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Smena 8M - First in Competition of 1984

Created by Vlad on 11/13/2008 9:37:43 PM
Last Edited by levonsa on 3/1/2011 4:23:31 PM  
Located in
Still Cameras > Commemorative Cameras

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okynek
759 Posts
Posted - Aug 12 2010 :  10:22:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Existences of such camera really puzzled me.
Seems strange that only commemorative Smena 8M was made for Bulgarian friends.
Sign say "First in Competitions of 1984" or "To winner of the competition in 1984". What competition? Anybody know details?
Also how many cameras like this known to exist?
I'll start serial number count. Please help with your information.
okynek
759 Posts
Posted - Sep 25 2010 :  8:50:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No one answer so far.
I'm very curious and little bit suspicious about it.
Can somebody confirm or deny authenticity of this camera?
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Juhani Halmeenmaki
cedricfan
Finland
988 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Sep 26 2010 :  04:23:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit cedricfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
So far nobody from Bulgaria who is over 45 years has visited here
Meaning that this can be very tricky...
Have you googled for competitions in Bulgaria in 1984? It has been a bigger event as quite many of these cameras exist. Maybe easier that way to begin. Then widening the question to a forum where someone who attended the competition might visit?

Serial-# to come when I find mine.

Best regards,
Juhani
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okynek
759 Posts
Posted - Sep 27 2010 :  3:38:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll try to search the web for sure. Will report the results if found.
How many cameras like this knows to exist? 10, 100, 500, 5000, more?
"First in competition" I think referred to to some political event, not to sport or games competitions.
IMHO camera is to cheap even by 1980 standards to give it to adults. Possible it was giving to teens for some kind of politico/economical achievements, like paper recycling, or book reading.
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Juhani Halmeenmaki
cedricfan
Finland
988 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Sep 27 2010 :  4:12:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit cedricfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well, weren't even sports very political then behind iron curtain? Even chess was political as a proof how mighty the USSR was...

And certainly more than 10, most likely more than 100.
Mine is 84-209203 and Aidas' website lists 84-186804, so adding your 84-194287 means these all are from same period. Certainly no proof that all numbers between 1868xx and 2092xx are these, more likely one batch with mixed serials from that time from warehouse was reprinted. But this is good evidence for authentical camera, as the serials are that close.

Best regards,
Juhani
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
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Posted - Sep 27 2010 :  8:06:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Serial # of mine is 84-206947. I've seen about 5 of these cameras so far over past 3 years.

Cheers,
Vlad.
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okynek
759 Posts
Posted - Sep 27 2010 :  9:45:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And I seen 3 in last month, all from Bulgaria. Probably old stock. Does not look that they are fake, to me at list.
As I know this is the only Soviet camera what was ordered by foreign government for special purposes, not for retail.
I'm not expert in Bulgarian at all, but I thinking that this is a "political" camera because for sport was usually used word "game" - Winner of Olympic games. For political goals usually was used word "competition" - like Socialistic Competition was very popular in USSR or Competition between Soviet Republic, or Competition between factories. But there are a lot of exceptions like Figure-skating competition, and in Bulgaria it may be used for sport games.
Interesting to mention that I do not know any camera made for Russian "competitions". Cameras in USSR often was presented to distinguish someone or something, but never from the government.
This Smena is a unique concept in Russian camera history.
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4204 Posts
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Posted - Sep 27 2010 :  10:11:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Possibly this? A socialist countries "alternative olympics" tournament in 1984 in Bulgaria to protest Olympics.

http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B2%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8F_%C2%AB%D0%94%D1%80%D1%83%D0%B6%D0%B1%D0%B0-84%C2%BB_%D0%BF%D0%BE_%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%B9%D0%B1%D0%BE%D0%BB%D1%83
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
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Posted - Sep 27 2010 :  10:12:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
English link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendship_Games
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Juhani Halmeenmaki
cedricfan
Finland
988 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Sep 27 2010 :  11:48:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit cedricfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Would fit perfectly! And knowing how many Moscow olympic cameras were made it would not be a wonder that even these were made more than needed. To me a logical reason for choosing Smena would be price. This was Eastern Bloc only, and huge PR for west like in Moscow games was not needed "locally". Moscow olympics was only 4 years away, so the more expensive commemorative cameras from that time were already spread to FSU-markets. Or unsold collecting dust.
Vlad, what can you say about the "competition" word? Can you find out what Bulgarians called their games?

