This Massive, Unique 50 Is Imperfectly Beautiful: Zenit 50mm F0.95 Review

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Modern lenses are becoming increasingly sharp, with an impressive ability to suppress flare and aberrations. The sharpness is impressive, but photographers have taken to foggy filters, prisms, and Photoshop to add character that this sharpness has dampened. Enter the new Zenit 50mm f0.95: a Sony E mount lens made from a Russian company that’s been around since the 1940s. The Zenit 50mm f0.95 is a freshly-released lens that looks like it time-traveled to get here. It sports an all-metal look that’s difficult to find outside of Leica or adapted film lenses. And the images? The lens flare will make those Photoshop brushes jealous.

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Using the Zenit 85mm F1.4 for Natural Light Portrait Photography

Using the Zenit 85mm f1.4 on the Canon EOS R was challenging and interesting.

When it comes to using manual focus lenses like the Zenit 85mm f1.4, you really need a tripod or a monopod to make the most of it. It’s a longer focal length and that requires manual focus. When you do that, the simple nature of turning the battel means you’re going to stabilize the whole scene. That’s what I encountered with the Zenit 85mm f1.4 while using it. And unfortunately, it doesn’t have AF/AE contacts. This would have helped alleviate the issue as the Canon EOS R has arguably the best focus peaking and manual focus assistance in the industry.

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Here Are Some of the Biggest Newsmakers of Photokina 2018

Here’s a round up of some of the biggest Photokina 2018 announcements and product launches if you’re late to the party.

We collected our thoughts and expectations shortly before Photokina 2018 started, but some of the event’s biggest newsmakers still managed to surprise us. If you’re late to the party or haven’t been able to keep tabs with the flurry of announcements and product launches in the past few days, we’ve put together this round up for you.

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Zenit and Leica Collaborate on Zenit M Digital Rangefinder Camera

Yes folks, it’s real, and it’s out. Zenit and Leica have partnered to build the Zenit M digital rangefinder camera.

It’s been long rumored, but since it has just made an appearance at the Photokina 2018, we can all be sure that it’s real. Krasnogorsky Zavod (KMZ), the manufacturer of the Russian brand Zenit, and German camera and optics company Leica Camera AG have indeed joined forces to create the Zenit M, a Full Frame digital rangefinder camera.

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This Unusual Zenit SLR Camera Would Probably Get You Shot and Killed Today

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!

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A First Look at The Zenit D1 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera with 85mm f1.5

Another set of intriguing images could confirm earlier reports that the Zenit D1 is just rebranded Leica SL

Since the reports and rumors about Zenit’s plans to rival Leica in the luxury camera market, we’ve been keeping our eyes peeled for any updates on the supposed Zenit D1 full-frame mirrorless camera. Word went around that it’s not going to be anything new, but most likely just a rebranded and possibly retooled Leica SL, or maybe even a repackaged Leica M9. An anonymous tip to could be the proof that the case is the former — if the images aren’t fake, as ones shared in earlier rumors turned out to be.

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Report Claims Zenit’s Upcoming D1 Full Frame Mirrorless To Be Repackaged Leica M9

We have previously reported on Russian camera maker Zenit and their return to the market, as well as their rumored mirrorless camera projects. The company made waves when it was revealed that they were working on a full frame mirrorless system, raising eyebrows because to this point Sony remains the only player in that game besides Leica. Well, now we are getting new reports that this upcoming Zenit D1 mirrorless camera could be nothing more than the repackaged and repurposed guts of a Leica M9. A move that would be very interesting considering the history of other attempted rebrands.

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Full Frame Medium Format? Yes, It’s Coming – But Not From Who You Think

Full Frame Medium Format, a full size 645 digital sensor, is the idea that many hoped either the Fujifilm GFX or [amazon_textlink asin=’B01LZ02AFE’ text=’Hasselblad X1D’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’affe23a1-8690-11e7-a06d-79d4d000e14b’] would sport, but neither of those companies took that leap with their Medium Format Mirrorless systems. However, a full frame medium format system is apparently on the way, and no, it’s not from Fuji or Hasselblad, not Pentax, PhaseOne – no… It’s coming from Zenit.

