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Zenit-7

The Zenit-7 is a totally new design having little or nothing in common with previous designs. The Zenit-7 looks like a cross the large electronic Range finder cameras of the early 1970s and a Single Lens Reflex. Part of the cameras strange look is the black rounded prism and lens mount. The shutter release is a large black button with a gray plate on the front. It has a cable release socket on the bottom. On the left top of the camera is a collapsible rewind knob with a film reminder on top. There is a rectangular window for the film counter and the shutter speed dial on the right. The shutter is a horizontally traveling focal plane shutter with a high flash synchronization speed of 125. There are shoulder strap lugs on the sides of the camera and a the flash jack is on the left end. The rear of the camera has the serial number engraved below the KMZ symbol to the left of the viewfinder. The viewfinder takes a removable accessory shoe. On the right side is the black plastic covered wind knob. The bottom has a quarter inch tripod bushing and the rewind button (source: http://www.commiecameras.com/).

 

  

Produced: 1967-1971
Name: „Зенит-7“
Producer: KMZ
Frame size: 24x36.
Lens: Helios-44-7  2/58.
Shutter: 1s-1/1000s + B.

Quantity: 3.024 units.

 

PM3955 - Zenit-7  #6900802.

 

  


 

 

 
  

Prototype cameras

 

 

 

 

PM3905. The prototype version of Zenit-7 camera was announced in Sovietskoe Foto magazine (No.5, 1967). Early style Helios-44-1 2/58 lens. The gray prism housing is made of Aluminium, not plastic yet. Selftimer on the front plate. 2 cynchro contacts on the side-plate. The diaphragm mechanism is different in comparison with regular Zenit-7 cameras (see sample pic below). The film advance mechanism is different again (a two-stoke 135 degrees advance, instead of  the one-stroke 180 degrees advance on the regular Zenit-7 camera). 

Never happened to see this camera alive.

 

PM3905 - Zenit-7 prototype camera.

 

  

PM3910. Another prototype camera identical to PM3905, but with export markings on the frontplate. The same early type Helios-44-1 2/58 lens (export markings), selftimer on the frontplate. The diaphragm mechanism is different in comparison with regular Zenit-7 cameras (see picture below). Camera opposite comes from private cllection in Europe.

 

 

PM3910 - Zenit-7 prototype camera.

 

  

PM3915. Seems to be the transitional version of Zenit-7 prototype camera. Name markings in Cyrillic characters again. Slightly changed design and colour of prism housing. Prism housing becoming plastic already. New style Helios-44-7 2/58 lens. The selftimer on the frontplate. 2 cynchro contacts on the side-plate. The diaphragm mechanism becoming regular already.

Camera opposite from private collection in Russia.

 

PM3915 - Zenit-7 prototype camera.

 

  


 

 

 

1st version (early)

 

 

 

 
  

PM3920. A very limited batch released in 1967-1968. Camera identical to PM3915, but with regular black prism already. Selftimer on the frontplate. 2 cynchro contacts on the side-plate (see picture below). Frame-counter's disk is painted in red colour.

 

 

Camera #6700079 opposite from Alexey Nikitin (Russia) collection.

 
 

 PM3920 - Zenit-7  #6700079.

 

  

PM3925. A very limited batch released in 1967-1968. Camera identical to PM3920, but with black shutter disk already. White frame-counter, though the memo disk is painted in black now (see fragment below).



The picture of Zenit-7 opposite was kindly sponsored by authors of famous SSK book "1200 cameras from the USSR", 2009.

 

PM3925 - Zenit-7 camera.

 

  

PM3930. Camera identical to PM3920, but without selftimer already. Still 2 cynchro contacts on the side-plate (see picture below). An earliest so far known camera has s/n #6800133 (Molotok, 2009).

Camera #6800255 opposite from Alexey Nikitin (Russia) collection.

 

PM3930 - Zenit-7  #6800255.

 

  

PM3935. Camera identical to PM3930, but with additional "Zenit-7" nameplate on the prism. Such a nameplate was regular for late "Zenit-7" cameras.

The picture of Zenit-7 opposite was kindly sponsored by authors of famous SSK book "1200 cameras from the USSR", 2009.

 

PM3935 - Zenit-7 camera.

 

  

PM3937. Camera identical to PM3930, but with 1 synchro contact on the side-plate already. White shutter disk. An earliest so far known camera has s/n #6900012 (S.Pseunok coll.).


PM3940. Camera identical to PM3930, but with 1 synchro contact on the side-plate already (see picture opposite). The shutter disk becoming black again. An earliest so far known camera has s/n #6900188.

Camera opposite from Ilya Stolyar (USA) collection 

 

PM3940 - Zenit-7  #6900188.

 

  

PM3945. Very uncommon to see export version of the particular camera. No otherwise different from PM3940.


The picture of Zenit-7 opposite was kindly sponsored by authors of famous SSK book "1200 cameras from the USSR", 2009.

 

PM3945 - Zenit-7 camera.

 

  

PM3950. Camera identical to PM3940, but with additional "Zenit-7" nameplate on the prism. Such a nameplate was regular for late "Zenit-7" cameras. White shutter disk disk. An earliest so far known camera has s/n #6900676 (SovietCams archives).

PM3955. Camera identical to PM3950, but with black shutter speeds disk again (see picture below). Camera from I.Stolyar coll.

 

PM3955 - Zenit-7  #6900802.

 

  


 

 

 

2nd version (late)

 

 

 

 
  

PM3960. Released in 1970-1971. Camera identical to PM3955, but without "ZENIT" engravings on body already, only metal plaque on the prism housing now. White shutter speeds disk (see picture below). An earliest so far known camera has s/n #7000305 (LeicaShop, 2009). Camera from Ilya Stolyar (USA) coll.

 


 
 

 PM3960 - Zenit-7  #7001480.

 

  
  

PM3965. Camera identical to PM3960, but with black shutter speeds disk again (see picture below). The most common version of the Zenit-7 camera.

 

Camera #7001759 opposite from Alexey Nikitin (Russia) collection.

 

PM3965 - Zenit-7  #7001759.

 

  

PM3970. Very uncommon to find version of the particular camera. An additional export "ZENITH" markings added on body (see picture opposite). No otherwise different.


The picture of Zenit-7 opposite was kindly sponsored by authors of famous SSK book "1200 cameras from the USSR", 2009.

 

PM3970 - Zenit-7 camera.

 

  

PM3975. Very interesting version of the late Zenit-7 camera was found on the manual guide (see picture below). Nameplate with export markings. Never happened to see this version alive.

 

 

PM3975 - Zenit-7 camera.