Old Camera Advice?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by alexecho, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. alexecho

    alexecho TPF Noob!

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    I have an old Zenit-B. It appears to be in full working order, I've spent hours playing around with it over the last few days and I've figured out almost everything. What I can't work out is that on the top of the camera there is a dial for shutter speed (obviously), at the bottom of that dial is a bit that swings around, with two options 'M' and 'X'. I cannot see what this affects so don't know what to set it to - anyone got any ideas?

    I really want to test the camera out because it just feels so different to a modern camera, but I want to know what I'm doing before I start putting film through it.

    On an unrelated topic, how would I find out how old this camera is?

    (This is maybe in the wrong forum? I couldn't find anywhere that it 'fitted'.)
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Here are a few links:

    http://www.rus-camera.com/camera.php?page=zenit&camera=zenitb

    http://www.commiecameras.com/sov/35mmsinglelensreflexcameras/cameras/zenit/manuals.htm


    The M - X switch is for the synchronization of the flash. The variable flash sync ring surrounding the shutter speeds button can be set to X and to M, and to every value in between. X is for an electronic flash, and M for flash bulbs. What the flash sync ring does, is govern the delay that the camera uses before triggering the flash. Since electronic flashes operate faster than bulb flashes, they need a longer delay than the latter to flash at the same time. The ring allows the user to set that delay.

    As for its age, look at the very first two digits of its serial number and they will tell you when it was made. For ex. 75---- means it was made in 1975.

    I hope this helps and yes, there is a section called Collector's Corner that discusses older cameras. ;)
     
  3. KizaHood

    KizaHood TPF Noob!

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    If you have the concept of exposure in your head, you might make very good photos with Zenit!
    I have an old (well, not so old, only 19yrs) Zenit 12, with which I can easily beat less proficient Nikon/Canon users.

    Which lens do you have on it?
     
  4. alexecho

    alexecho TPF Noob!

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    Thank you both for the answers (even though I am in the wrong forum :) ).

    The manual might be a big help! I've found a bunch of other camera's too, so next question I'll get in the right forum! I'll even post the results if I get anything worth showing.

    KizaHood, the lens on it is a 58mm Helios. (I think, I've never been very good at working out the relivant bits of info on the front of the lens!) My Dad assures me there is also a 200mm lens somewhere. Sadly he can't remember where. But he doesn't remember much these days so it's not surprising.

    He used to shoot weddings with this camera when it was new, (1973) now he's asking me to expalin how it works... As soon as I can find a light meter I'll try it out - I know he's got one, I saw it when I was little. He's got a range finder too for the cameras that don't have through the lens focussing. It's just a case of finding the stuff.

    It's crazy, last year I was all for my digital camera, now I've put it to one side for a camera that's older than I am!
     
  5. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's not crazy at all. :) I shoot with two cameras (35mm and 6x6) made in the 1930s, a Leica IIIa and a Zeiss Super Ikonta B.
     

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