Zenit (KMZ) and Leica Joint Production
Old 09-26-2018   #1
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Zenit (KMZ) and Leica Joint Production

Hi,

Read about it here:-
https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic..._medium=E-Mail

Regards, David
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Old 09-26-2018   #2
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Its interesting no question...

https://petapixel.com/2018/09/26/zen...e-rangefinder/
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Old 09-26-2018   #3
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4k to 5k euros in price is not exactly the $ 69.99 of the Zenit E of 1973
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Old 09-26-2018   #4
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Anybody care to hazard a guess as to the demographic for a Zenit Leica knockoff at €4-5K (presumably before VAT).
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Old 09-26-2018   #5
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Anybody remember the 10 thousand $ Sigma?
And it was Sigma with its heritage.
I still think it to be a joke.
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Old 09-26-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
4k to 5k euros in price is not exactly the $ 69.99 of the Zenit E of 1973
The price is for the kit bundled with the 35/1 lens. Smart move. Now you'll never know how much the camera alone's gonna cost. How much does a M mount 35/1 cost? If it's a Leica lens then camera's might as well be considered free, isn't it?

Still, congrats to both: Leica gets to clear its 6-year-old inventory and KMZ's comfortable enough to claim all the "designed and made in Russia" as much as they could.

I'm pretty sure the supply will be very limited. These guys are so smart that they know it won't sell much - still, as long as they hit the 100th sale everyone's gonna be happy.
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Old 09-26-2018   #7
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From the press release: "The Shvabe Holding, part of Rostec, has presented this product at Photokina 2018, the largest international trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries held in Cologne." I haven't seen any coverage of it yet.
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Old 09-26-2018   #8
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Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
Anybody care to hazard a guess as to the demographic for a Zenit Leica knockoff at €4-5K (presumably before VAT).
As ridiculous as it seems, it's real: https://www.dpreview.com/news/903430...n-with-zenit-m

It's not a shoddy knockoff. Genuine M Typ 240 I say, just in a different shell. Didn't even bother to change the Leica font. Very likely shipped directly from Wetzlar half-complete and "assembled" in Russia...

The body and the lens has "Designed and Made in Russia" stamped everywhere in big sharp font. I'm not a Russian demography expert, but the scheme seems geared toward the local middle class endorsed in nationalism.
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Old 09-26-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
From the press release: "The Shvabe Holding, part of Rostec, has presented this product at Photokina 2018, the largest international trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries held in Cologne." I haven't seen any coverage of it yet.
it was in the russian manufacturer section, aka room number 462 at the hotel across the street.
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Old 09-26-2018   #10
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Looks like a Leica M made by Lego.
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Old 09-26-2018   #11
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This (along with the Panasonic/Sigma alliance) is pretty bold of Leica if you ask me.

Chinese companies are pirating Leica’s 6-bit coded M lens mount; isn’t it reasonable to assume their cameras and other mount(s) aren’t far behind? Why not jump in and license lens mounts and cameras and let licensees legitimately rebadge your products? Leica makes money through license agreements, they get to continue their own manufacturing process, and they maintain ownership and control of their intellectual property.

This also reminds me of what IBM did in the 1980s with their computer platform. The arguably better system, Apple/Mac, nearly went under.
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Old 09-26-2018   #12
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Rebadged, gold-plated cameras for the Russian oligarchy, perhaps?
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Old 09-26-2018   #13
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Actually, to my eyes, the body looks much more like a ZEISS IKON
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how'd they do that???
Old 09-26-2018   #14
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how'd they do that???

...this thing looks like it was designed and manufactured in Russia. lol
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Old 09-26-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougFord View Post
...this thing looks like it was designed and manufactured in Russia. lol
Hmmmm... did you expect this:



?
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Old 09-26-2018   #16
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No, wait, did I hibernate through winter and it's now April 1st?

Because a €5000 Zenit version of a Leica M just seems way too ridiculous to be true!
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Old 09-26-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
The price is for the kit bundled with the 35/1 lens. Smart move. Now you'll never know how much the camera alone's gonna cost. How much does a M mount 35/1 cost? If it's a Leica lens then camera's might as well be considered free, isn't it?

Still, congrats to both: Leica gets to clear its 6-year-old inventory and KMZ's comfortable enough to claim all the "designed and made in Russia" as much as they could.

