KMZ Zenit-E (1965)

This is a Zenit-E 35mm SLR camera, made by Krasnogorski Mekhanicheskii Zavod (KMZ) in the former Soviet Union between the years of 1965 and 1986.  The entire Zenit (Зенит) line was extremely successful and not only sold very well, but it has become an iconic camera of the Soviet Union.  Millions …

GOMZ Smena-4 (1958)

This is a Smena (Смена) 4, a 35mm compact camera made by GOMZ in Leningrad, Russia and was produced between 1958 and 1960.  It was the 4th in the Smena family of cameras, and the last to be produced with this body style, made entirely of Bakelite.  The camera was …

Kiev-19 (1985)

This is a Kiev-19, a 35mm Single Lens Reflex camera made by the Arsenal Factory in Kiev, Ukraine between the years 1985 to 1994.  It was a replacement to the earlier Kiev-17 which was the first Soviet camera to use Nikon’s F bayonet mount.  Most Nikon F-mount lenses will work …

Keppler’s Vault 23: Russian Lenses Reviewed

In the last couple of decades, Soviet era cameras and lenses have enjoyed a generally positive reputation, making lenses like the Jupiter-8 and Helios-44 sought after by people searching for cost-effective alternatives to German or Japanese models.  Even the lower end Industars can be good options for people looking for acceptable …

Zorki 5 v1 (1958)

This is a Zorki 5 rangefinder camera made by Krasnogorskiy Mechanicheskiy Zavod (KMZ) in Krasnogorsk during the years of 1958 – 1959.  This particular camera is an early and much less common variant with a red Zorki-5 logo engraved into the body, and a square rangefinder window.  Later Zorki 5s had a …

GOMZ Leningrad (1956)

This is a Leningrad 35mm rangefinder camera made by GosuDarstvennyi Optiko-Mekhanicheskii Zavod (GOMZ for short) between the years of 1956 and 1968.  Although using the same M39 screw mount as many other Soviet rangefinders, the Leningrad is not based off any existing German design like the Zenit or FED rangefinders that …

Agat 18K (1988)

What is it? This is an Agat 18K half-frame 35mm camera made by BelOMO in their Vilejka factory near Minsk, Belarus between the years of 1988 and 1991.  The Agat 18K was an updated model of the earlier Agat 18 offering an improved shutter, a new film speed scale, and a …

KMZ Start (1959)

What is it? This is a KMZ Start Single Lens Reflex camera made by Krasnogorsk Mechanical Works (KMZ for short) in the former Soviet Union.  This was the first Soviet made SLR aimed at professionals.  Although it doesn’t look like it, the Start borrowed many design elements from the German made …

Zorki 4 v2 (1961)

What is it? This is a Zorki 4 rangefinder made by Krasnogorsk Mechanical Factory (KMZ) in Moscow, Russia.  The first Zorkis were built by KMZ in 1947 after the FED factory in Ukraine was damaged in WWII.  These first Zorkis were near identical copies of the original FED rangefinder which itself was a …