James's Light Meter Collection: Leningrad 8
Leningrad 8 exposure meter USSRClick for instruction manual (close enough)
Maker: Leningrad
Model: 8 (YU 102 - ю 102)
Circa: 1983
Measure type: Selenium
Measure type: reflecting/averaging; 2D incident with attachment

Russian stuff is notoriously difficult to research. The vast gulf in language and culture is bad enough; add the fact that they were a closed society for decades and publishing their product history was a non-existent priority. Add the fact that even though there were "companies," everything was state-owned and products could be developed here, produced there, and moved here there and elsewhere at the whim of a government beaurocrat who had the power to make it happen for any reason he saw fit. It's tough to learn much about Russian equipment.

Like the others, I think this is an East German design that the Russians tweaked for their own manufacture, but I could be wrong. The Leningrad 6 is a dead ringer for one of the Weimar Lux meters, and this looks to me to have the same lineage. I bet there are East German meters floating around that are identical to this.

Simple meter, about par with my Weston XM2 from 10 years earlier, except this is selenium. It came with the instructions; and even though I don't read Russian, this was easy to figure out. Set the calculator dial (in DIN or GOST; the former is world-wide and easy to determine). Take a reading and note the light value the needle is pointing to, then turn the dial until the pointer meets up with that number. Kind of a step backward from match-needle, but there you go. The slide switch on the side flips the scale on the meter face.

This one has a slip-on incident attachment, which (like its predecessors) has a keeper built-into the case so you're less likely to lose it when not in use. Also, like every other Russian meter I've seen, the incident is flat, not a hemisphere, even though the Norwood patent had long expired and nearly everyone (in the West, anyway) was using domes or something like it.

A slight refinement of the Leningrad 7.

Not a bad meter, except that it was 1960-technology sold in 1983. There's a reason the curtain came down.

Here is a cross-reference chart for film speeds (ASA / ISO / DIN / GOST / others) .

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