Ever wondered what a Leica with
a built-in reflex housing would look like? The answer is - Zenit,
one of the original Soviet designs and the first postwar Soviet
The camera is essentially a Zorki
(Leica II (D) copy) with a rangefinder replaced with a reflex housing.
The film loads from the bottom, as in screwmount Leicas. It has all the
Zorki specifications. The camera is very compact and handles nicely. It
even has a small stabilizing flip-up foot under the lensmount.
- Shutter speeds - B, 1/25, 1/50,
1/100, 1/250, 1/500.
- Lens - Industar-22, F=5 cm,
1:3.5, coated, still 39 mm mount, but the optical registration is different
from the Leica type lenses. This
is an unusual and rare lens,
only original Zenits were equipped with it. Next camera in this line
- Zenit-S had a common Industar-50 lens.
This Zenit was made by KMZ plant
in 1955. It comes with a metal lenscap (slightly dented), take-up spool and a leather case.
The Zenit evolved into
some nice SLRs - Zenit-S, Zenit-3, Kristall, Zenit-3M. After that, in
the late 60's the Zenit-E came and with millions and millions copies made,
Zenit became a symbol of mediocrity. Various Zen
its are still in production
in Russia and Belarus.
The original Zenit was in production
in 1953-1956, only 39,019 copies were made. The camera was probably never
exported and is very uncommon. You may occasionally see its successor
Text and photograph