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Helios lens

Camera Smena-M review

Post-war cameras Smena and Smena-2 were produced not only at GOMZ (future LOMO), but also for some time at the Minsk Mechanical Plant named after I. S. I. Vavilova (MMZ, the future of BelOMO).
In Leningrad, these devices began to be produced in 1953-55, and in Minsk - in 1957. Moreover, Smena-2 was launched first, and only in the next 1958 - Smena.
These two Smena are the first photographic products of the new Minsk Mechanical Plant, recently built.

The very first issues of Minsk Shifts, as can be understood from the information on the network, were simply assembled from ready-made components produced at GOMZ. The devices even bore the corresponding Leningrad logo.


A little later, MMZ itself produced all the components, but the devices remained exact copies of the Leningrad ones. Photo from sovietcams.com.

However, in 1961, the Smena-M and Smena-2M devices were released, equipped with valves of their own design by MMZ. The letter M in the name could mean both modernization, which really took place, and, it can be assumed, Minsk.


Moreover, the letter M was not indicated on the first issues. Photo from sovietcams.com.
One of the fundamental differences between the new Minsk Smen is the presence of a massive shutter button located at the base of the lens.


Smena-M and Smena-2M were produced for only one year, 1961, then the Minskers went on a completely independent path. In 1962 Vesna and Shkolnik came out, in 1965 - Chaika, etc. Photo of Smena-2m from fotocataloque.ru.

Here is such a short story, and we just have to consider my copy of the Smena-M apparatus.

Camera Smena-M
Smena-M was produced at the Minsk Mechanical Plant. SI Vavilov only in 1961. According to the information on sovietcams.com, despite the short production period, the production volume was quite material - about 50 thousand copies.


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

The shutter is central. Beats shutter speeds: 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, V.

Smena-M does not have a self-timer, because this is an upgrade of the first Smena. Self-timer relied on Smena-2M. But Smena-M has a wired sync contact. At least for this instance.
The weight of my copy of Smena-M is 270 grams.

Control elements


The body of Smena-M is bakelite, and, in general, the apparatus is quite similar to the Leningradskaya Smena. However, the differences are clearly visible.


The massive shutter button located diagonally to the right at the base of the lens catches the eye. Let me remind you that the descent at the Smena is carried out by a small lever at the bottom right.
Despite the fact that the Change-M button, in terms of the combination of size, location and metal used, looks somewhat, let's say, foreign, but we must admit that it is convenient. Much more convenient than the trigger.


Another button took the place of the lever that cocks the shutter. This lever has moved to the left side of the lens base. It is still cocked to the right.
On the top panel of Smena-M there is no button that releases the frame advance stopper. In this device, the stopper is released when the release button is pressed. There is an improvement in the design.


The release button has a slot for the release cable. Its course is moderately tight and short.


Another interesting and recognizable difference of Smena-M is that the lens scales (distance scale and depth of field) are slightly shifted to the right. Those. the risk by which the focus is set and the middle of the depth of field scale are located not vertically, but at an angle of 45 degrees.
Shutter speed is traditionally 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.


The sync terminal is at the bottom of the lens base.

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

To focus, you need to rotate the entire lens by the knurled front. The full stroke of the helicoid is almost 360 degrees. At the top of the lens there is a stopper tab, against which the stop 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.


On the back of the Smena-M there is only a viewfinder peephole. The viewfinder gives a very small picture. On the back door, pay attention, the MMZ emblem.
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.



Bottom of the device - only a tripod socket for the old standard 3/8 ".


Above Smena-M from left to right are:
- Massive head of frame transport;
- Frame counter;
- Accessory bracket.
The film in Smena-M runs traditionally for this family of devices - from right to left. Therefore, the head is on the left. The device is adapted to use two cassettes.

Attitude towards the camera.

What can you say? Smena-M is a very good debut of MMZ in the design of cameras. Suppose this is only a revision of the existing design, but the revision is not bad. The change has really become a little more modern with the so-called. ergonomics.

The instruction has not been found yet.

Source fotoussr.ru
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