19 November 2008

A Rare Piece from The Union










(my thumb is indeed double jointed as seen in this photo)

The Zenit EM, 35mm fully mechanical SLR with M42 lens mount, was manufactured by KMZ in Krasnogorsk between 1972 and 1984. As a fully mechanical camera, every setting was user defined, without the electronic light metering of the 1980s. Therefore the user had to set their own film speed, shutter speed, aperture and lens settings. The only assistance given to the user was in the form of the Selenium cell light meter on the front of the camera. The camera would move a small needle in response to the ambient light to help the user set their relevant choices for shutter speed and aperture.

The camera came with a lacquered leather holder and carrying case, embossed with the brand name in both Cyrillic and Western lettering. The camera, even without the leather and metal framed casing, weighed in at over a kilogram, and was quite literally built like a tank. No doubt were a Capitalist fiend to attack one of the Russians or Eastern Europeans using the camera, he or she would be able to use the camera to put quite a heavy dent in the head of the sneaky Capitalist.

I was fortunate enough to come across this rare pristine example. It is one of the earliest special 'Olympic' models released within the USSR, actually marked with a 1978 production date. The EM usually came in a silver and black colourway, however this is one of the rarer full black models. The camera itself is in fantastic fully working condition, with an almost prestine lens and clean internal body mirrors. The selenium cells within the light meter typically have a chemical half life of around 10 to 15 years, after which they no longer function. Luckily however, despite my camera being around 30 years old, the selenium light meter still functions perfecctly well.

I shall hopefully be sharing a number of photos from the Zenit in the near future.

Currently playing: Road To Zion ft. Nas - Damian Marley (that being the Rasta Zion in Ethiopia, not Jerusalem)

xxxx

21 comments:

  1. That camera looks amazing, a true piece of history. How's the photo quality?

    Also, I added you on the blogroll, making you one of the first. I know it's been a long time coming, but it's finally here.

    If it's not too much, would you mind changing us to www.steelcloset.com . We have unfortunately moved on from wordpress.

    Anyways, thanks for the support.

    Cas

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  2. Hi Dapper kid,
    Love your blog, just discovered you. I am photo freak and love your camera piece. I have a love affair with a Leica M6. I get the joke. Carla x

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  3. Lucky you to get hold of that! I bet you feel like a proud father while holding it and looking at it ;p Can't wait to see photos from the Zenit!! x

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  4. Wow!! Can't wait to see photos soon. I love photography and it's nice that this camera has a history!
    xxx

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  5. Not a camera fan, but the idea of photos of a camera with another camera makes me smile! Oh and it's the Boots advert ;)

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  6. hun fantastic camera?whats the image quality like dear?pls take lots of images with it soon for us to see.ok
    muah xx
    Marian

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  7. Oh BOY! I love old cameras, and I'd never heard of this brand, so I learned a lot today.

    How wonderful for you.

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  8. wow great camera
    can't wait to see the pics you take w it :)
    thanks for the comment

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  9. thanks for the comment last week! I hope skinny pants go the way of acid washed jeans and the world realizes the folly of it all haha

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  10. Amazing find! I can't wait to see the pictures it takes!

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  11. I have two Zenit cameras...they used to be my dads back from Ukraine. I loved using them in my high school photography class...I wish they wouldn't weight a ton, but they still work amazingly :)

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  12. Somehow I knew you would love cameras as I do.

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  13. What a gem! My Nikon F90 will just have hide.. I can barely use that any more although it's in perfect working condition. I cannot wait that processing time. somehow I think you are very patient lad who treasures that waiting time. Am I right?

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  14. OMG. I love your camera! Where did you get it?

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  15. OMG OMG OMG Zenit camera is a very pricey russian camera!!! How much did you pay for that??? They're from £100 on Lomography.com shop. Great for lomo photography too.

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  16. the fashion assistant: Ermm £3 lol.

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  17. Are you serious?? £3?? from where?? ebay?? Seriously you better keep that camera for the next few years it will worth even more!!!

    Have a look at the shop on Lomography.com

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  18. Wow ) A great camera! Look, there (http://nurse-fiction.blogspot.com/search/label/Zenit) are some photos taken on my Zenit ET.
    Greatings from Kiev, Ukraine :)

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