KMZ Kristall

Last modified date

Comments: 0

KMZ Kristall

After the modest success of the early Zenit line came the Zenit C (Zenit S), of which 230,000 units were made with a body derived from the Zorki rangefinder line. The next model, the Zenit 3, sold about a quarter of the C, so designers changed course and name, where the Kristall (Crystal?) was born. The design moved slightly from the C, with added self-timer, hinged back, and lever winder. It’s all-new, redesigned top with a rounded prism housing that reminds me of the Citroen 2CV, conceived at about the same time. Not only oddly styled, but it was also hammerstone pained, untraditional, and unique.

The late C models and the early Kristall were sold simultaneously but were promptly abandoned in favor of the Zenit 3M, which outsold both.

There was also a Kristal 2, aptly marked, similar to the Kristal, with an added instant return mirror. There were two variants, with and without meter. Made in a very short run, it is hardly ever seen.

Straightforward to use, more so if you get a Latin-marked model. The speed selector can be set before or after cocking, a change over the traditional Soviet models of the time. A dial around the speed selector toggles between X and M sync speeds, marked with cute icons. Standard lens was the omnipresent Industar 3.5/50, the common lens for the Soviet SLR models.

List of all Zenit models

List number 15403
Brand KMZ
Model Kristall
Format 35mm
Introduced 1961
Country USSR
Qty made 65,000
Initial price
Type Compact SLR
Body material Metal
Mode Manual
Weight 590 gr,  Body only
Class average weight 610 gr,  Body only
ASA range N/A
Kit lens 3,5/50
Lens make Industar
Filter size 33 mm
Lens mount Thread
Mount size 39mm
Shutter Focal plane cloth horizontal
Shutter make
Light meter None
Winder Lever
Lock No
Speeds B, 30-500
Mirror None auto return
DOF preview No
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation No
Shoe No
External sync X/M
Sync speed 30
Timer Yes, mechanical
Battery N/A
Integral flash None
More Zenit camera
Mike Eckman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment