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The present Technical Description contains brief characteristics and essential rules of using the FS-12 photographic set and should not be regarded as a hand-book on photography.

Before using the photographic set, make thorough study of operation order according to the present Description.

Minor differences between the Description and construction of articles incoming in the photographic set may be due to ever-advancing development.


Keep all the articles of the photographic set in the packing case compartments according to the packing diagram (see Fig. 3).

Protect the photographic set articles, packed in the case from fall, mechanical damages, dust and moisture.

When bringing the photographic set from a cold place into a warm room, do not open case immediately to avoid optical parts fogging. Let them get warmed in a closed case thoroughly up to a room temperature.


The FOTOSNAIPER camera is a precise optical mechanical instrument. Handle it carefully, keep it clean. Do not touch the optical details with hands since this is likely to damage their coating. The mirror and Fresnel lens may be cleaned if it is absolutely necessary with a very soft dry brush but by no means with humid cleaning agents. Keep FOTOSNAIPER in a closed case. The lens should be capped and the shutter should be released.

Never remove the lens from the camera (unless you need it) to prevent dust and dirt from getting both on the surfaces of optical parts and into the camera.

Load and unload FOTOSNAIPER in a shade or in a room, avoiding direct sun rays.

Cock the shutter, turning the lever to the stop.

Do not keep FOTOSNAIPER with the shutter cocked for a long time. Do not rotate the shutter speed dial within the interval between "500" and "B" and the film speed dial within the figureless interval.

When replacing a Mallory PX-13 battery exactly follow the polarity marked within the compartment where a new battery is put.

Exposure meter does not operate without a Mallory PX-13 battery.

If camera is not used for some time, release button should not locate position "V" for a long period as in this case electric circuit will be cut in and the battery may discharge prematurely.

At long intervals between taking pictures (weeks, months), it is desirable to take a battery out of the compartment and store it separately.

Since FOTOSNAIPER is a complex device, any repair and corresponding adjustments should be performed only in repair shops by a highly qualified specialists.


Protect the lenses from greasing and sudden temperature changes. If not used the lenses should be capped and stored in a case.

Especially protect the coated optics--it is easily damaged at careless cleaning. Moisture adversely affects the coated surfaces and is liable to result in stains; moreover, long-time imoperativeness or operation in dampness is likely to bring about complete deterioration of the coating film.

If due to careless handling or through any other reason the lens coating is damaged, the lens still posesses higher light conductive properties and produces images of greater contrast than any noncoated lens of the same type. Remember, that any photographic lens is a complex and delicate optical instrument. Careless disassembly of a lens may deteriorate its quality. Lens disassembly should be performed by a highly qualified specialist if special means for lens testing are available.

Remove dust from the coated optical surfaces with a clean and soft hairbrush (scoured).

If it is not available, you may use a stick (match) with a cotton wool wad or clean (well washed) piece of flannel, calico or cambric. Stains of various kinds (such as finger-prints, traces of fogging and so on) are best removed using a stick with a cotton wool wad slightly soaked int rectified alcohol, petroleum or ether, or in a mixture of both.

Optical surfaces should be cleaned in circular movements passing from the lens centre to its periphery.

It should be remembered that any piece of cotton wool, fabric or chamois may contain hard dust particles which are abrasive not only for the coating, but even for the basic glass. Therefore, after unfolding the cleaning cloth use its inner side for wiping the glass surfaces.


Achievements in the field of production of FOTOSNAIPERS, lenses and photographic accessories favouring to taking pictures of a high quality, are combined in FS-12 photographic set. FS-12 photographic set is an efficient modern system including the FOTOSNAIPER camera which consists of ZENIT-12S semi-automatic reflex camera and TAIR-3S long focus lens, mounted on release mechanism.

Also interchangeable lens and photographic accessories set are included in the FS-12 set.


FOTOSNAIPER is designed for taking close-up pictures of distant objects, animals, birds and plants under natural conditions. FOTOSNAIPER can be successfully used for sports photography as well as for taking pictures of architectural structures, etc. on black-and-white or colour films.

FOTOSNAIPER is a combination of ZENIT-12S semi-automatic reflex camera with TAIR-3S long focus lens, mounted on release mechanism.

ZENIT-12S has the following advantages:

  • semi-automatic through-the-lens metering system (TTL system) provides for perfect exposure setting when taking picvtures with the standard lens and with interchangeable lenses and light filters;
  • pointer indication in the viewfinder field of view enables you to choose optimum combination of diaphragm and exposure, ensuring continuous viewing of asubject. Also it presents information about insufficient or surplus illumination;
  • instant return mirror ensures continuous viewing of a subject before and after exposure;
  • focusing control can be done both by a microraster and a ground glass;
  • connector socket on the lowe shield provides electric introduction of diaphragm values in the circuit diagram of the camera exposure meter, that ensures focusing at fully open diaphragm;
  • exit pupil of the viewfinder eyepiece is more remote to give you opportunity for shooting with spectacles if necessary.

