The Silhouette-Automatic concept is a continuation of the Viliya line, which included the Silhouette-Electro model.
The Viliya family in 1973-85 unites 4 models of simple cameras, which are distinguished by a high degree of accuracy in exposure control, but are as unified as possible. I have reviews of Vilia-Auto, Silhouette-Electro and Orion-EE. The simplest - Viliya - I do not have.
Somewhere towards the end of the 70s, the company, apparently, decided to pay tribute to progress and release updated versions for the two most advanced devices - Silhouette-Electro and Orion-EE. Well, with the heavier ones - say goodbye, I guess.
So there were prototypes with the names Silhouette-2 and Orion-2.
By the way, they are mentioned in the 1979 book Cameras of Belarus.
Orion-2, as far as I know, remained a prototype, and Silhouette, however, with the name Silhouette-Automatic, was mass-produced from 1979 to 1983.
The production volume of the Silhouette-Automatic is indicated in one of the sources as 50 thousand copies, but I will allow myself to doubt this, because. for the 80s of production and such a quantity, the device is now less common than it should be.
In addition to the completely black version, which is in the review, there are also versions of the Silhouette-Automatic with a white top. Which is more common, I can't say.
Photo from sovietcams.com.
I saw my copy for the first time in quite a long period.
In the review, the device is numbered 2602648. The year of manufacture is unknown to me. The external condition is excellent, but the shutter is defective.
Silhouette-Electro was produced in 1979-1984 by the Belarusian Optical and Mechanical Association (BelOMO).
Fixed lens - T-92 2.8 / 38. The aperture limit is f16.
The shutter is central with electronic control. Shutter speeds from 8 to 1/500. Excerpts B no.
Shutter and aperture are different nodes.
Exposure metering device Silhouette-Automatic is based on cadmium sulfide (CdS) photoresistor
The devices were equipped with a central synchrocontact and a socket for a wired synchrocontact. They didn't have a self-timer.
The weight of my copy is 438 grams.
The Silhouette-Automaton was conceived as an improvement on the Silhouette-Electro. Well, there has been an improvement.
The body of the device has become more compact, although the weight has increased by 38 grams.
There was more metal in the finish, although the body of the Silhouette Electro was also not purely plastic.
A soft pasting has appeared, which is tactilely more pleasant than the texture on plastic.
But this, of course, is a lyric. Of the fundamental differences, the device received:
- faster lens (f2.8 vs f4)
- additional fast shutter speed 1/500 (Silhouette-Electro had only 1/250)
- the classic release button on the top panel, against the key in the front, characteristic of the Viliya line.
All three points count.
In general, the Silhouette-Automaton looks nice both visually and technically. Quite adequate for the early 80's scale. Admittedly, it is not without flaws.
At the front of the body are the lens, the front viewfinder window and a matte light receiver to form a luminous frame.
On the front section of the lens, the eye of the photoresistor of the exposure control system is visible from above.
Behind - only the eyepiece of the viewfinder.
The Siluat-Automatic viewfinder is not bad. It gives a large slightly toned picture. Parallax-corrected framing frames in view.
There are three lamps at the bottom. The central green one, when the shutter is pressed halfway, signals the readiness of the automation to work out the required exposure and at the same time allows you to control the battery life.
There are also two arrows.
If the one on the right, green, additionally lights up, this means that the device can take a picture, but will use a slow shutter speed. It is necessary either to turn the aperture ring so that the arrow does not light up, or to install the device on a tripod.
According to the passport, the Siluat-Automatic can work out shutter speeds up to 8 seconds, but in reality - more. Therefore, the warning is serious.
At the same time, the question that there is very little light for the picture is not shown separately in any way. Apparently, the middle lamp just does not light up.
If the arrow on the right, red, additionally lights up, this means that there is a lot of light. The diaphragm must be covered.
In principle, everything is quite logical. Colored arrows in the viewfinder. On the ring of diaphragms - they are duplicated, and also colored. Everything seems to be simple.
Annoyingly, the arrows in the viewfinder and on the aperture ring point in different directions.
My copy of the automation is lifeless. Therefore, I don’t know how it is actually implemented - I focus on the instructions. In the instructions, the green arrow (little light) is on the right and points to the right. And to rotate the aperture ring to open it, you need to turn to the left. Fortunately, the arrow on the ring itself looks there.
Likewise with the red arrow.
In general, newcomers were taken care of, but in the end they were also confused.
Below the device are:
- shutter release button for film rewind;
— rectangular plastic door of the battery compartment;
- tripod socket 1/4 inch
The Silhouette-Automat runs on four RTs-53 batteries or on the 4RTs53 assembly. I have a separate article dedicated to the topic of replacing Soviet batteries with modern analogues.
On the left side there is a socket for a wired sync contact.
On the top panel are:
— rewind head with folding tape measure;
- bracket for flashes with a central sync contact;
- release button with a swivel locking sleeve around;
- shutter cocking and frame advance lever;
- frame counter window.
When a flash is attached to the bracket, the unit will automatically switch to a shutter speed of 1/30.
The trigger has a "ready" position.
The shutter button is conveniently located, the stroke is relatively tight and long, but this is necessary for a clear half-press.
By turning the ring around the button, it can be blocked from accidental pressing. This method is not suitable for working out long exposures, because. The device does not have a shutter speed.
Aperture is controlled by the middle ring on the lens. In addition to the numbers indicating apertures, there are also arrows on the scale that we talked about above and three weather symbols:
- bright sun;
- a cloud;
- window (shooting indoors)
It is also well conceived, the extreme symbols are even painted in the colors of the arrows, such as to immediately warn of possible problems.
Closest to the device is the focus ring. There is no depth of field scale.
Setting the film speed is also implemented by the ring on the lens - the farthest from the device. Leash and scale (GOST + DIN) - at the bottom.
This is so vainly conceived and carelessly implemented.
In vain, because setting the sensitivity is not such a frequent operation to drag it “to the front corner”.
It’s careless because the sensitivity ring, although smooth, is located close to the aperture ring. Yes, and it has exactly the same diameter. And the diaphragm ring is very narrow, fingers do not fit on it. In general, changing the aperture - in half the cases you accidentally change the sensitivity.
To open the machine, you need to pull up the rewind roulette. The door hinges to the right.
attitude towards the camera.
The Silhouette-Automatic is compared with the device from LOMO Elektra-112. This is quite fair, the cameras are almost of the same class. Minus the fact that Electra is a rangefinder, of course.
And the Silhouette-Automatic has similar problems. Raw, unreliable electronics and too high a price.
The retail price of the camera in 1985, according to photohistory.ru, was 95 rubles. It's expensive for a scale.
That's all I have