Zenit MT-1 Surprise

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The Zenit MT-1 сюрприз ('Surprise') is a half-frame 35 mm SLR camera made by KMZ from 1979 until about 1990.[1] It is based on the full-frame Zenit 19, and is designed for medical photography.[2]

Cameras were made with two different lens mounts, an M42 lens mount which can use any lens with M42 fitting and was sold with kit Helios-44M-4 50 mm f/2[2] or a Helios-77M-4 50 mm f/1.8 as shown here; and one with a unique breech-lock lens mount for which 2 lenses exist - a 50mm f/7 Industar-50 Mt and 30 mm f3/5 Mir-25 MT; both are fixed-focus and have fixed aperture, as well as a latch connected to a spring which is used for a lens cap. There also exists an endoscope adapter for this fitting.

Unlike the Zenit 19, the MT-1 has no light meter. They also exists with shutter speeds of 1-1/500 and 1-1/1000.

At least some of the cameras have a fixed data back, which can imprint an orange number from 1 to 31 on the film. Film speed set on the back (between 16-500) decides the exposure time. The data back takes its power from additional three PX625 batteries that are put into the back, it has a standard PC-sync cable which should be connected to additional sync socket located at where models without the back have self-timer lever. It is not connected to the shutter but is activated by button located near it.

The camera itself requires two PX625 batteries to function.[2]


  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). p556.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Zenit cameras page, archived at the Internet Archive in 2021, formerly at Communist Cameras by Nathan Dayton; notes and several pictures of the camera and accessories.