Written on: 14/03/2011
The Zenit is probably one of the worst SLRs ever made. Some people seem to like this camera because it is simple and mechanical and i makes you learn to shoot photos. The same can be said about Nikon F, F2, Nikkormat, Pentax Spotmatic, Olympus OM1 etc. I've used all of them. And they have much better quality and useability, Zenit wasn't even the best russian mechanical SLR the Kiev 19 was much better.
The main problem with Zenit, is the hard shutter button, the 60% finder coverage... (read more)
Written on: 19/01/2011
I just love this camera! I have a Pentax MZ-M and a digital Pentax A30 but the Zenit is a school of fotography in itself! (read more)
Written on: 06/01/2011
The Zenit 12XP was my first SLR camera, practically I learned photography with this amazing camera. I bought it here in Colombia in 1990 a real bargain by the time compare with the japanese models, very robust, reliable and excellent Helios lens. I used it extensively in all kinds of conditions and always worked great, the LEDs system indicators very accurate. (read more)
Written on: 22/10/2010
I may have gone digital now and never looked back, except when i think of my old Zenith 12xp my old friend never once let me down was serviced regularly I even bought a second one and a second hand Zenith E (bit trickier that) This was the camera all my early photography was done with - accepted Agfa HDC with high ISO ratings of 400 and those pictures were as good as any digital shots today!!! (read more)
Written on: 03/06/2010 by paulbuzz (2 reviews written)
Shame on you condemning the 12xp as rubbish. No one can dispute the fact it was a great picture taker and you need to understand the technical side of taking a photo with this camera. I started on this camera and today I understand pretty well what it takes to take a decent shot. Carl Zeiss lenses are not to be shunned I may add. The great part about it was the light meter in the form of flashing LEDs inside the view finder. (read more)
Written on: 23/01/2010
The Zenit 12 XP is a brick of a camera which will simply keep working. And the Helios 50mm F/2 lens is one of the most underated pieces of optics ever. I now own a Zenit E amongst other cameras, made in 1974 and still working quite happily. Compared to modern plastic junk, it feels like a Rolls Royce in your hands. (read more)
Written on: 04/01/2010
this is not about the perfect exposure, contrast, or sharpness. Nor about ease of use or practicality. My old photography teacher taught me one thing: "the only thing that really matters [in photography] is what you point your lens to."
The Zenit 12xp, with its limited features, tight restrictions and relative user unfriendliness, is the perfect tool developing visual intuition.
http://www.alexzakkas.me (read more)
Written on: 04/10/2009
I think everyone realises that the Zenit cameras are bargain basement, old school heavy chunks of metal, but what has that to do with basic photographic potential? The metering, with two LEDs in the viewfinder, is very accurate. The shutter speed, albeit limited, are accurate.
I used mine for many years, it beat the hell out of my other Praktica cameras in terms of reliabilty and quality of images with the Helios 28m, 58mm and 135mm lenses. I went over to Minolta when sold my Praktica set,... (read more)
Written on: 21/07/2009
I find it extraordinary that the Zenit 12XP has attracted so many favourable reviews. I can only conclude that it is the only 35mm SLR which its reviewers have ever owned and therefore have nothing else with which to compare it - I would venture to suggest that even the similarly mechanical Olympus OM1, say, is rather ahead of the game. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a camera snob; indeed, I will readily concede that the Olympus OM1 was substantially more expensive than the humble Zenit and... (read more)
Written on: 13/07/2009
I had a Zenit 12XP from May 1985 to August 1987 and it was very much of a curate's egg - good in parts. To be fair, I only used the standard Helios lens and so I can only really speak for the camera itself, not its supplementary M42 screw thread lenses (although I would avoid the Helios teleconverters as the resultant lens flare just has to be seen to be believed). OK, it's not particularly reliable, but the fact that it is so very slow to operate certainly makes for a more considered,... (read more)
Written on: 08/06/2009 by vumpsh (1 review written)
I love this camera. I am an amateur, and my first ever SLR was an older zenit-E. Since then, I have used many newer, much more high end pieces, but when I got a Zenit-12XP recently as a present, I fell in love with the Russian SLR again. Some people criticize Zenits for being clunky, but I love how solidly it feels in the hand. Controls are significantly improved over older models by the same brand, and I could consider this to be the best Zenit. Why? It has many technical improvements... (read more)
