Odd Russian “Photosniper” Camera

This camera rig might not be the best to bring to a public photo shoot.

Hailing from Russia, the Zenit Fotosnaiper, or Photosniper is a manual film camera with a rather odd design. It has a shoulderstock and a gunstock outfitted with a 300mm f/4.5 lens. It’s certainly a creative alternative to a monopod or other stabilization; the camera is held and shot just like a rifle.

The whole kit, which also includes a lens hood, an eyecup, and filters, is advertised on one website for a mere $295.

Needless to say, it’s no wonder why the design hasn’t caught on in other major camera companies.

(via Reddit)

Image Credit: Photosniper – assembled by LordKalvan

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  • Albert Muñoz

    Useless in a war report :/

  • # azumaguy

    Imagine using that rig around a major port, airport or other govt. installation. It's a fast-track to jail!

  • TylerIngram

    There are a few different manufacturers who make these sort of rigs for photographers with larger focal lengths. I've seen a few people using them at sporting events.

    I've heard people use them for bird photography too. I don't think I'd ever use one myself though.

  • Michael Zhang

    Police in Britain would love this one

  • Rhys_Williams

    I managed to pick up two of these beasts (one from ebay, and one from a friend). They are actually absolutely brilliant to handle. The grip makes everything quite stable; which is especially helpful with the very long focal distance. Build very toughly too, and the hard case comes with a variety of filters and a generic prime lens when you arn't in the mood for the sniper grip and telephoto.
    Unfortunately I haven't got around to loading them with film and trying them out yet. I would love to see the results.
    Here are a couple of crummy photos of my two. You get a real sense of their scale.

  • rroessing

    I had one of these. Problem with it is it's built in manual photometer.
    Especially as the big tele is partly covering it…
    Normally pics are ok if weather is pretty sunny.

  • JessicaLum

    Thanks for the photos. What a machine.

  • nareshni

    It looks little weird but with the big lens, it will make capturing easy

  • leonrw

    I have this lens! I got it free off a former private investigator, but annoyingly he had got rid of the gun mount, it was a bit to conspicuous to use, especially for sitting in car for hours taking photos. The lens is alright, huge though. And aperture control is bit annoying, and focusing…is different, but it's a fun lens to use.

  • Michael Young

    And it's been around a long time, too. 20-30 years at least. Built like a Russian tank, not even a “Concordski”. 300mm is no big deal these days, particularly remembering that this is a 35mm film camera, so why bother to put yourself in line of view of police or special services marksmen? Unless you want to get hassled or shot dead. It's a novelty. A relic of another age.

  • Flyfish

    It’s been around longer than “20-30 years” – This was my first SLR, a Zenit ES Photosniper with the regular lens and the 300 with the gunstock mount and the little metal box with two screwdrivers and holders for film cassettes – it was a super (and cheap) set-up that my Dad got for me in 1968! I loved it, and it worked well in it’s manual way until the film advance sprockets got so worn they would tear the films.

  • 100postogluv

    in serbia you can find it for 50 euro.

  • det deausen infante
  • AdrianK

    I bought a Photosniper, when in the UK in early ’70’s. Used it for years. Took some incredible 35mm roll film with it. Also had a Zorki 4 Rangefinder. Loved them both. All I ever needed in those days.

  • AdrianK

    From memory, I think it had a 52mm thread on the lens.

  • Chris Lord

    I took one of these from Prague to Harare via Amsterdam and Joburg. I didn’t take the metal box, and when it was in my suitcase I realised it looked pretty much like some sort of disassembled rocket launcher. I thought about warning them at the airports but then decided to see what would happen. Airport after airport, it went in the x-ray machine, they thought ‘Oh yeah, rocket launcher’ and out it came. Quite worrying really. I’ve just bought a Sony Alpha and an adaptor ring, and it all fits OK but obviously the manual release doesn’t work, or the linked aperture release on the lens body. I’ll get it to work though! I found the Zenit version was great for photographing singers and bands on stage. Very intuitive and easy to use actually.

  • nonamed

    One man converted one for working with Canon EOS 7D, he left original 300mm lens included in photosniper kit (he used converter to attach it to Canon) and he converted trigger to electric reather then mechanic one.
    In photosniper camera is attached by standard tripod screw mount, so it is possible to attach another cameras.