The Zenit-122 is a Soviet 35mm SLR camera with a TTL exposure meter manufactured by KMZ and BeloOMO from 1990 to 2005.
The Zenit-122 camera was equipped with a Helios-44M-X 2/58 lenses of various modifications. These lenses are a further improvement on the Helios-44 lens (which came with the Zenit-3 camera), which in turn was a copy of the German Carl Zeiss Biotar 2/58.
The camera has an M42 threaded mount, which made it possible to use a huge number of different lenses produced in the USSR and outside the borders of this country.
The camera had a familiar shutter with shutter speeds of 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500 and B. For the forties of the fifties, this is a good set of shutter speeds, but for the 90s this set of shutter speeds is already quite meager.
The Zenit-122 is one of the last Soviet SLR cameras because all Zenit cameras that were produced after it were already Russian. In addition, the Zenit-122 is the last more or less decent camera produced at the KMZ. All cameras produced at this factory after the Zenit-122 are disgusting freaks, whose existence is a big mistake. Their appearance alone is depressing, and the build quality is even worse than that of all other Soviet cameras.
The Zenit-122 is a decent camera. Despite the fact that the body is made of plastic, the build quality is still not as bad as in the latest models. The camera has a pretty good appearance, and the shape of the body helps to hold it in hands more conveniently. In addition, the camera has a fairly bright viewfinder with ground glass and wedges. That is, you should not encounter problems while focusing with the Zenit-122. Like the Zenit-TTL, this model has a depth-of-field preview mechanism and a rather convenient TTL exposure meter.
But just like the previous Zenit cameras, this model has a hopelessly outdated shutter with shutter speeds from 1/30 to 1/500. Against the background of Japanese, German, even Ukrainian Kiev cameras, this set of shutter speeds looked rather miserable.
The Soviet Union copied Japanese and German cameras quite successfully, and in light of this, it seems very strange that Soviet engineers could not copy a shutter with normal shutter speeds.
So, what can we say about the Zenit-122 camera? Despite the huge number of minor flaws and frankly outdated engineering solutions, the Zenit-122 is one of the best Soviet cameras. First of all, due to the fact that this is the newest Soviet camera, and most likely it will be easy for you to find it in good condition.
In addition, you can use with this camera a huge number of very cool Soviet lenses with M42 threaded mouth, which provide simply amazing image quality, especially considering their low cost.