I'm pretty sure the supply will be very limited. These guys are so smart that they know it won't sell much - still, as long as they hit the 100th sale everyone's gonna be happy.
I would price the lens it comes with to about 500 to 600 euros, generous enough for rarity when a 7 Artisan 50mm f1.1 in M mount goes for around 400 USD , a lens of about on par in quality with the Russian offering in my guess-timation.

So it it still would be a 3500 to 4500 euro body.

BTW, the 73 Zenit E also came with a lens, the fabulous 58mm f2 Helios 44-2 if you splurged and not got the 50mm f3.5 Industar 50 lens that was more popular in places with an even ridiculously higher duty and tax on imported photo gear than the UK, places like France of the 1970s.
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Old 09-26-2018   #18
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Total run is 500 kits, they say. I think it is very reasonable number for rebadged M240 and odd lend which will never enter mass production.
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Old 09-26-2018   #19
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It may turn into a collector's item one day.
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Old 09-26-2018   #20
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The article says that this was done "in cooperation" between Leica and Krasnogorsky. It doesn't seem credible that Leica would go out of their way to facilitate a competing brand. And who is going to buy it? I could buy a used M240 a lot cheaper.
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Old 09-27-2018   #21
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Hmmm, would 500 digital Zenits hit sales of the digital Leicas? I have my doubts, brands are important to a lot of people.

And we don't know the details, prices paid by KMZ and so on. Then there's those collectors who will buy one and wrap it in cling film unused (I hope they take the battery out first)...

Regards, David

PS Another factor is all those people using an Industar on their digital Leica; although it would make more sense to use a Summicron on a FED or Zorki but who am I to criticise?
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Old 09-27-2018   #22
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I want this so bad.
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Old 09-27-2018   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
I would price the lens it comes with to about 500 to 600 euros, generous enough for rarity when a 7 Artisan 50mm f1.1 in M mount goes for around 400 USD , a lens of about on par in quality with the Russian offering in my guess-timation.

So it it still would be a 3500 to 4500 euro body.

BTW, the 73 Zenit E also came with a lens, the fabulous 58mm f2 Helios 44-2 if you splurged and not got the 50mm f3.5 Industar 50 lens that was more popular in places with an even ridiculously higher duty and tax on imported photo gear than the UK, places like France of the 1970s.
A 35/1 is not a 50/1.1, just like a 35/1.4 is not a 50/1.4; also do not unsee that, the wider a lens goes the harder it will be to make it faster, per the law of diminishing return. As sarcastic I'm intended to be toward this "joint production", I'd say this being hunk of a lens even larger than the Zeiss ZM 35/1.4 (as the way it should be), looks like substantial engineering. And unlike the 7-artisan 50/1.1, it has no known formula to take reference from. It's a challenge accepted (by whom, though?). Even if it's soft wide open (it will be), there simply is no other like it in the M realm. Be realistic: Russian or not, you simply don't get a 35/1 anywhere else, unless you're Stanley Kubrick. Give it the credit where it's due.

The true price of the Zenit M body: Leica used to price the M-E and the Typ 262 a sensible bit more than the going price of the M9 and M240 back then, so the former being new models with factory warranty could compete with the used. Similar here: if the M240 is going for like 2000 euros, then this would be like around 2500, minus the Red Dot tax. This would make selling it alone hardly profitable, so they will stick to the kit idea.

Again, this camera doesn't look like a "cheap Russian copy". It's just a rebadged M240, created in a way similar to Leica rebadging Panasonic cameras. I do believe the thing is made mostly in Wetzlar as well. Give Leica its credit where it's due, if you please.
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Old 09-27-2018   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
A 35/1 is not a 50/1.1, just like a 35/1.4 is not a 50/1.4. As sarcastic I'm intended to be toward this "joint production", I'd say this being hunk of a lens even larger than the Zeiss ZM 35/1.4 (as the way it should be), looks like substantial engineering. And unlike the 7-artisan 50/1.1, it has no known formula to take reference from. It's a challenge accepted (by whom, though?). Even if it's soft wide open (it will be), there simply is no other like it in the M realm. Be realistic: Russian or not, for 600 euros you don't get a 35/1 anywhere else. Give it the credit where it's due.

The true price of the Zenit M body: Leica used to price the M-E and the Typ 262 a sensible bit more than the going price of the M9 and M240 back then, so the former being new models with factory warranty could compete with the used. Similar here: if the M240 is going for like 2000 euros, then this would be like around 2500, minus the Red Dot tax. This would make selling it alone hardly profitable, so they will stick to the kit idea.

