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Aneone use a Zenit Photosniper?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Cruzan80, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    For those that have not seen one: (Zenit Photosniper - Camerapedia)

    Living over here abroad, and I have seen a deal come up on a full kit photosniper. Helios 58, Tair 300, filters, case, manual, etc. All black. (except the case looks kind of olive green). Works out to be about $100 USD. Don't currently have a tele 300mm, and I think the whole setup looks interesting. My wife is freaked out because of the "gun stock" aspect of it, expecially when the whole thing (including my camera) is black.

    I think the stock working as a stabilizer would work pretty well, and taking some neon orange tape around either the lens, stock or both would also help deflect the "it's a gun" aspect. I have seen some places where it looks like the trigger just has a cable which plugs in for a shutter release, in which case, I would also be able to use that to fire the camera (no pun intended).

    Definitely not for city street use (but neither really is a 300mm lens), but could see some applications for hiking or other wildlife shots.

    Does anyone have/use one? Opinions about glass? Looks? Other constructive comments?
  2. RobertinArabia

    RobertinArabia Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 6, 2012
    I had one years ago. It worked well.
  3. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I tried something similar once. It belonged to a friend, and worked with a specific lens. I no longer remember what lens, but it incorporated a push-pull focus mechanism that you worked with the "gun stock." I found it difficult to focus accurately, but maybe with more practice...

    In today's world, using something like that in a public setting could cause real problems, I'm afraid.
  4. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Sounds like this, or something similar. The tele-lens has a knob on the bottom (attached to stock), that you can twist horizontally to focus.

    Public settings would definitely be a different idea. That was why I was thinking of attaching neon orange tape to it (hunter orange), to make it look less gun like.
  5. CUB

    CUB Guest

    It sounds like the Novoflex system which offered 280mm, 400mm, 560mm and 800mm lenses with the patented "follow-focus" system. With a little practice, it worked well. Before the advent of autofocus, it was the fastest focusing system available apart from a Leica rangefinder.

    People will say "of course, a Leica rangefinder only worked well up to 90mm or, at a stretch, 135mm lenses." Well, that's true, but Leica offered their own branded version of the Novoflex system in a mount for the Visoflex reflex mirror box which turned the Leica M rangefinder cameras into an SLR. The Leica lenses were branded Leitz Telyt but were otherwise identical to the Novoflex product.

    All these lenses were pin sharp in the centre but soft at the edges unless stopped well down. I used them on assignments for the local newspaper covering soccer matches in the English First Division in all kinds of weather. I have a personal Novoflex outfit but use it only rarely. However, when I do use it, everything comes flooding back, and I believe I can focus more accurately and just as quickly as with an average modern AF system.

    The Novoflex system is well suited to the Four Thirds sensor because only the central part of the field of you will be used, and this is where the Novflex lenses perform best.
  6. Gyles

    Gyles Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2012
    Sunny Norfolk, UK
    Travelographer and self confessed Hexaholic
    I had this kit about 30 years ago, my first SLR. I regret selling it now. Would have been interesting with a Mu43 body.
  7. mr_botak

    mr_botak Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2011
    Reading, UK
    Bear in mind the guy that got tasered recently after police mistook his white stick for a gun. I can really only see trouble ahead for anyone using one of these.
  8. Dangerous_Dave

    Dangerous_Dave Mu-43 Rookie

    May 28, 2013
    County Durham, UK
    Keen on one of these, but this is the main reservation. Would no doubt get impounded at customs.

    How would the trigger mechanism integrate with the shutter on my GX1? Does it require a bit of DIY to work with non-Zenit cameras?
  9. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    Many wildlife photogs already use something similar like a bushhawk, and have been doing so for years without incident.
  10. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    From what I have seen, the trigger has a cord that was designed to plug into the shutter release on the Zenit. Not sure if you would have to modify the end to make it match.

    FYI, I did not get one of these (mostly due to my wife's concern). I may be in Colorado more in the future, so may pick one up to do wildlife photography. If so, highly thinking about putting fluorescent orange tape on the barrel (aka Airsoft) to try and help people see the difference.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Al.

    Al. Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    Hull, East Yorkshire, UK
    Here in the UK. Would be surrounded with an armed response unit within minutes ,and knowing our police would shoot first and ask questions later.
  12. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Wow, that seems over the top, considering it doesn't look THAT much like a gun.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
  13. Dangerous_Dave

    Dangerous_Dave Mu-43 Rookie

    May 28, 2013
    County Durham, UK
    Thanks, will check that out - it does look a bit less firearm-like than the snaiper.
  14. thelaxong

    thelaxong Mu-43 user

    Jan 13, 2011
    Melbourne - Australia
    • Like Like x 2
  15. PhilippePASCAL

    PhilippePASCAL Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2015
    Thanks for Info's !
    I will take a look at bushhawk, too. On my side, I was more tempted by Novoflex follow focus .There is a very nice collab with Tamron, 60-300 and fast 300/2.8 mounted lens. But ppl ask crazy prices on the bay. Too bad. About not looking like a gun, you could may be paint it pink...but animals will see it too :biggrin:
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