The Zenit-E is a 35mm film SLR made by KMZ. 3,334,540 were produced from 1965 to 1986. Зенит = Zenit meaning Zenith, a point in the sky that appears directly above the observer.

The main differences from the Zenit 3M is an additional light meter and the mechanism of the mirror and cocking lever were changed. The Zenit E does not have aperture automation, and therefore must be used with manual diaphragm/preset lenses or auto diaphragm lenses with an auto/manual switch.

There were many variations during its production period. [1]

The Zenit range was quite popular since it was priced moderately and it was offered under several other names such as Kalimar, Revueflex, Prinzflex, Photokina, Spiraflex, and Cosmorex.


Zenit-E 04
Zenit-E 03
Zenit-E 06
Zenit-E 09

Zenit-E type 9a (1978) Olympic export

  • Lens: Helios-44-2 58mm f/2, M42 screw mount, filter thread: 41mm
    • This is the standard lens, the other standard lens was an Industar-50-2 3.5/50
    • The lens mount was a KMZ M39 screw type before 1967 (although it is possible to find M39 within the 1968 models).
    • Lens release: simply turn to anti-clockwise
    • Aperture: up to f/16
    • Focus range: 0.5-20m +inf
  • Focusing: Fresnel matte glass screen; ring, distance scale and DOF scale on the lens
  • Shutter: Horizontally traveling, cloth focal-plane shutter, speeds 1/30 - 1/500 +B,
  • Shutter release: on the winding knob, w/cable release socket. For long exposure in B mode, the shutter release will lock down when pressed and turned ccw.
  • Cocking lever: also winds the film, long stroke, on the right of the top plate
  • Frame counter: on the winding knob, additive type, manual reset
  • Viewfinder: SLR pentaprism
  • Exposure meter: Selenium cell meter
    • Film speed range: ASA 16-500 setting: dial on the exposure setting ring, left of the top plate
    • Exposure setting: Match the needles in the window by turning the setting ring, then read out the speed and aperture
  • Re-wind knob: on the center of the exposure setting dial, press and turn, it will pop-up
  • Re-wind release: a small knob beside the cocking lever
  • Flash PC socket: on front of the top-plate, X sync 1/30
  • Cold-shoe
  • Self-timer: activates by pressing the small button above the lever
  • Back cover: hinged, opens by a latch on the left side of the camera
  • Engraving on the bottom plate: Made in USSR and KMZ logo
  • Tripod socket: ¼"
  • Strap lugs: none
  • Body: metal; Weight: 916g
  • Serial no. first two digits show the production year, on the back of the top plate

Some features of Prinzflex 500E[]

Notes and references[]

  1. Typing is as to Alexander Komarov