KMZ-BelOMO Zenit-E (Зенит-E)

This is the first serious film SLR I ever owned. I found it in a thrift shop for 10£, in a very good condition and perfectly working, so I bought it.

The Zenit-E is a very common camera, produced by the russian KMZ (Krasnogorski Mekhanicheskii Zavod, the Mechanical Industries of Krasnogorsk), while some lenses where produced by BelOMO (Belorusskoe Optiko-Mechanichesckoye Obyedinenie, the Optical-Mechanical Industries of Belarus). It has been produced between 1965 and 1986.

Its good price and the fact that was sold under several brands made it a quite popular camera. Mine came with a Prinzflex 500E badge, which came off, revealing its true nature.

The standard lens that came with the camera is a Helios-44-2 58 mm f/2.0 lens with a 41mm filter thread and standard M42 screw mount. I also bought for this one a Helios f/2.8 28mm wide lens off eBay, for something around 15£ or less.

Overall is a decent camera, nothing super special, but it’s cheap, sturdy, built to resist and can take some really stunning pictures if used properly. The selenium light meter makes it usable without a battery and the major drawback I can think of is that this beast is HEAVY.

Helios S-44-2 58mm standard lens.

A close up on the Zenit front. It is still possible to see where the “Prinzflex” tag was attached, close to the PC Flash socket. The knob on the front is for the self-timer. Above the lens, the selenium light meter.