Originally Posted by Fanshaw
for 50 dollars you can get a choice of, for what i know. all much realiable in tolerances, better assembled etc. etc. then any soviet camera on earth.
Only thing really referred as "very good" in soviet camera world are the legendary bags in "true soviet jak", and of course many lenses, if you get a well assembled one.
Ricoh and other brands as well produced very good SLR in K mount baionet way more reliable and actually as affordable as russian ones...
imho, of course
Depends on the Pentax in my experience.
There are a lot of broken ME Supers out there, but I'd suggest that this has something to do with the number sold (as compared to, say, the MX) rather than inherent unreliability.
I avoid the MZ series (ZX series in the USA) as that stupid plastic drive cog has a habit of splitting and rendering them useless. The Z or PZ series bodies seem to be more reliable but need a specialist battery. That's why my favoured AF body is an SFXn with the AA battery grip.
MEs, MXs and earlier seem to be almost impossible to kill, without resorting to serious maltreatment such as dropping from a great height. In fact two of my three MEs came to me as "spares or repair" lots. One needed a quick squirt of lighter fluid and a prod with a screwdriver to unjam it, the other just needed its battery cover cleaning. Both now work perfectly.
Zenits feel like they're made by factory workers held at gun point (the early ones, anyways)
With 35mm on the used market going for pennies on the dollar, pick up ANYthing else. Pentax ME Supers, MEs, MVs can be had for the price of two or three trips to McDs
As long as there is a Japanese alternative, I would not favor the Zenit.
I picked up a Sears KS-500 with it's 50mm f2 auto lens for $5. It is a rebadged Ricoh KR-5 and they are often available for a lot less than this camera. The Richo KR series all have PK mounts so all manual focus lenses like PK, PKa etc will fit and work fine.
TBH I'd think $85 for an honest to goodness new in box unused SLR is not a bad deal by any means. Those Vivitar SLRs cost over $100, and that is likely the next cheapest option if you want a real 35mm SLR.
I doubt the camera itself is particularly good, but the Zenitar 2/50 lens has a good reputation and you'd probably spend $30-$40 on a used one on ebay.
Zenit E was the SLR if you could not afford a Praktica in the dark days of 1970s Britain. A used Spotmatic was Luxury. Then I got a used Nikkormat FTn and it was love at first sight... So much better than the communist stuff and a solid bayonet mount. The Copal Square shutter is one of those design masterpieces that needs more recognition
we always had fun saying that kiev's camera assembling quality depended upon how much vodka they had in city that weekend... :laugh:
Originally Posted by GarageBoy
You might not be as far from the truth as you think...
You can do a lot worse than look for the unfashionable cameras using a given mount. I see loads of Pentax SF7s and P30s going for next to nothing, the SF7 was the second camera to use the current AF K mount design after the SFX and it'll work with any full frame lens they've ever made. Price? You can find them for under £10 on ebay UK regularly. From observation the Canon and Nikon AF bodies can also be found cheaply if you're just after a working camera rather than the top of the range awesomeness or a collectable mechanical marvel.
My money would be on a Pentax SFXn with the AA battery grip, just makes it that bit easier to feed. Find one with the 35-70mm zoom and it's a cracker.
As a side note to those comments on soviet cameras:
The original manufacturer of the Zenit cameras, KMZ, manufactured 20 million cameras, out of them 15 million Zenit.
In Addition a great number of Zenit cameras were manufactured by Belomo, including Zenit cameras totally independantly designed and made from KMZ.
The camera in question is a Belomo design and product, though based on a KMZ model.