In the Russian Zenit series of SLRs, the Zenit 12 is a slightly updated version of the Zenit TTL, made by KMZ between 1983 and 1994[1]. Improvements included a hot shoe, brighter viewfinder, and LED metering in later models.

The 12SD is similar, but with a restyled shutter speed dial. A later version of the 12SD has a reshaped top plate and pentaprism housing.

The 12XP is similar to the 12SD  and now has LED exposure indicators in place of the meter needle. Moreover, there exist 12SD (known in Russia as Зенит-12сд) models  identical to 12XP and different only in name (XP standing for 'eXPort'). These 12сд models have LEDs as well.

There is a version of the Zenit 12XP made in Brazil, produced by BMA INDÚSTRIA E COMÉRCIO LTDA, which started making 12XP among some other Zenit models.

Technical information[]

  • Frame size: 24x36mm
  • Shutter made of cloth/canvas, horizontal
  • Shutter speed: 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500 and Bulb mode
  • Viewfinder: Fresnel matte screen, microraster, pentaprism
  • Light-meter: TTL (two LR-type batteries required, otherwise camera is battery-independent)
  • Focus: manual only
  • 16-500 GOST/ASA film speed range (some models had the dial using DIN)
  • Hot shoe (only the 1/30 shutter speed synchronized with the lamp) and a PC lamp socket
  • Standard lens is the Helios-44-M-4 with a 58mm focal length and widest aperture of f/2 with an M42 mount
  • Self-timer: purely mechanical, using a lever on a front pane
  • Tripod mount: 1/4

Brazilian Zenit 12XP


  1. Zenit 12/12SD/12XP at