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    Soviet Snaps: Leica, Zenit Showcase New USSR Classic in Cologne

    © Photo : Emmanuil Evzerikhin, http://www.lumiere.ru/
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    Iconic German camera maker Leica stunned audiences at a photography exhibition in Cologne on Wednesday after reviving the Soviet Union's world-renowned Zenit camera 30 years after production halted.

    The Zenit M is a rendition of Soviet-era Zorki and Zenit model cameras, which used 35mm film. Former models were inspired by Leica but used simpler construction.  

    Russia and Germany will jointly produce the newest version, which features digital film and will go on sale in Europe in December and January 2019 in Russia, AFP reports.  

    The price will be "absolutely adequate," a Leica spokesman said, adding that the €5,000-6,000 price tag takes into account the brands involved in the project.  

    READ MORE: Rostec to Re-Start Production of Legendary Soviet Zenit Camera 

    "The main target audience is luxury and amateur photographers," a Shvabe spokesperson told AFP. Shvabe is a Russian holding company controlled by state-owned Roster which helped co-produce the project using Leica engineering at Zenit's original plant in Krasnogorsk.  

    The Zenit M will also feature a mirrorless lens "completely designed and manufactured in Russia," Shvabe said. 

    "The new optics will be manufactured according to the new quality standards set by Leica Camera, but at the same time will preserve that unobtrusive artistic picture received on the lenses of the Krasnogorsk plant," a spokesman told APF.   

    READ MORE: Back to the USSR: Seven Legendary Soviet Brands 

    Social media users posted mostly positive reviews, with some ecstatic to relive their youth with the prospects of a new-model Zenit before Christmastime. 

     ¿QUÉ? ¿Va a ser verdad al final?: Wow! Zenit and Leica Present Joint Production Camera! — mirrorlessrumors https://t.co/aKdWK3Od4X

    Some simply did not care about the very un-Soviet price tag and demanded immediate cash transactions. 

    One detractor in the group voiced his resentment over the reissued camera. "Horrible", user SMIRNOVTASS said in Russian. 

    Zenit cameras were a mainstay in the Soviet Union but were also widely exported to Eastern Bloc countries and later in Western ones. Over 15 million cameras were manufactured over the course of the Krasnogorsk plant's operation.

    Mass production ended in 1986, but limited numbers of the camera were made up to 2005 before production ceased altogether. However, Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev discussed restarting production of Zenit cameras back in 2014.



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