Zenit 11

The E's new clothes

Zenit-11, the last off the true E types. Though it is almost exactly the same as an EM it is finished in glossy black with the zenit logo on the prism. It has a brother, the 12, which is also the same except that it has TTL metering. The 11 hasn't, it has the trusty old selenium cel in an uncoupled metersystem.

There is not much to tell about the 11, it has the same speeds as the E and EM, so it has B, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/1250, 1/500. And it is just the EM in a new jacket. You do not have to lift the speeddail to change speeds, it just rotates. It can take, just like the EM and the ET, auto lenses in M42. Which is a major improvement over the E type. While the bulk of the EM was finished in the old "E" style, chromium black. All 10, 11 and 12's came in shiny glossy black. This series are to me the last of the KMZ tanks.
With one exception, which requires an article of its own cause it is not an E subtype. Later versions, which still have the inner workings of the Etype are plastic. This trend started with the second 12 series which was half plastic half metal. And continued with the 122, 312 and the 412. The K mount versions maintained their metal a bit longer but fell to polycarbonate asswell.

But back to the 11. As said, it is an E type. But it is just like the E a great workhorse. A final E so to speak. Its lightmeter can be adjusted. It is an all metal camera. It has depth of field preview. And contrary to the E, it takes ALL M42 lenses, including the auto ones.
At the moment I have 2 of them, both were broken when I got them and one of them is missing its tripodmount. But one of them is allready working again. I just lubricated it and cleaned it and the 11 came back to life. Also I had to recalibrate the lightmeter, which on this camera is easy ( also see my Zenit Repair article ) Yes, it does have straplugs aswell.

Prices are reasonable for this camera, on ebay they might go for anything in between of 20 to 60 dollars, with or without the case. These are good and reliable cameras but a bit overshadowed by the 12.
After the repair I used the 11 as a black and white test. And here are a few of the results. Please note that the 2 light flashes in the first two shots (also first two on the roll) are NOT the fault of the camera The first is badly developed (it is not seen on the negative) the other is just the corner where the shadow from the parasol the cat is lying under ends. This camera is 100 percent okay.

Cat Cat Cat

Digitalis Grapes Bee

New Black and White shots, made with a Zenit-11 manual camera. Charlie the Cat, moving down the garden and just lying around in the shade.
Digitalis and a Bee, normal 50mm lens fstop 8 speed at 1/250. Extreme closeup of grapes, bellows set used, my first experiment with a chestpod and bellows.
Last shot, bee in flight, 1/250 with fstop 8.

Copyright Tom A.H. Piel

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