Zenit 3M vintage soviet Camera – vintage cameras

Zenit 3M vintage soviet Camera – vintage cameras

-zenit 3m vintage soviet camera-

The Soviet Union had a huge internal market and the need for a basic, budget friendly and also reputable SLR was just as big. Regardless of the need there was no such camera in the Soviet Union even after the Word War II apart from the Eastern German units (Praktica, Contax, Praktina, Pentacon, Praktisix, Exakta, Exa) however these cameras did not satisfy the requirements for easiness and they were very expensive too.

Therefore KMZ came out with the camera they needed. They took a Zorki rangefinder camera, discarded the rangefinder, included a mirror-box and a prism.The first Zenit was born!

The Zenit is a real descendant of the Leica IIc. I understand this statement is a bit difficult to hear at first but below is the reasons why:

The Soviet Union had actually officially bought the license of the mythical Leica IIC around 1932. Every early Zorki and FED units were actually based on this license and the first Zenit camera was the direct modification of the Zorki. Even the contact lens mount was similar to the M39x1 of the Leica.

The first Zenit was introduced in 1952 with an Industar 50 (50 mm, f/3.5) lens, which was produced for Zorkis. The proceeding variation was the Zenit C. This camera featured a synchronization mode for single-use flash bulbs, with modifiable synch timing from 0 to 25 ms. The Zenit was very easy to use and simple to repair due to its basic building; it was so basic that the mirror was lowering by a single string.

The next model was the Zenit 3. It was made from1960 to 1962. This one was mechanically very comparable to the original Zenit and to the Zorki.

You would say that the Zenit 3 was the direct predecessor of the 3M, but there was an additional camera called Crystall, which has far more in common with the 3M. The Crystall camera was the first KMZ SLR with a hinged back, the film could be loaded and gotten rid of with ease compare with previous bottom loaded units. But this camera was exceptionally ugly; people compared it to a tractor due to the ridges on the top of the prism and that’s why KMZ get rid of the Crystall and introduce the Zenit 3M.

Zenit 3M vintage camera specifications:


Krasnogorski Mekhanicheskii Zavod (KMZ)


Zenit 3M

Camera Type

35mm Film Soviet  SLR



Focusing range

0.65-20m +in


1/30-1/500 +B


SLR pentaprism

Download the Zenit 3M user manual for free:

Download the free zenit 3m user manual

About the Zenit 3M

This Zenit 3M vintage camera, is a very nice 35mm film SLR. This camera was manufactured by Krasnogorski Mekhanicheskii Zavod (KMZ) and was distributed between 1962 and 1970.

Zenit 3m vintage camera soviet slr

Zenit 3m

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