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Vlad Posted - Dec 19 2007 : 11:12:39 PM
Does anyone know if there is a UFK-1? If yes what camera is it based on?


26   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Vlad Posted - Dec 25 2007 : 11:45:03 AM
These are great Lomography style pics though! Anyone who's into it will definitely benefit from this little shooter.
nightphoto Posted - Dec 24 2007 : 2:45:52 PM

Okynek, thanks for looking at the photos and my comments. I agree with you 100%. This quality of set can be difficult to use and bring bad results and so it can go either way depending on the personality of the child and encouragement from the parents ... either to prompt the child to explore photography more, or to make them feel it is too difficult. No doubt, if a child used this set at a young age with out guidance from an older person, it could be discouraging. But with proper guidence and encouragement, it could have good results for future interest.
But, our original question as to whether or not this is a camera and can make images is not in doubt after my experiments. It is a camera and can make photographs, in my opinion. It will produce the "magic image"... the photograph from life.
Good for vactation ? No way! But for $20.00 you can buy a small used digital camera for you and your kid to use! These days no one uses film for vacations ;-).

Regards, Bill

okynek Posted - Dec 24 2007 : 1:45:40 PM
Thank you Bill for such comprehensive and honest report. Your words is completely coincided with words of my Natural Physic teacher why introduced me to this set. It show how light work, how it can make pictures and really good for all kinds of experiments.
Iím surprised about serial number on your set. I used set like this in 70-th and was sure that production seas short time after this. I wonder if you can find price of this set on the box or inside the manuals/passport. As I remember price was significantly higher then price of the Smena 8M.. That is why only few parents bought it. Also I do not think new film will significantly improve quality of the pictures. Also you developed this film in a mini lab. Film developed by machines in the lab has electronic control and produced great results even on pure negatives (like mine:). When I used this set, we had only b&w film 65 GOST(roughly 65ASA) and concentrated developer and did everything by hands with on the whole clock. Very frustrated and very soon I discovered that most of the film was impossible to use at all. Few remaining frames had very blurry images.
Well, may be set was modified over the time for better results. But I would not be to sure.
I would not buy such set for my kid at any price because pure results most likely would take him off the photography then in it. Truly to make pictures with such camera you must be a pro. No way inexperienced kid can make pictures with such equipment. Your pictures probably as good as it gets. They are great for Lomography!! But most likely they will not go in family album. It would be hard to recognize who was on the pictures in few years. Of cause this is matter of perception and I thank you to go this far and for posting your report and pictures, but I still lean to call this set educational toy but no more. Does it belong in camera collection? Absolutely yes. Would you take it with you on vacation and call it a camera? That may be in questions(for me).
nightphoto Posted - Dec 24 2007 : 11:14:45 AM

Here is how I made the photos with UKK-2 camera. I assembled the camera according to the picture diagram in the instructions. This was easy for me and would be easy for a child. Instead of using the two casstes that came with the set, I just used a roll of FUJICHROME 200 in the standard cassette it comes in. I used a take up spool from one of the cassettes in the set, but when the film was done, I took it out of the camera in a dark closet and rewound the film into the FUJI cassette by hand. The FUJICHROME is quite outdated (about 15 years old) and a fairer test could use new film.
The camera was easy to use. The frame-finder window (with no glass or plastic) seems accurate in framing the subject. The shutter works easily. The camera is so light that it is hard to hold steady and it is easy to move it just by pushing the shutter. The winding mechanism works good and the little frame indicator on the back is accurate. The two setting aperture works good and allows for some discretion in exposure, along with the "B" or "I" speed settings. By the end of the roll, I had a feeling where to set and when to use these (not major decisions).
I did not alter the camera by trying to stop light leaks. There does not seem to be any light leaks as far as I can see from the negatives. The lens is glass, but not coated and flare shows on most photos taken in bright light. The grainy quality of the photos is due to the outdated film. If an ASA 100 speed film, not outdated was used, this would be much improved. Also next time I will use black and white film as this was what was intended to be used (since the set comes with an enlarger... probably not for color).
The film was scratched, on the non-emulsion side on parts of the roll and this was done by the film pressure plate which had a bump in it pointing toward the film, made by a drilled hole (poor quality control and design). This will be fixed by putting a piece of scotch tape over it next time before I use it. Also, I notice a reflection of light along the right side of the photos which I believe was caused by the small metal half-frame window plate that is in front of the film (poor design, should have been flat black).
This was a quick test and I did not set the camera down on a surface and make an exposure to see actually how sharp (or unsharp) the lens is. But, I would have to say that the lens is poor. Less sharp than a LOMO LC-A and edge sharpness is quite poor.
So, all in all, I would say that this unit does qualify as a camera and would not be the worst thing to learn on, considering that you also gain knowledge and self estemm by constructing it, using it, printing photos (if that part works)and learning how silver-based photography and optics work. With the guidance of a parent and film, it would be a useful learning tool and you could make photographs with it. A good introduction for a cheap price to see if a child has interest and patience. If the child had interest, the next year at Christmas, things could be up-graded!
I would say it is a camera that can make photographs. The only things wrong are that the lens could be sharper, the film pressure plate smoother, the half frame plate flat black. Makes photos to be proud of if you are a beginner and could make you want to be a photographer because now you know how to make photos!
However... thi set is outdated as now I'm sure kids will start with a used digital camera on Dad's computer ;-)

By the way, my LOMO UFK-2 camera is serial number 94009516 (stamped on the bottom of the camera).

