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The C stands for S which is Synchronized for flash. In comparison to later SLR's it is a small camera. In fact it is not bigger than the Zorki C, which is a Zorki 1 with flash sync. The engineers at KMZ added a reflexcage to the rangefinder turning it into an SLR. In fact this happened once before. Back in 1937 (other sources reffer to 1939) a Russian company called VOOMP-GOI created the FS-2. Which was a rangefinder with an external reflexcage. KMZ engineers went a step further. They intergrated the reflexcage with the camera and created Zenit.

Like its rangefinder brother the Zorki C it is a bottomloader. It even has a 39 mm mount. Due to the fact that the reflexcage takes up more room in the camera there's a problem. The normal LTM 39 mm lenses will mount but you can't focus with them. KMZ called their mount ZM39 instead of LTM39. Zenit Mount 39 mm instead of Leica Thread Mount 39 mm (source: http://www.xs4all.nl/~tomtiger/zenitc.html).


Produced: 1955-1961
Name: „Зенит-C“
Producer: KMZ
Frame size: 24x36.
Lens: Industar-50  3.5/50.
Shutter: 1/25s, 1/50s, 1/100s, 1/250s, 1/500s + B.

Quantity: 232.949 units.








PM3205. Released in 1955 only. Seems to be an earliest productional version of Zenit-C camera. The synchro contact added on the frontplate. Very uncommon type of nameplate engravings (see picture opposite)! Fitted with Industar-22 3.5/50mm lens. The little balance foot under the lensmount. An ultra rare to find nowadays.

Camera #5500103 opposite from Alexey Nikitin (Russia) collection.


 PM3205 - Zenit-C  #5500103.



PM3210.  Never seen before early export version of the particular camera.

The picture of an export Zenit-C opposite was kindly sponsored by authors of famous SSK book "1200 Cameras from USSR".


 PM3210 - Zenit-C camera.



PM3215. Camera identical to PM3205, but with regular nameplate markings already. All camera's heads have line-finish style yet. Slightly changed viewfinder's window on the rear plate, with dioptre regulation now. Still balance foot under the lensmount (see picture below). 7-digits or 8-digits serial number on the rear plate.



 PM3215 - Zenit-C  #5602735.



PM3220. Very common version to find. Camera identical to PM3215, but all camera's heads have knurling finish style already. No more small triangle metal plate on the prism, near the shutter's speeds disk. No more balance foot under the lensmount. An earliest so far known camera has s/n #56004458 (eBay, 2008).

PM3225. Camera identical to PM3220, but with additional "SDELANO B CCCP" markings on the rear plate (see picture below).



 PM3225 - Zenit-C  #58099058.



PM3230. Very uncommon to find "Festival" version of the particular camera (see picture below). Limited series released in 1957 only. No otherwise different from PM3225.

Camera opposite from Ilya Stolyar (USA) collection.



 PM3230 - Zenit-C  #57157009.



PM3235. Very common version of Zenit-C with new standardized shutter sequence: 1/30s, 1/60s, 1/125s, 1/250s, 1/500s + B.


PM3240. Camera identical to PM3230, but with additional  "SDELANO B CCCP" markings on the rear plate.


 PM3235 - Zenit-C  #61001548.



PM3245. Camera identical to PM3235, but with additional  "MADE IN USSR" export markings on the rear plate.

PM3250. Less common to find export version of the particular camera, under name "Zenith-C". Was intended for United Kingdom market. "MADE IN USSR" markings on the rear plate (see picture below). No otherwise different.



 PM3250 - Zenit-C  #60006917.



PM3260. Very uncommon version of the technical Zenit-C camera for science purposes. An additional markings "BIO - STEREO" on the frontplate. Seems to be no otherwise different from regular Zenit-C camera.


 PM3260 - Zenit-C camera from private coll.