Written on: 07/05/2009 by gpower
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... (read more)
Written on: 10/12/2008
I love photography.... I use this camera since I was young... I know it just like the back of my hand... it is perfect... Recently I bought on ebay a soligor 25-55mm.... and it just rocks... I love it! It is a masterpiece for learning photography! (read more)
Written on: 11/09/2008 by Augy (1 review written)
A few months before I noticed that I have an old camera in my shelf. It was the current zenit. And now I've done a few shots, but haven't looked at them yet, so I can't tell anything about the quality, but I heard it's very good. I really like it. Also, a zoom lens would have been fine also, but unfortunately it didn't even exist at that time.... (read more)
Written on: 27/07/2008
Great collection camera, i bought one which is still working and looks new! Rock Solid, beautiful U.S.S.R. camera! (read more)
Written on: 13/04/2008
SOLID! Dependable, satisfying, and the helios lens is sharp and contrasty. What a juggernaut. (read more)
Written on: 08/05/2004 by harlee112833 (1 review written)
I purchased my Zenit 12XP 35mm SLR Camera, or perhaps it should be referred to as the 12HR, since the Russian cyrillic letters stand for XR, on Ebay for around $25.00. It was being sold under the Cambron label. Apparently the seller had no idea what it was, for he mentioned that there is some sort of battery holder on the back of the camera. The camera was in "like new" condition. I had a Zenit back in the 80's, with an external meter, and this one had the same heft and feel of of that... (read more)
Written on: 05/03/2004 by redbaron (16 reviews written)
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... (read more)
Written on: 11/09/2003 by kikhobor (1 review written)
I am a beginner in photography,Zenit12xp is a true master for my development of photographic senses and camera handling. But I am having a problem since I bought the camera from an auction and could not have any manual.Could anyone be kind enough to send me complete Zenit12xp manual at firstname.lastname@example.org (read more)
Written on: 22/07/2003 by Enrique.
I own a Zenit12xp 35 mm camera. I bought it in Cuba. I emigrated to the United States, and after 9 years living in the US, somebody brought it to me from Cuba. I had to clean it, and after 9 years without use, the camera works perfectly, and take better pictures than the Canon cameras. I have it as my favorite collectible toy, and still use it, and the pictures impress everyone. (read more)
Written on: 02/07/2003 by Diobonik.
If you want to own a cheap camera, reliable, that can allows you to do very good pics and understand photography, this is the camera for you. No frills, sovietic style, but will never abandon you. Black and white pics are great with this camera. Works with any time and condition. I am happy with it, because it's "retro" but give you a lot of satisfaction. (read more)
Written on: 31/05/2003 by David.
Have not owned this camera but I owned a Zenit B many years ago. It was heavy and crude but it took good photos through its helios PRESET aperture lens. The Jupiter-9 85mm portrait lens for it was excellent and the lens I used for most of the time. The Zenit 12XP looks considerably more refined than my Zenit B was. Yes, I agree the Praktica cameras were the most unreliable ever made with their shutter problems, plastic top and bottom plates. (read more)
Written on: 22/05/2003 by Tom Tiger.
The 12xp represents REAL photography. If you truly wish to
learn photography then this is the way to go. No programs, no autostuf but a back to basics camera. It's cheap, it's durable and the lenses are excellent. It has a M42 mount which means you can get a lot of good and cheap lenses for it. There are even forums around the world to help you with this camera.
So... free support, a good camera, and it even has a TTL meter. Which, imho, is a good meter. The 12xp forces you to think... (read more)
Written on: 19/09/2002 by Vaidis OK.
I have had a Zenit 12XP 35mm SLR camera with Helios 44, Mir 1B and Jupiter 37A lenses since 1994. The TTL exposure calculation system works perfectly. The only bad point is that there are no automatic modes for fast shooting - every time you need to set shutter speed and aperture by hand. And no autofocus, of course. (read more)
Written on: 08/05/2002 by Misiek.
The Zenit 12XP is an excellent 35mm SLR camera for its price. A real workhorse, I have had it for 19 years without any trouble. The helios lens is magnificent. I recommend this camera to anyone that is on a budget or just starting out in photography. (read more)