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Camera Etude Review

An etude is a very simple medium format camera. Extremely simple. It was positioned as a child.The Etude was produced at MMZ (BelOMO) in 1969-1984. In 1969, Etude replaced Shkolnik and is his direct descendant.

Despite the fact that the concept of the Shkolnik (graduated from 1962) by the beginning of the 70s became outdated, technologies in the USSR developed, the welfare of the population improved, the performance characteristics of the Etude, nevertheless, remained similar to the Shkolnik, namely:

- one automatic exposure (+ manual B);
- three apertures (all dark);
- the simplest hyperfocal lens.


Moreover, if Shkolnik had a lens of the achromat type made of two lenses glued together, Etude received a lens made of one lens. Monocle.

Both Shkolnik and Etude were also made medium-sized for reasons of simplicity and economy. Small photographs 60x60 or 60x45 mm can be printed using the contact method without a magnifier.

It seems to me that a schoolboy (teenager) from the 70s (I am silent about the 80s), having a desire to engage in photography, could already count on purchasing an inexpensive Smena-8M.

In the Wiki, the price of the Change is indicated at 15 rubles, and the Etude - 7 rubles. It is not known how much the prices are comparable by year, we will accept them as comparable. I don’t think that saving 8 rubles. it is a sufficient motivator to compensate for the gap in the performance of the devices.

In general, the concept of "children" for Etude more and more acquired the meaning of "toy".

Perhaps that is why Etude, with its 1.5 million circulation, is now found not so massively. No, the device is not rare. But it is less common than you might expect. Most likely, the children simply broke the apparatus and threw them away as having no value.

The plastic case is quite fragile.

The Etude editions do not differ in a special variety. However, among the many similar cameras, collectors single out a few more rare ones.


First, there were export series with a title written in Latin letters. For example, like this. For different importing countries, the transcription of the inscription could be different.



Secondly, some of the cameras on the front panel have a certain icon. It is not known exactly what it means. Most likely, this is a stylized designation of 1969, i.e. the first year of Etude's release.

It is not known whether the cameras were marked this way only this year. The fact is that there are no serial numbers on the devices themselves. If the passport is lost, information about the year of issue is also lost. Why did they indicate the year, why they stopped it - none of this is known.

There is also a hypothesis, hardly serious, that this is the sign of the zodiac "Cancer". It is unlikely, since when the camera is oriented vertically, the icon is rotated incorrectly.


And finally, a very rare modification of Etude-S with synchrocontact. All Etudes are supplied with an accessory bracket, but have no sync contacts.

How exactly the brace was supposed to be used is not very clear.

Mount the rangefinder? Why, if the device does not need to be focused. I think it was supposed to manually fire the flash in the manual exposure mode.

Etude-C seems to have been, but it is extremely rare.


It should also be noted that there was also a prototype of a completely different apparatus from the GOMZ with the name Etude. This is a 35 mm automatic rangefinder device. Photo from sovietcams.com.

But this Etude exists in the amount of 3-4 copies, so it is unrealistic to confuse.

Today in the review a copy of the Etude of an unknown year of release in excellent condition Let's take a look at it.

Camera Etude

The sketch was produced at MMZ (BelOMO) in 1969-84. The volume of the issue is more than 1.5 million copies.


Lens - fixed, single-lens meniscus 11/60 under protective glass. The lens is rigidly focused at the hyperfocal distance.

The diaphragm is a metal plate with three holes of different diameters. The available apertures are f11, f16 and f22.

Sector shutter. Beats shutter speeds - B (manual) and 1/60. Those. Etude has only one automatic exposure.

The device is medium format, designed for standard film type 120. Forms frames 60x45 mm, which allows you to fit 16 pictures on the film.

The Etude has a bracket for accessories, but the device does not have a sync contact and a self-timer.

The weight of my copy with a belt (it cannot be removed) is 208 grams.

Control elements:

Etude's case is plastic. It is executed quite neatly with tz. backlash and creak, but the cheapness is visible everywhere - by the application of scales, by the quality of surfaces.

The device is designed more for shooting with an upright body position. This is how the film will be oriented horizontally, and the name on the case will be readable.


The ergonomics of the device are very controversial. Well, this is understandable, nobody just thought about ergonomics.

When the body is in a vertical position, it is more convenient for me to press the release button with my thumb. If you hold the camera horizontally, then it is better to orient it with the rewind head up (the viewfinder will be at the bottom left), and press the shutter with your index finger.

The accessory bracket is on the top edge of the case, the tripod socket is on the left, and the frame advance head is on the right.



The head has an arrow to indicate the direction of rotation, and in addition, the head is locked to rotate in the wrong direction.

There is no frame cutoff. The feed control is carried out through the red window in the rear wall according to the numbers on the leader. The window does not have a shutter.

Most of the controls are concentrated on the lip of the housing, in which the lens is mounted.


The aperture switch is located at the bottom of the protrusion. A lever moves in the slot, which moves the plate with diaphragm holes.


On the right side of the ledge there is a shutter speed switch and a shutter release button.

Etude's shutter does not require a cocking. The release button has a long stroke and at the beginning of the movement we compress the spring, which, when fully pressed, will straighten and work out the shutter speed.

There is no cable slot.



The Etude's viewfinder is large and bright. Here - no complaints.

To open the device, you need to slightly tilt forward the light part of the body, in which the viewfinder is located. Next, you first need to fold the upper part of the back wall, and then the lower one. The wall is removable, be careful!

Something like that.

Attitude towards the camera.

For me, the concept of the Etude apparatus was completely outdated by the time it was launched.

However, the release of more than 1.5 million copies. makes me think. Did someone buy them? So there was demand.

It remains to be hoped that people bought the Etudes deliberately, and not because of the lack of more advanced devices on the shelves.

I think that most of the Etudes were, after all, toys and rarely made it to the second or third film.

Source fotoussr.ru
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