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“This is a great camera for the price. You can get the...”

Written on: 13/08/2005 by roadmaster (1 review written)

Good Points
Cheap, great optics standard, durable, a Russian camera seems exotic to non-photo types, nice heft, actually has a place to attach a camera strap.

Bad Points
Metering system display, limited shutter speeds, next to useless flash sync

General Comments
This is a great camera for the price. You can get the Zenit shipped to your door for under 40 bucks (US$). Compare what you can get at the store for 40 bucks (3 filters or something similarly insignificant). No contest. Its fully manual, okay, either you like that or you don't. The Helios lens that came standard is excellent. Very sharp, excellent lens. The TTL was made before Zenit started using a lot of plastic so it should work fine until the shutter curtains disintegrate (they have a realistic life span of under 30 years if the camera has had any significant use, which surprisingly most have not). The flash sync is useless unless you're in the middle of nowhere at 4am trying to photograph bigfoot (syncs at 1/30 sec). This is not a good choice for indoor people photography like weddings, go for an automatic Canon, you're not going to have time to mess with this camera's quirks in a fast moving situation like that. However for general purpose photography, like a cheap camera to take on vacation or outdoors, etc, go for it! Just get one with the lights for the metering. Mine has a match needle, which is black and therefore becomes invisible in low light conditions which becomes anything not in the sunlight. The battery cover comes off easily and should be taped on for safety as it is easily lost and hard to replace. It would be nice if this had more speeds, but it doesn't. So if you need slower than 1/30, use a stopwatch and the B setting. I usually don't shoot higher than 1/500 so the lack of faster speeds doesn't bother me. Very nice camera, as I said, all you have to do is mention to people that you're using a camera from behind the iron curtain and the conversation won't let up. If you're not confortable with non automatic equipment, this would not be the camera for you, if you like to do things yourself, get one of these while they're still cheap and plentiful, don't bother with a fixer upper, buy a nice one from a reputable seller and this should last you for years to come.

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