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.
|Weight||630 gr, Body only|
|Class average weight||610 gr, Body only|
|Lens make||Helios 44M-4|
|Filter size||52 mm|
|shutter||Focal plane cloth horizontal|
|Light meter||Selenium, external|
|Service / repair links||camerlog.com|