Zenit TTL

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by nick10, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. nick10

    nick10 Member

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    Hello,
    I am new member, and I would like to know more about the Zenit TTL that I bought before six months with a flash.
    1) Is this Zenit good;
    2)What must I take notice to use the Zenit;

    p.s forgive me if my english are not good
     
  2. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    The Zenit TTL is a good, solid camera.

    If the meter still works you may have problems finding a battery as they used a mercury battery which is no longer available.

    The lenses mount to the camera using an M42 screw fitting. Lenses from many different lens makers with this fitting are commonly available secondhand.

    If you use the camera to meter a scene make sure your eye is very close to the eyepiece as these cameras have a very sensitive meter and it has been known for them to under expose a scene because extra light entered through the eyepiece.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. nick10

    nick10 Member

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    Thanks for your help.I have read in another forum that the meter is not reliable.Is it true;
     
  4. Michal Kolosowski

    Michal Kolosowski Member

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    H!

    Zenith was my first camera many, many years ago. Although its quite unsophisticated and crude I have great sentiment for it. I've never had any technical issues with it, but as with all Russian cameras that is a considerable risk.I've heard that if the Zenith name on pentaprism is written with Latin alphabet then you have export version which is regarded to be better built.
    The camera has very poor viewfinder coverage so you have to consider that while composing a shot.
    Be careful with film rewind at the end of the roll. The sprockets pulling the film by the perforation can easily shred it. If you fail to notice that you'll end up with some overlapping exposures on the last frame.

    Have fun with your new camera!

    I hope my English is also up to par.
     
  5. nick10

    nick10 Member

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    Thanks:smile:I will be careful not to shred the film. Do you know if the meter is reliable;I ask again because I want to know if it worths to use the meter
     
  6. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I have had no problems with the meter on my TTL. The only way to know for sure if the meter is good on your TTL is to shoot a roll of film using your camera's meter and look at the results.
     
  7. nick10

    nick10 Member

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    What lenses do you suggest me to buy;
     
  8. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I started with a 28mm, a 50mm and a 135mm.
     
  9. mfophotos

    mfophotos Member

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    If your Zenit came with the standard 50mm helios lens, use that lens until you feel that it's time to try something different. Because it is a camera that takes the 42mm screw-mount lenses, you could find a Pentax Takumar 50mm 1.4 and be quite happy with it. I once owned a Zenit E and another model, and though certainly crude by many standards, and lacking in a full range of shutter speeds, the cameras worked pretty well. One had a Selenium meter that was unreliable. Later, I purchased a new Kiev-19 which has a Nikon F-mount. It worked, but was not even close to a Nikkormat in terms of features and how it felt to use. Having said all this, if I were to buy another old M-42 camera, I'd choose a Spotmatic, Chinon, or Fujica over the stuff from the FSU any day.

    There are lots of online sites with info on the Zenits and Kievs and are a good place to check for further information.
     
  10. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    To elaborate on something said earlier: When shooting a test roll for judging the meter, slide film can be helpful because it's got less dynamic range than print films; thus, it's more sensitive to metering problems. OTOH, metering techniques for slide and print film are different -- for slide film you're generally advised to meter for the highlights, whereas for print film it's best to meter for the shadows. You might want to throw in a test of aperture and shutter speed calibration by shooting the same scene with equivalent but different apertures and shutter speeds -- for instance, 1/60s at f/8, 1/125s at f/5.6, 1/250s at f/4, etc. (You'll obviously need to find a scene with appropriate light to do this, given the film you're using.) The resulting slides (or negatives; don't judge by prints made from negatives) should appear to be identically exposed. If they aren't, then you've probably got a shutter speed problem. (A sticky or poorly calibrated aperture could also be causing the problem, though.)
     
  11. Michal Kolosowski

    Michal Kolosowski Member

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    The metering system is a lot better than in older Zeniths with selenium meter, but still needs to be checked before you can be sure if it works properly.

    Jamming iris is a common problem with Russian automatic diaphragm lenses. You have to check if it stops down properly when you push the shutter button half way down.
     
  12. nick10

    nick10 Member

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    How can I check the meter;
     
  13. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Nick,
    To check the meter. Set the camera to 110 GOST. Set the shutter to 1/125. On a bright sunny day, an average scene should meter about f/16.

    Welcome to the gang. I also have a Zenit slr.
     
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  15. nick10

    nick10 Member

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    What do you mean to set the camera to 110 GOST;
     
  16. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Subscriber

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    GOST is the film speed system used in the Soviet Union
     
  17. nick10

    nick10 Member

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    In my Zenit in the wheel I select the film speed has DIN and roct ASA(in russian).Do you mean this ;
     
  18. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    ****** I just checked my Zenit 122 (my newer Zenit). The film sensistivity dial (under the rewind knob) reads ISO-GOST. There is a slight difference between ISO speeds and GOST speeds but it probably can be ignored. The progression of film speed numerals on this camera leads me to believe that Zenit is now using "ASA" (ISO) numbers. BTW, ISO ("ASA") 125 is equal to GOST 110---neither of which has a number setting on the Zenit I have in front of me.
     
  19. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Yes, Nick.

    A DIN setting of 22 should be equivalent to ISO 125, GOST 110.
    The hint I gave earlier is the Sunny 16 rule. USe the "ASA" as a shutter speed, set the f/stop to f/16 on a bright sunny day, and your exposure shall be pretty much dead on. You can use that "rule" for a quick/rough check of the meter's accuracy.
     
  20. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    [You have to check if it stops down properly when you push the shutter button half way down.[/QUOTE]

    Also, Nick; On slower shutter speeds (ca. 1/25 and slower, you must be sure to hold the shutter release down until after you hear the shutter complete its cycle. The lens aperture is connected to the shutter release on these cameras. If you let up too soon, the aperture will begin opening before the exposure has been completely made.

    These cameras are not the most up-to-date technology; but they are good picture takers; and when you master this camera, you can use any camera made. The Helios lens is good for "people pictures" because of its 58mm focal length; and it can be very, very sharp.
     
  21. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    To add to the confusion, GOST was re-calibrated to be identical to ISO/ASA in 1987 (date per Wikipedia). According to KMZ production numbers, the last Zenit TTL was made in 1985, so you can be pretty sure that your camera's GOST scale is the old-style scale, with numbers slightly lower than ISO/ASA equivalents. You can tell the production year of your camera by checking its serial number -- the first two digits are the last two digits of the year of manufacture.

    FWIW, what you (Nick) reproduced as "roct" is the Cyrillic equivalent of GOST -- the Cyrillic "G" looks like an upside-down uppercase "L" or a lowercase "r", and the Cyrillic equivalent of "S" looks like "C" ("O" and "T" are similar in both alphabets, at least in print, rather than script, fonts).
     
  22. nick10

    nick10 Member

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    Thank you for your answers.You helped me a lot.I will buy battery for the meter and I will check it.BTW I found that the battery which is equivalent with the old is the MRB625 1.35V.My camera produced in 1981.The Zenit is good for photos in rooms;
     
  23. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    *******
    Nick,
    Best wishes and good luck with your photo adventures with your Zenit. It is capable of outstanding picture quality. It needs a loving person behind the viewfinder. Have fun.
     
  24. nick10

    nick10 Member

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    I have another question.I have read that I can see the depth of view before I take the picture.How can I do this;
     
  25. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    In Cleveland the sun never shines that brightly and we use 'Sunny 11', though 'Cloudy 5.6' is more common.
     
  26. nick10

    nick10 Member

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    How can I see the depth of view in my Zenit;