In 1942, in order to produce optical equipment for the Soviet war effort, in Krasnogorsk, a western suburb of Moscow, in a buildings of the evacuated to Novosibirsk optic factory the new plant was founded. This new optical workshop became Krasnogorsky Mekhanichesky Zavod (KMZ) – Mechanical Factory of Krasnogorsk.
In 1946 the KMZ factory began making cameras, starting with the Moskva folding camera. In 1948 they began producing FED cameras to offset slow production from the FED factory, and by 1949 they made some design changes and thus production of the Zorki began. In 1952, KMZ created an SLR based on some modifications of the Zorki, and thus the Zenit was born.
In 1993 KMZ became the S.A.Zverev KRASNOGORSKY ZAVOD JSC stock company.