Another Zorki?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Markok765, May 14, 2009.

  1. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ontario, Can
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    So I picked up my [broken] Zorki 4 and was playing around with it, and I remembered how much I liked the feel of it. I loved the J-8 lens on it.
    I didn't get as high of a volume of great photos with it, but when I shot a great one with it, the J8 lens made it even better than photos from my Nikon.

    I'm not sure wether to get another one. The problems I had with it, when it was working, was speeds under 1-60th capped half the time, and the lens and body stopped working under 0c, which there is a lot of in canada :D

    Whats your opinion on this?
     
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,195
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I can't get a good translation of this from Canadian into English on Google. Can anyone help? :D
     
  3. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ontario, Can
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    When a photo was shit with shutter speeds under 1/60th of a sec made the shutter stay open after the exposure, overexposing the film, and the lubricants went solid under freezing temp.
     
  4. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    *****
    Shutters have to stay closed when being wound back to the firing position. sometimes this self-capping function is eratic and the film is fogged as a result. The other problem only happens below the freezing point of water.
     
  5. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    Bucuresti, R
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It doesn't work right in the cold (which is odd, because being from Russia 'n'all it should know about that sort of thing) and it's screwed at high speed.


    There's a Sarah Palin gag in there somewhere but I can't quite put my finger on it...
     
  6. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ontario, Can
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It's screwed at low speeds lol
     
  7. ntenny

    ntenny Member

    Messages:
    2,284
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Most of mine are, no matter what camera I use! :smile:

    It sounds like this is a problem with the slow-speed escapement, which would explain why I haven't had it with my Mir (basically a Zorki-4 without slow speeds). I suppose one solution would be to look for one of the fSU rangefinders without slow speeds, which would get you back behind a Soviet camera without inviting the same set of problems.

    -NT
     
  8. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ontario, Can
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The slow speeds seem to just not work as a result of age and non-use, if I were to get another Zorki 4 from Fedka I'm sure it will be fine.

    It seems the whole shutter unit in mine is busted.
     
  9. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Russian cameras are world-renowned for their poor quality control out of the factory, which translates into wildly variable performance in the real world. The problems you mention both sound like sample-to-sample issues, and/or age-related issues. Certainly I've run across lots of descriptions of Zenits, Zorkis, FEDs, Kievs, and so on that work well in frigid conditions when modern digital cameras or even battery-powered film cameras become useless. Thus, my suspicion is that you've got a bum camera. This isn't uncommon for Russian/FSU gear.

    You've got a few options:

    • Buy another and hope for the best. If you happen to get a good one on the next go, this is the cheapest way to go, but it's also the riskiest -- you could end up with a camera with other problems (or the same problems as the first).
    • Get a good CLA done on yours. Oleg Khalyavin is often recommended for this sort of work; however, I've never used his services, so I can't comment on this from personal experience (I'm just passing on a reference I've seen many times before). Zorkis are pretty similar to Leicas in basic design, so a local camera repairer who's familiar with Leicas may be able to do a good job, assuming no exotic spare parts are required. It's conceivable that all you've got is a case of lubricants that have stiffened up, so new lube might be all you need. You can even find Web sites that describe how to do this sort of thing, so you could try doing it yourself if you're willing to risk making the camera worse.
    • Get a Leica. An older one will be similar to a similar-vintage (or slightly newer) FED or Zorki, but over the years Leicas and their Soviet clones deviated more, so newer Leicas will be different. An older Leica is likely to have problems just because of its age, and so may need a CLA, just like an older FED or Zorki.
     
  10. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    ********
    Unless you really want to fix get out the hammers and pipe wrenches to try fixing the camera yourself here is a suggestion. It is, at best, only a temporary fix unless you do not really care terribly what happens to this camera.
    Place the camera (without lens) under a desk lamp with an incandescent bulb for a several hours. When it is warm, try working the shutter to see if you can get the lube spread out a bit. This is not a permanenet fix and the camera should be used sparingly until you wish to bite the bullet and pay $$ for a proper cla.
     
  11. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ontario, Can
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I did that before, seemed to work for a bit. My problem now is the whole shutter is broken, it won't even open.
     
