Just bought my first rangefinder: Zorki 4K

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by sterioma, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    Hi,

    I just wanted to share with you my debut in the Rangefinder world: last Sunday I was in Belgrade (Serbia and Montenegro) and picked up at a flee market a Zorki 4K camera for 5€ (!) with a black Industar 50/3.5

    The camera is in excellent cosmetic conditions. The slow shutter speeds (and sometimes 1/60) did not work, but a friend of mine has put some grease in the shutter and "tuned" the curtains so that now everything seems to work just fine. Will need to put a roll in now and go out and shoot :smile:

    Since this is the first time I use this kind of camera, I have to admit it takes a while to get used to this different focusing mechanism (the viewfinder seems to be difficult to use, for example, when you shoot to an angle close to the sun), and overall the feeling is a bit "crude", not as smooth as, say, my manual focus Nikon.

    Anyway, I guess it's going to be fun :smile:

    Do you know anything about the lens? What can I expect from it? Cosmetically it looks ok.


    Stefano
     
  2. eric

    eric Member

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    I would cruise on over to www.rangefinderforum.com. I recognize lots of people on Apug over there. There's many knowledgeable people there and there is a forum just for FSU cameras. The Zorki 4 is always recommended by those folks.
     
  3. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Welcome to the world of Zorki.

    I have 5 of the beasts and found that "Matts Classic Rangefinder" site to be the best. He is one heck of a guy and answers all your questions.
    WARNING: Never adjust your shutter speed before cocking the camera.

    Mike
     
  4. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I've got a couple of Industar-50 lenses, but on FSU SLRs (a Zenit C and a Kristall), not on a rangefinder. It's a pretty good lens, but not the best I've seen of that focal length -- at least, the one I compared directly to other lenses wasn't. Actually, I slapped together a Web page with my comparisons. Keep in mind these weren't exactly laboratory controlled experiments. Things like chance camera shake or bad focus could have thrown the results off. (I did use a tripod and cable release, though.)

    Karen Nakamura has a Web page on this camera. Another useful resource is the Zenit Camera Group on Yahoo. (Don't be thrown by the name; they welcome discussions of any Russian/FSU cameras or lenses. Zorkis are definitely on-topic there.)
     
  5. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    Everybody, thank you for your links. A good deal of information to go through :smile:
     
  6. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    I own quite a few Russian cameras among them Zorki's (models 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6), Kiev 4's, Zarya's. Of the Zorki series, the 4's have the poorest construction and the Zorki 1 & 2's the best (being direct copies of the Leica II). For example, the shutter speeds on the Zorki 4 are painted on rather than engraved and rub off in time. On the plus side they do have a diopter correcting view finder. The Kiev 4's are identical copies of the Zeiss Contax III and are finely constructed but have a limited number of lenses available. The Zarya's are similar to the Zorki but have no rangefinder.

    Despite some construction shortcomings, the Zorki 4's are capable of taking good pictures. Be careful, once you get bitten by the russian camera bug, it's hard to stop. It's fun using a camera that doesn't need batteries.
     
  7. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    This is exactly the same thing that my friend and collegue, who fixed my camera, said to me! :D

    I have shot a test roll (cheap Konica colour film, a gift from the shop when I printed some XP2 proofs) using "sunny-16". I asked for development only because I was not even sure that something would have showed up! To my great amazement, the pics look ok: neither the camera+lens nor my judgement in exposing was that bad after all :wink:

    It's now time to put some Tri-X inside and walk around the city.

    I definitely need a meter, though, but I wouldn't like to spend too much on it (because I wouldn't use it with my other SRL cameras). Any cheap suggestion?

    Stefano
     
  8. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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  9. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Check eBay and buy a used meter. I've got a GE (yes, GE) meter from the 1960s or thereabouts that I use with my meterless cameras. I bought it for $15 or less, including postage, and it works fine. If you want to stick with the "authentic Soviet" theme for the camera, look for a Leningrad or Sverdlovsk meter; several models in both lines are available. If you buy used, though, be sure to verify with the seller that it works. This is particularly true of older selenium meters, which tend to die after a decade or two.
     
  10. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I don't remember the URL, but I think if you google search "Soviet era cameras" you will find a website by a guy who the guru of Soviet and Eastern Communist Block cameras.
     
  11. haris

    haris Guest

    I use meter even when shoot with my Canon EOS3, and that camera has great mettering. I use it for incident mettering and for flash. Don't underestimate importance of good hand meter and incident mettering...
     
  12. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    I don't! Actually I would love to buy a good spot meter (I am dreaming about buying a MF camera one of these days...), or any other kind of good meter. However, I bought this Zorki almost "by accident", without anticipating investing in a expensive meter. For now, I just need something "decent", which can be a bit more reliable than my own judgement :wink:
     
  13. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    Can you elaborate on that? Thanks!
     
  14. abeku

    abeku Subscriber

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    I'm happy with my 4k. I supplied it with a Voigtländer VCII meter (more expensive than the camera!) and it's great package to use. I'm also using the 4k for IR-photography, easy to compose and focus... of course. I hope you enjoy your Zorki as much as I do, Stefano!
    ciao,
     
  15. stark raving

    stark raving Member

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    The website is at http://www.geocities.com/fzorkis/

    For some reason I've never understood, the Zorki content doesn't link off the front page, but from an inside page. Zorki content is here: http://www.geocities.com/fzorkis/stoisha2.html

    The site is an excellent source of info about the Leica-style cameras made by FED and KMZ (Zorki).

    Jonathan
     
  16. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Thanks Jonathan for finding the link.
     
  17. BlueWind

    BlueWind Member

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    Hi
    As sugested in a previous message, a Russian lighmeter is the ideal match for a Zorki. I use a Leningrad 4 lightmeter (selenium powered, no batteries) with very good results. You can find them easily at ebay at good prices.
    regards
    Joao
     
  18. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Be sure to watch the postage, though. A lot of Russian/FSU gear is sold from Russia or other FSU countries, and some sellers gouge on international postage, particularly for small items like light meters. It'd be a bummer to win an $8 light meter but fail to notice the seller wants $30 for shipping. Most of the reputable sellers won't do something quite that ludicrous, though.