Cameras with the names Elikon were produced at BelOMO, moreover, at two enterprises at once. At the same time, each enterprise produced its own models and developed them according to its own logic. No intersections.
Therefore, there are Minsk lines of Elikonov (MMZ named after S. Vavilov) and Vileysky (Zenith plant).
Elikon-35S belongs to the Vileika group.
Elikon-35S is the first Soviet automatic machine with a built-in flash.
The device has been produced since 1982. For the Soviet photographic industry in the 80s, this is a very good one from the point of view. technology camera. If I had learned in high school about the existence of such an apparatus (the existence not in the magazine Tekhnika Molodezhi, but on the shelves in stores), I probably would not have believed it.
A flash gun is really a completely new class of camera. Unusual and unusual at the time.
At the prototyping stage, the model was called Orion-35C. Photo from sovietcams.com. Pay attention to how the lifting flash is implemented.
The camera went into the series with minor changes and already under the name Elikon-35S.
Elikon-35S has a great visual variety. This model includes a significant number of different modifications. The differences are purely visual, but quite noticeable.
Styles of inscriptions, body textures, various icons on the body.
Here, for example, is an early production sample. It has an unusual pattern of the case and is simply replete with all sorts of marketing tags. Here are the icons of the electronic flash, and the inscription "Software".
Here is Elikon-35S in an extremely unusual transparent case. Photo from sovietcams.com. This is, of course, a very rare option. Incredibly interesting who and how came up with such an idea. The expectedly opaque rear door, however, somewhat spoils the effect.
Here is another example of an export option. Photo from sovietcams.com.
How did the Elikon-35S look against the background of other proposals of the Soviet photo industry?
Well, there were enough scale devices with automatic exposure even before the appearance of this series. Zorkiy-11 was released in 1964, and Vilia-Avto in 1973.
Let's make a clarification and we will only look at the scales with measurements on the photoresistor.
And then there was a choice. Since 1976, Silhouette-electro has been produced, since 1978 - Orion-EE.
There were also higher-level automatic rangefinders from competing enterprises. Since 1978 - FED-Mikron-2, since 1966 the Sokol line and since 1980 - Elektra-112.
Moreover, by the time the Elikon-35S was released in 1982, DSLRs with automatic exposure had already existed for a long time. These are Kyiv-10 from 1965 and Kyiv-15 from 1973. And almost simultaneously with Elikon, in 1983, Zenit-Avtomat appeared.
In general, at that time, no one was surprised by automatic exposure control, perhaps.
New was the addition of a built-in flash to the camera.
Recall that in the 80s, films with a sensitivity of 64 units were mainly used. Well, sometimes, maybe the 125th. This film was already considered too coarse. I generally used the 250th once or twice.
The 64th film was the main workhorse of the Soviet photographer in the 80s.
And with such sensitivity, there is almost never enough light. If your digital camera allows you to set the ISO to less than 100, well, or 100, try setting something like this and measuring the exposure indoors.
Also, don't forget that a modern LED bulb is the equivalent of a 100-watt incandescent bulb. I don’t think that in the 80s many chandeliers were with several acres.
In general, blur was a concern in almost all cases, well, except for shooting outdoors on a clear day.
The flash can be purchased separately. But most models of Soviet flashes were not compact, and not so many models were supposed to work on batteries. Charging the flash from the mains is, of course, another adventure at events, parties, etc.
In general, the presence of a built-in flash is very, very convenient. Moreover, the device takes control of the aperture. Those. those actions that using an external flash should not be forgotten by the photographer, relying on the plate on the flash.
A similar table allows you to determine the aperture depending on the sensitivity of the film loaded in the camera and on the distance to the subject. Having calculated the aperture, it must also be set on the camera lens.
Elikon-35C, when the flash is activated, changes the aperture itself depending on the set sensitivity and the position of the focus ring.
It is not technically difficult at all, but it is useful for the consumer and effective from the point of view. marketing. A good combination.
And also a sync speed of 1/125. And the lens is quite wide-angle.
I think the Elikon-35C felt great when filming the traditional “home gatherings” plot.
The direct continuation of this device - the modernized Elikon-35SM - was released in 1990. All improvements were “on topic”, as they say, but in the 90s it was already a loss of pace.
