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Mir is a 35mm rangefinder camera, manufactured by the KMZ plant in Krasnogorsk, Moscow, USSR between 1959-61. Мир = Mir, can mean 'peace' or 'world'.

The Mir is a slightly simplified version of the well known Soviet Leica-inspired camera, the Zorki 4, without the slow shutter-speed mechanism (it also lacks the fastest speed of 1/1000 second). Whereas the Zorki 4 was released for export from behind the iron curtain, the Mir was intended for domestic consumption only.

Whereas about 160000 Mir's were made during a short time, over 1.7 million examples of the Zorki-4 were made during its rather longer production time. The Mir was offered with the Industar-22 50mm f/3.5, the Industar-26 50mm f/2.8, or the Jupiter-8 50mm f/2.[1] The Jupiter-3 50mm f/1.5 may have been an option, most likely with the Zorki 3 and Zorki 4 as an export option.

The viewfinder has a larger magnification than some earlier rangefinder cameras, which is said by some users to allow more accurate use of the rangefinder.

Three basic types and one sub-type can be recognised.[2][3][4]

Type 1

  • Type 1 produced only in 1959
  • Distinctive features of this type: Early style of inscription "Mir"

Photo in Fotoua (archived)

Type 2a

  • Type 2a produced only in 1959
  • Distinctive feature of the type: There is a frame around the viewfinder's window
  • Without stop bolt on the hot shoe

Photo Type 2a (archived)

Type 2b

  • Type 2a produced only in 1959
  • Distinctive feature of the type: With stop bolt on the hot shoe

Photo Type2b (archived)

Type 3

  • Type 3 produced between 1959-61
  • Distinctive feature of this type: Without a frame around viewfinder's window


  • Focusing: Matching yellow rangefinder images
  • Shutter: Rubberized silk double cloth curtain, horizontal focal plane [5]
  • Viewfinder: Combined view/range finder, large and bright
  • Re-winding release switch: Around the shutter release, like a collar, points engravings П (P, re-wind) and Д (D, wind, red)
  • Diopter adjustment lever: Beside the re-winding knob
  • Self-timer: Activates by a small silver knob above the lever, 9-15 seconds delay
  • Flash PC sync socket: On the front of the top plate, flash sync at 1/30
    • Variable synchronisation delay (0 - 25 ms) is possible by dial around the shutter speed control
  • Take up spool: Special, it can drop down very easily
  • Back cover: Removable with the bottom plate,
  • Others: Cold-shoe; Strap lugs; ⅜-inch tripod socket
  • Engravings on the back of the top-plate: KMZ logo and the serial no. the first two numbers show the production year


Notes and references

  1. These are the only standard lenses listed in the user's manual (in Russian) previously reproduced at the KMZ archive website (http://www.zenitcamera.com) and archived at the Internet archive 'Wayback Machine' in December 2008. Owners have reported cameras with other lenses such as the rigid Industar-22, mounted on an extension tube to give correct film register, or the Jupiter-8, as on the example pictured here.
  2. According to Alaxander Komarov in Fotoua (archived). The site gave serial numbers for dating of cameras. There is another classification of former-USSR cameras by Aidas Pikiotas at SovietCams
  3. Pages from the the book of former USSR cameras by Suglob, Shaternik, Kochergin
  4. Discussion of camera classifications in the books of Princelle and Suglob, Shaternik, Kochergin in USSR Photo Forum
  5. As with other Soviet-era rangefinders, the Mir's shutter speed selector rotates when the shutter is released, and should not be changed until after the shutter has been cocked. If you change the shutter speed without cocking the shutter first, the setting pin can be broken when you advance the film and cock the shutter


In English

  • Princelle, Jean Loup (2004), The Authentic Guide to Russian and Soviet Cameras ('Made in USSR'), Le Reve Edition. ISBN 2952252106; or the earlier edition: Hove Foto Books, 2nd edition, 1995. 200 pages. ISBN 1874031630. Paperback.

In Russian


Zorki cameras
FED-Zorki | 1 | S | 2 | 2-C (S) | 3 | 3M | 3S | 4 | 4K | Mir | 5 | 6 | 10/11 | 12 | 35M