Camera reviews on Kosmo Foto

(Credit: Martin Pettitt/Flickr)

During the century or so that film held sway, thousands of different cameras were produced. They ranged from the most basic point and shoot to gloriously sophisticated, precision-made instruments. There was even the odd ones designed to look like a Coke can, a pack of cigarettes or Disney big cheese Mickey Mouse.

I don’t own thousands of cameras, but I have a few dozen, and part of the reason for writing this blog is to show other photographers and film fans what they might be capable of. Here’s a round-up of the first batch of camera reviews on Kosmo Foto – from some simple Soviet SLRs to an analogue throwback in the digital age.

Chinon Memotron

(Credit: Raymond Clarke/Flickr)

A 1970s’era tank of an SLR. Uses the M42 mount, but through Chinon’s ingenuity, allows aperture priority with almost every screw-mount lens ever made. Read the review

Cosina CX-1


The camera that just might be responsible for the Lomography craze. This zone focus compact influenced the infamous Lomo LC-A – and has become a cult camera in its own right. Read the review

Fed 50

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(Credit: Roman Yesipov/Wikimedia)

Funky, chunky, clunky Soviet version of the Olympus Trip 35. The Fed 50 might not win many beauty contests, but it’s a really useable camera that sports a superb lens. Read the review

Lomo LC-A

(Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

The camera that spawned a photographic craze, and one of the reasons why I’m such a film devotee. I still have the original, Soviet-era Lomo I bought back in 2000; it still works like a charm. Read the review

Lomo LC-Wide

(Credit: Icuresick/Lomography)

Lomography’s wide-angle update to the humble LC-A came out in 2011; it’s a brilliant travel camera, allowing a lot of the world to be packed into the frame. Plus you get to shoot square and half-frame, too…. Read the review

Minolta SRT 100X


The last in Minolta’s fantastic SRT range of SLRs from the 1970s, the SRT 100X is a no-frills SLR perfect for learning the basics of film photography on. Read the review

Nikon FM2N

(Credit: Michael Nika)

This camera used to be at the stand-by for pro photographers shooting Nikon. You can see why. The FM2N is one of the most reliable film cameras ever made, and a joy to use. Read the review

Olympus Trip 35

The ubiquitous Olympus Trip 35, a keep-it-simple classic built in the many millions. Read the review

Olympus XA

(Credit: Dave Fayram)

A marvel of miniaturisation, the Olympus XA packs a lot of camera into a body small enough for a shirt pocket. The whisper-quiet shutter makes it a natural for street photography, too. Read the review

Pentax ESII

(Credit: Jussi/Flickr)

The last of Pentax’s Spotmatic range, this is a classic 1970s SLR. The Takumar lenses are flawless. If I could shoot on one camera for the rest of my life, this would be it. Read the review

Praktica MTL 50

(Credit: La Fille Renne/Flickr)

A no-frills East German SLR, with a shutter that’s louder than war, even if it is incredibly reliable. The front mounted shutter button, by the way, is genius. Read the review

Voigtlander Bessaflex TM

(Credit: Marc Vanstraelen/Flickr)

In 2003, Cosina decided to make a new camera that could take old M42 lenses. This is the result. It’s blessed with an incredibly bright finder and suitably retro looks. Read the review

Zenit 3M

(Credit: Laszlo Gerenscer)

A Leica-knock off rangefinder turned into a no-frills SLR; the Zenit 3M is short on features, but still capable of excellent results. Read the review

Zenit E

(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The much-maligned Zenit E, built in the many millions in Moscow and Minsk. But find one in working condition, and this is the cheapest way to take quality pictures. Trust me. Read the review


Zenit TTL

Another simple Soviet SLR, the TTL is an updated Zenit E with a TTL meter and few frills. They’re cheap and easy to use. Read the review


  1. Nice. I enjoy your reviews but have come around here only lately, so this is a good way for me to plumb your archives. I might have to steal this idea for my own blog, as I have some old reviews of interesting cameras that languish.

    And I bought and shot my first Pentax ES II this year, and liked it. Except that it chews through batteries. But otherwise, it’s wonderful.

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