The Zenit-ET is a Soviet 35mm SLR camera with a built-in non-conjugate selenium exposure meter produced at BelOMO from 1982 to 1995.
The Zenit-ET camera was also produced in small batches at KMZ. Zenit-ET was actually a variation of Zenit-10 and Zenit-11 cameras manufactured at the KMZ. Recall that this was the Soviet Union, and the division into factories was a purely formal thing because all these factories and plants belonged to the state, which means they could produce the same goods.
- Type: 35mm SLR camera
- Manufacturer: KMZ plant
- Production period: from 1982 to 1992
- Format: 24x36cm on 135 film
- Lens mount: m42 thread mount
- Lens: Helios-44m f2.0/58
- Viewfinder image field size: 20×28mm
- Shutter: focal-plane shutter with speeds from 1/30 to 1/500 sec.
- Viewfinder: SLR with non-removable pentaprism
- Lighmeter: built-in selenium light meter
- Flash synchronisation: sync socket “X”, sync speeds from 1/30 s and longer.
- Selftimer: mechanical
- Weight: 950 grams
This camera has a huge number of different variations. For example, on the market at the same time, there could be options with a selenium exposure meter and without it. But it should be noted that due to a number of unfavorable conditions, the Zenit cameras produced at the BelOMO factory were not of very high quality.
This camera could be equipped with either Helios-44M 2/58 (made according to the Planar optical scheme) variations or a better Helios-77M-4 1.8/50 lens. But besides this, this camera could be equipped with a huge number of other lenses manufactured in the USSR. For example, in this article, the team of Sovietcameras.org gave examples of photographs taken using Jupiter-37 3,5/135 and Mir-1B 2,8/37 lenses.
The Zenit-ET camera is also equipped with a standard shutter with shutter speeds of 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, and B, inherited from the first FED and Zorki cameras. As we have repeatedly said, it seems very strange to us that the Soviet factories continued to use the shutter, which was out of date 40 years ago.
Nevertheless, this set of shutter speeds is quite enough for most tasks. But if you want a Soviet SLR camera with a wider choice of shutter speeds, then the Kiev-19 or Zenit-19 will be more suitable options for you.
The camera is equipped with a self-timer and a hot-shoe. It should also be noted that the camera has a more sophisticated viewfinder than in the Zenit-E, which simplifies the focusing process.
The camera suffers from the same disadvantages that were present on previous cameras, for example, on Zenit-TTL. For example, only 67% of the future frame is visible in the viewfinder. It should be noted that in the 80s and 90s there were no cameras on the market with such a viewfinder.
So, what about the Zenit-ET camera? The team of Sovietcameras.org believes that this is not the worst Soviet camera, but at the same time not the best. As mentioned above, the build quality of these cameras is noticeably worse than that of the cameras that were produced at the KMZ plant. You should pay attention to this when you choose a Soviet camera for yourself.
Nevertheless, this camera has almost everything for good shooting. A fairly convenient design, a good viewfinder, very good lenses, and low cost make these cameras quite interesting.
But nevertheless, if you want just a good Soviet SLR, then the team of Sovietcameras.org advises you to buy either one of the first Zenit cameras, for example, Zenit-C, since it is of better quality, or Zenit-122, since it is more convenient and has more useful functions.