Sold as the ultimate upgrade and final version of the 12 model, this body came as a bit of a shock.
To say that the chassis is still solid T34 tank grade steel is fair enough, but the outside styling is made from a cheap and nasty feeling plastic. That's correct I did say plastic!!
The view finder is as bright as the other 12 models I have, and the advance lever, which has the trim missing on my first one, works smoothly. There is a Pentax K mount version of this body, but mine are the good old faithful M42 version. The cases these models were sold with were a fabric item that makes up (a little) for the disappointing finish. They also came with a camera strap sporting both cyrillic and latin script versions of 'Zenit'
The TTL meter reads out through flashing LEDs in the view finder, although my first body seems reluctant to do so with slow lenses , I've bought a second body to investigate this trait.
My second body has a few minor changes, the plastic mouldings seem sharper, this body has 1 red and 1 green LED while the other has 2 red ones, and the spacing seems different!
The second body also reads light better, the meter seeming more accurate.
I feel I should like this camera and am just being over critical, but at the end of the day it just doesn't feel as solid as it's predecessors.
To conclude, this model doesn't seem to be as solid or robust as it's older siblings, even though it sells for more!
Once used, if I can drag myself to do so, I'll update if needed, but until then...