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 …

Keppler’s Vault 24: Russian Cameras Today

Last week’s Keppler’s Vault featured two different Russian Lens articles, so this week I thought I’d include a couple articles I’ve found that talk about 1950s and 60s Soviet cameras.  On a side note, it’s interesting to me that every one of these articles refers to them as “Russian”, rather …

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 …

Keppler’s Vault 22: Russians Shoot the Moon…Or Did They?

Unless you have a strong interest in history, specifically the US/USSR Cold War, most people under the age of 40 will never remember the back and forth competitiveness of the American and Soviet space race.  Both countries realized after World War II that the space beyond Earth’s atmosphere was 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 …