The Chaika II is a handy little camera. It easily fit in my pocket and took decent images. The half-frame format would be nice for a travelogue, as you can fit up to 72 images on one roll of film. In this case, I was impatient so I spooled a short roll of HP5 and carried it for only a few days.
I had a better time with the scale focus than usual; my shots were actually in focus. A maximum shutter speed of 1/250 and 400ASA film meant I was usually shooting with minimum aperture and high depth of field. Part way through the roll the film advance began to skip, producing a few interesting double exposures. Strangely, the problem cleared after a few frames.
Once I reached the end of the roll, I hit a snag. The camera has no rewind crank. A bit of study revealed that the film type indicator on the bottom of the camera doubles as a rewind wheel. It’s not obvious, but it works.
The half frame images confuse my scanner. In most cases I let the machine scan them as pairs. The resulting diptychs are often cooler than the individual images.
Ilford HP5+/Rodinal 1+100 stand developed 60 minutes