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Last week, I had this sudden impulse to start looking for an old analogue camera. I haven’t used an analogue camera in over ten years, and I have practically no experience in using one. I was therefore attracted to the idea of learning the craft from the beginning.
I went online and finally found a Zenit-E on e-bay for the sum of $25!
Zenit-E was made in Russia during 1965 and 1982 and sold in more than 12 million units. A big deal back then. Eventually the company died from the competition by better Japanese brands.
I was unsure weather it would actually work, mine is from 1973 and is older than myself!
When I got it and opened the package, I was very impressed. The quality of it is better than my four year old digital, in part because of the sturdy metal casing. You can clearly tell that this camera was built in an age when things were meant to last.
The camera is completely mechanic. It doesn’t even use batteries for the light meter. Instead the light meter works with selenium gas that reacts with the light and tell you what iso, aperture and shutter speed to use.
It feels like walking around with a brick and when you look through the viewfinder, you are immediatelly transported back to an age when the world was slightly yellow and worn down.
I shot two quick rolls and turned it in for development. Today I picked them up and was surprised by the result. Not only does the camera work, I’m actually quite happy with them.
I have done no editing at all with these pictures, I wanted to see the exact quality the camera produced as it is so that I can learn and adapt to the cameras peculiarities.
This is what I got: