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Vilia is a 35mm film viewfinder camera made by BelOMO and produced between 1973-86 with quantity of about 2.000.000 units. Вилия = Vilia is a river flowing through Belorussia and Lithuania.

Vilia is an elegant simple camera, looking a little bit like an improved Smena Symbol, but is in fact a completely independend design. The shutter is of leaf type, while the four leaf diaphragm has a nearly square opening – both are located just behind the lens. The lens is focused manually from 0.8 m to infinity, while symbols on the distance scale help to assess correct distance for given subjects (portrait, group portrait, group, landscape). Film is advanced with a lever located on camera's back, coupled with shutter cocking. The camera is equipped with a hot shoe for synchronizing a flash, as well as with a synch cable socket. The excellent viewfinder has bright lines with parallax marks as well weather symbols connected with aperture setting (see below).
Vilia is equipped with symbolic system of exposure setting, similar in its idea to that used by Smena 8M or Smena Symbol. When the system is used, the shutter speed is preset according to film speed scale on its ring – from 1/30 s for 25 or 32 GOST/ASA to 1/250 s for 200 or 250 GOST/ASA[1], while the exposure is adjusted by changing the aperture from 4 (heavy clouds/rain) to 16 (bright sun). Weather symbols are visible at the bottom of the viewfinder only and are pointed by a small bright dot, depending of aperture setting.
A further developments of the Vilia, using the same body and lens, were the Vilia-Auto, this time equipped with automatic exposure setting based on a selenium meter, as well as Orion EE and Siluet Elektro with a CdS meter.

There are 4 types and 7 sub-types of the camera. [2]


Vilia 03

Vilia type 4a

Vilia 02
Vilia 04
  • Lens:Triplet-69-3 (ТРИППЕТ) 40mm f/4, coated glass, filter thread 46mm ,
    • Aperture: up to f/16 setting: by a small lever below the lens
    • Focus range: 0.8- 8m +inf
  • Focusing: manual front cell focusing, symbols on the distance scale (portrait, group portrait, group, landscape) and DOF scale
  • Shutter: leaf type , speeds: 1/30-1/250 +B
  • Shutter release: on the shutter
  • Cable release socket: none
  • Cocking lever: also winds the film, short stroke, on the back of the camera
  • Frame counter: auto-reset, additive type, window on the bottom plate
  • Viewfinder: bright frame, w/ parallax correction lines
  • Re-wind lever: folding crank, on the top plate
  • Re-wind release: button on the bottom plate
  • Flash PC socket: on the left side of the camera
  • Hot-shoe
  • Memory dial : on the back of the top plate
  • Self-timer: none
  • Back cover: hinged, opens by a sliding latch on the left side of the camera
  • Tripod socket: ¼"
  • Strap lugs : none
  • Body: plastic; Weight: 357g
  • Serial no. on the bottom plate

References Edit

  1. Two types of film speed scales are encountered on Vilias: ranging from 25 to 200 GOST/ASA or from 32 to 250 GOST/ASA
  2. As to Alexander Komarov


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