The vacant buildings of a weaving plant and dyeworks were taken up by Moscow Optical Plant, later renamed as Fine Mechanics Plant №19. Its first products: eyeglass lenses, small medical kit, magnifiers for textile inspection.
Extensive construction of a new powerful optical plant for fine optical-mechanical instruments manufacturing began.
In April 1939 the plant was named after V.I. Lenin.
In the early 1940s the plant went through evacuation and then restoration. At the premises of Plant №69 named after V.I. Lenin State Soyuz Plant № 393 of the People's Commissariat of Armament of the USSR was established, later renamed as Krasnogorsky Mechanical Plant (Krasnogorsky Mekhanicheskiy Zavod).
In 1946 KMZ registered a trademark in the shape of an outline of a Dove prism. The first Soviet medium-format range-finder amateur camera “Moscow-1” was launched.
In 1948 the Central Design Bureau (now known as STC) was established. By 1 May 1948 the first 50 units of compact camera “Zorky” were manufactured, later becoming one of the symbols of Krasnogorsk.
A compact reflex amateur camera “Zenit” was launched. It gave origin to a whole generation of reflex cameras.
In 1955 one millionth camera was manufactured.
In 1959 the first picture of the far side of the moon was taken thanks to the AFA-E1 camera. The set of KMZ camera lenses won the Grand Prix at the International Fair in Brussel, while EM-1 electron microscope, FP-22 high-speed motion-picture camera and S-180 auroral camera won gold medals.
On 12 April 1961 Vostok-1 spacecraft with Yuri Gagarin on board was launched. The launch was filmed with KT-50 large format reflex lens cine-theodolite. During his 25-hour spaceflight Soviet cosmonaut German Titov conducted the first-ever handheld photo and video shooting of the Earth from space with a motion-picture camera “Konvas-avtomat”. KMZ has also manufactured a number of products of national significance: a high-precision device for photographing artificial Earth satellites, large format high-resolution camera lens “Mezon-A2” for photographing the Earth’s surface from an artificial Earth satellite, as well as camera lenses for the nationwide television broadcast centre Ostankino. The foundation was laid for works on designing optical quantum generators (lasers), a transition was made to manufacturing cameras with exchangeable optics.
The first automatic cameras “Zorky-10” were launched, later awarded with a gold medal at the Leipzig Trade Fair, as well as “Zorky-11” and “Zorky-12”. Serial production of “Zenit-E” cameras, “Photosniper”, “Kvartz” and “Kransnogorsk” motion-picture cameras, and “Gorizont” panoramic cameras was started. In recognition of KMZ designing and manufacturing new equipment and successful five-year plan realization in 1966 it was awarded the Order of Lenin. To enable the Lenin’s Mausoleum preservation staff conduct high-precision measurements stereophotogrammetrical devices SFU-1 and SFU-2 were designed.
Several large special purpose design bureaus, production facilities, departments, laboratories and services were created, the first optical instrumentational complex USKB was put into operation for adjustment, setting up and optotechnical control of large format reflectors and beam splitters. A special camera “Zenit-VE” was designed for human endoscopy. In cooperation with several research institutes the first mobile infrared theodolite-radiometer ”Sobol” in the USSR was designed for location of flying objects which give off infrared radiation.
Kransnogorsky Mekhanicheskiy Zavod became the Chief Design Bureau in the USSR for fire-control systems for tanks. A new trademark KMZ was registered. In recognition of the plant’s starting and mastering the manufacture of specialized equipment it was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.
In 1979 Krasnogorsky Zavod was named after Sergei Alekseevich Zverev, ex-engineer-in-chief of KMZ and Minister for Defense Industry of the USSR.
The conversion of the MIC manufacture – the start of consumer production. The first reflex camera “Zenit-18” with manual and automatic modes was launched. The work on designing a technological sample for an optoelectronic device for space monitoring “Okno” was carried to completion. The Gold Mercury International Award was presented to KMZ for the manufacture expansion and international co-operation.
KMZ underwent re-organization into a PJSC Krasnogorsky Zavod. The enterprise for the first time gained experience in the Central Design Bureau entering the export market within design and development work on creating devices for space purposes. A wide range of consumer products were being manufactured – a number of night-vision surveillance devices, medical devices, product lines of television surveillance devices based on CCD matrix, scientific devices, etc. The Central Design Bureau is renamed as Scientific and Technical Centre – STC.
Large-scale projects were carried out on remote Earth sensing – as part of “Resurs-DK” spacecraft a high-resolution optoelectronic device “Geoton” was put into operation for researching natural resources and preventing environmental disasters. In 2004 works on the “Okno” complex were carried to completion, and it was put on combat duty. The last “Zenit” camera was manufactured.
The range of medical devices designed and manufactured expanded. It was decided to create medical complexes for specialized doctors. The enterprise was assigned a status of Federal Scientific and Technical Centre. KMZ became part of PJSC Optical Systems and Technologies (Shvabe Holding) within Rostec State Corporation.
Work on designing a number of advanced CCTV monitoring devices with a wide spectral range was completed. Wide-span multispectral devices, devices for small spacecraft, hyperspectral devices, and an IR-Fourier-spectrometer were created.
In April 2017 a new museum for PJSC Krasnogorsky Zavod named after S.A. Zverev was established. In 2019 Prime Minister of Russia D.A. Medvedev visited the museum.
In 2018 “Zenit” in collaboration with “Leica” launched a new digital long-range camera “Zenit-M” with a unique next-gen lens “Zenitar 35 mm f/1.0” manufactured by PJSC KMZ. Serial production of locally produced television camera for sighting systems for AFVs under the program of import phaseout.
As of year-end 2019 the ALHK-01-“Zenit” laser surgical complex was included into 5 best medical innovations of Rostec State Corporation.
Thermal imaging channel TPK-K is produced serially. An infrared system for thermometry IT236 was designed and launched. At the Photoforum Exhibition new photography equipment was showcased – Zenitar 1,5/50, a lens for portrait photography; Zenitar 2/35 for detailed pictures with natural color rendition in low light conditions; Selena 1,9/58 with controlled bokeh; Zenitar 2.8/60 Macro EA for close-up photography.
Work is conducted on designing solutions for visual stereoscopic examination, study and diagnosing during gynecological and gynecologic cancer screenings.