Zenit-Avtomat is a small-format single-lens reflex camera with behind-the-objective measurement and automatic exposure control, produced by the Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant from 1985 to 1994. The first KMZ camera with a K mount, which became the basis of the Zenit-Avtomat family. It was exported under the name Zenit Auto. A total of 68 pieces were produced.
Cameras of the family (Zenit-14, Zenit-AM, Zenit-AM2) replaced the lines developed in the 1970s: Zenit-TTL and Zenit-19. The appearance of the Zenit-Avtomat line was preceded by non-serial models Zenit-20, Zenit-21, Zenit-22, Zenit-23.
- The type of photographic material used is 35 mm perforated photographic or film film 35 mm wide (film type 135) in standard cassettes. The frame size is 24×36 mm.
- The case is cast aluminum alloy, with an opening back wall, a hidden lock.
- Shutter cocking and film rewind. The trigger has two positions - transport and working. Rewind roulette type. The frame counter is self-resetting when the rear wall is opened.
- Shutter with electronic control, curtain-slit with horizontal movement of cloth curtains. Shutter speeds - from 1 to 1/1000 s and "B".
- The sync speed with electronic flash is 1/60 s.
- Central synchrocontact and cable synchrocontact "X".
- Lens mount type - K-mount.
- Standard lens (with "jumping" aperture):
"Helios-44K-4" 2/58, "MS Helios-44K-4" 2/58
"Helios-77K-4" 2/50, "MC Helios-77K-4" 2/50
- Diaphragm repeater.
- "Zenith-Avtomat" was equipped with an adapter for mounting lenses with a threaded connection M42 × 1 / 45,5.
- The focusing screen is a Fresnel lens with a frosted ring and a microraster, Doden wedges in the center. Undocumented feature - the ability to replace the focusing screen (interchangeable screens were not released). The viewfinder field of view is 23×35 mm.
- "Zenith-Automatic" - automatic with aperture priority. TTL exposure meter (beyond-objective exposure metering) with cadmium sulfide (CdS) photoresistors. With the film speed and aperture set, the shutter speed is set automatically. Light measurement on an open aperture. LED indication of the operation of the exposure meter in the viewfinder field of view. The glow of the upper LED informs about shutter speeds shorter than 1/1000 s, the lower one - shutter speeds longer than 1/30 s. Alternate blinking of two LEDs informs about the shutter speed in the range from 1/1000 to 1/30 s. When filters are used, corrections are automatically made for their density.
- Exposure memory is turned on by partially pressing the shutter button, then framing and the actual shooting are carried out.
- Film sensitivity range 25-1600 units. GOST. The ISO setting dial is aligned with the exposure compensation head (± 2 steps).
- The mode dial of the camera allows you to set the modes: L - lock the shutter button; B - exposure by hand; X - sync speed 1/60 s; A - shooting in automatic mode.
- The camera's power source is four RC-53 (PX-625) cells or a PX-28 battery (6 volts).
- Remote shutter release electrical connector, for the correct operation of the exposure meter when using the remote shutter, the viewfinder eyepiece must be closed with a shutter.
- Electronic self-timer with LED indication.
- The camera has a central tripod socket with a 1/4 inch thread.
- Part of the production of the Zenit-Avtomat camera was equipped with an imported electronic control unit (France). These devices were supplied, as a rule, for export.
- Cameras with French electronics had minor differences in the operation of the self-timer, when working out long exposures, and when working with exposure memory.
Models of the Zenit-Avtomat family
- Zenit-14 is a simplified modification of the Zenit-Avtomat camera. Semi-automatic exposure setting. Instead of the mode dial of the camera, a shutter speed setting head is installed. In 1987-1990, 567 copies were produced.
- Zenit-AM is a modification of the Zenit-Avtomat camera. The focal plane shutter with fabric shutters was replaced by the focal plane shutter FZL-84 with metal lamellas (the shutter was used on the later releases of the Zenit-19 and Zenit-18 devices). The shutter with metal lamellas allowed to reduce noise and vibration during operation. The sync speed with electronic flash is 1/125 s. In the absence of power sources, the shutter works out a shutter speed of 1/125 s and "B". Standard lens: "MC Helios-44K-4" 2/58 or "MC Helios-77K-4" 2/50. Zenit-AM is identical to the Zenit-Avtomat model in terms of other technical characteristics. In 1988-1999, 11802 copies were produced.
- Zenit-AM2 is a Zenit-AM camera without an electronic self-timer. In 1992-1997, 27240 copies were produced.
- "Zenith-AM3" - modification of the camera "Zenith-AM2", not mass-produced. In 1993-1994, 13 pieces were produced. The self-timer was missing.
Further developments of KMZ
- Zenit-AP (Zenit-Avtomat-Semiautomatic) is a promising family of single-lens reflex cameras developed by 1992 on the basis of the Zenit-Avtomat model.
The main difference is the ability to work both in automatic mode (aperture priority) and in semi-automatic mode (selection of aperture at a set shutter speed using a TTL exposure meter). The camera's mode dial is saved. Indication of the correct exposure using the LED indicator. On the top panel, instead of the exposure compensation head, there is a shutter speed setting head (combined with the dial for entering film speed values). There is also a manual exposure setting.
Two modifications have been released:
- Zenit-APM - with a focal lamellar shutter FZL-84 manufactured by KMZ, the shutter was used on Zenit-AM, Zenit-AM2 cameras, as well as on later releases of Zenit-19 and Zenit-18 cameras. In 1994-1995, only 15 copies were produced.
- "Zenith-APK" - with a focal lamellar shutter of the Japanese company "Copal". In 1992-1998, 6.394 copies were produced.
The technical characteristics of the cameras are identical.