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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Vlad Posted - Oct 10 2007 : 7:33:25 PM
So I just picked up one of these, what is the difference between this one and the Zenit 15?

41   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Zoom Posted - Aug 05 2008 : 09:30:25 AM
Originally posted by cedricfan

And that BeLOMO...

BelOMO -- Bel-OMO (Bel[orusskoe]-O[ptiko]-M[ekhanicheskoe]-O[b'edinenie]), not Be-LOMO. ;)
cedricfan Posted - Aug 05 2008 : 09:19:10 AM
And today I recieved my latest 12XS which is precisely same as my 15M except for serial number and model. Made in 1993 and 93-12845 so again smaller than the Albar-serials. One more proof that IF there was an argue about the name Zenit then it wasn't for a long time, and propably only in the end of 1993. Albar 93-15113 and Zenits 93-12845 & 93-01792 & 94-16211 don't leave a lot of room in between! Neither was there a series of serials for Albar, as 93-1xxxx cn be found on both brands.

Smena rules
cedricfan Posted - Jul 20 2008 : 11:41:11 PM
Originally posted by Vlad my 21XS is 96195379

One thing is now for sure, the serials have nothing to do with real quantities, as 195379 cameras in 1996 is simply impossible.
Vlad Posted - Jul 20 2008 : 3:24:10 PM
Well Steve, if your serial # blew Juhani's theory out of the water - check this out: my 21XS is 96195379
Bull Halsey Posted - Jul 20 2008 : 3:15:17 PM
I dug out my Zenit 21XS and am enclosing the serial numbers.

Body #9472219
Lens #9644782

The lens is a Helios 44M-7

cedricfan Posted - Jul 20 2008 : 12:45:01 AM
So there goes down the toilet the theory that Zenit-name was banned and Albar used instead.
And that BeLOMO-serials would start with other than zero.
I guess this won't be solved by us.
AidasCams Posted - Jul 19 2008 : 11:08:48 AM

My Zenit-12xs has #9301792, so its's smaller than #932xxxx;
I do possess Zenit-ET #9247425 with black plastic top plate;
Viktor have told me once, that appr. 200 units of Elikon-2 camera were made totally ...

Best Regards,
cedricfan Posted - Jul 19 2008 : 04:58:21 AM
Okay, so I did do some summarizing of what BeLOMO made to find the reasons & answers.

ET with metal top & bronze plastic top up to 1993 and black plastic top was propably a later version

Albar tends to be 1993 (four out of four so far)

21XS, 12XS and 15M seem to be usually 1993/94

So my theory is. In 1993 young Belarussia got into problems using the name Zenit, and invented the Albar-name, which is also something a newly reborn country would easily do as the national spirit is high. Maybe even the parts to make old ET ran out and KMZ didn't want the production to continue?
BeLOMO changed slichtly the top design, easy to see from the battery compartment, and some other things, but not much.
Later in 1993 they did however change the name back to Zenit, sa there is Belarus-time-BeLOMO-Zenits made in 1993. Unfortunately I haven't recorded the serials, only years. Why and when is unclear, maybe Zoom would know? As I can't read Russia I can't find the answers in KMZ-website...

Now the questions are:

-What serials starting with 93 are known from 12XS/21XS/15M? My guess is 932xxxx and not smaller

-Does anyone own or seen other Belarus-time Zenits from 1992 but ET? My guess is Albar was the first non-KMZ-derived-model

-Do the 90ies BeLOMO serials aways start with another number than zero? And I mean the serial itself, after the first two digits for the year. Even the Elikon-numberless and Elikon-2 serial numbers in Wiki don't start with zero, not one. The both known Elikon-2 serials are 918xxxx and I do doubt that over 80.000 were made!

Smena rules
cedricfan Posted - Jul 18 2008 : 09:43:45 AM
Interesting, so far all three serials are 931xxxx

PS My archives say that my previous one was also 93 but I haven't recorded the actual number
AidasCams Posted - Jul 18 2008 : 06:46:01 AM

I don't think these two "colour" variations are somehow otherwise different indeed.

Best Regards,
Bull Halsey Posted - Jul 18 2008 : 01:21:28 AM
I don't recall if this was addressed in this forum or not, but I own a 21XS which has a green Zenit engraving instead of a white engraving. I've seen others with the green engraving as well. Was there some difference between the two or just a decorative decision ?

cedricfan Posted - Jul 17 2008 : 1:52:08 PM
Started the serial number collecting in Wiki for Albar-15 as my third one arrived today.
Many thanks to Liettua!

