Zenit 12XP Review

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redbaron's review of Zenit 12XP

★★★★★
Zenit 12XP

“Ah Soviet engineering! Well, what Carl Zeiss was to...”

Written on: 05/03/2004 by redbaron (16 reviews written)

Good Points
Metal case, Good Image Quality, Ease of Use

Bad Points
Strange batteries, screw lens fitting

General Comments
Ah Soviet engineering! Well, what Carl Zeiss was to the DDR, Zenit was to the USSR. I have a Zenit 12XP which has finally given up the ghost on me and I think I am actually going to have to replace it. That being said they go cheap on ebay so it is tempting to nab another. It was my first 'proper' 35mm camera and I got it with a few lenses to play with. The Zenit is good and chunky, it's a durable bit of kit and can take a knock or two without a problem which compares well with many of the carbon fibre SLRs these days. The Zenit is very easy to use with simple functions, the flashing red lights tell you when the settings should be correct and as such I found it an excellent start into hobby photography. In my opinion you'd be hard pressed to find a better camera for a 16 year old say who wants to go out and snap. The Zenit is manual which forces you to learn how to use it properly rather than letting all the auto functions do the work. You feel like you've acheived something when you get that really good picture right.

On the negative side you are restricted to screw fitting lenses rather than the more common bayonet ones, that being said you can usually pick these up quite cheaply when you find them. I found the batteries in mine were a little odd and took a long time to find, I think the camera shop fleeced me for them as well, probably knew that I couldn't be bothered to look any more!

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Bertie's Response to redbaron's Review

Written on: 30/08/2004

"you are restricted to screw fitting lenses"
<br>
<br>No restriction friend - there are thousands of such lenses out there and most of them for peanuts. They're 'old fashioned' you see.
<br>
<br>BTW, the 'screw fitting' was originally called 'Edixa thread' from the name of the camera that first used it. It subsequently became known as 'M42' being 42 millimetres in diameter.
<br>
<br>Just thought you'd like to know that.

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Redbaron's Response to redbaron's Review

Written on: 28/05/2006

I think you'll find there are many people who learnt on Zenit's. I know 2 people who started with 12XPs who now do freelance work and they said it was a great camera to learn with.
Sure, it's old now but because it was built out of tank metal it'll last longer than you or I will mate!

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Fivish's Response to redbaron's Review

Written on: 25/05/2006

Good god man, this camera is a dinosaur! <br>I had a Zenit E 35mm camera 40 years ago! It was rubbish!
My next camera was a Nikkormat FT2 - wow what a beaut!

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Redbaron's Response to redbaron's Review

Written on: 01/09/2004

Hi Bertie, thanks for your comment. For the serious enthusiast M42 is indeed little of a hindrance but many will be buying cameras such as this in car boot sales and the like and for children etc. and they may need to hunt a little harder for the M42, but your addition is correct.

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