Zenit 4

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The Zenit 4 is a 35 mm SLR camera made by KMZ from 1964 to '68.[1] It began a short series of Zenit cameras with bayonet-fitting lenses and leaf shutters. The bayonet fitting is similar to that of the Voigtländer Bessamatic.[2] The shutter is in the body, behind the lens. It has speeds 1 - 1/500 second, plus 'B';[2] the shutter speed and aperture controls are linked, giving easy changing between exposure combinations of equal Exposure Value. The shutter release is the large lever on the front of the body, to the right (the user's right) of the lens; there is a cable-release socket at the top of the left side of the lens mount, and a PC socket on its bottom left shoulder. A small metal lever, also on the left of the lens mount, selects between 'M' and 'X' flash synchronisation, and also has a delayed-release setting, like the same control on the contemporary Synchro-Compur shutters.[3][4]

The standard lens is a Vega-3 50 mm f/2.8, as shown here, focusing down to 1 metre, or a Helios-65C 50 mm f/2.[2] Other interchangeable lenses included some of the familiar Soviet lenses: the Mir-1C 37 mm f/2.8, Jupiter-25C 85 mm f/2.8, Tair-38C 135 mm f/4, and the Tele-Tair-200C 200 mm f/5.6.[5] The lens is released with a small metal catch at the bottom of the mount.[3][4] The Rubin-1 37-80 mm f/2.8 zoom lens was later made with the correct mounting, and was supplied as standard with the Zenit 6.[3][5]

The camera has a coupled selenium meter, with match-needle readings visible in the viewfinder. The film speed is set on a dial, marked in GOST and DIN, between 14 and 29 DIN (ISO 20-640),[4] on the left of the top plate, where a film-rewind control might be expected. The film rewind, a folding crank, is there on the left-hand end of the top housing). The film advance lever is a rather simple, folded metal one.[4]

The prism finder is exchangeable with a waist-level finder. The camera and lenses may be seen engraved in Latin or Cyrillic letters.


  1. McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). p553.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Zenit 4 and 5 at Photohistory.ru; text in Russian.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Zenit cameras page, archived at the Internet Archive in 2021, formerly at Communist Cameras by Nathan Dayton.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Example seen on eBay (item 380997978769, September 2014).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Zenit-4 notes (Text in Russian, covering the Zenit 4, 5 and 6) at Zenit Camera.