Regards, Bill

okynek Posted - Dec 24 2007 : 08:41:37 AM
Bill thank you very much for all your work and time to make pictures and post them for us! What is your opinion about this pictures? And may be more members can post they input?
Vlad Posted - Dec 23 2007 : 12:28:30 AM
Wow these are pretty decent for a toy I like the one with the rowboat especially, very nice!
nightphoto Posted - Dec 22 2007 : 8:51:04 PM

Well, here are the results of my test of the UFK-2 LOMO camera (which I proudly built myself ;-)).

Here is a link to a page I made with results. The last photo has been cropped.


I will do another test with this camera after the holidays, using better film and trying other techniques.
It was fun to use! Happy holidays to all!

Regards, Bill

okynek Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 10:42:10 PM
After all, is not collecting these things our play... and the Russian cameras our toys for grown men

Can not waite until tomorrow. Best of luck!!!
Vlad Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 9:19:52 PM
Hehehe.. well I'll try my best not to succumb to temptation with my set I unseal it carefully to take a look at it, but didn't assemble anything...

nightphoto Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 9:03:03 PM
What can I say... now that the seal is opened ... the cat is out of the bag..as they say. Probably I will want to try the enlarger as well!
So, now, I just loaded the camera and it is waiting until the daylight comes. Then... Rodchenko, look out!

Regards, Bill

Vlad Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 8:50:42 PM
Bill, someone threatened not to open the seal on that set?? LOL
nightphoto Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 8:33:59 PM

Okynek, OK! So far I have assembled the camera correctly from the pictures of in the instructions. I can see that there may be places where there can be light leaks, but I want to try this camera in the same way a user might, so for now I will not do anything different than original.
So tonight I will load some film into the cassettes, and put it into the camera. Tomorrow I will take photos with it like a good little boy!
By tomorrow or Saturday you can see some results...I will show my best and my worst. If nothing good... then not a camera / a toy ... if something good .... then a camera and a toy.

After all, is not collecting these things our play... and the Russian cameras our toys for grown men and women? ;-)

Regards, Bill

okynek Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 8:05:17 PM
Thank you Bill! I would really like to see the results in a good way. Please post them as they came!
Before you do any pictures please check camera for light leaks from the loading door and especially from the shatter. If you dare to get camera apart then get to the shatter and refurbish parts and reassemble it. But use this advice at your discretion. I do not want you to ruin camera.
nightphoto Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 7:23:42 PM

Okynek, I'm not arguing either, but I do think if this thing can make a photograph, then it would be called a camera. Even a pinhole camera can be a camera.

An online dictionary defines a camera as:

"An apparatus for taking photographs, generally consisting of a lightproof enclosure having an aperture with a shuttered lens through which the image of an object is focused and recorded on a photosensitive film or plate."

So, we will see if this thing works for me. I will let you know in a few days... after I have had an experience with it!

Regards, Bill

okynek Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 7:06:17 PM
Bill I'm not argue. I guess this is only matter of perception.
nightphoto Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 6:06:56 PM

Well Okynek, you may be wrong about a few things.

The lens in this set has a glass lens... single element "meniscus" lens.
There is a simple dual aperture adjustment (wide open and probably 1/2 open) controlled with a lever.
Shutter is as you say, two speeds... B and another speed which is regulated with a spring mechanism which appears to be very even and looks to be about 1/60 sec. So not "whatever happens this day".
The instruction book has elementary lessons on the principles of light and optics, how to load the film, how to take photographs, projection, etc.

So, it does have all the same mechanical elements of many simple commercial cameras and was obviously made to use. Whether a child or their parents treat it as a toy or a camera-enlarger-projector is of course their choice. Because it may have been bought just to have something to give quickly means nothing. Many gifts are bought that way but it doesn't mean they are not functional. Point and shoot cameras, i-pods, telescopes, transistor radios, and many products serve both purposes... as a quick gift and something to be used.

Was a daguerreotype camera not a camera because the shutter was a lens cap and not exactly controllable? Was the Kodak Brownie not a camera because it only had "I" and "B" for speeds?

