KMZ Zenit 3

7/29/2013 2 Comments A+ a-

The Zenit 3 is a 35mm film SLR camera manufactured by the Russian (former USSR) based company KMZ (Krasnogorsk Mekhanichesky Zavod).  Krasnogorsk is a suburb of Moscow, and the company was named for its location, which translates to Krasnogorsk Mechanical Factory.  KMZ is known for its production of photographic and movie cameras, as well as other optical related products.  The company was founded in 1942, and the first camera in the Zenit line was presented in 1953.    

The Zenit 3 is the third model in the Zenit line, and it was produced from 1960-1962.  The camera saw a change in the top housing, as it was now a single metal piece with the camera name engraved on the front in Cyrillic script.  The Zenit means "Zenith" when translated.

The trademark logo of KMZ is a trapezoidal prism, typically with a refracted ray of light that becomes an arrow as it exits the prism (see logo to the left of the viewfinder in the photo above).  The trademark is found on both bodies and lenses.  The Zenit 3 features a solid metal construction, and was expensive to manufacture.  This may be the reason behind the two year production run of the Zenit 3.   

The Zenit 3 features a lever advance instead of a winding knob as used on previous models.  The film is loaded at the bottom of the camera.  This particular Zenit 3 camera is being sold with a Industar 50mm f3.5 lens, and a Helios 44 58mm f2 lens.  The camera has also been painted with a custom blue finish by a previous owner.  A neat vintage camera with a custom touch!  

Click HERE to view the KMZ Zenit 3 on the KEH Camera Outlet on eBay.

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7/29/13, 8:29 AM delete

Still have a later model named "3M". Almost same, just with camera back opening instead if bottom panel. I adored it because the mirror stayed up and viewfinder stayed dark after a shutter release, until camera is winded to a next shot.

8/31/13, 2:50 AM delete

The Zenit were the only SLRs which used the shutter designed for the Leica II until its models which used the cloth focal plane shutter.