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I have been given a Zenit-B camera, the lens has the inscription
Industar-50-2, I see it is made in Russia but I know nothing of this make. Can anyone tell me anything about Zenit?
I would like to know a little more and maybe how old the camera is.
Many thanks for reading

Hello Robin,

The Zenit-B is a very common and essentially very cheap 35mm single-lens-reflex camera, made by Krasnogorsk (or KMZ) of the old USSR from 1968 to about 1978. It's not a treasure. It was intended as an entry level camera for amateur photographers, and they sold zillions of them, especially through export, and most especially through discount retail outlets in the United Kingdom. The best thing about the Zenit-B is that it offered the basic 42mm screw mount that accepted the untold number of lenses made all over the world for old-style Pentax and Praktica systems. Go into the photography category of eBay and do a search for "42mm screw mount lens" and you'll see what I mean. Otherwise, the camera is pretty darn dull, with all mechanical operation, simple focal plane shutter with cloth curtain, no exposure meter, and not even a linkage to operate the automatic diaphragm on 90% of the 42mm screw mount lenses available at that time. Built like a brick, but not much else to offer. Since they remain extremely common today, and the supply greatly exceeds the demand, a truly excellent fully functional example will only sell for around $45 in the current collectible camera market. Less than excellent...difficult to give away at any price.

Best wishes,

David F. Silver - President
International Photographic Historical Organization  


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David Silver


I'm an expert on all types of antique, classic, and contemporary cameras, as well as the general history of photography. Everything from ancient box cameras to modern single-lens-reflex; from simple Kodaks to sophisticated Leica and Nikon; from glass plates and roll film to movie and 35mm. I can identify and appraise them, explain how they work, and offer insights on their restoration and care. I can also provide historical background on vintage cameras and equipment, and guidelines on their purchase and sale.


I've been a professional photographer and a student of the history of photography for nearly 30 years. During that time my collection of vintage cameras and photographic paraphernalia has grown beyond 2000 significant pieces. I've published nearly 70 articles in the field, including 16 in the popular "Buying Classic Cameras" series for PHOTO SHOPPER MAGAZINE from 1995 to 1997, I'm currently a contributing editor for CAMERA SHOPPER MAGAZINE and McKEOWN'S PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAMERAS, and I've written numerous entries for WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA. Portions of my collection have been displayed in museums and special exhibits in the past two decades, and many of the items were photographed as illustrations for books. In 1985 I founded the International Photographic Historical Organization (InPHO), which eventually evolved into its intended purpose as the best first resource for information on the history of photography. I'm also a founding member of several e-mail forums dedicated to specialized areas of photography, and I'm the moderator of the Internet Directory of Camera Collectors (IDCC), which remains the largest and most successful such group in the world. For more information about the International Photographic Historical Organization and its many services, please visit its web pages at:

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