Zenit and Leica Team Up for Full-Frame Rangefinder Zenit M


If there is one thing that sells, it is nostalgia.

And in the camera industry that is one of the overriding themes of a lot of the reveals of new gear around this time of the year. But that isn't a bad thing at all.

Image via Zenit.

Particularly if you are a fan of the old Zenit and Zorky cameras from Russia.

In a retro throwback design, Leica and Zenit are teaming up to develop a pretty cool looking full-frame rangefinder camera called the Zenit M based on the Leica M (Type 240) in a resurrection of the left-for-dead Russian brand that has piqued the interest of many since the reveal of their collab with Leica.

Manufactured by Krasnogorsky Zavod, the company that owns the rights to the Zenit brand announced back in 2017 that they were going to come back to market some time in 2018 in a tie up with a big name optics brand. Revealed by Andreas Kaufmann of Leica and Alexey Patrikeyev of the holding company behind Zenit, among other luminaries, the Zenit M was part of a Photokina presentation that focused on the resurrection of the classic make.

But for those people that worry that the Zenit M will be just a be rebranded Leica M the company says that will not be the case. In a bid to stakeout its own unique identity in the crowded camera market, the Zenit M will use different hardware and software to operate according to PetaPixel. It will also look like the classic Russian models that inspired it and not like a Leica M.

Featuring a Russian-manufactured Zenitar 35mm f/1 lens, the Zenit M should have a general specs list like the Leica M, including a 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor with a 3-inch LCD screen. The Zenit M should also technically be capable of video recording at 1080p, among other things.

Pricing and specifics are to be announced but we do have an initial ship date of December 2018 for Europe and January 2019 for the Russian market according to PetaPixel.

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