Since 1969, LOMO began production of the Smena SL or Smena Rapid cameras for deliveries to Western countries. This camera was compatible with the Rapid system, which suggested a quick film change in the camera.
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.
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 central 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.
The 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.
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 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, the Smena Rapid and Smena SL give a very interesting and unusual experience in photographing.