  12. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,727
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    '

    Drat!
     
  13. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ontario, Can
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Indeed! Oh well. I'm on the verge of buying a Zorki 1/industar 22 kit from Fedka!
     
  14. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

    Messages:
    2,223
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Regina, SK,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A good CLA is your ticket. Then you know what you have. Don't fret at a seized shutter; my Fed 3a had a seized shutter and I actually fixed it myself. (It had an insect stuck in it. Seriously.)

    I have a few Feds and Zorkis but my favourites are the Fed 3a, Fed 2c and my Zorki 4. I have a Zorki 4K, Fed 3b and Fed 5c also and they are certainly usable, but I don't like them as much. These cameras just feel more natural with knob wind for some reason.
     
  15. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ontario, Can
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Jim, seems like the shutter is broken just like if you were to change the speeds before winding. the pins are not lining up, and a CLA for $70 doesn't seem worth it when I can get a zorki 1 and lens for a bit more.
     
  16. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

    Messages:
    2,223
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Regina, SK,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, but you won't know what you have in the Zorki 1. It could easily need a CLA, too.

    Not to mention, do you know how hard the old Zorkis and Feds are to load? They are bottom loaders.

    A CLAed camera will be reliable for a good while. A purchase of another camera is always a gamble.

    Two of those favourite Soviet cameras I listed above got a CLA by Oleg. I don't think it's a coincidence.
     
  17. kavandje

    kavandje Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    Windhoek, Na
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Another thought: get a Zorki 4 with the Jupiter 8 lens. If it turns out that even after a CLA it's behaving weirdly, pick up an old Leica body (such as a IIIc, or an M3 via a Voigtländer LTML adapter) for that and put the lens on that. Then you have kooky pre-war German ergonomics combined with kooky Soviet lens performance in one Dr Strangelove-worthy package.

    If you don't trust old cameras, then look into getting a more recent Leica, Voigtländer or Hexar, via an adapter if need be.

    Those are the plans for my Jupiter 8 mounted on a flaky Zorki 4.
     
  18. kavandje

    kavandje Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    Windhoek, Na
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Another thought: get a Zorki 4 with the Jupiter 8 lens. If it turns out that even after a CLA it's behaving weirdly, pick up an old Leica body (such as a IIIc, or an M3 via a Voigtländer LTML adapter) for that and put the lens on that. Then you have kooky pre-war German ergonomics combined with kooky Soviet lens performance in one Dr Strangelove-worthy package.

    If you don't trust old cameras, then look into getting a more recent Leica, Voigtländer or Hexar, via an adapter if need be.

    Those are the plans for my Jupiter 8 mounted on a flaky Zorki 4.
     
  19. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Location:
    Ontario, Can
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    My Zorki doesn't just need a CLA, it needs a whole camera repair. The zorki 1 will come from Fedka so I trust it is working well.

    And they're not that hard to load, its like loading a Leica, which is easy after the first few tries.
     
  20. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I've got a bottom-loading Zenit C. My problem with this design isn't that it's so hard to load (IMHO, it isn't); it's that the film leader must be cut extra-long. This means I must load the camera at home, where scissors are handy; pre-cut the film at home before going out; or take scissors or a knife with me. Admittedly these are minor hassles in the grand scheme of things, but they are complications I can do without. If I forget to pre-cut the film or take scissors, I might finish a roll and be unable to load another one for lack of scissors.
     
  21. kavandje

    kavandje Member

    Messages:
    150
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    Windhoek, Na
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    One of the strengths, I suppose, of spooling your own film.

    I foresee setting aside a few home-spooled rolls as 'Leica rolls' once my Leica IIIc is resuscitated, with a leader specifically cut.

    But in this security-paranoid society I can see that the act of bringing a knife or scissors when out shooting could cause widespread panic, a code-red terror level alert, famine, pestilence, etc.
     
  22. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

    Messages:
    2,223
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Regina, SK,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That's precisely why I think a Fed 2 (or 3) makes a better user than a Fed 1, and a Zorki 4 makes a better user than a Zorki 1. Less time, less fuss, less hassle.

    Admittedly I'd like to own a bottom-loader, but I certainly won't depend on it as an everyday shooter.