The Russian Tank: Zenit 12XP

2

The Zenit 12xp is a Russian-made camera of the 80's and early 90's. Dubbed the Russian tank is capable of dealing with all situations and all your challenges armed with 58mm f2 Helios.

Credits: mvelez

The Zenit 12xp is a reflex also known as Russian Tank is a Soviet camera released before the Model 122 were produced between 1983 and 1994, so it’s quite easy to find secondhand. I’ve inherited from my father and I remember perfectly the first pictures with them.

Here are the technical specifications:

Brand: Zenit
Model: 12xp
Format: 35mm
Manufacturing: U.R.S.S
ISO: 16 to 500
Speed: 1 / 30, 1 / 60, 1 / 125, 1 / 250, 1 / 500 and Bulb mode
Objective Series: Helios 58mm f2
Weight: 0.95 Kg!

There was a previous model, the 12SD, the XP version has a meter that works with two LEDs: one indicating exposure and the other underexposure. When the two are lit, it indicated that the aperture and speed have been properly set.

As an older model, the mount is M42, so it’s very easy to find lenses for this mount, and best of all, are usually very cheap (you can find between € 15-30). Typically, it’s normal to find the serial Helios 58mm f2. Accordingly, if you find a model past 1983 or close to 1994, you can find the same lens, but better. For example it’s easy to see with the letters MC or M (multi-coated) that is better than those who do not have and as Helios 44-1, 44-2, 44-3, 44-4, 44-5, 44-6, 44-7, and up. In my case, I have a Helios 44M-4 1988.
(Note: the first digit of the serial number of the objectives will indicate the year of manufacture, and if you’re lucky enough to find one with a double 0, are said to be special versions for party members only).

The lens gives you very good quality, and a few bokeh that you will fall in love with, the Helios is based on the legendary Biotar Zeiss 58 / 2 (considered the most expensive of the series). And what makes them all unique is their bokeh.

It’s called a Russian tank because when you have one in your hands, you’ll definitely think that it could be heavier than a bus, if not equal to one. The fact that it weighs almost one kilo also contributed to the name.

Credits: mvelez

If you obtain one, you can see that you can go with her everywhere, and use all kinds of films: color negative films, slide films, black and white. You can take stunning photos with blurred backgrounds or landscapes where absolutely everything is in focus. You can put a flash and play with it at night, you can set the self timer…the possibilities are endless!

Credits: mvelez

written by mvelez on 2012-02-22 in #reviews #reflex #zenit #44m #helios #u-r-s-s #russian #lomography #12xp #user-review

2 Comments

  1. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Nice article, there is a similar, very stout, camera, mostly made in Japan, called Beseler Topcon Super D. I wrote a review of it www.lomography.com/magazine/reviews/2009/03/27/the-beseler-… It got edited peculiarly, so read the comment, also. Enjoy.

  2. renenob
    renenob ·

    I have this one! so heavy!

More Interesting Articles

  • December 18th Advent Offer: Save 10% On Film Today! (Online Code: FILMFANTASY10)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-18 in #news
    December 18th Advent Offer: Save 10% On Film Today! (Online Code: FILMFANTASY10)

    With the holidays just around the corner, it's a great time to make sure you have loads of wonderful films for all the fun festivities coming up. Today's Advent deal of the day is here to help you do just that! Head on over to the Online Shop and save 10% on our wide selection of films. Do the right thing and keep your camera happy this year!

  • December 9th Advent Offer: Save 10% On Film Today! (Online Code: FILMFANTASY10)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-09 in #news
    December 9th Advent Offer: Save 10% On Film Today!  (Online Code: FILMFANTASY10)

    We've got another great opportunity for you to load up on all your favorite films! Today's Advent deal is 10% off of all our films! Keep your holidays classy with one of our awesome black and white films or get creative with one of our Redscale films. Whatever you choose will be a great way to document all the upcoming fesitivities!

  • Lomography & The Red Bulletin: Your Moment. Beyond the Ordinary

    written by analogeanstalten on 2014-08-20 in #competitions
    Lomography & The Red Bulletin: Your Moment. Beyond the Ordinary

    Have you ever experienced feeling goosebumps all over your body, that your heart seems to jump out of your ribcage, your common sense is set on pause and you just breathe and enjoy the moment? Together with The Red Bulletin, we want to see YOUR moment beyond everyday life. Are you ready for the photographic #yourmoment #beyondtheordinary challenge? Take part in our photo competition! The two best shots will be awarded with a camera, and the first 500 to register will get a one-year free subscription of The Red Bulletin!

  • Shop News

    Colorsplash your World!

    Colorsplash your World!

    At 30% off you can now color your analog images with 12 different color gels. Experiment with 35mm slide film and play with the built-in color flash for the most intense colors!

