|February 22, 2013||Posted by Photo GearHead under Cool Gear|
It looks a lot like an old Hassleblad, it might even taste a lot like and old Hasselblad, for all we know. But, Brother, it ain’t no old Hasselblad! That matters little, however, as long as you’re not standing too close to other photographers while you’re shooting with it. Right? Keep a fair distance and those around you are very likely to think you’re the “real-deal”, out there snapping your “uber-profeshunal” photos on that old Hassey of yours! So, hey! If you’ve always wanted an authentic antique Hasselblad, but just couldn’t afford one, you can always snag an old Salyut Zenith-80 and still give off the appearance of being an uber-legit photog, even if you aren’t really. That is… if you can find one for sale. The Salyuts aren’t extremely common. And, the Salyut Zenith-80 is the rarest of the lot.
Salyut cameras were the very first attempt by Soviet era camera manufacturers to come up with a sophisticated, medium format design. They did this, largely, by attempting to replicate the Hasselblad 1600 design — although they denied it, and instead claimed that Hasselblad had actually ripped-off the 1600’s design from the same place the Salyut producers had received their inspiration: That of an old, Nazi made medium-format prototype camera. The strange thing, however, is that in all of these long, intervening years, it seems that no one has ever been able to actually locate any evidence that such a prototype ever existed.
At the time of their introduction, the Salyut cameras were quite expensive, running at around the equivalent of roughly half a year’s salary for the average Soviet citizen — four-hundred rubles. Of course, because of this, the production runs of these cameras were quite limited, and thus, today, Salyut cameras and their lenses are fairly rare. Production of the Salyut cameras began in 1957 and continued until 1973. In that time, they produced four different versions of the camera. The third variation — the one featured in this sale — is the Salyut Zenith-80. It was the only Salyut not produced specifically for the Russian market. The Zenith-80, instead, was produced specifically for export to Great Britain, to be sold on the UK market (Notice the added “h” to the Zenit name). All of the Salyut cameras were manufactured by the Arsenal Factory in Kiev in the Ukraine.
The Salyut Zenith-80 takes 120 roll film, produces 6X6 images, and originally came with a brown leather case, two separate camera backs, a neck strap, lens cap, camera manual, waist level view-finder, and three separate color filters in two different shades of yellow, and one in orange. This particular sale seems to be complete with each of these original accessories. It also appears to include an added side grip and prism-style view finder. It’s not known if any of these particular accessories are original to the camera. The sale also includes an Industar-29 f/2.8 80 lens, and the seller assures that camera and all is entirely functional.
The seller is offering this camera-set at a price of $389.00 USD. Which appears to be reasonable, seeing as Collectiblend estimates the sale price for just the camera — not including the accessories included in this particular sale — at up to $400.00 USD. The sale for this vintage, rare Salyut Zenith-80 can be viewed here. The sale ends on March 4th.
Examples of some actual photos taken with the Zenith-80 can be viewed here.