Camera info

The camera in question is an old Zenit 12XP. It belonged to my passed-away father-in-law.

It has shutter speed regulations: B, 30-X, 60, 125, 250, 500

"ГОСТ/ASA" (ISO): 16 * 32 * 65 * 130 * 250 * 500

And HELIOS-44M-4 2/58 lens (aperture 2-16).


He stuck a note on the back of the camera body - I guess it could be something similar to sunny 16 rule, but this camera has a built-in battery-powered light sensor. Maybe he used it when batteries were dead? Still, I don't know how he would use it, could some numbers represent hours on a sunny day?

Note says

19/65 21/90 22/130

photo of camera body containing the note

Or maybe it was somehow used to calculate aperture in relation to distance when using flash?

The previous owner was an electrical engineer, so there might have been some in-memory calculation required in order to use it.

Does anyone have any ideas about what could it mean? I'd love to know how my father-in-law used it :)

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ ГОСТ is GOST in Russian. ГОСТ/ASA "ISO" appears to indicate a relationship between the two. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stan
    Jul 20, 2022 at 17:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've had some russian at school long time ago, so I was able to write it as its printed. I didn't know whether I should "latinize" it or not. "(ISO)" was added by me (as I thought it might help somebody), it's not written anywhere on camera body :) \$\endgroup\$
    – zworek
    Jul 20, 2022 at 17:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Probably, he was east german, or bought films in east germany frequently? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 22, 2022 at 14:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ He was Polish - maybe DIN standard films were just more available in Poland at some point in time \$\endgroup\$
    – zworek
    Jul 22, 2022 at 19:05

2 Answers 2


Those look like DIN speeds that match values on the GOST meter dial.

GOST was the Soviet film speed standard; it was on the same scale as ASA speed, but 90% the value (so GOST 360 was equivalent to ASA 400).

DIN works like dB, in that each change by 3 doubles or halves the value; that means DIN 24 is ASA 200, 21 is ASA 100, and so forth -- so those figures give 22 as 130, 21 as 90 -- which are the GOST speeds that correspond to FP4+ and Plus-X, while 19/65 is about what you'd have for one generation Kodacolor.

  • \$\begingroup\$ ГОСТ is GOST in Russian, BTW. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stan
    Jul 20, 2022 at 17:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ That must be it! GOST/ASA values arent exactly as in online tables but they match numbers on camera body gauge \$\endgroup\$
    – zworek
    Jul 20, 2022 at 17:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @zworek, I can confirm that 65-90-130 were the most common stock of (older) Soviet film. 65 (later 64) was probably the most popular. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeus
    Jul 21, 2022 at 0:31
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, I suspect that the "-X" after "30" indicates that 1/30th is the flash synchronization speed, assuming it has a focal plane shutter. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 21, 2022 at 4:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JanSteinman Correct -- like most SLRs, the Zenit 12XP has a focal plane shutter; horizontal traveling, as I recall, and like most horizontal focal plane shutters, sync speed is 1/30. I didn't say anything about that because it has nothing to do with the label strip the questioner was asking about. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jul 21, 2022 at 11:04

It's just a little conversion reference for film speeds – equating German DIN standard with Soviet GOST (ГОСТ) standard.

See Table 1 in the Wikipedia article on 'Film Speed' for example film stocks.


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