Following an announcement last month that camera maker Zenit would launch a full-frame camera in 2018, USSRPhoto claims the new Zenit model will be based on the Leica SL full-frame camera. Leica will reportedly make components for the Zenit based on the ones found in its Leica SL camera, but will tailor them specifically for the upcoming Zenit model.
Little is known about Zenit’s plans at this time. In mid-August, an announcement that Zenit would return with a new camera was reportedly made on Moscow Region Radio 1. No camera specifications were provided aside from the fact that it will be a full-frame mirrorless model with a brand-recognizable design and an anticipated 2018 launch date.
We know that the reborn Zenit company won’t try to compete with the industry’s biggest camera makers, and it was stated at the time that a “leading photographic equipment company” would be used to produce some of the new model’s components. That company wasn’t revealed, but assuming USSRPhoto’s leak is correct, it will be Leica.
However, and in speaking to PetaPixel, USSRPhoto said the KMZ Zenit factory in Russia will itself produce the new lenses for this upcoming model, and that work on this project has already started. Though the factory isn’t capable of producing electronic components for the camera (hence Leica’s involvement) it does have the equipment necessary to make its own optics.
Additional information—such as cost, specs, and a more specific release date—still haven’t been revealed.
We have reached out to Leica for comment and will update this post if and when we hear back.