The Chajka-2

Alfred's Camera Page

This page is no longer actively maintained. (Pardon?)

The Chajka-Ⅱ (Чайка-Ⅱ, seagull) is an ugly, insignificant and not particularly small half-frame camera which has as only quirk the "undocumented" removal of the lens for use on enlargement. That to me raises some questions – is the Industar-69 capable of a perfectly parallel projection of the film? Is the Industar sufficiently corrected for macro work? What about vignetting? And how do you set the aperture in the dark – with that tiny ring? If I still had a darkroom I would try to find out, but for now I remain unimpressed. Why would anybody want a dual-purpose lens like this? If they have an enlarger, they probably have an enlargement lens. Otherwise, they could go and buy one, because they aren't that expensive. Probably this has something to do with internal kafkaesk machinations in the Soviet Union that I don't know about.

The question remains if the Industar-69 is really the Chajka-Ⅱ's only lens. I mean, theoretically it's possible to fit all L39 lenses on the Chajka with the use of an extension ring (since the Chajka's back depth is less than that of standard L39), so perhaps they exist? Perhaps somebody made one in his garage? It shouldn't be that difficult to make an extension ring for, say, a standard-issue Jupiter-8 or Industar-61. Reversely, it's conceivable that somebody used the industar-69 on his M39 Zenit for macro work (even though he could have used any other enlargement lens for that matter). The possibilities are endless, sort of.

I'm not particularly fond of this camera. Perhaps it's because mine is in a bad condition, or because I oiled the shutter blades so that they stick, but I think I'm beyond that. No, the Chajka is one of the less remarkable Soviet-Russian cameras. Nice if you want to do twice as long with a roll, but not really interesting collector's material.

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