Last Updated on 06/13/2018 by Mark Beckenbach
This military-issued Zenit Photosniper took shooting photos pretty seriously.
Today, we’re bringing out the big guns with our latest ebay find. If you thought that the rare pistol-shaped subminiature DORYU 2-16 was such a cool shot, say hello to the big daddy of unusual cameras: the hefty Zenit Photosniper. It’s one of those things that would probably get you in some kind of trouble, but we can’t blame you if you want it!
The Zenit Photosniper ES (or FS-3) with 300mm f4.5 TAIR-3 lens listed by Russian ebay seller d.y.v68_7 is declared as in “good condition” but its wear looks like it survived some small battles back in the days. “The shutter works correctly, the light meter works, there is no damage to the optical elements, the diaphragm functions correctly. The camera is functional and ready to use,” the seller also said. It definitely makes a striking addition to anyone who likes collecting military memorabilia and unique vintage stuff.
This vintage beast from Soviet Russia definitely means business. The Zenit Photosniper SLR “gun” was originally made for military use, first by optical research and development institute GOI, and later, optical equipment maker KMZ. The widespread belief is that this camera was intended for shooting quiet reconnaissance photos and battlefield photography. The first of these badass cameras, the Photosniper FS-1, was made shortly before World War II. The FS-2 soon followed in 1943 – 1945, which comprised of a modified FED 1 on a wooden rifle stock with a reflex viewfinder housing. It was fitted with a TAIR-2 300mm f4.5 lens.
Next came the FS-3 in 1965 – 1969, redesigned for civilian sales and export in mind. It had the Zenit ES with an extra shutter release in the base, and came in a kit housed in a steel carrying case. The kit included a Helios-44 50mm f2 lens, TAIR-3AS 300mm f4.5, two yellow filters (2x and 1.4 x), and a UV filter. This model was eventually succeeded by several others that were made easily accessible to amateur photographers, nature photographers, and even press paparazzi.
Ready to take a shot with this vintage Russian shooter? Head to the ebay listing to buy it now and whisk it out of Russia for only $119.
All images from the ebay listing by d.y.v68_7