Written on: 07/05/2009 by gpower (1 review written)
* Great kit lens.
* Useful learning tool.
* Limited shutter speeds.
* You need to watch out for the odd iffy one.
Overall a fun manual camera to take snapshots with.
For the price it cannot be beaten as it can be had online for as low as £5, I paid just over £10 for mine in near mint condition. And the standard lens, the Helios 44M, is a very nice bit of kit, with a fairly large aperture and silky smooth bokeh.
There are a few things to watch out for though, Zenit quality control is legendarily iffy, so it is probably best to buy the camera from a fair where you can check all shutter speeds, the light meter, and make sure there shutter has no holes. Don ' t forget that some of these cameras came out in 1983, 26 years is a long time for a mechanical bit of kit which has probably never seen a service in its life. The good news though is that they are solid machines, my Zenit 12XP is from 1983 and it is in perfect working order. Sticky shutters are common, but sometimes they fix themselves with use, mine did.
In terms of ergonomics, I find it honestly nice. It doesn ' t sit in my hands as nicely as my modern DSLR, but there are no mayor drawbacks in terms of usability. Do keep in mind though that it is very limited in terms of shutter speeds, so it works best with ISO 100 film during a sunny day, and 200 when it is overcast.
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