Maybe the parents who bought this camera never thought to buy film, but maybe some kids asked for film because they became interested and were able to get their parents to buy it for them. Or, maybe they did not get to have film and made experiments with printing out paper or photo paper, as you did. So, I can see that if you went so far as to put paper in this "non-camera" then it must have made you interested in photography! So that is the point of this thing... not to go out and shoot photos for exhibitions, Sovetskoe Foto, or "Soviet Life", but to teach a kid and to interest a kid in learning photography. Probably not every parent wanted to buy a camera, projector, and enlarger to see if their child would become interested.

So now we will come to your last statement that there is no way you can use film and get a picture with this set. I can not say the answer just now, but before the weekend is over, we will see as I will assemble my UFK "camera", load it with film, shoot the roll (if these things are possible), have it developed and then post the results here on the forum ;-)

Regards, Bill

okynek Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 6:04:33 PM
Buy the way this sets have great screwdriver. I use it to fix cameras, watches and other stuff. It crossed ocean with me. And it still with me after more then 30 years!

okynek Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 5:44:11 PM
I'm totally agreed about Etude. I can not buy one. I use to pick up on kids who have Etudes. So I'm ashamed now to buy Etude myself. Not proud about my behavior. But still can not call Etude a camera. By some reasons Etude was sold by camera shops. Not by toy shops. So many of them was on the shelfs and so few of them remain probably because not many dare to buy them
Vlad Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 4:45:53 PM
Well.. I know it'll probably create some craptacular pictures but it's still made with intention of being a camera - even for kids.. just like Yunkor and Shkolnik and Etyud - and to tell you the truth I think Etyud is even worse camera than this little thing... in what other camera have you seen film advance knob falling off which you're advancing the film?
okynek Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 4:39:33 PM
Guys, are you really serious? Are you truly believe that designers of this set was thinking about anything more then as a toy? Do you truly believe that buyers of this set was intended to make pictures with this camera? Let me disappointed you. Parents who bought this toy for they kids never think to buy a film. Mostly they was buying this set because nothing else was available at that time and you have to get something home this night. This set (correct me if Iím wrong) cost 20 rubles. Smena 8M cost only 15 rubles. And as we know Smena can make pretty darm good pictures. So if someone like to buy camera they was more incline for Smena. Would be you?
To call something a camera it must past few criteria. The main, camera is devise what able to control light. Am I right? The set above very loosely can fit to this criteria. As I remember it has 2 shatter speeds: B and whatever happens this day (or instant). Speed of the shatter mostly depended from the way you push button and the way you hold camera. No ways to predict how next shot will go. But even if you can,... with one plastic lens and no focus adjustment chances to make something better then blurry spots will be a huge success. Iím mean, yes, you can call it a camera.. It just not designed to make any pictures
As I remember the only way we can get any result when we cat photo paper and put it to the camera and then try to make pictures on B speed and then developed paper under red light to see how it came out. We have to go this way because it the only way to control process. No way you can use film and get picture with this set.
Vlad Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 3:17:51 PM
Okynek - whatever Bill said LOL. I had the same point to make in my answer to you... .. I still proudly display it in my collection, but since the kit is brand new I'm hesitant to open it to make a camera and put it on the shelf.. for now I put the whole kit in box on display.. maybe I'll buy another one just to assemble it to display with rest of my cameras...

uccmmcpo Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 2:44:52 PM
The shutter looks like the metallic pinhole snapper that the early (1903?) Kodak box camera had fitted to it. Talk about simplicity. But it worked.
nightphoto Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 1:54:23 PM

In my opinion, if it can make a photograph using a lens, then it must be called a camera. In the case of the UFK-2, the set looks like it could make actual photographs, as well as print them or view slides or film strips.

Of course it would be a young person's first camera and would probably teach them quite a bit about the photographic processes, how lenses can be used, how to make the actual prints, etc. Many other cameras are very simple, such as Yunkor, Etud, Sholnik, etc., but they present to the young people the technical miracle of making an image from the sun's rays and the possibility of saving it permanently on paper or some other thing. This has been the dream of man for many centuries, finally realized during the 19th century, and has changed our culture, art, and way of thinking. So, I would say that perhaps these first children's "toy cameras" are very important!

Regards, Bill

okynek Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 10:33:49 AM
Vlad I had this set when I was little. They was sold in toy's stores. It was fun to play and made different set ups with it. But by my opinion it would be a good stretch to call this sets a camera.
The same like toy sewing-machines or toy binoculars this sets was only made for kids to play. But it would be fun to put roll or film throw this camera and see what came out.
Vlad Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 09:25:28 AM
Thank you Alain,

No, that's not necessary unless other members are interested.. Bill and I both just purchased brand new UFK-2's so we were curious if there is UFK-1 possibly based on earlier Smena?

mermoz37 Posted - Dec 20 2007 : 04:47:05 AM
i possess two slightly different :
- one coming whith toy set (enlarger etc...)
- and another one coming alone (whith matching case).
- the main difference is the finder whith or not flat glass.
they are based on a smena 8M body whith a half frame mask inside , so without rewind shaft and button.
would you like pictures ?

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