TAIR-3S long focus lens:

  • the lens is provided with an automatic spring loaded ("jumping") pre-set diaphragm;
  • fully open diaphragm ensures maximum brightness of the image seen in the viewfinder; this is important at the moment of viewing and focusing;
  • the optical surfaces have an "amber" coating, which ensures correct colour rendition when photographing on a colour film.


HELIOS-44M-4 2/58 mm lens is an interchangeable high speed lens to ZENIT-12S camera.

HELIOS-44M-4 lens is intended for taking amateur pictures on black-and-white or colour films. It can be used for macrophotography, microphotography, reproduction works and so on.


ZENIT-12S camera:

  • Frame size, mm -- 24x36
  • film used -- 35mm, perforated
  • length of film in cassette, m -- 1.65
  • number of frames -- 36
  • shutter speeds, s -- from 1/30 to 1/500, "B" (by hand) and long exposure time
  • viewfinder field of view, mm -- 20x28
  • tripod socket thread -- 1/4"
  • connector socket for introduction of diaphragm values of TAIR-3S lens in the circuit diagram of the exposure meter
  • exposure meter supply -- from one battery of Mallory PX-13 type
  • film speed range -- from 14 to 28 DIN units or from 20 to 500 ASA units

TAIR-3S standard lens

Overall dimensions, mm, not exceeding:

  • FOTOSNAIPER (in operating state) -- 560x235x138
  • photographic set (in case) -- 390x210x170

Mass, kg, not exceeding:

  • FOTOSNAIPER (in operating state) -- 3.0
  • photographic set (in case) -- 5.5


SpecificationsLens name
Focal length, mm30058
Relative aperturef/4.5f/2
Diaphragm scale4.5 to 222 to 16
Minimum taking distance, m30.5
Angular field of view40°28'
Mechanical back focal distance, mm45.545.5
Seating thread of the lensM42x1M42x1
Light filter thread, lens hood threadM72x0.75M52x0.75
Tripod socket thread of the lens3/8"--


Light filters included in the FS-12 photographic set are notable for their service properties.

Light filters Y-1.4x; Y-2x; YG-2x; C-2.8x and UV-1x having mounting thread M72x0.75 are screwed in the TAIR-3S lens mount front thread.

Light filters, mentioned above, have the next service properties:

  • light yellow filter Y-1.4x improves rendition of visual brightness correlations of blue, green and yellow objects in portraiture with natural illumination, in photographing landscapes, under clouded blue sky and the evening illumination when operating at brief exposure time;
  • yellow filter Y-2x is widely used in landscape photography; improves right colour rendition of vlue, green and yellow objects; emphasizes clouds and increases contrast of shadows and remote objects; eliminates the effect of atmospheric haze;
  • yellow-green filter YG-2x is of especial value for correct colour rendition (in particular of red and green colours) on panchromatic films. The filter is used in portraiture both by day and artificial light in artistic and technical photography of paintings and colour pictures;
  • orange filter O-2.8x is used in taking pictures of remote objects when it is necessary to eliminate the effect of atmospheric haze; it increases the contrast of such objects. In usual photography the sky in the photograph is very dark and clouds are bold;
  • colourless filter UV-1x eliminates the influence of ultraviolet rays (for instance, in high mountain conditions) in black-and-white and especially in colour photography.

FILTER FACTOR TABLE (by day light)

FilmsLight filters

Note: Filter factor is the ratio between the exposure time used when photographing with a light filter and the one required when photographing without a light filter (illuminating conditions are the same).

LENS HOOD is fastened into the front thread of the les mount or light filter mount. It is used to protect the lens from undesirable side-light (Fig. 4).

Lens hood attaching thread is M72x0.75. Also the lens hood protects the lens and light filters against damage when photographing under complicated conditions.

STANDARD CASSETTE for 35 mm wide film is loaded as it is shown in Fig. 2. Film is wound up with its emulsion layer inside.

EYECUP is designed for eliminating side-light effect, which prevents to watch into viewfinder eyepiece. Eyecup is put on the viewfinder eyepiece mount (Fig. 9).

SCREW-DRIVERS (1.7 and 4 mm) are designed for simple adjustment, which may be needed when taking pictures.

CASE has sturdy locking catches, preventing accidental opening, a carrying grip and shoulder straps for carrying the case on a shoulder or on the back (like a knapsack) in route conditions. The straps have buckles intended for varying the straps length.



