Smena 8. Shown with added Watameter rangefinder and gratuitous cup of coffee…

I originally started writing this post in June 2021…

I really don’t know why it didnt get posted, pandemic, apathy, one of many other excuses about finding it difficult to write etc etc etc.

Whatever the reason, lets tell the first part of this story now – and hopefully it wont be almost another 2 years before part two…

The day started out with zero intentions of getting any new gear…

Partly due to a rather large camera purchase (that’ll be another post…) I have genuinely been clearing through my kit, cleaning up and servicing cameras that i barely ever used and selling them.

So when I saw a camera in one of those hipster ‘antique’ shops that are popping up everywhere of late the first thing that went through my mind WASN’T for once that I needed it.

You know when you see in a cartoon the character is trying to make a decision and they have a tiny angelic version of themselves on one shoulder, and the other shoulder has a tiny version of them dressed as the devil…?

That was me at that moment:

Devil Neil: “Hey look there’s a camera there.”

Angel Neil: “And…? He doesn’t need anymore, he’s selling them remember…?”

Devil Neil:”Oh yeah. Well maybe we should see at least what it is?”

Angel Neil: “Don’t do it…doesn’t matter what it is he doesn’t want it or need it…”

Devil Neil then clocks angel Neil round the head with a frying pan, knocking him off my shoulder…

Me: “Hmm…maybe you’re right…never seen one of these before…”

So i picked it up and looked it over. Its got a brand name in a font i could barely read and i literally couldnt work out what i was holding. It was 35mm, zone focusing, and you had a choice of apertures and shutter speeds. Opened the back, looked through it as i cocked and fired the shutter and it worked. But there was of course no price tag on it.

Sent a photo of it to a messenger thread of people I knew would be able to help me and very shortly was told that I was holding a Smena 8. A 35mm Russian camera that Lomo would eventually brand up with a few different names including the Cosmic 35.

The dude in the shop said it was £15, which was more than i’d hoped for if i’m honest but it looked really interesting, even if that £15 had only bought me a shutter system and lens for something homemade…

And that’s part 1 of the story. Ending with me tucking it away so no-one knew that I had relapsed…!

As I said its been a while since this took place, and I have shot a couple rolls through it but check in next time for some results and my thoughts on using the camera.

Talk to you soon. I promise…!

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