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This time - a Zenit-S from 1956

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by John Farrell, Feb 4, 2021.

  1. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Film camera prices crashed around 2005 and I was able to pick up most types of SLR in good condition and with good lenses for £10 - £20. By 2015, the prices had trippled or more and my interest shrank to nil! :D
     
  2. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I've certainly noticed the asking prices of various Mamiya 645s have risen, I had sold mine in 2010 as I wasn't using it and the values were falling. They dropped further, particularly some lenses but are now rising again.
     
    John Farrell likes this.
  3. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    I found this comment on Fedka's website, which made me laugh:

    "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. ."

    I think Fedka is run by Oleg from Ukraine, whose praises are sung on Rangefinderforum, so he should know his Soviet cameras!
     
  4. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    The Zenith E and the Kiev Contaxes are the best Soviet cameras I've come across. The Zorki and Fed designs were horrid to use but, to be fair, surprisingly reliable.
     
  5. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    I think I've only used 3 - the Fed Mikron was rubbish (to be honest, I only bought it for the lovely Mu on the front, and ran a film through on principle), my Moskva-4 is my go-to landscape camera with it's big 6x9 negs, and while the Zenit 12 is a bit clunky to use the Helios-44 is a really, really nice lens. I guess the Jupiter-9 lens doesn't really count as it's on a Leica body.

    I have plenty of cameras clunkier than the Zenit - the Argus C3 comes to mind as the worst offender, though I probably have worse than that, I just don't remember as I haven't used them as much.
     
  6. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    The Feds 2 and 3 are very nice to use. The 2 is much like a rough-build Leica III.
    The KC has some nice features but is far too heavy.
    I bought a Zenit something or other to see what they were like. Nice lens, crap body. Basically a Zorki with a mirror and prism bolted on. If anyone wants a Zenit body, let me know. It's yours.

    S
     
  7. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    I should also point out that the Zenit, for all it's reputation of being machined down from old T34s, weighs less than my Nikkormat or F3 (not that anyone ever compares old Nikons to boat anchors - but I do remember almost smacking myself in the face with an entry level Nikon DSLR because it was a fraction of the weight I expected!) - and probably less than my Vitomatic which isn't even an SLR.
     
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Door stops. Never boat anchors, but door stops. :)
     
  9. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    There was a great deal of metal in them, they were crudely made though, not exactly sophisticated.
     
  10. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    They were made to a price, and the survivors (I have at least half a dozen Zenits) still work - except for the meters on Zenit Es. I'm going to try transplanting modern solar cells into a couple.
     
  11. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Funnily enough the one SLR I saw being used as a door stop (camera shop in Reykjavik, just down the hill from Hallgrimmskirkjr) was a Canon of some sort...
     
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Well the only one I've ever used is my F2. ;)
     
  13. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    An F2 would work, alright! Sadly, it's all my Voigtlander SLR (the name of which utterly escapes me at the mo) is fit for, the shutter is actually *rusted* shut.
     
  14. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Funny, because this thread made me think of Voigtlanders - albeit the Cosina-made ones. Early Zenits clearly show their rangefinder heritage, as does the Nikon F. The Voigtlander-branded Cosina rangefinders are very much the opposite. I used to like the old Cosina SLRs that were cheap, but very cheerful - the CSR in particular, with spot metering and an additional servo unit for aperture priority automation is a camera I like a lot. I don't like the later ones - I've got a Miranda-branded bit of plastic nonsense, and a Canon T60 which is similar. But the Bessa L was basically the same camera, but without the mirror box (or indeed any sort of viewfinder), and the R a clear evolution of it. I do enjoy seeing these evolutions in cameras
     
  15. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

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  16. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    A very handsome looking camera. The auto exposure sustem and instant return mirror were a step too far for a mechanical system. There was a later model of Ultramatic with a Cds light meter, and without the instant return mirror.
     
  17. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Found it!

    _DSC9119.jpg

    Here's the shop:

    _DSC9121.jpg
     
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  18. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

  19. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Possibly - it's not a Nikon, anyway. Despite their reputation...
     
  20. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Probably a SRT101. I used to fancy those something chronic but the nearest I got to it was a SR1s.
     

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