The Light Slide

fun with photography

Lomo T-43: First shots

My collection of tiny Soviet lenses continues with the Lomo T-43.

It's a 40mm f/4 triplet (trioplan) lens. Tiny, and weighs almost nothing.

It's not a rangefinder lens per se; it has to be removed from its original integrated camera body, the Smena 8m, and transplanted into the shell of a donor lens to convert to LTM/L39. I found an eBay seller that had done so. From there, I adapted it to M.

It took weeks to arrive from the Ukraine, but arrived just in time for Christmas. I got to unbox it on Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to me!

Total with shipping was just $51.

Here are the first shots on my Ricoh GXR M!

Initial thoughts:

  • it's tiny, lightweight, & beautiful
  • it's got a lovely vintage rendering… very cheap-film-camera-like on the GXR M module
  • like the Russar MR-2 (post coming soon), it's hard to focus properly on the GXR with the focus peaking alone
  • it's extremely prone to flare that will spread across large portions (or even the entire) image, reducing contrast
  • it can be very sharp
  • wide open, the center can be very sharp but then blurriness radiates out in a circular pattern although (like the Russar MR-2)

I really need to come up with a testing process for these lenses, a way to tell after the fact what aperture settings were (and be sure the photos are from the lens I thought they were!). Maybe snappy title cards, like for movies!

More info on the Lomo T-43

Stephen Daugherty Photography - Lomo T-43 40mm f/4
A custom machine adapted lens from a Smena 8M point and shoot
Testing the PPP Cameras Lomo T-43 Leica M-mount conversion
PPP Cameras’ Pierro Pozella has created a Leica M-mount lens from a cult Soviet classic. Kosmo Foto got to test it.