Yes, the Russian camera/lens maker Zenit has announced that it will be bringing a new full frame mirrorless digital camera to market in 2018. This news is coming from the Russian information agency RNS. This is a very interesting turn of events and announcement, especially considering that just last year we were letting you all know about Zenit being brought back to life.

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Review: Helios-40-2 85mm f1.5 (Nikon F-Mount)

Helios 85mm gservo-20140602-00216

Out of the past comes the Russian-made Helios-40-2 85mm f1.5. A friend said I should try it after they found out I was looking for a Nikon 135mm f2 DC. After doing some research, I decided to take a chance. This lens, which originally dates back to the 1960s, is a passport to old school photography. We test new lenses all the time here–but in the nooks and crannies of the photography world lenses like this still exist. Let’s see why I purchased it.

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Lomography’s Petzval Lens is Now Available for Pre-Order


In July, Lomography partnered up Zenit and launched a Kickstarter project to recreate the original Petzval lens, a 19th century invention by Hungarian mathematician Joseph Petzval. This Kickstarter really took the cake: we’re talking about over $300,000 more than its original goal in just a month. Four months, 3,379 backers, and a whopping $1,396,149 later the company is shipping out the first 500 lenses to its backers and now has made them available to the public for pre-order.

To recap, a Petzval lens is designed to deliver a unique optical effect, producing photos with a sharp center and a swirly outer area along with vignetting added into the mix. While claiming to keep the trademark Petzval look and to deliver the same optical effect as its 1800s counterpart, this newer version is sleeker and smaller–built to fit with our modern-day SLRs. With a focal length of 85mm and a maximum aperture of f2.2 (as opposed to the original’s f3.5), it features a gear rack focusing mechanism for videographers, uses the traditional Waterhouse aperture system, and has a field view of 30°.

Lomography’s Petzval lens includes seven aperture plates (since it’s using the Waterhouse system) and four additional experimental aperture plates. You will also get a leather case and some other goodies for $599 for a brass version and for $100 more for the black version. You can get them with either a Canon EF or a Nikon F mount. They’re available for pre-order now with an estimated delivery date of May 2014.

Quick Review: Lomography Belairgon Lenses for the Belair X 6-12

Felix Esser The Phoblographer Lomography Belairgon Lens Review

When the Lomography Belair X 6-12 medium format panoramic camera first came out, the only lenses available were the 58mm and 90mm kit lenses, which are made from plastic. In our review, we mentioned that these are pretty weak in the corners, especially in 6×12 panoramic format, but nicely sharp in the center. A while ago then, Lomography announced the development of proper glass lenses, manufactured by Zenit in Russia. We recently go the 90mm and 114mm Belairgon lenses in for review, so here’s what we think about them.

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The Zenit Helios 40-2 85mm F1.5 Lens is Now Available in Nikon F-Mount

KMZ Zenit Helios 40-2 85mm F1.5 Lens

Back in the good old days during the cold war and thereafter, Zenit was one of the leading Soviet brands of SLR equipment. The manufacturer, KMZ, got under the radar when the Soviet Union collapsed, but their lenses had a renaissance when mirrorless cameras became popular a while back. Recently, the old factory has been reopened and production was continued, and now one of the first “new old” Zenit products is available. It’s the Helios 40-2 85mm F1.5 lens, which was previously a sought-after product on eBay. While the lens was exclusively made in M42 screw mount back in the old days, it now comes in Nikon F-mount, meaning that it can be used on all Nikon film SLRs and DSLRs.

Versions with Canon and Pentax mount have been available for a little while and sell for US-$ 549 at, so we expect the Nikon mount version to retail at the same price. The lens is all manual, but it’s a bang-for-your-buck alternative to the more expensive Nikon lenses.

Via Nikon Rumors