Project camera Zenit M
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Zenit M Camera
Legend Revival

Zenit M Camera
Legend Revival

About the product

About the product

Zenit M camera is a Shvabe product. New Zenit is the fruit of cooperation of several companies: KMZ, Leica AG and Smirnov Design.
Most of the technical characteristics of Zenit M are similar to those of Leica cameras.
The lens is designed and manufactured by Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant, and the camera design is developed by Smirnov Design.

Task

Task

To recreate the legendary image on the basis of already developed internal design.
To leave all the functional elements of the original layout in place.
But at the same time, to find a way to cause nostalgia.

«I remember when I was a kid, daddy and I used to develop films and print black and white photos in the bathroom in the light of a lantern painted with red oil.
I remember the smell of the leather case and the sound of the shutter platoon, the feeling of something serious and real in my hands.»

Means to an end

Means to an end

The design research included:

  • Analysis of respondents’ stories and memories:
    connoisseurs, professionals, collectors and the general public
  • Analysis of Zenit brand history
  • Searching for the family and unique features of Zenit
  • Comparison of iconic images of different brands of cameras
  • Studying the experience of creating retro versions of different cameras

You have a unique opportunity to see more complete research materials.

The difficulties we have encountered

The difficulties we have encountered

  1. «Zenit has transformed and changed many times, as well as many family features have changed. In the end, it turned out that everyone had their own Zenit. This depends on the respondent’s age, as well as on the model of Zenit in their hands at the time of capturing memories being important for us. One of the frequently asked questions in this topic: Is real Zenit silver with black or all black?
  2. Our work was tied to a design that could not be changed and that was not characteristic of any historical Zenit brand. For example, it does not have a projection for the mirror, but has elements of long cameras. It made us compensate the features being uncharacteristic of Zenit.
  3. Binding to manufacturing technology. We had a certain list of technologies that we could rely on when developing the design. Some of the elements that we would like to bring to the design were impossible to be performed by means of this technology.

Solutions

Solutions

We have identified a target audience of men, which is 35+ years old.
A symbolic element was inherited from the E-Series Zenit Camera.
This is the best-selling series.
It was released in 1965.
The people who took pictures with this camera and their children, who later studied photography or watched their parents take pictures, remembered the features of this camera.
The E-Series and the following series have a distinctive silhouette on top. That’s what we used as the basis with refining the surface. The encoders also have recognizable features. We decided to make two color versions of the camera: the black one and the black with silver one.
We worked out all the solutions in conjunction with the technologists and coordinated each design element.

Symbolic elements: silhouette on top

Zenit in two colors. Which one is yours?

The work progress

The work progress

Based on the results of our research, we proposed 2 basic concepts and many modifications. Worked with designers and technologists to comply with the design framework and limitations.

After the conceptual phase, there were several stages of refinement related to the production preparation.

The secret to success

The secret to success

Attention to details: one of the tasks is to follow the idea clearly at all stages of the process, as not all participants in the production process are well aware of the basis on which the concept is based. They often tend to simplify their task, not realizing what impact it will have on the perception of the whole thing.
What really matters is each line, sharpness of edges, leather texture, proportions of cuts, gaps between details, etc. And in the case of a premium product, there should be no compromises.
Author supervision is the designer’s task.
We tried our best to make you proud of Zenit

  • CUSTOMER

    КМЗ

  • SERVICES

    INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

  • RESEARCH DESIGN

  • DESIGN STRATEGY

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    CONSUMER GOODS

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