Smena Symbol Test Roll, Ilford XP2 Super 400ASA

It’s been pretty good fun and I think the roll of Ilford I used has shown its class as I shot several frames using the wrong settings and they still look fine.

The camera has been quite unpredictable. I had several frames that overlapped in odd places but I don’t mind that at all.

It’s all Lomo!

Here’s the shots but remember, I always have Flickr sets for my cameras so check out my Smena Symbol Flickr set:

Flash Photography
The hotshoe failed to work with my three flash guns (it may be broken) so I resorted to firing the flash independently to the camera and set the shutter speed to Bulb. Pull shutter – fire flash – release shutter. I was surprised I had anything to show!

Bicycle Flashlight
Here I used my bikes flashlight to illuminate Anna’s face. It appeared to have worked OK.

This was one almighty screw-up but I quite like it!
Click the image to see the original size.

I’m now out of 35mm film so I’ll have to get back on eBay or the


6 thoughts on “Smena Symbol Test Roll, Ilford XP2 Super 400ASA

  1. Very nice pictures!
    What kind of settings did you use? I’m about to shoot my first roll of 400 iso with that russian gem, and i’m not so sure…
    Been shooting in 100 and 200 only up to now.
    I’d be thankfull for tips!


    1. Thanks for your kind compliment.
      Your settings would vary from scene to scene but if you have a smart phone like an iOS or Android device you should find a light meter app in the App Store or Market place that can take decent light readings.
      That’s what I use to get an average reading of my surroundings then I’ll increase/decrease the f-stop for lighter or darker areas. It’s not scientific, pure guess work.

      I often read about people claiming that, like Cipher in the first Matrix film, they no longer need the light meter because they can instantly ‘read’ the scene. I’m no where near that stage yet but I feel I’m getting closer.

      For 400 film I guess you just need to close the aperture a little more than you normally would, that’s what I would do but I first recommend a light meter to train your eye.

      Regards flash photography, on the back of my flash gun is a handy guide table to help you get the right shot, most flash guns have one. It lists Film Speeds down the left axis and Distance across the top – so for 100 ISO film with your subject 1 meter away you should use f22, and as your subject moves away so your f-stop would decrease accordingly. That table has helped train my eye so I don’t really use it too much now and its just a guide so always experiment.

      One thing I almost forgot, and I do this more than I should by now, don’t forget to set your shutter speed to the flash sync’d speed of your camera … although that isn’t an issue as the Smena Symbol as I believe its flash sync’d for all shutter speeds.

      The shots of my daughter were shot on Bulb mode probably at f22 though you’d maybe get the same results at 1/30 or 1/15.

      I wish my Smena still worked. I only got one roll out of her before the shutter failed.

      I hope that hasn’t been too long or patronising!


    1. I scanned the negative using my scanners B&W negative mode so it stripped out any colour from the negative.

      I might scan again using its colour mode to see if it looks any different.


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