|KMZ, Zenit-E, 35mm SLR camera, c1978|
The Zenit E was churned out in fantastic quantities by the Russian Krasnogorsk Mechanical Factory, some 3 million - with the entire Zenit family topping 12 million apparently. The ancestry of this camera can be traced to the FED 1, a Leica II rip off, through to the Zorki equivalent which was then updated via a few SLR models to emerge as this. The design ultimately ran out of steam with the Zenit 12XP. Rather basic by contemporary standards it was, however, cheap and consequently found a ready market in the West. Whilst the quality of the mechanics shared nothing with it's distant Leica cousin, the optics are quite tolerable. The viewfinder is a little restricted but works okay. The camera is not fitted with an automatic diaphragm, so a little care needs to be exercised when taking one out for a shoot.
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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 78252549
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