Smena rules
AidasCams Posted - Mar 23 2008 : 12:49:57 PM

your information about Zenit-12xs with 1/1000s added is very new for me, many thanks! While all these Zenit versions are exact copies of each other, it's quite easy to replace the top plate of particular camera, so ........... Zenit-12xs, -21xs, etc. can be found with 1/1000s speed added. I suppose all these replacements were executed inside BeLomo plant to sell the stolen (or given as a salary ) cameras at better prices ...

Best Regards,
cedricfan Posted - Mar 23 2008 : 11:09:50 AM

12xs from 1993 and with 1/1000 sec

Albar from 1993 with 1/1000

Another one with 1/500 (unknown year, not mine)

21xs from 1994 with 1/500 but otherwise very close to Albar & 12xs

15M from 1994 looks same as the others, so my main question is why BeLOMO played with the model names and shutter speed? I can understand using Albar as it has a link to Belarus (white), and I could understand adding 1/1000 to one top model...

In my opinion only real updated one worth a new name (except Albar with 1/1000) is the 130:

Vlad Posted - Mar 23 2008 : 10:46:26 AM
I don't have a 12XS, only 21XS, but Wiki Entry for 12XS says they come with 1/1000

AidasCams Posted - Mar 23 2008 : 01:16:59 AM
Originally posted by Vlad

So I'm looking at Albar-15 and comparing it to Zenit 12XS and Zenit 21XS... My Albar-15 version is exactly the same in everything as the Zenit 21XS camera, and I would think that the Albar-15 version with 1/1000 is the same as Zenit 12XS, basically it's just a different name tag right?

does your Zenit-12xs has 1/1000s? My both Zenit-12xs and -21xs have usual 1/500s indeed ...

Vlad Posted - Mar 22 2008 : 9:48:14 PM
So I'm looking at Albar-15 and comparing it to Zenit 12XS and Zenit 21XS... My Albar-15 version is exactly the same in everything as the Zenit 21XS camera, and I would think that the Albar-15 version with 1/1000 is the same as Zenit 12XS, basically it's just a different name tag right?
Vlad Posted - Nov 06 2007 : 2:50:30 PM
Well, great to have you here Juhani! :)

cedricfan Posted - Nov 06 2007 : 2:43:19 PM
No tricks, I just couldn't resist
Just like a rare camera in ebay
And honestly, I didn't know about this forum until your email!

Vlad Posted - Nov 06 2007 : 2:23:19 PM
Next time we're have an interesting thread I'll send it to Alain for his opinion :) Just like I tricked Juhani ;) (Sorry man! :) )

AidasCams Posted - Nov 06 2007 : 2:19:56 PM
We are still waiting great collectors Alain Berry and dr.Milos Mladek here in the forum ... I'd like to ask Yuriy Davidenko (Ukraine) and Viktor Suglob (Belarus), but their problem is english as I know. And many many others ... Thar would be great indeed!
Vlad Posted - Nov 06 2007 : 1:58:25 PM
And I'm glad you did! Good to have some decent activity and great ideas here! :) This site is becoming a frequent place to visit for hard core collectors which I am very pleased about.. not that camera users are not welcome here, but I think collectors are the primary audience and as Okynek had pointed out before, it's maybe becoming our little niche to hang out and shoot some ideas only collectors can bring up.
cedricfan Posted - Nov 06 2007 : 1:50:41 PM
I have been very busy lately, so even my participation in ZCG has been small.
But when Vlad invited me here I just had to start commenting

AidasCams Posted - Nov 06 2007 : 1:21:27 PM
Hello Juhani - my dear friend! I'm so happy to hear from you again! As I remember you had Albar-15 with an unique serial number, so if you sold it out - the lost is really big ... But no problems, we will try to find you one more (hope, not for sales anymore ... )

Best Regards,
cedricfan Posted - Nov 06 2007 : 12:52:35 PM
My notes say:

Albar-15 SLR 1993 w Helios-58/2
-A BeLomo-made 12XP/122 hybrid with 1/1000s added

Unfortunately I sold mine away, so if Aidas knows how to get one please email me...

Vlad Posted - Oct 12 2007 : 1:19:36 PM
I guess we went with the phonetic version ;)
Zoom Posted - Oct 12 2007 : 11:15:04 AM
Originally posted by AidasCams

It's a nickname of famous F-21 spy camera ...

