Russian Zenit Camera Is Returning—with a Luxury Look and Price Tag

Russian state organisation Rostec has announced that is it planning to revamp the iconic Soviet-era Zenit camera.

The news was shared at a press conference last Monday in Moscow, with the company’s head of communications and strategic studies, Vasily Brovko, noting, “This is a very high demand product, we want to make it a luxury device, analogous to the Leica.”

The company owns the Krasnogorsky Zavod optical factory, known in Soviet times as the ‘Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant’. The same factory that produced millions of Zenit, Zorki and Krasnogorsk cameras will now recommence production of the Zenit.

The Zenit was designed after the Zorki rangefinder camera, itself a copy of the Leica II. It was first seen in 1952 though, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the factory slowly ceased manufacture of cameras, with the last Zenit-KM Plus made in 2004.

The original models had a strong focus on simple function and affordability, and it will be interesting to see what Rostec is capable of with a focus on quality materials.

Such efforts will of course make the resulting Zenit out of reach of many, though I doubt anyone in the market for a Leica will be turning their nose up at the price tag if it really does rival Leica in specs and style, and if Rostec succeed in reviving a piece of photographic history.

For now, all we know is that it’s coming, and that we’re dying to get a look at it.

Watch this space.

Cover image: Sebastien Wiertz on Flickr.