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Digital Zenit M with 35mm/F1.0 lens released soon
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:45 pm    Post subject: Digital Zenit M with 35mm/F1.0 lens released soon Reply with quote

Today Zenit and Leica announced officially the start of their common project:

Quote

Krasnogorsky Zavod, manufacturer of the Russian brand Zenit, in cooperation with Leica Camera AG, German manufacturer of premium cameras and optics, designed a new digital rangefinder camera Zenit M. The Shvabe Holding, part of Rostec, has presented this product at Photokina 2018, the largest international trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries held in Cologne.

One of the participants of the project is Krasnogorsky Zavod (KMZ Zenit), a leading designer of photographic equipment in Russia, is now part of Shvabe. The Zenit M is technically based on the Leica M Type 240 platform, but was modified both in terms of hardware and software.

The camera is equipped with Zenitar 35 mm f/1.0 lens, completely designed and manufactured in Russia, 100% of its components and materials are Russian-made. The lens creates an image that doesn’t require processing, has unique bokeh and soft focus effect.

The design of Zenit M copies designs of the legendary Zenit and Zorky cameras, it’s a full-frame rangefinder camera made for shooting under various conditions.
The official presentation took place with participation of Andreas Kaufmann, major shareholder and chairman of Leica Camera AG supervisory board, Alexey Patrikeyev, CEO of Shvabe, Ivan Ozhgikhin, Deputy CEO of Shvabe, and Vadim Kaliugin, CEO of KMZ Zenit.

“Zenit and Leica cooperation forms a unique alliance between long-term experience in optics manufacturing and modern technologies of Russia and Germany. With this project we for the first time declare launch of world famous Russian brand Zenit into the new segment of photography equipment market,” said Alexey Patrikeyev, CEO of Shvabe.
Zenit M will be available from December 2018 in Europe and from January 2019 in Russia at both Zenit’s online store and selected photo shops.
“On purchasing the camera and the lens the users will get not only a high-quality device with elaborate ergonomic design and high optical characteristics, but a really smart camera which will provide high image quality,” reported Vadim Kaliugin, CEO of KMZ Zenit.

At Photokina 2018 Shvabe also presents the whole line of Zenitar and Helios lenses manufactured by KMZ Zenit as well as historic models of SLR and rangefinder cameras. This exposition is also completed with products of another Shvabe enterprise, LZOS. Along with other showpieces the leading manufacturer of space and astronomy optics demonstrates mirror-meniscous telescopic photo lens MC Rubinar-10/1000 with high light transmission and image contrast.

Unquote

The information can also be found here: http://shvabe.com/press/news/zenit-i-leica-vpervye-pokazali-sovmestnuyu-fotokameru-v-kelne/

Picture of the camera:



Interesting times.....


PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the price is also more traditional Zenit-like, this could be really interesting Idea


PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A cheaper modern M camera will help more people with tight budget joining the M system.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sure is Calvin! I've heard a rumored price of around 4-5000 including the 35mm lens.

Maybe it's also an opportunity for Leica to clear some stock of M240-parts Question


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well,I think this camera makes, commercially, a lot of sense. It is not a Leica initiative - it's a Krasnogorsk one.
In the good old "Cold War" days owning a Leica copy was a realizable dream for all middle-class Soviet citizens. Being able to manufacture them was a proud of the Soviet industry and Krasnogorsk was renowned in those days for its master optical designers. too. The poor quality control was the week part of those cameras and lenses.
Now, all the ex-Soviet oligarchs were raised in such middle-class families. Offering them a new Leica-copy camera will feed their nostalgia for those good old days. But they now need and can afford a real quality camera, not the old cheap Leica-copies. That's why Krasnogorsk asked Leica to make it and Leica saw the opportunity.
Taking into account the big number of ex-Soviet oligarchs and the revival of the Russian "Cold War" nostalgia I think this camera is going to be a great commercial success.

I don't think this camera is a real alternative for the new Leica wannabe-users. At its price one can buy an used genuine Leica in pristine shape.
However, it's a start for the new Russian cameras industry and if Krasnogorsk will start manufacturing its own cameras, this time with a strict Leica-like quality control, this will be a very desirable addition to the camera market.

