Zenit Newbie Question...

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by jeff bishop, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. One would think that after 30 years of using cameras, there would be no more
    questions. At least no more dumb questions...

    I've got a Zenit II camera.

    I need to rewind the film so that I can remove it, but cannot find the release

    Bottom line, I don't know how to rewind the film in this camera.

    It's my first Russian camera, which probably doesn't help the situation.

    Please Advise.
  2. is there a collar around the shutter release button? can it be pushed/screwed down? i haven't seen a zenit in decades, but i think that was it
  3. Jeff, I'm holding a Zenit camera in my hand as I type this (not literally), for your post sent me scurrying to find this camera which I haven't handled for close to 15 years at least.
    Well, I not sure how much different a Zenit II is from a Zenit, but on top of the dial where one sets the film speed, there is a half recessed button, which might have something to do with rewinding the film. Pressing and slighty turning it seems to release it up and out, and on this camera of mine I can tell is what is connected to the spindle of the film roll. So, have a play around with that ~ if the same camera configuration applies of course.
  4. Jeff, you got me going here now.I suddenly got a hankering to see if I can my Zenit EM (I just found out) going. I found a manual online and I think these steps might apply to your model too. And yes, the button I spoke about is the 'rewind button'.
    When the exposure counter dial shows 36 shots, the exposed film should be rewound into the cassette. To do this:
    1. press the film rewind knob and turn it against the direction shown by the arrow. In so doing the knob should go out of its seat;
    2. disengage the shutter mechanism by turning the shutter disengaging bush in the direction, shown by the arrow;
    3. rotate the film rewind knob in the direction shown by the arrow until the feel of the applied force indicates that the end of the film has left the spring of the take-up spool;
    4. open the back door of the camera;
    5. pull the film rewind upwards and remove the cassette.
  5. I know of no camera harder to figure out how to rewind than my Zenit ET. On mine it seems that you have to push down on the inner metal ring around the shutter release (there is a sort of notch in the outside ring to allow you to do this). Practice with no film in the camera to be sure you're getting it right (see if the sprockets will go backwards). It seems to be the case that you first have to lock down the shutter release by twisting it with your thumb first, but sometime it seems to work without that step.
  6. Thanks to everyone for trying to help, especially JDM. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I never would have figured this out in a million years. After this much effort, I know that I will never forget the process.

    I can't be the first person to struggle with this either. It's just far too counter-intuitive!
  7. You're entirely welcome. And, I can assure you that you are not the first, not the last, to struggle with this system. It has got to be one of the worst examples of (anti-) human engineering around.
  8. "(anti)-human engineering" ... not being a human I don't really see any problemme with the rewind, in fact my Zenit ET has a pretty clear arrow with an R painted near the button to indicate how the rewind works. <br> there's also a built in bonus feature, in B setting while pressing the release turn the button cw and the shutter is locked, turn it back to unlock it. Overall it's essentially the same setup as on Zorki 4.
  9. I guess there must be some variation in markings since my nice black ET has a two headed arrow, no R and we've already seen the "instructions" above which are only clear if you which bush is which! I do appreciate my Zenit, but this is really a strange (cr)feature to those of us who have not grown up on Zorki 4s. ;)
  10. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire, mostly on film.

    Not just Zorkis; my FED 3 and 4 have the same rewind control. The collar round the shutter release has an obvious knurled edge, and pretty much says 'turn me'.
  11. On my Zenit 3, I turn the knurled collar around the shutter release button clockwise to release, and counter clockwise to load up the next film. I don't think there's much else to it. If there's anyone with an extra take up spool for this one, or a Zorki 4 for that matter, I got stupid and lost mine after the last photo shoot with it. I'd love to use this again.
  12. On my Fed 5C, the collar gets pushed down until it clicks into place. After that you can rewind the film. A couple of film advance strokes alternated with shutter releases resets itself for film advance. Minor differences. Problem is these Soviet Cameras can become contagious. Now I'm getting all "Fed" up... :)

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