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01-12-2013, 03:02 PM   #1
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Black or White.... silver actually.

I wondered one day why is it so that you people from the WEST like that black finish camera bodies so much..... and WE from ZENIT-zone do not at all.

It is in fact so that black versions of MX, KX, K2, ME Super and so on are much more payed for than chrome-silver ones even though that the wear-out is much less visible on chromed bodies.

Me myself looking for a MX, K2 or finally KX and ME went straight to chrome-silver, never black!!! What reason??????

One simple explanation is this:


By the time of my yought Zenit TTL was the one and ONLY available SLR TTL prosumer camera. 100% of production made in black finish - no choice for you to make..... sad but true....

Old photographers had Practica's from soviet controlled part of Germany (satin-chromed bodies) uncles from USA had Canon's and Pentax'es (chrome-silver bodies) and Newspaper Photographers had Nikons F3, Canon's Pentax'es - mostly chrome-silver bodies.................. except for black F3.

Chromed-silver was cool. Black finish was............ soviet booooooooooooooooooriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing....

And so it remained. I seek with pleasure for clean chrome KX, looking with huge surprise that worn out black body costs that much more. Good for me!

End of story: tomorrow I go to get my almost perfect not-black KX for no more than 80 bucks.


Last edited by Petrus_One; 01-13-2013 at 01:47 AM. Reason: Silver - changed to chrome-silver as it should be.
01-12-2013, 03:49 PM   #2
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Thanks for the post - and I understand. While I was growing up all the "real" cameras were chrome; and that still appeals to me.
01-12-2013, 03:54 PM   #3
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In the case of Pentax, I think that black film bodies where generally limited to the Japanese market, which is why they're so rare overseas.

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01-12-2013, 03:58 PM   #4
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Your argument is invalid.


Also, Zenit E was primarily silver, although black bodies have been made.
Also think about FED and Zorki rangefinders.

01-12-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Petrus_One Quote
End of story: tomorrow I go to get my almost perfect silver KX for no more than 80 bucks.
I think you are going to like your KX.

For what it is worth, the Zenits pictured above look to be in pretty nice condition. I have only seen a couple of examples in my life and they both looked and felt rough. Very rough.


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01-12-2013, 04:24 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
Your argument is invalid.
Though the discussion about this particular camera seems to indicate that the silver body is hard to come by.


Steve
01-12-2013, 05:50 PM   #7
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I have never seen a chrome Zenit in my life yet. ;-)
Anyway - good to give you some point of view from our part of the world ;-) Nice to see your reception of it.

I actually had a 70 year old uncle having a bunch of chrome Practica cameras with drawer of Carl-Zeiss-Jena prime lenses. Zooms were not even existing in the common consciousness.

I also remember my god-father - a university professor working in France - having an AUTO-PROGRAM-CANON-CHROME-BODY-MONSTER-SLR.

I cannot say all bad on my own black Zenit TTL as I learned basics of photography with it together with B&W film processing in my parents bathroom and pictures printing - thanks to my friend - Janusz.
The main problem was the sick soviet idea to make all people happy in strictly one preset way - with black SLR....

And coming again to Zenit itself - it's main drawback was the quality inconsistency in the series.
The quality control wasn't to high, so you were able to find different examples. Same was with Helios lenses - buying them with cameras - one had to choose those with less air bubbles inside ...
But thanks to this forum I am amazed on how beautiful pictures can be made with them....
---------------------------------------
kcobain1992 - beeing 1972 myself I picture my own point of view. When I started my adventure with photography all reachable serious SLR's were black. Zorki and FED were unattractive from some reason and so much popular nowadays LOMO were just toys.....

Last edited by Petrus_One; 01-12-2013 at 05:58 PM. Reason: kcobain1992 reply added.
01-12-2013, 06:28 PM   #8
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Back in "the good old days" which were probably before most members of this forum were born, I used to sell Zenits in a camera store. We sold quite a few, mostly as a novelty. I do remember that they were black, rough, and cheap...we sold them at a nice profit, yet they were the least expensive camera in the store. Nope. I do not remember the price. I do remember that a Pentax SP 500 sold for about $140 at the time. Nikon, Canon, Pentax - the "Big Three" in film cameras...

I do remember, being a poor student on a very tight budget at the time, trying to use a Zenit body with a Pentax SMC lens. Both camera and lens were screw mounts in those days. It was obvious that the quality control on the lens was much, much tighter than that for the cameras. I tried 6 - 8 camera bodies...and the lens would not mount solidly on any of them.

Crashed my dreams of a "bargain" Pentax. Hey, the lens is the most important part of the camera, right? Back in the days when film ruled the world...

Take care
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01-12-2013, 07:41 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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Zenits were not bad cameras.... A friend of mine had one and he used it to bang the head of a guy that was trying to mug us
Not a dent....
01-13-2013, 01:25 AM   #10
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Not later than yesterday my son - going out to Warsaw citi-center, hesitating weather to take or not his K1000/SMC-M50mmf/2 - was informed by me that in case of emergency he can use it as a hard-hit-defense-weapon without need for any remorse. He WAS GLAD TO HEAR THIS AND I WAS COMFORTABLE TO KNOW HE KNOWS HOW TO USE IT..... both ways ;-)
01-13-2013, 01:27 AM   #11
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Silver and Brown works for me

01-13-2013, 03:35 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Petrus_One Quote
kcobain1992 - beeing 1972 myself I picture my own point of view. When I started my adventure with photography all reachable serious SLR's were black. Zorki and FED were unattractive from some reason and so much popular nowadays LOMO were just toys.....
That may have been the situation in Poland then. My 1962 dad (lol) recalls that black Zenit TTLs were actually harder to find, and the norm were silver Zenit Es. He purchased his Zenit TTL with Helios 44M in 1981. That was in Romania. Also, my girlfriend's father (1955) has bought his silver Zenit ET from Russia directly, along with a Jupiter 37A and a Helios 44-2, in 85. However, the camera broke after several years, and he seemed to be lusting after the TTL model (black), which was more expensive, and also featured a TTL light meter (so high tech).
And yeah, QC might be part of Zenit's unsuccess. I think the models designed for export (with Latin characters) had a more strict QC, while those intended to be sold inside the Soviet block had a poorer one. In fact, I read somewhere that Zenit workers simply turned the cameras upside down and checked if there were any falling screws. If not, the cameras passed. That may explain why the Jupiter 37A had a lens element mounted in reverse.
But, to be honest, I don't think that's the main reason for the Zenit fail. They were simply too "retro". The Zenit TTL viewfinder is horrible, the E has barrel distortion, almost all Soviet cameras shared the same shutter, designed for B + 1/30 -> 1/500, which is actually lame for cameras produced well into the 90s.
They were pretty solid though. I plan keeping my dad's Zenit at all times in my bag, for self-defence purposes.
01-13-2013, 06:18 AM   #13
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Nice Zenit-Black-and-White story comes out of this.

As for my KX - it went to service directly, as it's 1sec shutter speed was almost 5 seconds long. All the rest in goooooood shape.
As a solace - got a crazy-clicker: an ME with a winder....... just love that sound....!!!!
01-13-2013, 05:33 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I would have like to have the LX in a chrome model too . . .

01-13-2013, 11:03 PM   #15
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I just finished a role in my Black 12XP I'm literally walking out the door to collect it.

I love my Zenit. As for silver. My Zorki 4 and Kiev 2 are Silver.... :P


I love them too :P

Fair enough on the colour difference tho. I think I love the Zenit more so because its all black :P
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