I haven’t had much luck so far with the Russian made Smena camera. In my last attempt, the Smena 8M busted on me whilst rewinding the film, so I decided to try the more modern looking, and later produced, Smena 35. Here’s a photo of it:

Smena 35 camera

Smena 35 camera

My Experience with the Smena 35

All was progressing nicely at first. The camera was easy to load and easy to use, and the winding was firm but smooth. I managed to get a few photos around the Chinatown area in Adelaide and was really quite happy with the little plastic camera in my hand. I finished the roll and then proceeded to rewind the film. This is when the problems started…

There was no breakage or jam. There was no sound of plastic grinding away inside. In fact, there was no sound at all! That is to say, the film wasn’t making that nice shuffly rewinding sound like it was supposed to because the little Smena 35 wasn’t even rewinding the film! The rewind arm was just turning loosely without doing a darn thing!

I haven’t had much luck with Smena cameras so far, but I will persist!

Not wanting to open the back of the camera and expose the film inside, I popped it into a darkroom changing bag and cut the film with scissors. I then popped it into a plastic film container and taped it up. At least I could still have the film developed.

Later research informed that I was likely trying to rewind without a one quarter counterclockwise turn of the shutter button upon depression. I’m happy to admit my mistake, especially since it means that my Smena camera can be used again.

Here are a few of the scans from that day:

Chinatown - Smena 35 camera

Chinatown – Smena 35 camera

Trees - Smena 35

Trees – Smena 35

Chinatown in Adelaide with the Smena 35 camera

Chinatown in Adelaide with the Smena 35 camera

The Smena 35 is an easy camera to use, and certainly easier to load than the Smena 8M. The lens is pretty sharp and even though the colours look a bit washed out, I think that could be partly due to the film I used.

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