  1. packing case (metallic);
  2. ZENIT-12S camera with TAIR-3S lens and lens hood mounted on a bracket with clamping screw;
  3. release mechanism with shoulder strap for FOTOSNAIPER carrying fastened to a bracket with a tripod screw;
  4. cover (back) to the lens;
  5. HELIOS-44M-4 interchangeable lens with front cover;
  6. light filters to the TAIR-3S lens with seating thread M72x0.75;
  7. light filter with seating thread M72x0.75 and cover (front) to the TAIR-3S lens;
  8. screw-drivers;
  9. cassettes;
  10. shoulder straps;
  11. clamping screw; spring clamps secure the shoulder butt at the bottom of the case.


12-ZENIT-12S camera;

13-connecting cord;

14-TAIR-3S lens;

15-lens hood;

16-tripod screw;

17-release trigger;

18-supporting ring;

19-clamping screw;

20-shoulder butt clamp;

21-shoulder butt.

23-diaphragm setting knob;

24-diaphragm setting ring;

25-diaphragm scale;

26-shoulder butt attachment chamber;

27-eyelets for strap securing;

28-adjusting screw for diaphragm advance;

29-release pushing screw;

30-diaphragm release lever;

31-bracket with holes for guide pins;

32-focusing drum;

33-distance scale;

34-distance setting index.


35-self-timer setting lever;

36-self-timer release button;

37-flash unit connector socket;

38-release buttom threaded for cable release;

39-film rewind knob;

40-eyelets for strap securing;

Fig. 6

41-film rewind crank;

42-film speed dial;

43-film speed setting index;

44-accessory show for mounting flash lamp to the central contact;

45-protective strip;

46-shutter speed dial;

47-shutter speed setting index;

48-shutter cocking and film advance lever;

49-film rewind falling knob;

50-exposure counter dial;

51-exposure counter dial guide;

52-setting index of exposure counter dial.

Fig. 7

53-tripod socket;

54-connector socket for connecting cord plug;

55-shutter release button;

56-release button bush;

Fig. 8

57-cassette chamber;

58-cassette spool guide;

59-cap of compartment for supply battery;

60-viewfinder eyepiece;

61-eye hood;

62-take-up spool;

63-folding back door;

64-pressing table;


66-film channel slides;

67-film gate.

Fig. 9

69-Fresnel lens;


71-ground glass circle;

72-galvanometer pointer.

Fig. 10


73-focusing ring;

74-distance scale;

75-distance and diaphragm setting index;

76-depth-of-field scale;

77-diaphragm setting ring;

78-diaphragm scale;


Fig. 11




  • Open the case 1.
  • Remove release mechanism 3, having unscrewed tripod screw.
  • Holding the lens body with the left hand, screw out the clamping screw 11 which fastens the lens with the camera 2 to the bracket of the case, then remove the lens with the camera.
  • Carefully join the release mechanism to the lens. To do this put two guide pins into sockets of the lens bracket 31 and the release button bush 56--into the hole of the supporting ring 18.
  • Tightly fasten the release mechanism to the lens with tripod screw 16.
  • Slightly tighten the clamping screw 19.
  • Put the shoulder butt 21 in the socket 26 and fasten it with a clamp 20.
  • Check safety of the connecting cord plug 13 in the camera connector socket 54.
  • Choose proper light filter depending on film used, taking conditions and subject and screw it in the lens mount having screwed the lens hood out preliminarily.
  • Attach the lns hood, having screwed it in light filter or in the lens mount.

Camera Loading

Take a battery and put it into the compartment in the way indicated in the section "Changing the Power Source of Exposure Meter Electric Circuit". Load the camera in faint diffused light in the following way:

  1. lift knob 39, in so doing camera folding back door 63 should open;
  2. put a loaded cassette into chamber 57;
  3. return the rewind knob to its initial position and fold crank 41;
  4. pull out the film leader as long as to reach the camera edge and insert it into the take-up spool 62 slot; in so doing be sure to engage a perforation hole with a tooth of sprocket 65;
  5. close the folding back door 63;
  6. cock the shutter by turning lever 48 as far as it will go. Press release button 38. When the shutter is being cocked, the film is advanced by one frame. To transport a nonexposed portion of film to the film gate, cock the shutter twice pressing the release button after each cocking. Before the second shutter release bring figure "0" of exposure counter dial 50 to index mark 52.

Should the film be wound tightly in the cassette, the film rewind knob will rotate when the shutter is being cocked. If the film is loose in the cassette, the rewind knob will fail to rotate at the first frames;

Fig. 12

Fig. 13

Fig. 14

Fig. 15

Film Speed Setting

[Pagina 14]

Last updated: 21 November 2002

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