Best regards,
Juhani

Edited by - cedricfan on Sep 28 2010 02:39:55 AM
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okynek
759 Posts
Posted - Sep 28 2010 :  9:03:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Vlad, this is a good idea, but few things bothering me, camera, as I can translate, said One of the first (not necessary the first) in Competition for (entire) 1984 year. This is why I think this is not a sport event, which usually last less then year and honor the winner. I could be wrong.
In my understanding this slogan would better fit to wide spread Soviet slogan: "Победителю в Социалистическом соревновании за 1984 год" - which I having hard time to translate in English without losing the meaning, probably something like this: "One of the best in Socialistic competition for 1984 year".
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
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Posted - Sep 28 2010 :  9:14:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Okynek, I would probably have to disagree, because I think this sentence can easily be applied to sporting event. There is no mention of any socialist competition, only to "a" competition which very well be sport.

Cheers,
Vlad
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okynek
759 Posts
Posted - Sep 29 2010 :  10:58:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sure, I agree with you Vlad. My theory is only a theory and cameras very well may be made for sporting events like "friendship games".
My main questions are:
Why only for Bulgaria?
Why nothing mention about event what it made for?
Why "for 1984 year" instead for date of the event?
We need more information on sure.
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
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Posted - Sep 29 2010 :  11:58:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well, if we continue to run with the Friendship games theory:

Why Bulgaria? - Games were held only in Bulgaria and some events in Cuba
Why no mention of games name? - Why no mention of games name on Zenit-E Moskva-80 cameras? It can as well be Bulgaria-84
Why no exact date? Same answer as to Moskva-80 cameras

Best regards,
Vlad
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
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Posted - Sep 29 2010 :  12:00:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Oh and I would assume these were probably not gave out as prizes Smenas are too cheap for that, may have been just local souvenirs. There seems to be quite a few of those.
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Bill Parkinson
nightphoto
USA
1027 Posts
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Posted - Sep 29 2010 :  10:14:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit nightphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Okynek,

Thanks for starting this thread about the Smena 8m commemorative camera. I didn't have one (or even know of it), but now I found one too!

Here is the link to the one I just bought:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170539237486

I can't really read the serial number from the photo but when it arrives I will add it here and on the WIKI entry.

Regards, Bill

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okynek
759 Posts
Posted - Sep 30 2010 :  07:51:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Games were held only in Bulgaria and some events in Cuba

Vlad Wikipedia said that:
"The Friendship Games or Friendship-84 (Russian: Дружба-84, Druzhba-84) was an international multi-sport event held between 2 July and 16 September 1984 in the Soviet Union and eight other socialist states which boycotted As the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles."
In Russian Wiki mention that Bulgaria hosted only few events including Volleyball tournament. Most of the events was elsewhere.
As I remember the emblem of this games was wide spread and known at that time in Soviet block, I would expect to see it on the camera, specially because it was presumably sold as a souvenir.
No emblem on the camera, as with Olympic Zenit, no mention names, or dates, or places, like Moskva-80, nothing.
Vlad, I do not dismiss your theory, specially because we do not have any other theory about this camera at this time.
I just raising questions, and hope that some one from Bulgaria, or from Lomo will answer them.
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okynek
759 Posts
Posted - Sep 30 2010 :  07:56:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is another camera like this what did not sell:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Very-Rare-Smena-8M-Leader-1984-camera-LOMO-Lomography-/220659945789?pt=Film_Cameras&hash=item33605b913d

May be they not as rare as we think? May be they are fake?
Then more I learn about this camera then more questions I have....
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Juhani Halmeenmaki
cedricfan
Finland
988 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Sep 30 2010 :  09:37:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit cedricfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mine was bought over four years ago and Aidas before that. The serials so far match 1984. These keep coming up in ebay reguraly but not plenty.
So it would be a very uncommercial and tricky faker to 1) buy a lot of 1984 Smena 8M in decent condition 2) fake them already several years ago 3) sell for many years.
Have you noticed that so far all that we have seen are in good condition? So I would vote for old stocks found recently. There is huge stocks of USSR-time unused products still hidden in storages in the Eastern Europe countries!

Best regards,
Juhani
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
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Posted - Sep 30 2010 :  10:14:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I was about to post the same points that Juhani brought up, except I did see one or two for sale that were somewhat worn and period accurate, so I really doubt these are recent fakes. It's more likely someone in 1984 bought brought a whole lot to Bulgaria and stamped them there, I don't think this is Lomo factory variation especially in Bulgarian language.