Again, this doesn't look like a cheap Russian copy. It's just a rebadged M240, created in a way similar to Leica rebadging Panasonic cameras. I do believe the thing is made mostly in Wetzlar as well. Give Leica its credit where it's due, if you please.

I never said a 35mm f 1.2 is the same construction as a 50mm f 1.1 lens, I am comparing it price wise to an other budget brand fast lens to get at the price of the body in a round about way.
And being the owner of many FSU and Russian made lenses, that is all they are, comparable to Chinese brand lenses.. they certainly are not Leica made lenses or Nikkor made lenses or Canon made lenses, they are not in that league.

We don't know if the guts of this Zenit M camera are 100% Leica or 65 % Leica or 0 % Leica, anymore than claiming a Kiev 4AM camera is 100% a Contax II camera, we can only speculate from afar.

Other than being a low production number curio, maybe good for camera collectors, I say this Zenit M is priced too high and not following in the footsteps of its high volume shoddily made namesake of the past.
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Old 09-27-2018   #25
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Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
I never said a 35mm f 1.2 is the same construction as a 50mm f 1.1 lens, I am comparing it price wise to an other budget brand fast lens to get at the price of the body in a round about way.
And being the owner of many FSU and Russian made lenses, that is all they are, comparable to Chinese brand lenses.. they certainly are not Leica made lenses or Nikkor made lenses or Canon made lenses, they are not in that league.

We don't know if the guts of this Zenit M camera are 100% Leica or 65 % Leica or 0 % Leica, anymore than claiming a Kiev AM camera is 100% a Contax II camera, we can only speculate from afar.

Other than being a low production number curio, maybe good for camera collectors, I say this Zenit M is priced too high and not following in the footsteps of its high volume shoddily made namesake of the past.
I assume it's common sense that the Russian camera industry, with close to zero experience putting together even a film rangefinder with TTL metering, lack the fundamental capability to build a (highly sophisticated, digital) M240 all by themselves? It's not like you could just reverse engineer it and "adjust and fit" like in the old mechanical days of the Contax II...they'll have to build a full-fledged, Leica-aided factory just for that purpose. If that was the case we'd surely had seen it announced proudly in the news. Did we? In reality the KMZ today is but a shell of its former self. Even the days of it building the plastic Zenit cameras are gone now (the last ones were made in 2005).

The most technologically feasible, economically viable, and commercially sensible thing for them (and Leica) to do was to rebadge an aged Leica body and since it won't be "shoddily made" in that case, charge a quasi-Leica price. I believe they're fully aware what they're doing, since it's all quite understandable this way.

The big question is who this is intended for. The Russian oligarchs already had their genuine Leica custom built, so I assume it will take some first hand insight into contemporary Russian consumer culture to get an idea of the answer.
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Old 09-27-2018   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
I assume it's common sense that the Russian camera industry, with close to zero experience putting together even a film rangefinder with TTL metering, lack the fundamental capability to build a (highly sophisticated, digital) M240 all by themselves? It's not like you could just reverse engineer it easily like in the old mechanical days of the Contax II...

The most technologically feasible, economically viable, and commercially sensible thing for them to do was to rebadge an aged Leica body and since it won't be "shoddily made" in that case, charge a quasi-Leica price. It's all quite understandable.

The big question is who this is intended for. The Russian oligarchs already had their Leica custom built, so I assume it will take some first hand insight into contemporary Russian consumer culture to get an idea of the answer.
It is still speculation to assume that this Zenit M is 100 % Leica guts or any lesser percentage Leica guts. They could have had the licenced permission to use the Leica design and Leica proprietary patents and had the electronics and some of the mechanical parts made in China for all we know and final assembly was done at KMZ in Russia.

As Ken Wheeler said once, " Russians are very good at cutting corners in the production of anything" and the guy has claimed to have lived in Russia for a time.

That KW statement makes sense as to on how we ended up with the Kiev 4AM from the well made and pricey Zeiss Contax II camera.

The small production numbers of this camera ensures a market for it to collectors and maybe the high price reflects that, my question is why did they call it a "Zenit " when the "Zorki" name would have been more appropriate for an RF style/type camera ?
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Old 09-27-2018   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
4k to 5k euros in price is not exactly the $ 69.99 of the Zenit E of 1973
it would be $400 inflation adjusted, but anyways, Zenit is not the same, the camera is made by Leica, Russia is not the same and the market is not the same, so why the price should be?
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Old 09-27-2018   #28
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Cutting corners in the old USSR is what we in the west call improving efficiency and, of course, profits.

