|KMZ, Zenit-B, 35mm SLR camera, c1971|
Everything to say about the Zenit B SLR equally applies to its more numerous stable mate - the Zenit E. The two cameras being virtually identical except for the addition of a light meter in the E version. This leads to a few mechanical differences, notably in the rewind lever assembly, although the B version has a slip on accessory shoe - removed in the picture. Fantastically cheap - this one was bought for £1, and donated by W. R. South June 2001, fully functioning except for dust in the prism and a sticky return spring on the advance lever both of which were easily sorted. It's very easy to poke fun at a Zenit, but the Jupiter lens is really quite nice and once you get accustomed to the quirks, the results obtained are dictated more by the photographer than the camera. It's interesting to see the original Leica inspiration in the Zenit, if you happened to have an example of each in pieces in front of you, the shutter release mechanism in particular would look very familiar.... and it stayed that way right up to the Zenit 12XP. Having said that, just because it looks the same - don't believe the manufacturing tolerances are similar.
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(first two digits indicate year made)
Shutter, Cloth focal plane, speeds B, 30, 60, 125, 250 & 500th
Lens, Helios 58mm f/2, serial 0083538
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