This is my first Russian half-frame camera, and I am interested to see how it stacks up to other half-frames in my collection, most notably the non-Pen F Olympus ones. The Chaika II is roughly the same size as a Canon Demi-EE17, another useful comparison camera.

The Chaika II is a basic camera. The viewfinder is small and devoid of any frame lines, winding action is light, and the shutter speed selector dial gives no tactile indication that it is, in fact, doing anything. It is clear that when I run film through this camera, I will have to check the speed before each shot, as the slightest touch will move the dial.

One design feature of note is the rewind mechanism. To use it, the ASA reminder knob must be pulled out and the, somewhat, tediuos job of rewinding can begin.

 

Make MMZ-Belomo
Model Chaika II
Year 1967 – 1972
Format 35mm (half-frame)
Shutter Leaf
Speed B, 30, 60, 125, 250
Lens Industar-69
f2.8 28mm
Focus 0.8m – ∞
Aperture f2.8 to 16
Light Meter No
Rangefinder No