Taking into account the Krasnogorsk tradition the 35mm f/1 lens could be really interesting, too.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The price will fall once if only few people buy it .... I wonder how many spare M240 parts Leica have.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm disapointed. There were rumours of a Zenit mirrorless digital camera about a year ago (some people thought it was an april fools type joke!) and the best possible outcome I was hoping for at the time was that they would come out with some sort of basic simple but functional full frame with a midsized Sony sensor that would be selling for something like 1000eur or less. Something that would be missing all those fancy features that the new Sonys come with but would still be perfectly suitable for those of us who just want to use old glass with a good quiality 35mm sensor, all at a low price. Such a camera would go well with the Zenit brand name. What actually happened was the exact oposite. A bit like that Hasselblad/Sony fiasco a few years ago, just in reverse. This time with a "cheapear" copy but which still costs 5000eur which of course is prohibitively expensive for 99.9% of the people. I think the only people who will buy this will be some rich Russian patriots for which the main selling point will be that the thing is made in Russia. No sane person in any other part of the world will buy this.

And the lens, they have the words "soft focus" in the press text. That's never a sign of high quality.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dan_ wrote:
Well,I think this camera makes, commercially, a lot of sense. It is not a Leica initiative - it's a Krasnogorsk one.
In the good old "Cold War" days owning a Leica copy was a realizable dream for all middle-class Soviet citizens. Being able to manufacture them was a proud of the Soviet industry and Krasnogorsk was renowned in those days for its master optical designers. too. The poor quality control was the week part of those cameras and lenses.
Now, all the ex-Soviet oligarchs were raised in such middle-class families. Offering them a new Leica-copy camera will feed their nostalgia for those good old days. But they now need and can afford a real quality camera, not the old cheap Leica-copies. That's why Krasnogorsk asked Leica to make it and Leica saw the opportunity.
Taking into account the big number of ex-Soviet oligarchs and the revival of the Russian "Cold War" nostalgia I think this camera is going to be a great commercial success.

I don't think this camera is a real alternative for the new Leica wannabe-users. At its price one can buy an used genuine Leica in pristine shape.
However, it's a start for the new Russian cameras industry and if Krasnogorsk will start manufacturing its own cameras, this time with a strict Leica-like quality control, this will be a very desirable addition to the camera market.

Taking into account the Krasnogorsk tradition the 35mm f/1 lens could be really interesting, too.



Hard to disagree with that dan. Good post Like 1 small .


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dan_ wrote:
Taking into account the Krasnogorsk tradition the 35mm f/1 lens could be really interesting, too.
The lens is what interests me most in this offering Idea


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Soft focus' F1.0 lens in M mount? It can be sold for much more if the brand is LEICA.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats why it's interesting, branded as Zenit it might sell at $400 Laughing


PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obviously the camera is made bei Leica in Wetzlar and only the lens comes from Krasnogorsk. It's more or less a rebranded M 240. A price of 4.000 to 5.000 Euro is rumored and it will be limited to 500 copies only available in Europe and Russia....

https://www.dpreview.com/news/9034303849/photokina-2018-hands-on-with-zenit-m?slide=2


PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:
Obviously the camera is made bei Leica in Wetzlar and only the lens comes from Krasnogorsk. It's more or less a rebranded M 240. A price of 4.000 to 5.000 Euro is rumored and it will be limited to 500 copies only available in Europe and Russia....

https://www.dpreview.com/news/9034303849/photokina-2018-hands-on-with-zenit-m?slide=2



Yes, I was surprised to see the report/rumour that it may be limited to 500. I agreed with dan above on who the market likely is, but of course there is a lot babyboomers in the west for whom, Zenit is held in some affection as it was often their first SLR, being so relatively affordable.


I thought about the above after trying to fathom why, for me, the pick of Photokina was the Zenit. I concluded it's my heart and not head speaking due to the Zenit EM being my first 'proper' camera almost 40 years ago. It never let me down and it's actually still in the wider family, going from me to my brother-in-law, then to one of his sons.


Nostalgia innit!