Camera Review: Cmena 6

The Cmena 6, or Smena 6, is a fantastic 35mm film camera that I loved very much, I say loved because I dropped the bugger getting out of my car ruining the lens/shutter.

I still have the camera in the hope I’ll have time to maybe actually fix it but I know deep down I never will.

The camera is one of the original Lomo cameras, it has a small list of shutter speeds ranging from Bulb to 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/250 with the shutter on the lens not the body.

It has a cold shoe with a PC connector on the lens and I believe it’s flash synced with all shutter speeds thanks to it’s leaf shutter.

I only used a PC connected flash near the end of it’s life because I didn’t have a PC flash for a long time and flashed using the camera on bulb.

The focal length is 40mm, decent enough, but not that fast at f4. It’s a viewfinder camera, meaning there’s no focusing system, but you could buy a rangefinder attachment to go with it which I did do and used it for a while.

One other thing about this camera, you need a reusable take-up spool to advance your film into. I’ve heard some folk having to buy one but I was lucky enough to buy my camera with one already in it.

When I first used the camera I managed to load the take up spool back to front and scratched the hell out of the first roll.

It’s an easy enough camera to use, all the settings are on the lens with the trigger up on top of the body.

Although the take up spool pretty much takes the whole roll I normally emptied the camera in a changing bag to preserve the last frame I took with it.

As you could see on the photos of the camera there’s no film advance crank just a wheel that you turn to advance the film.

This is both good and bad. Good because you are able to make double exposures and crazy long panoramics but bad if you don’t. I could never really figure out how you advanced only one frame at a time so I had a lot of overlapping images or weird oversized gaps between frames.

So, the pros are almost the same as the cons; multiple exposure but with not enough control.

I’ve been seriously thinking about buying another Cmena camera because I think they’re still quite affordable but I don’t think they’re particularly reliable; I’ve got a Cmena Symbol which is also in a bad way. It could just be my luck.

The Cmena 6 is a great little camera but has it’s limitations, if I hadn’t dropped it I reckon it would still be working fine today.

It’s the cheap little brother of the very popular Cmena 8 which from a glance is pretty much the same camera but maybe better optics.

It has a slow lens but it’s flash synced up to 1/250 (just don’t put anything faster than ISO200 in it during a sunny day).

It’s great for the Lomo generation, since it’s an old school Lomo camera, and can easily fit that shooting style.


le fin

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