  • December 3rd Advent Offer: Looking for a terrific camera for the holidays? (Online Code: BRIGHTDELIGHT15)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-03 in #news
    December 3rd Advent Offer: Looking for a terrific camera for the holidays?  (Online Code: BRIGHTDELIGHT15)

    We're back with another great Advent deal! Perfect for DIY folks, the Konstruktor is 15% off and not only that — all of our plastic bodied cameras share the same discount! So give the gift of analogue photography this year and head on over to the Online shop or your nearest Gallery Store.

  • Lubitel 166+: Lubitel is for Lovers+

    written by adi_totp on 2014-09-05 in #reviews
    Lubitel 166+: Lubitel is for Lovers+

    Lubitel for lovers+. You're probably wondering, "Why is there a '+'?" It's to describe and expand a whole new definition of the Lubitel - in this case, this camera is not only for lovers literally, but also for anyone who loves to shoot portraits, street scenes, objects, and the skies. Do you love to take photos of your lover, your dear friend, your lovely family, your pet, or at the streets? This camera can be used in ALL situations. You can shoot everything that you love with it!

  • Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-22 in #gear #news
    Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    Capture the world and all its contours in vibrant, wide-angled photographs any time, any where! The LC-A 120 is an adventure of its own with lots of exciting functions to experiment with, like seamless long exposures or full ISO control. It's also super-fast and ultra-compact - perfect for your everyday. If you're worried about the Medium Format film, don't be! You are free to use any 120 Film you want and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, that's what makes this camera so versatile! Scroll through this gallery for a little taste of the glorious shots this nifty invention is capable of.

  • Shop News

    LomoKino & LomoKinoscope Package

    LomoKino & LomoKinoscope Package

    Enjoy a truly analogue moviemaking experience with Lomography's 35mm movie camera and an accompanying accessory to watch your films with. View your masterpieces in the most analogue way possible with the LomoKinoscope. Get it now 20% off the regular price!

  • Lomography Community Cup: The Final Stage

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-07-10 in #competitions
    Lomography Community Cup: The Final Stage

    Football is a big deal these days and fans all around the world are rooting for their favorite teams. To join in on the fun, we are having a football-driven last leg of the Lomography Community Cup. Will your team make it straight to the championship match? Let's all cheer for them in this last leg of our exhilarating challenge!

    106
  • December 5th Advent Offer: Looking for a terrific camera for the holidays? (Online Code: BRIGHTDELIGHT15)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-05 in #news
    December 5th Advent Offer: Looking for a terrific camera for the holidays?  (Online Code: BRIGHTDELIGHT15)

    It's the most wonderful time of the day — Lomography Advent deal time! We're back and at it with a sweet 15% discount on all La Sardina cameras! Already have one? Well get another one, or treat yourself or your friends to any of our plastic bodied cameras using our continued discount today. The more, the merrier!

  • December 13th Advent Offer: Take Advantage of our Festive 3 For 2 Film Deals! (Online Code: 3FOR2HOLIDAYFILM)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-13 in #news
    December 13th Advent Offer: Take Advantage of our Festive 3 For 2 Film Deals!  (Online Code: 3FOR2HOLIDAYFILM)

    Have you been waiting for a good time to load up on films for all your treasured analogue cameras? The time has come with our stunning Advent deal of the day! With our sweet film packs, we make it easy to cache away enough to last the fun and festive parties coming up. Start stashing now by heading over to our Online Shop!

  • Shop News

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Really want to bring your film photos to life? We’re now offering totally analogue fine art prints in a host of large sizes and formats! Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Lomography Belair X 6-12: A Camera That Can Do Almost Everything (Part 2)

    written by simonesavo on 2014-08-05 in #reviews
    Lomography Belair X 6-12: A Camera That Can Do Almost Everything (Part 2)

    The Lomography Belair X 6-12 is more than just a medium format camera. It is lightweight, compact, and capable of shooting photos in three different sizes: 6x12, 6x9, and 6x6. Equipped with a high quality interchangeable lens system and and automatic exposure, it can give you beautiful shots in every roll. It can also take three different film formats: 120mm, 35mm, and instant. Read on to find out all about this fantastic camera.

  • December 16th Advent Offer: Save 20% on Accessories Today! (Online Code: ADVENTACCESSORIES)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-16 in #news
    December 16th Advent Offer: Save 20% on Accessories Today! (Online Code: ADVENTACCESSORIES)

    Today is the day to make sure your Lomo LC-A & LC-Wide are happy snappers! With our Advent deal of the day, you can save a smashing 20% on accessories for the camera that started the Lomography movement, in addition to our vast selection of other accessories. Move into a new realm of analogue photography with a flashy lens or a colorful flash!

  • December 24th Advent Offer: Shop Today & Save 10%! (Online Code: LASTCHANCE10)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-24 in #news
    December 24th Advent Offer: Shop Today & Save 10%! (Online Code: LASTCHANCE10)

    Today is our last Advent deal of the day! We know you're probably busy making preparations and eating pie, so why not take a break and treat yourself to something nice? Our last awesome deal is 10% off your order in the Online Shop or your nearest Gallery so hurry on over before the deal ends!