Zenit-3 with Helios-44


Zenit-3 is a well-made classic SLR. This is one of the original Soviet designs based on the Leica II copies , Zorki-S and Zorki-5.

Zenit-3 replaced the original Zenit and Zenit-S in the early 60's (production from 1960 to 1962). The mechanics were similar to the Zenit-S (mirror was lowered with a [famous] string), but a new great feature was introduced - advance lever replaced a winding knob of the early Leica copies. The camera is still loading from the bottom.

The camera has a flash synch mechanism with the adjustable synch timing advance (from 0 to 25 ms). Also, the shutter speed can be selected before of after the film is wound and the shutter is cocked.

  • Shutter speeds - B, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500.
  • Lens - Helios-44, F=5 cm, 1:2, coated, "preset type". The mount is 39 mm thread, same as Leica's, but optical registration is different from the LTM lenses. Leica lenses will mount, but can only be used for close-ups.
  • Self-timer, flash synch. Self-timer can be used as a mirror lock-up function.

This Zenit-3 was made by KMZ plant in 1962. The camera is in exc.- condition. There are a few usual paint scuffs on the edges of the body, the leatherette is clean and complete. The chrome parts are clean, no brassing. The lens is in exc. condition, the glass is clean and the focus ing action is smooth. This Zenit-3 comes with a take-up spool and the original leather eveready case (clean and complete).

Please check my other auctions.

The Zenit-3 was later replaced with the Kristall and Zenit-3M. After that, in the late 60's the Zenit-E came and with millions and millions copies produces it made Zenit name a symbol of mediocrity. Various Zenit SLRs are still in production by KMZ.

The Zenit-3 shows outstanding workmanship, the camera is very solid and was apparently expensive to make. This explains why it was in production for only two years. As any early Zenit it is quite uncommon now.

Photographs and text © 1999, BPI


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