Zenit 12XP Reviews

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★★★★☆
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Zenit 12XP
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Latest Reviews

★★★☆☆
Zenit 12XP

“Zenit 12xp”

Written on: 09/02/2014 by waitew (1 review written)

In the 1980's-mid 1990's the Soviet/Russia Zenit slrs were by far the least expensive entry into interchangeable lens,through the lens metering,35mm photography. They could be found advertised in the back of photo magazines being sold with lens,case & sometimes flash/lens cleaning kit for 2/3 the price of the body ALONE of their cheapest competitor (Pentax k1000). That was a very attractive deal to someone on a tight budget who desperately wanted a "professional" camera which to most… Read Full Review

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★★★★★
Zenit 12XP

“THE BEST Analogue Camera”

Written on: 16/12/2013

THE BEST Analogue Camera… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆
Zenit 12XP

“The Zenit is probably one of the worst SLRs ever made....”

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.

Problems:
The main problem with Zenit, is the hard shutter button, the 60% finder coverage… Read Full Review

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Jjbink's Comment

Written on: 02/01/2012

Quite agree Zeniths are a clunky dated (even at the time ) novelty.
They are quaint in a USSR type of way, I own various Feds, Zorki, Zenith etc also Practica and Olympus, Pentax etc.The Zenith is so far behind the Practica in weight, build reliability feel etc. I got out my Practica after 10 years and it works like new, The Zenith needed its shutter retensioning.
They are popular beyond their capability, but at least they kept Technical and Optical in business.

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★★★★★
Zenit 12XP

“I just love this camera! I have a Pentax MZ-M and a...”

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 Full Review

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Cpartha's Comment

Written on: 07/09/2012

school of fotography in itself ... LOL! I agree!!

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★★★★★
Zenit 12XP

“The Zenit 12XP was my first SLR camera, practically I...”

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 Full Review

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★★★★★
Zenit 12XP

“I may have gone digital now and never looked back,...”

Written on: 23/10/2010

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 Full Review

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★★★★★
Zenit 12XP

“Shame on you condemning the 12xp as rubbish. No one...”

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 Full Review

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★★★★☆
Zenit 12XP

“The Zenit 12 XP is a brick of a camera which will...”

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 Full Review

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★★★★☆
Zenit 12XP

“this is not about the perfect exposure, contrast, or...”

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 Full Review

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★★★★☆
Zenit 12XP

“I think everyone realises that the Zenit cameras are...”

Written on: 05/10/2009

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, and… Read Full Review

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★★★☆☆
Zenit 12XP

“I find it extraordinary that the Zenit 12XP has...”

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 Full Review

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★★★★☆
Zenit 12XP

“I had a Zenit 12XP from May 1985 to August 1987 and it...”

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 Full Review

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★★★★★
Zenit 12XP

“I love this camera. I am an amateur, and my first ever...”

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 Full Review

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★★★★★
Zenit 12XP

“Overall a fun manual camera to take snapshots with. ”

Written on: 07/05/2009 by gpower (1 review written)

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 Full Review

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★★★★★
Zenit 12XP

“I love photography.... I use this camera since I was...”

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 Full Review

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★★★★★
Zenit 12XP

“A few months before I noticed that I have an old...”

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 Full Review

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★★★★★
Zenit 12XP

“Great collection camera, i bought one which is still...”

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 Full Review

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★★★★★
Zenit 12XP

“SOLID! Dependable, satisfying, and the helios lens is...”

Written on: 14/04/2008

SOLID! Dependable, satisfying, and the helios lens is sharp and contrasty. What a juggernaut… Read Full Review

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★★☆☆☆
Zenit 12XP

“I purchased my Zenit 12XP 35mm SLR Camera, or perhaps...”

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 Full Review

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★★★★★
Zenit 12XP

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

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 the… Read Full Review

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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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