Smena-SL or Smena-Rapid is a 35mm Soviet film scale camera for beginner amateur photographers. Designed for charging with Rapid cassettes.


Since 1969, LOMO began production of the Smena-SL or Smena-Rapid camera for deliveries to Western countries. This camera was compatible with the Rapid system, which suggested a quick film change in the camera.

Smena-SL Specifications

  • Type: 35mm scale focus camera
  • Manufacturer: LOMO plant
  • Production period: from 1968 to 1977
  • Format: 24x36cm on 135 film
  • Lens mount: fixed lens
  • Lens: Triplet T-43 4.0/40
  • Shutter: leaf shutter with speeds from 1/15 to 1/250 sec.
  • Viewfinder: optical vewfinder
  • Lighmeter: none
  • Selftimer: none
  • Weight: 300 grams
Smena-sl ussr
smena rapid sl

The two cameras in fact were no different except that the Smena-SL had a mount for a removable external rangefinder or flash. A total of 597935 Smena-Rapid and Smena-SL cameras were produced from 1968 to 1977.

Since 1970, the first two digits of the number began to indicate the year of issue.

All Smena-SL and Smena-Rapid cameras were equipped with a non-replaceable T-43 4/40 triplet lens. As it is, as before, the simplest camera without a rangefinder or a mirror mechanism, focusing was carried out using the distance or symbol scales on the lens.

Smena soviet camera
soviet cameras

Since this is a lens, the scheme of which came to us straight from the 19th century, the picture obtained with this lens will have a wonderful vintage effect.

The camera was also equipped with a leaf shutter with shutter speeds of 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250 and B. The set of shutter speeds here is the same as on many other similar cameras, for example, in Smena-8m.

Smena-sl cameras
smena-sl soviet camera

Smena-SL is designed for Rapid cassettes with a frame size of 24 × 36. Due to the features of the Rapid system, you could only make 12 frames.

The cameras, like their predecessors, are made of fairly high-quality plastic with aluminum elements. They are very compact and look surprisingly stylish.

Smena sl rapid camera

The shutter button is located next to the lens, exactly where it is located on the Lubitel cameras and the early Smena cameras. But unlike the early Smena cameras, there is a lever cocking shutter.

Smena-rapid ussr
Smena-sl rapid

The exposure selection scale on the top of the camera is made very unusual and original, especially for the Soviet Union of the early 70s. But on the bottom of the lens, you can see a more familiar marking of shutter speeds.



The Smena-SL film camera cannot be attributed to high-quality equipment that helped professionals create high-quality pictures. Smena-SL is a different kind of camera. It was easy to take the first steps in photography with this Soviet film camera. This simple but quite reliable camera, along with Smena-8m, was the first camera for many schoolchildren and just beginner photographers.

The Smena-SL and Smena-Rapid for us are interesting cameras, but rather for collectors. We do not think that it will be difficult for you to insert a film into the camera, and the ability to make only 12 frames is not a positive feature of these cameras.

In our opinion, the more popular and super cheap Smena-8m is a more successful camera. Nevertheless, Smena-Rapid and Smena-SL give a very interesting and unusual experience in photographing.


Smena-Rapid photos
Smena-SL, Triplet T-43 4/40, Svema NK-2SH
Smena-SL soviet camera
Smena-SL, Triplet T-43 4/40, Svema Foto 64
Smena-SL review
Smena-SL, Triplet T-43 4/40, Svema Foto 64

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