I think I'll wait until I've read all the reviews, especially the last ones to appear and then would like to handle the thing. I reckon Leica have been very clever and KMZ will do well out of it.

Regards, David

PS And, with a bit of luck the prices of old Zenits will rise on its back and I'll make a profit on my old ones, perhaps at Christmas...
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Old 09-27-2018   #29
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Old 09-27-2018   #30
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it would be $400 inflation adjusted, but anyways, Zenit is not the same, the camera is made by Leica, Russia is not the same and the market is not the same, so why the price should be?
The camera is made by KMZ and marked as such.

The whole premise of a low production camera tells us it is not meant as a general consumer level camera on par with the Japanese cameras such the Sony A7 series or the new slew of FF mirrorless cameras recently announced and maybe that is why the Zenit M is priced as such.. that KMZ figures that there are people willing to pay that to own such a rarity and conversation piece.

The Zenit M body could be as good or bad as a new 800 dollar Sony A7 body in its ability photographic wise but it would not reflect that in its selling price.

All because it is being sold on a different premise based on nostalgia of a brand name, connections to Leica (to what degree we do not know ) FF and an M mount and an optical RF that is not found on any competitor so far other than Leica.
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Old 09-27-2018   #31
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it's the perfect camera for Ko.Fe sentimental value + leica club all in one!
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Old 09-27-2018   #32
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The big question is who this is intended for. The Russian oligarchs already had their genuine Leica custom built, so I assume it will take some first hand insight into contemporary Russian consumer culture to get an idea of the answer.
In your conversation all of your forgot what current politics in the Russia now. They want to show to the World what they capable to do everything. This camera can be government "order" (for all Russian manufacture) to develop a product what can bit any "West" product. Those can enplane why they make a small amount, just for report and get support from the government budged
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Old 09-27-2018   #33
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In your conversation all of your forgot what current politics in the Russia now.
Not at all. See above:
This



comes to mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deklari View Post
They want to show to the World what they capable to do everything.
Sure, why not? They are, very probably

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deklari View Post
This camera can be government "order" (for all Russian manufacture) to develop a product what can bit any "West" product. Those can enplane why they make a small amount, just for report and get support from the government budged
*can*, yes, but... see above
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Old 09-27-2018   #34
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Not at all. See above:
This

comes to mind

Sure, why not? They are, very probably

*can*, yes, but... see above

I just want to say, what in Russian history, what they did not always have a "logical" seance for other.
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Old 09-27-2018   #35
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from russian news: "Cooperation Zenith and Leica - a unique alliance of many years of experience in manufacturing optics and modern technologies in Russia and Germany. With this project, we are talking for the first time about the release of the well-known all over the world domestic Zenit brand for a new segment of the photographic equipment market," (translate in the Google)
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Old 09-27-2018   #36
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https://zenit.camera/

Specs are out. Aside from exterior dimensions, every bit's exactly the same as the M240, even down to the weight (680 grams, no a single gram more or less) and battery capacity (1800 mah).

The lens is 9 elements in 8 groups. No diagram, but it weighs a whopping 740 grams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deklari View Post
In your conversation all of your forgot what current politics in the Russua now. They want to show to the World what they capable to do everything. This camera can be government "order" (for all Russian manufacture) to develop a product what can bit any "West" product. Those can enplane why they make a small amount, just for report and get support from the government budged
So nationalism it is. A new business for Leica: the Chinese maybe very likely be their next customer...
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Old 09-27-2018   #37
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I just want to say, what in Russian history, what they did not always have a "logical" seance for other.
Hence organisations like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Societ...iet_Friendship

It's a pity that the Germans dissolved this precious organisation. -- It would have helped them a lot the last nearly 3 decades if they would have kept tabs having such an ERASMUS-like programme.

Now, Dr. Kaufmann appears to re-vitalise it, camera-wise at least
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Old 09-27-2018   #38
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Ok, here is Matt Granger's hands on take on this camera.

Apparently it is designed in Krasnogorsk Russia but made by Leica and around 500 pieces of this kit will be for sale.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjX1yurREP0
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Old 09-27-2018   #39
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Maybe they can combine Russian quality with German prices
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Old 09-27-2018   #40
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The camera is made by KMZ and marked as such.
no its not, they don't have the technical capabilities making such camera and you know it.
I'm sure many here would be praising this camera if it was called "Argus".
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