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I am an Soviet and Russian camera collector residing in State of Illinois, USA. I have only somewhat recently started collecting (since May 2007) these fine examples of Soviet and Russian mechanical engineering and design that until late 80s have been closed off to the rest of the world. Now that these cameras have come to light, I want to share them with all of you. Recently I have decided to start cataloging Soviet and Russian cameras online, thus the project was born, which is a Wiki catalog of Russian and Soviet cameras.
Vlad's Soviet/Russian Photographic Equipment Collection

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Zenit S

Vlad's Description
Body Serial #:
Lens Serial #:

Wiki Catalog Entry
Zenit-S, one of the original Soviet designs and the first mass produced Soviet SLR camera.

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. Early cameras had a folding foot under the lens mount.

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. (}

As well as the Cyrillic version of Zenit-S on the front of the prism, there were two Roman versions, Zenit-S and Zenith-C. The last photo shows the Zenith-C version. (David Tomlinson)
Wiki Catalog Images

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