This is yet another Leica
copy with a built-in reflex housing - Zenit-S,
one of the original Soviet designs and the first mass produced Soviet
The Zenit-S replaced the original
Zenit in the mid-50's. It added a flash synchronization mechanism and
a new mirror drive - the mirror was lowered with a string (this feature
was mentioned by McKeown in his price guide).
The camera is essentially a Zorki-S
(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-S specifications. The camera is very compact and handles nicely.
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, 1/25, 1/50,
1/100, 1/250, 1/500.
- Lens - Industar-50, F=5 cm,
1:3.5, coated, still 39 mm mount, but the optical registration is different
from the Leica type lenses. Leica lenses will mount, but can only be
used for close-ups.
The original 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
produced, it made the Zenit name a symbol of mediocrity. .
Text and photograph