KMZ Zenit ET

Last modified date

Comments: 0

KMZ Zenit ET

After the first Zenit generation had ended with the Zenit 3M, a succession of short-run models followed. Namely, 4, 5, and 6. All with uncoupled meter, all variations of the same melody, neither gained any followers.

The next generation saw the Zenit E, early run with a non-return mirror and later with an auto return. This model was sold in record numbers, over 3 million units, under various brands. It was followed by the Zenit B (V), with 890,000 units, the TTL, with 1,600,000, and the EM with 980,000. All still featured a utilitarian look but were a step up from the farm-appliance style of the early models. A good run for a basic SLR, sold on the cheap all over Europe and the US. Other than the TTL, the models changed little over the generation, so manufacturers could keep it simple and costs in check.

This run lasted from the early 1970 to mid-1980s, long after the market had matured out of the no-frills, basic, and heavy Soviet cameras. Guess that the Japanese small, light, and smart models offered more features and reliability at a competitive cost.

From there, only one Soviet camera of that generation came close to the sales volume above, the Zenit 11, which survived until 1990. Yet it was almost identical to the earlier Zenit ET.

The Zenit ET, introduced in 1981, was identical to the Zenit E, already at its tail end. The only difference was that the speed selector dial did not dance back after firing but stayed put.

Still, with the 42mm lens and uncoupled meter, it stood no chance against the fully featured Japanese in their prime.

The Zenit ET is still a basic model, few speeds offered, with a step down at half press. All that is needed is matching  the needle and the lollipop in the meter window by setting the shutter and aperture values. No battery is required. It sold a meager 61,000 units before it gave way to the ET.

See a list of all KMZ Zenit models.

List number 10475
Brand KMZ
Model Zenit ET
Format 35mm
Introduced 1981
Country USSR
Qty made 61,000
Initial price
Type Compact SLR
Body material Metal
Mode Manual
Weight 630 gr,  Body only
Class average weight 610 gr,  Body only
ASA range 25-400
Kit lens 2,0/50
Lens make Helios 44M-4
Filter size 52 mm
Lens mount Thread
Mount size M42x1
shutter Focal plane cloth horizontal
shutter make
Light meter Selenium, external
Winder Lever
Lock Yes
Speeds B, 30-500
Mirror Auto return
DOF preview Yes
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation No
Shoe Hot
External sync X
Sync speed 30
Timer Yes, mechanical
Battery N/A
Integral flash None
Service / repair links

Leave a Reply

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

Post comment