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Mir is a 35mm film rangefinder camera, manufactured by Krasnogorsky Mekhanichesky Zavod (KMZ) , (=Mechanical Factory of Krasnogorsk), in Moscow, former USSR. Мир = Mir, means Peace. All Mir produced between 1959-61.

The Mir is slightly simplified version of the well known former Soviet Union Leica inspired camera, the Zorki 4, lacking the slow shutter speed mechanism (it also lacks the fastest speed of 1/1000 second). Whereas the Zorki 4 was released for export from behind the iron curtain, the Mir was intended for internal consumption only.

It should be noted that about 160000 Mir's were made during a short time, but the Zorki-4 had over 1.7 million made during its rather longer production time. It was offered with the Industar-22 50mm f/3.5, the Industar-26 50mm f/2.8, or the Jupiter-8 50mm f/2.[1] The Jupiter-3 50mm f/1.5 may have been an option, most likely with the Zorki-3 and Zorki 4 as an export option.

Because the viewfinder has a true +/- 1:1 magnification, it is 25% more accurate with faster lenses like the Jupiter-8 Jupiter-3 and Jupiter-9 (85mm f/2). The FED-2, FED-6 TTL, and Zorki 6 all have a long base rangefinder similar to the pre-war Contax - about 90mm - which offer a similar accuracy but at a lesser viewfinder magnification than the 1:1 of the Zorki-3, Zorki 4 and Mir.

There are 3 types and one sub-types. [2] [3] [4] [5]

Type 1Edit

  • Types 1 and 2 produced only 1959
  • Distinctive features of the type: Early style of inscription "Mir"

Type 2Edit

Type 2aEdit

  • Distinctive feature of the type: There is a frame around the viewfinder's window
  • Without stop bolt on the hot shoe

Type 2bEdit

  • Distinctive feature of the type: With stop bolt on the hot shoe

Type 3Edit


Data belongs to the photos in here.

  • Distinctive feature of this type: Without a frame around viewfinder's window
  • Produced between 1959-61
  • Distinctive feature of this type: Without a frame around viewfinder's window
  • Lens: Jupiter-8 (ЮРИТЕП-8), 50mm f/2,
  • Focusing: Matching yellow rangefinder images
  • Shutter: Rubberized silk double cloth curtain, horizontal focal plane [6]
    • Speeds 1 /30 -1/500 +B, dial on the top plate, lift and turn to the desired speed
  • Viewfinder: Combined view/range finder, large and bright
  • Re-winding release switch: Around the shutter release, like a collar, points engravings П (P, re-wind) and Д (D, wind, red)
  • Diopter adjustment lever: Beside the re-winding knob
  • Self-timer: Activates by a small silver knob above the lever, 9-15 seconds delay
  • Flash PC sync socket: On the front of the top plate, flash sync at 1/30
    • Variable synchronisation delay (0 - 25 ms) is possible by dial around the shutter speed control
  • Take up spool: Special, it can drop down very easily
  • Back cover: Removable with the bottom plate,
  • Others: Cold-shoe; Strap lugs; Tripod socket 3/8inch
  • Engravings on the back of the top-plate: KMZ logo and the serial no: the first two numbers show the production year

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. These are the only standard lenses listed in the user's manual reproduced (in Russian) at the KMZ archive site. Owners have reported cameras with other lenses such as the rigid Industar-22, mounted on an extension tube to give correct film register, or the Jupiter-8, as on the example pictured here.
  2. According to Alaxander Komarov in Fotoua. You can also find serial numbers for dating of the cameras in this site. There is another former USSR cameras classification and info by Aidas Pikiotas in SovietCams
  3. There are usefull books about cameras of former USSR and have classifications also.
  4. Pages from the the book of former USSR cameras by Suglob, Shaternik, Kochergin
  5. Discussion about clasifications in the books of Princelle and Suglob, Shaternik, Kochergin in USSR Photo Forum
  6. As with other Soviet-era rangefinders, the Mir's shutter speed selector rotates when the shutter is released, and should not be changed until after the shutter has been cocked. If you change the shutter speed without cocking the shutter first, the setting pin can be broken when you advance the film and cock the shutter

Bibliography Edit

In English

  • Princelle, Jean Loup - Made In USSR - The Authentic Guide To Russian And Soviet Cameras, Le Reve Edition, 2004 (ISBN 2952252106 (ISBN13: 9782952252102) Paperback

In Russian

Links Edit

Zorki cameras
FED-Zorki | 1 | S | 2 | 2-S | 3 | 3M | 3S | 4 | 4K | Mir | 5 | 6 | 10 | 11 |35M

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