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Zenit ET is a 35mm film SLR camera manufactured by Vileiskiy Zavod Zenit, (Vileiskiy Plant Zenit), [1], near Minsk, former USSR, produced between 1982-1993 with quantity 3.000.000. Зенит is the Cyrillic spelling of Zenit.

Zenit ET belongs to the long running series of Zenit SLR cameras. Small numbers of early Zenit cameras were produced by KMZ, in 1981-82.

Zenit ETs also exist without aperture automation and without a built-in meter. They offered various finish materials and colours like silver, black, bronze, or green. This camera is an attempt to modernize the Zenit EM. Initially it looked just like an EM with new lettering, with new designs on the dials. Some variants also lack strap lugs.

The cameras produced in Vileiskiy Plant Zenit of MMZ-BelOMO are a complete remake of the earlier Zenit ET. The shape and features remain the same, but more plastic parts are used, including the top cover, bottom plate, and film advance lever on some cameras. BelOMO also supplied the multicoated Helios 44-3 58mm preset lens for use with the ET models lacking aperture automation.

There were 3 types of Zenit ET (KMZ) and 6 types with 11 sub-types of the Zenit ET (MMZ-BeLomo). [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


This data belongs to the Zenit ET type 5d. All of the other models are same with this but some minor modifications and different finish colors and one of them wo/ the lightmeter.

  • Lens: MC Helios-44M-6 58mm f/2, automatic diaphragm, filter theread 52mm
    • Other standard lens is Helios-44 58mm f/2 with manual diaphragm
    • Helios was written with Latin letters
    • Zenit and Valdai logos are on the lens
    • Mount: M42 screw mount
    • Aperture: f/2 - f/16, setting dial and ring on the lens
    • Focus range: 0.5-10m, +inf.
  • Focusing: Fresnel matte glass screen
  • Shutter: Horizontaly travelling, cloth focal-plane shutter, speeds 1/30,1/60, 1/125, 1/250,1/500, +B(Bulb),
  • Shutter cocking lever: also winds the film, short stroke
  • Shutter release: on the top plate w/ cable release socket, and a lock mechanism by half pressing you can see the DOF
  • Frame counter: coupled with the winding knob, advance type, manual setting
  • Viewfinder: eye-level SLR pentaprism
  • Exposure meter: uncoupled Selenium cell lightmeter
  • Metering: match the needles type, window beside the re-wind lever
    • Setting: by a complex dial under the re-wind lever with ASA, speed and aperture setting dials
  • Self timer: activates by a small knob above the lever
  • Flash PC socket: on front of the top plate, X sync.1/30, 1/60, marked 30-X on the speed dial
  • Back cover: hinged, opens by lifting the re-winding lever
  • Body: Plastic bronze coloured top and bottom finish, some parts are also plastic
  • Engravings on the bottom plate: Made in USSR and the Vilejka factory logo
  • Others: Hot-shoe; Strap lugs; Tripod socket 1/4 inch
  • Body: metal and plastic; weight: 824g
  • Serial no. stamped inside the back cover, the first two digits show the production year

Notes and references

  1. A Soviet times plant for producing Zenit cameras for MMZ of BelOMO
  2. According to Alexander Komarov Fotoua. You can also find serial numbers for dating of the cameras in this site
  3. There is another classification by Aidas Pikiotas in [1]
  4. There are usefull books about cameras of former USSR and have classifications also.
  5. Pages from the the book of former USSR cameras by Suglob, Shaternik, Kochergin
  6. Discussion about clasifications in the books of Princelle and Suglob, Shaternik, Kochergin in USSR Photo Forum


In English

  • Princelle, Jean Loup - Made In USSR - The Authentic Guide To Russian And Soviet Cameras, Le Reve Edition, 2004 (ISBN 2952252106 (ISBN13: 9782952252102) Paperback

In Russian

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