    pondz_pondz ·

    I have this one and I love it !!!

  4. willyboy
    willyboy ·

    Gotta love those guys haircuts chilling outside that building.

  5. engelbert
    engelbert ·

    the main diff...is that "LOMO 135 BC - an intuitive table exposure system which you can find on your winding knob. (In case of LOMO 135 M – on the lens, on front side of your camera).

  6. j_lamego
    j_lamego ·

    Please, does someone have the user guide for the LOMO 135 M ?
    I can't find anything online.

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