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Still Cameras > Homemade Cameras > Super-Optimist (Leningrad SLR)
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Super-Optimist (Leningrad SLR)

This magnificent camera is clearly an achievement of a truly skilful technician.

In Russia there are various, repairing people learns how to built a camera ! and are trained in Russian cameras … not an specific model. They learn standardized pieces ad hoe to interchange and adapt them. They have a high degree of knowledge.

There are thousands of such hybrid cameras like the "Optimistic" made by independent people.

Technical description:

Original Leningrad body.

There was added a complete front and prism house of Zenit E/B in order to couple M39X1 lenses.

These components are from a Zenit E first series with wink mirror (as shown by the case in the bottom of the mirror, the mirror small size and the M39 thread.)

There was inbuilt an external exposure meter, with cell placed in the largest window of the original Leningrad’s view-rangefinder.

The calculator was taken from a Kiev 4 with a new scale glued over it.

The galvanometer needle is seen from original Leningrad’s ocular place.

The photocell (and all exposure meter) was taken from FED 4 –First series with knob advance type.

The rewind crank was borrowed from FED 11 (Atlas).

This model has no self timer and the hole of he original lever is closed by the self timer start button taken from Zenit 3M/Zorki 6/Kristall

The lens is a Jupiter 9 for Zorki(Leningrad) with a shortened focusing mount, to match.

The slow speeds gear 1sec/1/30sec was removed for reflex screen positioning, so the spring advance is considerably lighter.

The original Zenit wink mirror system was changed and lowers only when film advances, but due the repeatability of mechanics, it operates as it was an instant return mirror camera.

A new roof was made to protect the finder pentaprism. (
(Click to enlarge)

Created by Vlad on 8/18/2007 9:42:46 PM   |   Last Edited by Vlad on 8/18/2007 9:43:45 PM   Revision History  
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