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Helios lens

Camera Smena-3 review

Smena-3 is a Soviet scale camera made by GOMZ from the late 50s.
Smena-3 was produced in tandem with the fourth and was a simpler apparatus in this pair.

The differences between them are available in the Smena-4 self-timer and wired sync contact. The 3rd did not have all of this.

The Smen family, up to the 9th model, is generally characterized by the simultaneous release of 2 models: the flagship and more budgetary ones.

Developed Smena-3 and -4 as a replacement for the pair Smena (since 1953) and Smena-2 (since 1955).

Of the innovations was the appearance:
- the classic shutter release button (instead of the lever on the lens);
- trigger for moving the frame (the shutter cocking was still a separate operation).

Together, it was quite a worthy improvement to the camera lineup.

A pair of Smena-3 and Smena-4 came out simultaneously in 1958 and had success at first.

True, there was a design miscalculation. The knot of the trigger broach turned out to be weak, unreliable.

Devices often broke down, services were mired in warranty repairs, users were unhappy.

As a result, already in 1960, the 3rd and 4th models were curtailed and the output of the 1st and 2nd, which were produced until 1962, increased.

Smena-3 devices produced 355 thousand copies, which is quite a lot. Nevertheless, the device is not found in large quantities now, let's say so. Apparently, however, there were many breakdowns.

Although the device is also not rare, of course.

Smena-3 does not offer a wide variety of models to collectors.

All the differences boil down to two, literally, points:

The first point is the location of the room. There are options that have a number on the left side of the body (as in the review), there are - on the front cut of the lens, as in the photo

The second point is the shape of the platform on which the name of the device is located. The specimen in the obor has a flat platform. There are options when the case has a small protrusion in this place, such as a frame or base. In the photo from, this is especially clearly visible.

Today the review unit is in good condition with the number 277418.

Camera Smena-3

Smena-3 was produced at GOMZ from 1958 to 1960. The volume of the issue was 355 thousand copies.

The standard lens is a fixed T-22 4.5 / 40 triplet. Aperture limit - f22.

The shutter is central. Beats shutter speeds: 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/200, V.

The device does not have a self-timer and sync terminal. The older model, Smena-4, had this functionality.

Interestingly, at the same time, Smena-3 had a bracket for accessories. It was possible to install, for example, a Smena rangefinder in it.

Smena-3 did not involve rewinding the film, 2 cassettes were loaded into it at once. Serving and receiving.

The weight of my copy is 290 grams.

Control elements:

The body of Smena-3 is bakelite, of a rather complex shape. The surface of the case is well textured. The device is lightweight and comfortable to hold.

The front of the body houses the lens and the shutter controls at the base of the lens. We'll talk about this node later.

On the body itself there is still only the front viewfinder peephole.

Behind - only the eyepiece of the viewfinder.
The Smena viewfinder, I would call it normal for those years. it produces a small but bright picture with noticeable distortion.

Bottom of the device - only a tripod socket for the old standard 3/8 ". The socket is located along the axis of the lens.

The back cover lock is located on the right side. But be careful, the lid is not hinged, but removable. Do not drop the unit when trying to flip open the cover.

Above Smena, from left to right, are:
- Massive head of transporting the frame with a small trigger and a reminder of the type and sensitivity of the film at the top;
- Round, clock-like frame counter;
- Shutter button;
- Accessory bracket.

The film in Smena of this type goes from right to left, therefore the head, which is responsible for the broaching, is on the left. Smena-3 has a small plastic trigger with a long, about 180 degrees, travel.

The trigger is short and moving it with the left hand is unusual, but tolerable. The frame advance is really more convenient than just the head.

The shutter is cocked in a separate movement using the lever on the right at the base of the lens.

The release button is relatively tight and has a short stroke. Shooting with a button is definitely more convenient than shooting with a trigger.

Moving on to the surroundings of the lens.

Shutter speed is switched by rotating the ribbed ring at the base of the lens. You can change the shutter speed both when the shutter is cocked and when it is released.

To cock the shutter, you need to lower the winding lever (in the photo on the left) down until it stops. The lever will lock in this position.

You can also release the shutter using the release cable. The socket for screwing it in is located slightly below the release lever (pictured on the right).

This photo shows the differences between Smena-3 and Smena-4. The 4th at the base of the lens on the left has a self-timer lever and a wired sync terminal.

The aperture control ring is located on the front section of the lens.

To focus, you need to rotate the entire lens by the knurl in the front. The full stroke of the helicoid is almost 360 degrees. In the upper part of the lens there is a stopper tab, against which the stopper pin abuts when the lens rotates. If the pin is removed, the lens will simply unscrew.

The closest focusing limit is 1.3 meters.

The depth-of-field scale is marked on the shoulder straps around the lens. The scale is designed for the old image quality standard. Apertures f16 practically converge together, and f22 on the scale simply does not.

At this diaphragm, the DOF covers just the entire space at any focus. FR of 40 mm, of course, does not imply such liberties now.

Camera attitude

You know, since GOMZ (LOMO) saw such a meaning in the presence always on the shelves of two Smen models - the main one and the simplified one (although the Smena apparatus itself is a budget solution), I would develop this logic even further.

For example, why does Smena-3 need a tripod socket and a cable release socket? Both assumes that the photographer has a tripod. But the device is designed for a user who even chose Smena simpler, cheaper. Where did he get the tripod?

Also, I think you could have abandoned the accessory bracket. There is no synchronizer anyway. And our photographer (most likely a child) hardly has a flash.

This means that he, most likely, will not buy an external rangefinder either.

As a result, my version of the Smena-3 model would have come out, I think, even significantly cheaper. With full preservation of the basic functionality.

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