No sir, it is not a weapon of mass destruction… It’s a 300mm telephoto wonder!
I must confess, I bought this camera for two reasons… The first being really superficial – it simply looks so damn cool! And secondly – I have the highest respect for Russian optics and I was certain that the enormous MC TAIR-3S f4.5/300mm fixed telephoto lens would render great results… And let me tell you, I wasn’t disappointed!
The Fotosniper (Photosniper) name is basically the name for a complete kit with a 35mm Zenit SLR camera, a pistol grip shutter release accessory plus various filters and accessories, all fitted nicely into a spy-worthy leather case (older versions came in a deluxe metal case). The Fotosniper kit is available in various combination of Zenit cameras, mine is the one with a Zenit 122s SLR.
The camera itself has a plastic housing, basic functionality and is quite frankly far from my top choice. However, combined with the incredible TAIR-3S lens and the super cool pistol grip it’s definitely not only an eye-catcher and conversation opener but in fact very capable of taking stunning shots of subjects in the distance. Getting the correct exposure is a breeze with the TTL light meter and built-in LED lights. I’ve brought this kit with me to various sport events with great results, the shots from my Zone FC gallery even won me the LHOTD.
Walking around with the Fotosniper is definitely an adventure in itself. Be it answering questions from curious bystanders or trying to convince the security personnel at a football game that it’s not a weapon of mass destruction. Whatever your expectations are, a day with the Fotosniper is an eventful day and you can rest assured that you’ll have as fun watching the developed films as you had shooting them!