Zenit E again

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by Alan Johnson, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Well they made a lot of them.KMZ produced some 12 million nearly identical camera bodies on an automatic diecasting line that started in 1967 and the Zenit E was one type produced.
    What an incomprehensible sysytem to set up a line to produce 12 million camera bodies,maybe they underestimated the rate of technological progress.Anyhow, it means these are plentiful and cheap,my Zenit E including lens cost GBP7 at the market.
    My Zenit E has an uncoupled selenium meter which is surprisingly still accurate.It has serial number starting 78 and the Olympic logo.The 58mm Helios 44-2 lens has 6 elements and is preset type.
    I took it for a walk to see if it worked OK.
  2. The 6 element Helios lens is sharp right up to the edges.
  3. Took a bit of getting used to framing with a 58mm lens.
  4. I changed lenses to an old 35mm f3.5 Soligor.Even on screen it may be possble to see it is not sharp at the edges at f8.
  5. Last one,with the old 35mm Soligor again.
    I was lucky that everything worked on this Zenit but it would have been nice if KMZ had produced a 35mm lens to go with it.
    Thanks for any comment.
  6. I'm prepared to bet they sold most of those 12 million cameras. The 'E' may not have the greatest specification but what it
    did, it did well, as your pictures show.
  7. Zenits, and the offerings from East Germany, were the most affordable SLRs in the 1970s. I knew many who used them to good effect.
  8. The Mir 37mm seems to be a favorite among Zenit users and there are plenty of them on the big auction site.
  9. The Helios is in its essentials a Zeiss 58mm Biotar. If anything, the Helios (Гeлиос) lenses have the advantage of newer lens coatings. Many other lenses from companies like Canon and Nikon were copies of this lens type, especially in the early days.
    Your pictures show it off nicely. I have several of the Helios lenses and they are all great and compare well with the original Biotars I also have. My Zenit is also the preset version, although the camera was made with the automatic option as well.
  10. Good ol' Helios..."Tree by the Pond" is impressively sharp with a great range of tones. I've found the Soligors vary, even from copy to copy, and it looks as if yours is one of the lesser ones. Fine post, Alan, featuring a fine old workhorse.
  11. Yes, the quality shows in "The tree by the Pond." Excellent work, Alan. Thanks, sp.
  12. Yes, HP & Mukul,I think photographers were often extra proud of their skill that they could get good pictures with a Zenith.Roger, thanks for the tip off, I will investigate the Mir 37.
    JDM, the Helios 44M was tested by Amateur Photographer magazine Feb 14 1979.There were some differences but overall it rated quite similar to the 6 element Pentacon.Yes Rick, I have a later 35mm f3.5 Soligor that is a different design with a larger front element and it seems to be sharper than the one reported here.I appreciate that SP, I like your documentary photography.
    Thanks for the comments.

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