Zorki-12 is a 35mm automatic camera designed for Rapid cassettes with a frame size of 18x24mm and produced from 1967 to 1968 at KMZ.
In addition to the Zorki-12 camera, KMZ produced other cameras in this line such as Zorki-10, which was a rangefinder camera with a frame size of 24x36mm and Zorki-11, which was a scale-focus camera with a frame size of 24x36mm.
- Type: 35mm rangefinder camera
- Manufacturer: KMZ plant
- Production period: from 1967 to 1968
- Format: 18×24mm on 135 film
- Lens mount: fixed lens
- Lens: Helios-98 f2.8/28
- Shutter: leaf shutter with a single shutter speeds of1/125 sec.
- Viewfinder: optical parallax viewfinder
- Lighmeter: selenium light meter
- Flash synchronisation: sync socket “X”
- Selftimer: none
- Weight: 350 grams
The Zorki-12 is a very rare camera, and even if you can buy it, you will have problems buying Rapid cassettes and using them.
The Rapid system was created by Agfa and is designed so that you use two cassettes and the film moves from one to the other. After you have shot the film spool, you can replace the empty spool with the take-up spool and insert a new unexposed film spool into the camera.
In our opinion, in such a system there are no advantages over the classic system that we are used to seeing in other cameras.
In addition, Zorki-12 is a half-frame camera, and in addition to that it is also a scale-focus camera, which means that you will not have a rangefinder or ground glass with a mirror and a pentaprism to make your task easier.
The Zorki-12 camera was equipped with a Helios-98 f2.8/28 lens. For a half-frame camera, this focal length is about 50mm for a half-frame camera.
Even though the camera has the widest aperture of f2.8, you can easily shoot at this aperture and get in focus, because due to the small frame size and focal length of 28mm, even at the widest aperture you will have a very large depth of field.
Zorki-12 was equipped with a shutter with a shutter speed of 1/125 sec if automatic mode is on. If you put the camera in automatic mode, then the camera will work out this single shutter speed by selecting the desired aperture in the range from f2.8 to f16.
If instead of automatic mode you set a specific aperture, then the camera will work out a shutter speed of 1/30. That is, neither in automatic mode, nor when you choose the aperture yourself, you cannot choose the shutter speed you want.
The camera is assembled quite well, it looks very stylish and sits nicely in the hands, although it is made in the form of a small brick.
The Zorki-12 camera is somewhat similar to the FED-mikron, which is also a scale-focus, also half-frame, also with automatic exposure control based on a selenium light meter, but for a standard cassette.
Zorki-12, in our opinion, is one of those Soviet film cameras that we would not recommend buying for shooting, especially if you are a beginner photographer.
This film camera is very rare, nowadays you are unlikely to find it in good condition, especially since the selenium in the light meter has most likely burned out a long time ago and will not give the correct values.
In addition, Zorki-12 is a scale-focus camera, which means that you will not have any devices to help you focus. Well, the most important thing is that in our time it is very difficult to find even empty Rapid cassettes to fill them with fresh film.