This Old Camera: The Russian Tank Zenit E w/ Helios 44-2

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First test roll through a recently acquired $15 Zenit E that I unwittingly tried to destroy by attaching a Takumar M42 screw mount to it (Do not ever do this as it quickly jammed itself on the body. There is a pin on the lens that will jam in one of the screw-heads on the face of the Zenit’s mount.) followed by a camera store fix visit with no change followed by my own brief berserker episode w/ a .009 feeler gauge that managed to save camera and lens.

Now matched w/ the intended era-correct favorite lens of mine, the wonderful Helios 44 2.

While I could have easily replaced this camera generally I had become attached to this one before putting a roll through it because of the non English badge and unique engraving.


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Somewhere in this mess I unexpectedly fixed a focus inconsistent lazy mirror return issue although I am unsure how except perhaps scaring the camera into submission. With this new lease on life I loaded it with a roll of one of my favorite cheap films, Kodal Gold 200.

I shot about half of the film using the inbuilt selenium light meter which seemed to have lost some light sensitivity, which is no surprise given the camera’s age. Shot the other half sunny 16 winging it. Result? Not a heck of a lot of difference. Perhaps owing to the forgiving nature of color film, but every shot had a usable exposure.

Love. This. Camera.


I close with a link to the ongoing flickr gallery and a sampling of photos below.





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