How to avoid film rip with Zenit ET

My first roll of film passed through the Zenit ET. Time to rewind. But… HOW? I took a while to find the rewind release button. When I found it, it was hard to push down. Guess I didn’t do it well enough, because the film snapped right of.

Ripped film

Ripped film

Although I didn’t get that until I opened the back and let the light in! But you learn from you mistakes, and I can enlighten others about them, so here’s how you do it.

The rewind release is around the shutter release-button. On the Zenit ET is protected of a halfcircle of plastic. I now use the casing of a pen to press it down, ALL THE WAY DOWN!

Push it down

Push it down

Ok, rewind the film with the film rewind knob. Lift it up to open cameraback and take out the film. Now, I don’t know if its just my cameras rewind release thats a bit stuck but I hade to screw the button a bit to get it back up again.

Rewind release and shutter release

Rewind release and shutter release

For forther reading look at the Zenit B, E and EM manual.

20 Responses in “How to avoid film rip with Zenit ET”

  1. Ana says:

    I have a Zenit ET, but my rewind button is not a plastic half circle. The arrow that says R points to both directions, clock and counter clock wise, and I do not have a button to push. What should I do?

  2. Mattias says:

    That sounds weird. Just to make things clear, doesn’t this work?:

    – The Shutter releasebutton has a thinner metal ring around it? I’ve seen Zenit version with and without the plastic protection, so don’t mind that one, it’s the metal ring around the Shutter release button you should press (look closely where I press with the pencil on the image). On my camera it took some force, it was stiff.

    – When you pressed the button (or found other possible solution) it’s the wheel on the far left-side you should turn to rewind. Mine has a clockwise arrow, but if you remember how you threaded the film it should be clear which way to turn since the film is going to wind up on the left side filmspool (imagine how the film moves inside the camera).

    If things look different on your camera I don’t know what to do… There must be some way of releasing the film… many cameras of other brands have button in the bottom of the camera. Don’t rip the film like I did, and good luck! :)

  3. MJP says:

    huy! I own one Zenith ET too! I was able to use the 30-x shutter sync with the flash, and it used to work, now its not..any guess?

  4. Drifted says:

    I also have the version of the ET with the R button pointing in both directions, to release the film you have to press down the shutter release button halfway, then you can rotate the button clockwise. Then you press down the half circle of metal (not plastic, in this case) and continue with the process described above. Turn the shutter release anticlockwise to return it afer winding the film.

    • Jo says:

      Wait, so do I have to turn it clockwise first and the counter clockwise, or do I just do it counter clockwise. The film was already in my camera and I just pulled it out after years, so I don’t know how it was originally winded I just want to avoid ripping it obviously and taking out my film.

  5. Nick Alpin says:

    Thanks so much for this info. Came across your post in a Flickr group. This button is the same for the Zenit 11 and I just successfully unloaded the camera :)

  6. chumengue says:

    bueno, llega un carrete tarde :-D para el siguiente intentaré acordarme

  7. The most comprehensive and very well thought out write up I have found on this subject on the net. Keep on writing, I will keep on coming by to read your new content. This is my fourth time coming by your blog.

  8. Geronimo says:

    I riped it, and i will use no more Zenits in my life !!!
    everythng yes, Sigma 8 yes, but no more Zenit !!!

  9. Kaleena says:

    Thank you so much! I just ripped a great roll of film today. This is probably the clearest tutorial type thing I’ve ever seen for this.

  10. Lorenzo GP says:

    Thank you really much! The pretty same thing happened to me! I lost all because i just didnt know this. You’ve explained greatly! Again, thanks form Argentina!

  11. toba ET says:

    how much cost this ZENIT ET???

  12. Mattias says:

    I bought it for about £8.30

  13. Çağlar says:

    Thank you. I have also same problem as per below ;

    MJP says: March 30, 2009 at 9:14 pm
    huy! I own one Zenith ET too! I was able to use the 30-x shutter sync with the flash, and it used to work, now its not..any guess?

  14. Pedro says:

    Thanks!!! You’ve just saved my first roll!!

  15. Mart says:

    I have an ET model ,just like you. So to rewind the film I have to push and HOLD rewind release button and turnt rewind knob or just press that button once and then turn knob?

  16. yasmin says:

    Thamk you so much! I have been searching for an instructions to how to unload the Zenit ET all day and with your instruction i managed to do it!

  17. Enrico says:

    I just got a Zenith ET body and noticed the mirror does not lift when pressing the shutter release botton. Is that due to the fact that there’s no lens fitted on the body?

  18. Jo says:

    So, my counter reached 36 and then I was going to unload it but I was too unsure of how to do it, so I didn’t, I did attempt though. Now my counter is at 22 and I’m kind of confused???

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