Main -> Photography -> Classic Cameras -> Russian -> Zenit B [sitemap]

Created 21 October 2005 ... Updated 23 August 2009

Zenit B Zenit B
The Zenit B is clearly the follow up of the Zenit 3M. It looks very similar, just a little more heavy and 'modern'. The Zenith-B already used the larger M42 lens mount instead of the M39 of earlier models. The knobs and wheels however look still very similar to those on earlier models and it's clear to see where the design came from. This model is also the first model with a Accessory shoe mounted above the prisma and it shows: it's clearly a 'no need to design it properly' kind of job.

Shutter is still the old fashioned Leica style cloth shutter already seen in the FED and Zorki cameras from the 1950. It's a good design however so there was no need to have it changed.

Somehow I don't like the exterior design of this camera so much, it's too clunky, too modern for my tastes and the plastic look starts to come in. It's still metal and heavy though but somehow...

hints 'n' tips
  • As with all cloth shutters be carefull not to point the lens towards the sun for too long as it might burn a hole in the cloth, or at least make the rubber deteriorate faster. Always use a lens cap.

  • When you open the camera back to put the film in, make sure to close the back properly. The catch doesn't snap in automatically but needs a little help.

  • The film speed and -type settings on the rewind wheel don't do anything other than remind you on the film type you have put in. So no need to set it from a camera viewpoint.

  • The wheel at the view finder does not do anything in itself, maybe you can take it off and replace it by a chimney finder for macro shots?

Zenit B

Type  :  Single Lens Reflex
Manufactured  :  1970 - 1973
Film Type  :  135
Negative Size  :  24 x 36
Lens  :  Changable, M42 screw mount.
Came with Helios-44-2 2/58 standard lens
Shutter  :  Bulb, 1 / 30, 60, 125, 250, 500. Flash Sync at 1/30
Metering  :  none built in
Winding  :  manual one-stroke lever
Rewinding  :  wheel
Material  :  brushed metal
Features  :  Standard flash socket and an accessory shoe.
Standard tripod socket
Self timer (often broken)
Flash Sync for M (flashbulbs) and X (electronic flash)
Serial number  :  70079198 (and the Helios-44-2 2/58 mm has serial 0025131)
Zenit B

links Zenit web links
links Stephen Rothery
links A very large Russian Camera collection with many links and a wealth of information.

links Tom Tiger
links An extensive Zenit collection.

All photos copyright of M. Koning 1997 - 2005

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