Zenit-3 is a Soviet 35mm SLR camera that was manufactured at the Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant (KMZ) from 1960 to 1962. It was an upgraded version of the highly successful Zenit-C camera.
Since this was the Soviet Union, engineers did not make too big changes in the new models. In Zenit-3, the film advance lever, and the self-timer appeared. In addition, the upper part of the body has changed, and the camera has become noticeably higher. But in our opinion, the original Zenit and Zenit-C looked much more beautiful.
- Type: 35mm SLR camera
- Manufacturer: KMZ plant
- Production period: from 1955 to 1961
- Format: 24x36cm on 135 film
- Lens mount: m39 thread mount
- Lens: Helios-44 f2.0/58
- Viewfinder image field size: 20×28mm
- Shutter: focal-plane shutter with speeds from 1/25 to 1/500 sec
- Viewfinder: SLR with non-removable pentaprism
- Lighmeter: none
- Flash synchronisation: sync socket “X”, sync speeds from 1/30 s and longer
- Selftimer: mechanical
- Weight: 850 grams
Zenit-3 is made for 35mm film with a frame size of 24 × 36 mm. The camera is made of aluminum alloy and covered with vulcanite. To load film, it is necessary to remove the bottom cover. For many, this is a drawback, but the team of Sovietcameras.org believes that it is very easy to get used to this feature.
The Zenit-3 camera was equipped with Industar-50 3.5/50 or Helios-44 2/58 lenses with an aperture preset. It should be noted that both lenses are wonderful pieces of Soviet industry. Industar-50 is made on the basis of the Tessar scheme, and the Helios-44 lens is based on the Planar scheme.
Zenit-3 camera was equipped with a shutter standard for KMZ with shutter speeds of 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, and B. Just like in previous USSR SLR cameras, the image appears in the Zenit-3 viewfinder only after cocking the shutter.
In addition, this Soviet SLR suffers from the same drawback as the overwhelming majority of Zenits – only 65% of the frame is visible in the viewfinder. This can make it difficult to frame and compose correctly.
The camera had an M39 threaded mount, but the lenses from the Zorki rangefinder cameras could not be mounted on it due to the difference in flange focal length. Nevertheless, Zenit-3 could be equipped with a huge number of amazing lenses released for Zenit SLR cameras.
As already mentioned, the team of Sovietcameras.org believes that the first two SLR cameras released by KMZ were better in design, but nevertheless, Zenit-3 is also a great camera. It still had good build quality, and it is fairly inexpensive on the market.
In addition, Zenit-3 for many will be a little more convenient than previous Zenit cameras, since this Soviet SLR camera has a film advance lever, which speeds up the process of photographing.
Using this camera with old Soviet lenses you can not only take beautiful pictures but also enjoy the process of photographing.