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Zenit Em 35mm film camera

A freind gave this zenit em film camera other day.Anyone used one before i know what they are like?? It has two lenses with it..


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User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
9 Nov 2009 8:17PM
( Go with the Nikon Stephen... Wink )
13 7.1k 18 England
9 Nov 2009 8:30PM
Brings back memories, I had a Zenit B back in 1977 / 1979 ? before moving to an Olympus OM10.

"Correct" exposure was set by altering the aperture / shutter speed so that the viewfinder needle was balanced in the centre of the scale, neither + or -

By today's standards the operation was quite basic , crude and slow but it set me on my way into photography Smile

I still have the prints ( and presumably the negatives), so may scan a couple of them just out of interest !
csurry Plus
15 9.2k 92
9 Nov 2009 9:17PM

Quote:A freind gave this zenit em film camera other day.Anyone used one before i know what they are like?? It has two lenses with it..


Yep from memory I would say HEAVY!
franken Plus
15 4.5k 4 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2009 10:15PM
I had one in the 70's, built like a tank and about as heavy!
The metering is slow to use but fairly reliable with b/w or negative film. I learned depth of field the relationship of shutter speeds and F stops etc with it.

Zeniths were popular from about the late 60's to the late 70's as they were cheap compared to Canon's Nikons etc. I think I paid about 39 for mine with a 58mm lens. It was a really sharp lens.

Give it a go, second hand M42 lenses were mass produced and go for next to nothing on the likes of EBAY.

10 Nov 2009 12:03AM
It's a great camera. No AE, IS, AF. No BS! If you drop it, the pavement will break before the camera.

And now you can buy the 300mm Tair with the Photosniper and really upset the jobsworth security-guards!
wicksy Plus
11 79 United Kingdom
10 Nov 2009 1:32AM
I still have my Zenit B - not that I have used it for years - no light meter - I had to carry a westmaster 5 for that, but as already said very cheap, not bad quality, unbreakable, and great place to begin photography 40 years ago, but today? Perhaps not!
thewilliam 9 6.1k
10 Nov 2009 11:59AM
The Soviets designed the Zenit for military use and, like the AK47, it's crude but does its job very well and it's quite reliable. Their lenses were always amazing value for money.
digicammad Plus
14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
10 Nov 2009 12:18PM
Rugged and reliable. My first SLR was the Zenit E. In the run up to WW2 a lot of the German optical specialists fled to Russia and found employment designing cameras and lenses. Consequently the glass which came with this camera was excellent.

The only reason I got rid of mine was to finance a move to TTL metering.

10 Nov 2009 12:28PM

Quote: great place to begin photography 40 years ago, but today? Perhaps not!

Why? The act of taking a photograph has remained the same since it's conception. Light + Time + sensitive material = Photograph. It's only in recent years that the majority of photographers feel the need for auto-everything. The fact the Zenit is so basic makes it better to understand and learn the relationship between shutter-speeds, f/stops, ISO and DOF without having the crutch of instant feedback to prop up any mistakes. Getting it right first time is a skill worth having.
digicammad Plus
14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
10 Nov 2009 12:43PM
I agree about basic cameras being best for starting out, however my own personal experience was that film stunted my photographic growth. Having no darkroom and little money I was confined to seeing my work only on 6x4 (or smaller) from a commercial lab. Experimenting was costly and therefore very limited.

A modern digital camera and PS Elements or PSP gives beginners a much better opportunity to learn by experimentation and to understand more because they have control of the darkroom.

If somebody is interested in learning they will turn off the auto bits. Smile

thewilliam 9 6.1k
10 Nov 2009 4:04PM
At the end of WW2, the Ica works in Dresden was still more or less intact so the Ruskies were able to move most of the plant and as many skilled workers as they could capture to set up camera factories in Kiev and near Moscow. The Zenith 3M was effectively a FED made into a reflex from the Moscow works.

The Exakta works, also in Dresden, was flattened in the (in)famous air-raid, which is why the Ruskies didn't make any Exakta copies.
pentaxpete Plus
12 635 1 United Kingdom
10 Nov 2009 5:33PM
I have a tip to make film loading easier on a Zenith ( I have two) -- attach film leader to the take-up spool first by sticking it under the 'springy thing' remembering that the film is wound emulsion side OUT, THEN pull it across to the cassette chamber and wiggle it in, having pulled up the rewind knob. This makes sure the film does not pull out of the take-up spool and lies nice and tight across the film gate.. Also, remember you have to WIND ON the film BEFORE lifting the shutter speed knob to change shutter speeds ( Like on my FED 4 I was given )

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