Moskva 5

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by MWGraves, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. MWGraves

    MWGraves Member

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    I recently acquired one of these old folders in a trade. I took it out last weekend with me on a trip to Maine. I think some of the criticism this camera gets on this forum might be a little undeserved. I thought the results were pretty good. I'll post a few of them on my website tomorrow morning.
     
  2. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    It seems that this is another case of the quality control issue with Soviet cameras - depending on the particular camera you receive you may love or hate it. My Moscow 5 works fine, I've enjoyed shooting both chromes and B&W with it.
     
  3. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I'd love to get a nice one. Is it likely that one in nice cosmetic condition will also be better functionally, or would it be a better strategy to look for one which shows more signs of use, on the assumption that it must have been good enough to use?
     
  4. Stan160

    Stan160 Member

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    The advice I was given, was to avoid any mint condition russian camera as it probably never worked from the word go! My Moskva 5 is in good shape, but obviously well used with marks of wear on the backing next to the window levers etc. Works pretty well too, just occasionally the 1s shutter speed sticks, but otherwise no problems. Will be using it a bit more now I've got hold of a 3/8" plate for my tripod.
     
  5. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    My Moskwa-5 looks nice and minty. Shutter works, lens clean, aperture works. Those are its only good qualities. It can't be used for satisfactory shooting. It suffers from a congenital (read: factory) defect. The viewfinder was made in such a way that it can't show the correct view of what the lens is shooting. Even for rangefinders, there should be some concurrence of views :smile:.

    Its metal top was stamped or milled incorrectly, hence the erroneous views. The original owner must have realised this and shelved it after using it once or twice, and stayed in the shelf until it was put on eBay and found its way to me. :D
     
  6. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    As with every used (even new!) camera, you have to test it carefully before trusting it for anything important.

    My M5 had a few issues including a defective linkage in the shutter that prevented bulb from working. This was clearly a factory defect present from day 1, easily repaired with a little bending and filing of the offending part.

    These cameras are not as rigid as 6x9 Ikontas but very capable of fine results.

    [​IMG]

    Moskva 5, Velvia 50
     
  7. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    I have two Moskva 5's and a Moskva 2. All three required minor repairs to the bellows to fix light leaks as well as relubricating and recalibration of the front lens group. The Moskva 2, the worst looking of the three, is the best user because the viewfinder is centered over the lens. I love the 6x9 format.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2006
  8. Russ Young

    Russ Young Member

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  9. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    I have an M4 that shoots beautifully. The images are very crisp with excellent detail throughtout. It was purchased here in the US, it was definitely in "user" condition when I got it. I did disassemble the lens and
    clean it thouroghly then recalibrated the rangefinder with a piece of GG on the film plane etc. I've never had a lick of trouble with it, its tough as nails, and if I drop it in the mud I'll shed a tear but I won't feel the need to slit my wrists like I would if the same thing happened to my linhof!
    I use it mostly when I am going places where it is inconvienent to take a LF(ie business trips to Alaska) but I want to be able to make some high quality negative if the opportunity arises. No I have never taken my LF gear to Alaska and have never fished there either after 30 yrs of business trips just too busy working to enjoy it. Maybe next time..........?
     
  10. Stan160

    Stan160 Member

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    My Moskva 5 came from an ebay seller - cupog. He specializes in former Eastern Bloc photographic gear and most items are sold with CLA and warranty. As always with ebay, do your own homework and buyer beware, but I'm a satisfied customer, and planning to go back to him for a Pentacon 6 and lenses once I have the money to spare.
     
  11. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    I have an M4. Nice toy. I got it from fedka.com--the only purchase from him, but it went great.

    The camera I had was modified to do 6x4.5 as well as 6x9 and 6x6. I figured if the owner was willing to do that, it was probably a reasonable camera.

    Matt
     
  12. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    That "B" defect seems to be a known affliction among the Moskwa cameras. Maizenberg devoted a lengthy discussion of this in his Russian camera repair book.
     
