Smena-5 is a Soviet scale-focusing camera, which was produced at the LOMO plant from 1961 to 1962 and is intended for novice photographers.

Smena-5 camera

The Soviet photographic industry loved to simplify and cheapen everything that could be simplified and cheapened. A vivid example of this is the Smena-5 camera. This camera came after the innovative (by Soviet standards) Smena 4 camera.

Smena-5 Specifications

  • Type: 35mm viewfinder camera
  • Manufacturer: LOMO plant
  • Production period: from 1961 to 1962
  • Format: 24x36cm on 135 film
  • Lens mount: fixed lens
  • Lens: T-42 f5.6/40
  • Shutter: leaf shutter with speeds from 1/30 to 1/250 sec.
  • Viewfinder: optical viewfinder
  • Lighmeter: none
  • Flash synchronisation: sync socket “X”,
  • Selftimer: none
  • Weight: 303 grams

Due to the fact that this camera had too many sophisticated technologies (again, by Soviet standards), the camera did not take root in the market. 

Smena-5 soviet camera

Despite all the attempts of the Soviet Union to prove that they are doing the best things in the world, everything produced in the country was often of terrible quality.

Because of this fact, as well as the fact that the Soviet people could not afford anything expensive, the engineers decided to create an even simpler camera than they had done before.


But, this camera also did not become a bestseller in Soviet stores. Probably if this camera became popular, the next one would be a camera made of paper with one shutter speed and a hole instead of a lens.

But for unknown reasons (in fact, for obvious reasons), the camera was produced for only two years and was replaced by a more advanced Smena 6.

soviet film camera smena

The fact is that the camera was equipped with the slowest lens. It was a Triplet T-42 5.6/40. Now it’s much more difficult to achieve the beautiful blurring of the background, and you have to shoot in fairly light places.

soviet film camera

In addition, the camera no longer has a slow speed of 1/15. Smena-5 is equipped with a leaf shutter with speeds of 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, and B. It is not very clear to us why it was necessary to reduce the already small number of shutter speeds. Most likely in order to complicate the already difficult life of the Soviet people.

soviet film camera
smena-5 soviet film camera

In addition to all this, the camera was no longer equipped with a case. Although this was a case made of the cheapest material, now buyers did not receive even that.

But of course, there were innovations that were quite interesting. First of all, this is the new body. It is still made from bakelite, but the look has changed a lot. In addition, the camera was equipped with a strange hood similar to a cup, and designed to protect the lens from scratches.

So, is Smena-5 so terrible? From the point of view of a collector, this is an interesting object, but shooting with this camera will be quite difficult.

The Smena-5 camera is one of the worst cameras of all Smenas. It has a very dark lens and only 4 shutter speeds. If you want a tough challenge for your photography skills, then this camera will help you with that. In addition, as mentioned above, this camera may be of interest to collectors. For everyone else, we strictly do not recommend looking for and buying this camera.


Soviet Camera Photos
Triplet T-42 5.6/40, Fomapan 100
Smena-5 review
Triplet T-42 5.6/40, Fomapan 100
Smena-5 photo
Triplet T-42 5.6/40, Fomapan 100

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