Usually when I review an SLR I tend to caveat my reviews by pointing out optical performance depends on the Lens glass and don’t focus on that side of things. But with this Ukrainian beast it really is all about the glass in the form of the Helios-81N ( гелиос-81н )50mm 1:2 lens.
But let’s not ignore the camera and we’ll begin there.
Since I got my Olympus PEN EE-2, I’ve been seeking out a more focusable Half frame camera. As well as the obvious EES-2, one camera caught my attention from the Old USSR, the ФЭД Микро or in English the FED Mikron/micron sometime dubbed the Soviet PEN.
So when I finally got a working one I headed out with a roll of trusty Kodak BW400CN.
The Vilia is yet another fully manual shooter from the later years of the soviet union from MMZ-BelOMO in Belarus. Unlike its obvious soviet rivals the camera styling is more akin to Japanese compacts of the era. But how does it measure up compared to its rivals like the Smena Symbol ?
Wanna turn your scale focused point and shoot into a rangefinder ? Well an external rangefinder could be for you and good old Lomo produced a decidedly modernist one in the Blik (Блик – meaning ‘Speck of light’).
Soviet manufacturer Lomo is best known these days for the LC-A that arguably launched the whole Lomography movement. But they produced a range of other cameras which have some cachet including the Lubitel series of Twin Lens Reflex Cameras. Infact the Lubitel lives on in manufacture these days with the LSI produced 166+. Now this will set you back almost 300 GBP for which isn’t really an option for the Canny photographer. Luckily you can buy its 1980’s predecessor for much less in working order.
This little plastic corker was one of the best selling classic soviet Cameras of all time. But why does a plasticky unmetered camera with 1950’s mechanics still deserve a loyal following. The answer is its simplicity and its killer lens. Continue reading Smena 8m Review : Good clean plastic Fun→
Soviet cameras frequently are accused of being copies of Western & Japanese models. Whatever you think they do it pretty well and Ukrainian FED are no exception. The company is still best known for it’s Leica-like rangefinders and lens. However the FED Mikron 2 (ФЭД Микрон 2) is a compact rangefinder along the lines of the Konica C35. Continue reading FED Mikron 2 : Come in Comrade we’ve been expecting you→