  13. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    My M5 is definitely in "user" condition, and the double exposure lock has been removed. It extremely sharp - the important bits are all in excellent working order. I did have to fix a light leak round the red window, but that's all. Not bad for $20.

    Either get one that's CLA'd and guaranteed, or go for the user condition - proof it's been used!
     
  14. buze

    buze Member

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    My M5 is in reasonably good condition too, I had to clean the winding mecanism to make it bearable tho; it was so hard originaly that I had a blister on my thumb !
    Also, make sure the two spring blades that hold the spools are doing their job; they /will/ be too lax unless you take them and bend them back in. They are the key to holding the film flat.
    Oh also, the red window /always/ leaks because of reflection on the film pressure plate. So always be careful when winding to have your back to the sun, and remember to close the window swiftly when done! I added some electrical tape inside to make the window smaller on that side.

    Otherwise, despite being a "lefty" camera (why did they reverse the way the rangefinder worked in the Ikonta ??!) it's really great!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    One both the Super Ikonta C and the Moskva 5, the rangefinder mechanism can slip if it becomes too stiff with old grease and is forced. Many, many cameras have this issue.

    It is a simple matter to properly service the rangefinder and re-collimate the lens to infinity.


     
  16. gchpaco

    gchpaco Member

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    I have one of these, and the results I get from it aren't too bad; however, I have a devil of a time handholding it steadily, and moved to Fuji rangefinders as a result. The Fujis are quite a big heavier but more ergonomic, at least to me.
     
  17. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    I have a Moskva-2. I like it but it does have a problem. One side of the negative is clearly 'off' though and part of the corner of the frame is occluded.

    You can see it clearly on this negative scan. I suspect the pressure plate isn't holding it flat. Or, alternatively, I may have loaded the film slightly off so that it was running across the film gate at a slight angle.

    On the other hand, the shots are extremely sharp.
     

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  18. highpeak

    highpeak Member

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    I have a Mockba 5 and I love it. It's in a fair condition when I got it, could use a CLA now.
     

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  19. JasonC

    JasonC Member

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    The spools on my M2 could move up and down in the chambers. I have to put some foam in the chambers to make sure they are not moving. Otherwise, it is very sharp. Sometimes too sharp.

    Jason.

     
  20. mcgrattan

    mcgrattan Member

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    I might try that, thanks. I'm going to run a test roll through it later this week and see what happens.

    Incidentally, if I do need to beef up the pressure plate, anyone know the best way to do it? To increase the pressure and keep it even.
     
  21. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    Could it be that part of the bellows is casting a shadow on that blackened area? The shape does look like a sagging below. It appears at the bottom of the frame, in the camera, that would have been on top- the area where the bellows can sag more. Look at the cameras back (cover off) and see if parts of the bellow can be seen sagging.

    Jay
     
  22. JasonC

    JasonC Member

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    Maybe you could stick a large piece of camera foam on the pressure plate to increase pressure.

    Jason.
     
  23. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    Hello,
    You seem to have a fairly common issue with your camera, at least as far as I've seen with my Moskva folders. In spite of this you have a fine picture.
    Regarding the occluded portion of the frame may I suggest you carefully extend the portion of the bellows that is inside the bellows cavity in the camera. When you do this you will find that you have more bellows than you thought you did! If you can get clear "Tana" brand shoe polish where you are apply this carefully to the whole bellows. I used a Q tip, then rubbed with my fingers. This may soften the bellows to the point where it can be worked to completely open. This works very well for me.
    Another issue I have found with my folding cameras, and I have seen this raised on other sites: When the cameras bellows has been closed then opened again on the unexposed frame, the suction of the big bellows, particularly a 6 x 9 will draw the film into the frame opening. Not suprisingly the image will be compromised on at least, part of the frame. If possible advance the film after opening the bellows or open the bellows very very slowly.
    I find myself very fond of the Moskva cameras I have. When in good working order they will perform. They are very crude cameras by modern standards I suppose but this should make them easy to repair.
    My favorite Moskva camera is the Moskva 4 which looks like the M2 but has the capacity to do 6 x 6 as well as 6 x 9.
    I wish you the best of luck with your Moskva.

    Paul