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  1. #1
    kb3lms's Avatar
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    Zenit 122K SLR Camera - Opinions?

    Ok, everyone, so tax refund (I hope!) time is coming up. Our friends over at Lomography show the Zenit 122K SLR Camera on their website. See http://usa.shop.lomography.com/camer...22k-slr-camera

    Has anyone any experience with these SLRs? I am intrigued both because of the price and the K-mount, for which I have plenty of lenses. Do they work well? Are they reliable? I am a hobbyist so this would be for casual use.
    All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.

  2. #2
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    I think you'd be better off getting another pentax.
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  3. #3
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    As long as you don't pay too much. They were made, according to the 'net, from 1994-97, so NOS is 15-20 years old; how well it works after sitting in the box for that long is a guess.

    Merchandise from Lomography is, as a rule, overpriced. I would think around $80 for one with lens would be about right.

    Pentax, Chinon and Ricoh K-mount bodies on ebay go for ~$50.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
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  4. #4

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    Go with Pentax. For the sake of reliability, meter and viewfinder.

  5. #5

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    Never used one, but I can't help but think £90 can be spent better. Having said that, if that's what you want, it's not a huge risk of money, you may end up really liking it.

  6. #6
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Biggest problem of these Zenits , is shutter cloth. After each shot and roll the cloth in to its place , cloth wear from the middle as a vertical white line in the middle of frame. Cloth paint disintegrates with pressure and it starts to leak light. Other problem , if you carry it in a sunny day , lens focus bright light on to frame and cloth burns.
    The battery room and light meter electronics are not reliable and you find yourself when opening the battery room , remove the batteries and carve out the thick oxide from the contacts. I bet , after 10 rolls or less , electronics burns and never come back.
    Soviet lenses are excellent indoor or bright sunny day. 58 mm Helios is excellent really , I put my Zenit ET in to deep freezer , minus celcius 25 for an one hour and it works like new.
    You can buy a Kiev 60 and Carl Zeiss Jena lens and if you CLAed it , it is sexy and takes damn good pictures.

  7. #7

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    You could also get a Praktica...

  8. #8
    kb3lms's Avatar
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    Wow! OK, then, we'll move on. Sounds like the Zenit is not anything to write home about! Probably better to look into more MF gear anyway if I really have some of that tax refund burning a hole in my pocket.

    Thanks, everyone, for your opinions. And I agree, Lomography is definitely over-priced.
    All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.

  9. #9

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    You should be able to get a good K2 for the same money. Old stock of a notoriously agricultural camera with a ridiculous markup, or the top of the range K mount body in 1975 which hasn't really been improved upon by anything other than the DMD model. Not much of a choice!
    Matt

  10. #10

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    Although I wouldn't buy anything from Lomography because of the ridiculous prices, I think that the Zenits basic as they are are likely to be some of the longest lasting film cameras. Ignoring the exposure meters, which are crude and not much use, there are no electronics to go wrong or foam seals to turn into goo. There is only the shutter blinds which will eventually need replacing, although those on my Zenit-E bought in the 1970s are still OK.Otherwise the camera should last forever. It is becoming harder to find a Pentax for example which works reliably. For many purposes a simple all manual camera is all that is needed and it is satisfying to be completley in control of the lens aperture and shutter speed.

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