Elikon-35SM should have been produced 2 years after 35C. There are no such changes there to introduce them for 8 years.
In the 90s, the demand for photographic equipment also decreased, and imports began to enter the market en masse, with which the domestic photo industry competed with difficulty.
Here is a traditional story. Nice spoon for dinner.
Consider the device itself.
Elikon-35S was produced by BelOMO at the Zenit plant in the city of Vileyka from 1982 to 1990. The volume of production is unknown to me.
The device is scale, focusing on a scale of distances.
Fixed lens Industar-95 2.8 / 38. MDF = 1 meter.
The shutter is combined with the diaphragm, controlled electronically.
In programmer mode, the shutter shoots fixed exposure pairs from 1/8 + f2.8 to 1/500+ f16. You cannot change combinations of shutter speeds and apertures. Excerpts B no.
The built-in flash has a guide number of 10 with a film sensitivity of 90 GOST units.
I did not find data on the synchronization shutter speed in the instructions. Wiki says 1/125. If so, then for the 80s on a device of this class, this is excellent.
Elikon-35S is not equipped with a self-timer.
The weight of my copy with batteries is 335 grams.
The body of the “old school” apparatus is angular, yet without ergonomic influxes. There is, however, pasting with a soft textured material. The covers of the case are mostly plastic, but by weight it is felt that there is enough metal inside. And the back door is metal.
The quality of materials and assembly is average. Without obvious failures, I would say, but without much quality. Expected level for a Soviet apparatus of this class. But obviously there is nothing to complain about.
In front of the device, a large flash reflector immediately catches the eye.
Under the reflector is a sliding flash activation button. If the button is moved towards the lens, the flash rises slightly and starts charging.
The flash has a guide number of 10 with a film sensitivity of 90 GOST units. You can better understand what the flash guide number means from a special article.
In general, the flash of the Elikon-35C is relatively low-power, but it is enough to solve most amateur tasks. My D800 has a built-in flash guide number, if memory serves, 12 at 100 ISO.
The rise of the flash is quite small. This is more of a symbol than a real reference of the reflector to the lens axis. You can tell when the flash is ready to shoot by the light on the rear panel to the right of the viewfinder.
At the same time as the flash is raised, a mode is activated in which the aperture is switched simultaneously with the rotation of the focus ring on the lens.
The film speed is set by a ribbed ring around the objective lens.
A window with sensitivity scales is placed above the lens. DIN and ISO units available.
Under the lens is a peephole with a cadmium sulfide (CdS) photoresistor of the exposure metering system.
On the bottom panel are:
- tripod socket;
- button to turn off the shutter when rewinding the film;
- battery cover.
Elikon-35C is powered by two AA batteries.
Behind the viewfinder eye and to the right of it is the flash-ready lamp.
The Elikon-35C has a good viewfinder. It gives a large toned picture. There are cropping frames in the field of view and a still bright red lamp in the upper left corner, which lights up when half-pressed if the device cannot find the desired exposure.
The sliding button for unlocking the door is also located at the back, on the door itself on the left.
On the top panel we have from left to right:
- rewind head with tape measure;
- trigger button;
- lever for frame advance and shutter cocking;
- frame counter window.
The trigger button is well placed. It has a rather rigid stroke and a narrow end with a socket for a cable. The edges around the nest are very thin and unpleasantly imprinted on the finger.
The trigger cocks easily, has a “ready” position, but it would not hurt to hide it a little in the body relief.
Attitude towards the camera
Exactly the same can be said about the Elikon-35S that was previously said about the Elikon-35SM. The device is simpler, but it also came out 8 years earlier, therefore, the pre-perestroika consumer was much less spoiled.
I think the device was popular. Elikon-35C is close in class to the "soap dishes", which, as you know, eventually conquered the market.
Small size, automatic exposure, fairly wide lens, flash - almost a complete set.
Being able to take a compact camera out of your briefcase and immediately snap a picture in a dimly lit room is a much-needed feature.
True, the price could scare away the consumer. Photohistory.ru lists 90 rubles in 1986. Then it was a lot.
Alas, any use of electronics immediately made Soviet technology very expensive. The high price is not very friendly with the logic of soap dishes - simple and massive universal devices. This is also why in the USSR this class of devices has always been in limbo.
That's all I have