How the Zenit M camera was designed 

Smirnov Design published some additional information on the design of the Zenit M digital rangefinder camera:

“The Zenit M camera is a product of the Shvabe concern. The new Zenit is the fruit of cooperation between several companies: KMZ, Leica AG and Smirnov Design. Most of the technical specifications of the Zenit M are like those of the Leica cameras.

The lens was designed and manufactured by the Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant, and the camera design was developed by Smirnov Design.

We identified a target audience – men, 35+ years old. The iconic element inherited from the Zenith camera of the E series. This is the best-selling series. She was released in 1965. The people who took photographs with this camera, and their children, who subsequently studied photography or watched their parents take pictures, remembered the features of this particular camera.

The E series and several subsequent ones have a distinctive silhouette from the top. We took it as a basis by modifying the surface. Recognizable features also have encoders. They decided to make two color versions of the camera: black and black with silver.

We worked out all decisions together with technologists, coordinated each design element.”

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