Deposition of ZnS and ZnO by the atomic layer deposition technique is performed using both dimethylzinc (DMZn) and diethylzinc (DEZn) as the metal source and H2S or H2O as the counter-reactant. The deposited films are characterized by x-ray diffraction (XRD), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and ultraviolet-visible measurements, and particular emphasis is placed on the influence of the metal precursor on material growth and properties. The use of DMZn as the Zn source results in faster material deposition than growth with DEZn due to a less significant steric factor with DMZn. The material properties of the deposited ZnS films are nearly identical for the DMZn/H2S and DEZn/H2S processes, whereas XRD provided evidence for slight variations in the material properties of the DMZn/H2O and DEZn/H2O grown films. Overall, pure and crystalline ZnS and ZnO films can be deposited via either DMZn or DEZn, and ZnO growth is more affected by the modification of the ligand of the Zn precursor from methyl to ethyl.