Cheers,
Vlad.
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okynek
759 Posts
Posted - Sep 30 2010 :  4:08:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very interesting!!!
I agree with Junahi and Vlad that these cameras most definitely not fake.
That make them unique between Soviet cameras in principal. I can not recall any other Soviet camera made by order of foreign government for special purposes, and not for sale to general public. Such order must be approved by KPSS officials and such order must have good reason and purpose.
So the only we have to find such purpose :).
The Friendship Games is likely suspect, but more prove is needed.
I sent e-Mail to seller of this camera. Let see if I'll get any information back.
Next question is where cameras got they labels? At the LOMO or in Bulgaria?
On one hand LOMO did not do such favor to any other country or entity, ever; plus this require change in printing of labels, which is hard if you doing thousandths of cameras every week.
On other hand if cameras was relabeled in Bulgaria they would not redo all the label, enough to add extra wording(IMHO), no need even to take camera apart for this, plus on new label would be very hard to put-on rivets exactly like LOMO did, that require special equipment.
Because this I do not rule out that camera was originally made like this by LOMO.
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Bill Parkinson
nightphoto
USA
1027 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Sep 30 2010 :  8:26:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit nightphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The red commemorative labeling looks to have been silk-screened using a red-orange enamel, much the way the red-orange f. stop numbers are printed on the front of the lens by LOMO at the factory. Printing things using the silk-screen method is very easy for a factory, large or small, to accomplish and this is why it was used extensively by KMZ, FED and LOMO for both large and small production printing.

My guess is that the printing for this camera was done at LOMO based on the similarity of the type style and color of the ink. Probably a special order, for some good purpose, probably to give to participants and staff of the 1984 alternate Olympics. After all, it was common to make Olympic commemorative cameras by the Soviets and so it would not be an unusual request.

Maybe we can hope that instructions, papers, a box, or other evidence will turn up and tell the story.

Regards, Bill

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Juhani Halmeenmaki
cedricfan
Finland
988 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Oct 01 2010 :  12:47:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit cedricfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I agree with Bill!

Best regards,
Juhani
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Bill Parkinson
nightphoto
USA
1027 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Oct 09 2010 :  4:57:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit nightphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Got it! The serial number is: 84210515

Now, from seeing it in person, up close, I would be almost 100% positive that the commemorative printing was done at the factory ... not later.

Regards, Bill

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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4204 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Oct 13 2010 :  12:13:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I got a message from Alexey Nikitin, here's what he wrote (translation follows below):
quote:

В конце 70-х начале 80-х было очень модно дружить с
другими странами из соц. лагеря. Я сам в школе
переписывался с другим школьником из глубинки Болгарии. В
Краснодаре даже была переименована улица в ул.Бургасская и
кинотеатр "Космос" поменял название на кинотеатр
"Болгария"!
В связи с этим продавец этих камер Смена 8м /не лично
мне / говорил: что приезжали в Болгарию советские учителя
то ли по обмену опытом , то ли на школьную олимпиаду и в
качестве приза или сувенира привезли несколько десятков
камер! Но видимо камеры так и не были вручены ученикам
школ и остались лежать до наших времен. Я думаю что
продавец на e-bay сам работал в тот период в школе! Может
даже руководителем, иначе доступа к фотоаппаратам у него не
было бы!
Значит делаю вывод из сказанного: камеры Смена 8 м
были по заказу сделаны с табличкой на болгарском языке и
название Смена 8м написано черным цветом а не красным, чтоб
еще нагляднее выделить надпись!

In the end of 70s, early 80s it was very fashionable to keep up friendship with other countries from Socialist block. I, myself in school has a pen pal in Bulgaria. In Krasnodar they even renamed a steet to Bulgarian St and movie theater "Kosmos" has changed name to "Bulgaria". In connection to this the seller of these cameras had said (not to me personally) that Soviet teachers came to Bulgaria either for exchanging experience or for school olympics and as a prize or souvenir they brought a few tens of cameras. But apparently for some reason the cameras weren't give to school students and were left there until today. I think that the ebay seller himself had worked in that school during that period of time. Maybe he was even one of the main teachers or administration otherwise he wouldn't have had the access to these cameras.

So I'm making a conclusion from the aforementioned: cameras Smena-8M were made by order with the faceplate in Bolgarian language and name Smena-8M written in black and not red to accentuate the special logo.

Best regards,
Aleksey


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Juhani Halmeenmaki
cedricfan
Finland
988 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Oct 13 2010 :  2:26:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit cedricfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
very logical, thanks!

Best regards,
Juhani
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okynek
759 Posts
Posted - Jan 08 2011 :  9:19:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I keep asking sellers about origin of this camera. One of the sellers responded to me:
quote:

Camera is made
especially for
army prize and may be it was given for winner of

shooting! It was 30 - 35 years ago.

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