Btw., it is more correct to write the name "Ajax" differently: something like "AYaCS", because this is the acronym. ;)
Vlad Posted - Oct 11 2007 : 4:29:56 PM
ah jeez... :) that's it! the 12 confused me :).. I thought it was F-21 "Ajax".. by the way I am still to get a film cutter for it.. I got such a nice one in my collection plus I just also got a coat button attachment for it... I want to see if I can use it.. maybe when I don't have that much work I'll give it a shot... I saw one of these splicers on eBay custom adjusted for width for you shipped from China.. should probably get it. :) I still can't believe the motor in it when you hold it your hand.. it feels so very powerful!
AidasCams Posted - Oct 11 2007 : 4:23:20 PM
It's a nickname of famous F-21 spy camera ...
Vlad Posted - Oct 11 2007 : 4:20:40 PM
I don't know him very well, but what the heck is an Ajax-12? remind me?
AidasCams Posted - Oct 11 2007 : 4:12:41 PM
You should ask him if the person we are talking about still uses Ajax-12 camera for his daily needs ...
Vlad Posted - Oct 11 2007 : 4:02:44 PM
hehehe... you gotta tell us how he gets all that stuff, especially the KGB cameras... Bill and I were discussing that the other day, that this seller keeps listing very interesting stuff all the time...

AidasCams Posted - Oct 11 2007 : 3:59:14 PM
Hi Vlad,
It's easy to answer your question indeed. Recently only one person in Belarus still suplying all of us with remains of Albar-15 cameras ...

Best Regards,
Vlad Posted - Oct 11 2007 : 3:50:13 PM
Awesome! Thank you Aidas, that's exactly what I was looking for in terms of what the differences were compared to Zenit! Now I have to make a cozy nest for it on my shelf and wait for its arrival knowing what I got :)..

And how do you know which one I bought? I haven't posted the pictures! ;) I knew the KGB was lurking around here somewhere! :) hehehe. Slip of the tongue, my friend and your cover is blown! :)

AidasCams Posted - Oct 11 2007 : 3:42:37 PM
Hello friends,

Two reasons to start Albar-15 production: first reason - KMZ prohibited BeLomo to use patented ZENIT brand since Belarus became indipendent country, second reason - belorussians wanted to make an elite camera, so different versions of Albar-15 had shutter sequences like 1/30s-1/1000s or even 1s-1/1000s. Those cameras are extremely rare to find now. Vlad's version 1/30s-1/500s is more common, but still hard to find one ...

nightphoto Posted - Oct 11 2007 : 12:00:36 PM

Yes, that is what I said in my post! Right after the link to the KMZ project.

"Maybe you were referring to the Zenit 15M, which was also made by BeLomo like the Albar 15. As far as I know the difference may the name and an updated lens (Helios 44M-7)."

Regards, Bill

Zoom Posted - Oct 11 2007 : 06:20:23 AM
Originally posted by nightphoto

... actually the Zenit 15 is a prototype camera made by KMZ that, I believe, was never produced in series.

ZENIT-15 project made by KMZ ( http://www.zenitcamera.com/archive/zenit-16/index.html ) has nothing in common with Zenit-15 camera made in Vileyka.
See also http://www.zenitcamera.com/qa/qa-nonkmz.html
Vlad Posted - Oct 10 2007 : 10:19:12 PM
I definitely will! And I know I'm very excited! :)
nightphoto Posted - Oct 10 2007 : 9:58:38 PM
I think the Albar 15 replaced Zenit 15M when production was stopped, so you may be right about some updated electronics. Let me know what you find out.
It seems like the Albar 15 is pretty rare ... you are lucky to get one!

Regards, Bill

Vlad Posted - Oct 10 2007 : 9:08:03 PM
Yes, you are right I'm sorry I meant 15M.. I do have that one as well.. I guess I'll compare the two when the Albar 15 arrives. I thought for some reason it has some extra stuff the 15M doesn't like difference in electronics..

nightphoto Posted - Oct 10 2007 : 9:00:14 PM
Hi Vlad,
Well, actually the Zenit 15 is a prototype camera made by KMZ that, I believe, was never produced in series. Here is where you can find out about it and it is especially lucky that you can read Russian since the small article about it is in that language:


Maybe you were referring to the Zenit 15M, which was also made by BeLomo like the Albar 15. As far as I know the difference may the name and an updated lens (Helios 44M-7).

Regards, Bill

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