James's Light Meter Collection: Sverdlovsk 6
Sverdlovsk 6 exposure meter USSR
Maker: Sverdlovsk
Model: 6
Circa: 1992
Measure type: CdS
Measure type: reflecting/averaging

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.

The only place I've seen this mentioned is Alfred's Camera Page, and he points to a couple of web pages which no longer exist.

The Sverdlovsk line appears to be a higher-tier than the Leningrads. Alfred has the manual for the 4, but I don't think you really need it. Even though the meter is in Russian, it's pretty obvious what's what. What you do is push and hold the red button on the left side and turn the dial until the LED just barely turns on, and that's your reading. The slide switch on the right is a low-light range booster.

The hardest part is figuring out what battery to use. I have a variable DC power supply, so I hooked it up to the battery contacts (if you hold the meter upright so you can read it, the negative terminal is on top and the positive is on the bottom). Using another meter that I know is accurate, I measured the incident light on a nice day and read ƒ/8 at 1/250th at 21 DIN. I set the Sverdlovsk's calculator dial the same way, and then varied the voltage on my power supply until the little LED was on the threshold of going on and off. The power supply was set at 5 volts, so I assume this meter takes a 5v battery. This meter has a little play in the dial so the actual battery could be a little more or less, but I think 5v would be close enough.

Michael Golubin was kind enough to send me this regarding batteries:

Your sample required a 5V, but by default from factory it used 3RZ53 (russian 3??53), it's three mercury PX21 (RZ53 or in Russian ??53 that mean Mercury [russian Rtut']-Zink element) composed in one element, so it's about 4.05V. Maybe it required some adjustment, it often has adjustment screw on the back. The previous model Sverdlovsk-4 has additional power module, which let to use 2xAA cell. You could have a look on it here http://photohistory.ru/index. php?pid=1207248180647686 (page in Russian). Here it is translated into English.

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

©opyright by James Ollinger. All Rights Reserved.

Company names and models are registered trademarks of their respective owners
and are not affiliated with this website in any way.