Oh no, another lemon...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Ricus.stormfire, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

    Messages:
    271
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    OK so this more venting than seeking advice.

    After the crushing disappointment of the LX, I thought a Zorki 4k might sooth the burn, so stupidly I bought one. Again I was joyful as I unwrapped the box that came in the mail. Loaded a roll of film. Later in the evening I decided to waste a few frames to see what the shutter looked like when firing without the lens. To my horror (and then sadness) the curtains only partially opened and closed.

    Another day, another lemon.
     
  2. JessicaDittmer

    JessicaDittmer Member

    Messages:
    154
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Location:
    iowa- usa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ouch....is it returnable? or did you buy as-is?
     
  3. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,234
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt...

    Want one of my zorki's with the leaky seals? Or the graflex with bellows like a sieve? Or the Xenar lens that was cleaned with sandpaper? Or the....

    Deepest sympathies for your lemon. It's a fairly pretty paperweight anyway...

    Dan
     
  4. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

    Messages:
    271
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm emailed the seller, best he can do is refer me to a repair tech. It wasn't too expensive so I'm not going to bother. It's just two strikes in a row, really sucks...
     
  5. JessicaDittmer

    JessicaDittmer Member

    Messages:
    154
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Location:
    iowa- usa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    that stinks! I recently had purchased a rollei 35 that the viewfinder (it's the rangefinder)that's glass freely moves around in....lovely. it sits in a drawer now.
     
  6. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

    Messages:
    1,205
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I gave a full refund for an AE-1 that didn't function properly.
     
  7. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

    Messages:
    271
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I can shrug this one off and laugh. The LX was a bit more traumatic...at least got a refund on that one.
     
  8. guitstik

    guitstik Member

    Messages:
    1,098
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Eads TN.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've been wanting to poke and probe around inside a Zorki, do you have any plans to get rid of it? That might ease the pain some.
     
  9. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,598
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I always made it a practice not to buy used equipment I haven't tested, it might cost a bit more but I've had the majority of my cameras and lenses all of which were second hand for more than twenty years without a single problem.
     
  10. ntenny

    ntenny Member

    Messages:
    2,283
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've fiddled with the shutter-curtain tensioning mechanism on a couple of Soviet rangefinders. The mechanism isn't terribly hard to adjust, though keeping all those little parts under control is a fiddly operation. If what you're seeing is a tensioning issue, I think it's worth getting in there to see if you can fix it.

    Fair warning, however: I made one of the cameras worse instead of better. But if the camera is functionally a doorstop when you start, how big are the risks really?

    -NT
     
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,483
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This was a surprise? (Zorki 4 owner, but mine surprisingly does work :tongue:)
     
  12. guitstik

    guitstik Member

    Messages:
    1,098
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Eads TN.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I never load a roll of film in a new "old" camera without first testing to make sure everything is working properly. I bought an XD-11 from the local camera store and found that the shutter didn't work in manual but it worked perfectly in the other settings so I shoot it in either shutter or aperture priority and never have a problem. One day I will dig into it but until then I still enjoy shooting it.
     
  13. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

    Messages:
    380
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Location:
    Coquitlam, B
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I just bought a lemon myself and was not too impressed. I think everything about it said "lemon" but I was too excited and went for it thinking that legendary toughness means you'll never get a lemon. Not so.

    Nowadays, I don't do much buying online and prefer to see the camera. Even though used camera stores charge a premium, I go to one that atleast offers 30-day repair warranty if it's a lemon off the shelf (could possibly negotiate a return if it's that bad maybe).

    The main lesson I learned: See it in person before buying, don't pressure yourself to buy it just because X Y or Z, and try to have some sort of return or repair guarantee :smile:
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

    Messages:
    832
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Latte Land,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Good morning, Ricus;

    The Zorki 4 and 4K are actually pretty good cameras, and you may find that yours will respond very nicely to just a CLA (Cleaning, Lubrication, and Adjustment). Guitstik alluded to the simple nature of the things, and he is right. If you do not feel comfortable looking into it yourself, there are a couple of places where people do still work on them. For you in the U. of S. A. it would not be to much of a stretch to send it to Arax Foto in the Ukraine ( www.araxfoto.com ), or to Oleg near Moscow. Oleg is probably the best known specialist for this camera at this time.

    If you do feel like opening up the camera and looking around inside, there are several places where information on working on these cameras is available. The Rangefinder Forum is one of those places. Yes, I do know about this part also. My own Zorki 4 came to me with the caveat and warning that the shutter did not work, and that the camera had been just sitting idle for about 40 years (think that it might have needed a CLA?), and the Zorki 4K developed a problem with the shutter while I was testing the camera after taking it out of the box when it had been shipped to me. It also responded to a simple repair and CLA.

    Do not give up on them just yet. You may find that it really is a nice camera, but with even a Leica, every once in a while you do need to do the CLA routine on them. Even our old mechanical watches and clocks needed lubrication every 4 or 5 years or so. How long do you think your car can go without at least having its oil changed? Be careful before you respond; I know the answer. My best friend did this with his car.
     
  16. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

    Messages:
    571
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I agree with Ralph..these can be a fine picture taker, and both my 4 and 4K work fine..

    Don't be too scared pulling one apart - you don't have much to lose..There are a couple of Russian books on camera repair that may help, but a syringe, fine needle and some good oil applied VERY SPARINGLY to the right points on the shutter rollers can free them us and make them work like new...

    I never expect anything to work correctly when I buy it - especially if it's cheap :smile:

    Cheers
     
  17. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

    Messages:
    271
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ok, having had a good sleep on it, I can think more clearly.

    I am very tempted to take this one apart, but I'll have a chat with a repair tech locally (albeit 1400km away). It's not broken outright, just doesn't close it's curtains fully, so it could be a lube issue or spring issue.

    This is a lesson learned, check before I buy. The only problem with that is there is not much (nothing worth buying, owning or using) in the area where I live, so I usually buy online (which is risky in itself)

    ...so much for my return to 35mm photography

    I think I'll call this Zorki....Lemonov
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2011
  18. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

    Messages:
    441
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Zorki's, are a gamble at best.I wouldn't touch them...
     
  19. M. Lointain

    M. Lointain Member

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The curtain tension probably just needs to be adjusted. If you take the bottom plate off you should see the bottom of both shutter curtain drums. Adjust there. If you put the camera in bulb you can more easily discern whether the curtains are traveling at the same speed. I have a few FSU cameras and they are nice to play around with. My favorite is a Zorki 5 that I rebuilt and underwound the curtain springs so the speeds are half what they show. It is super quiet and runs like a swiss watch, or at least as close as a soviet camera can be to a swiss watch.

    FSU cameras have a bad reputation I think just because most, if not almost all, have not been cared for.
     
  20. wblynch

    wblynch Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Shooter:
    127 Format
    Yep, I know the feeling. Bought Two, not one, Leica C1's and both suffer from collapsed control switches.

    Unrepairable.

    Damn !
     
  21. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Gotta ask detailed questions and insist on returnability if DOA, or don't buy. I even do that on APUG, where this policy tends to be assumed. Lesson learned...as many of us probably have.
     
  22. Craig Swensson

    Craig Swensson Member

    Messages:
    388
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Location:
    Oceania
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
  23. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

    Messages:
    327
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Location:
    Portugal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i bought one zorki, one kiev and one fed a few months ago, for little money, all good cameras, fed had a shutter curtain that was not really light tight but easely solved with some tshirt black matte paint. Zorki is wonderfull and has an good lens as is the kiev. I did a CLA before using all of them.
    Russian cameras can be dependable if some money is spent in CLA and lenses can be surprisingly good.
     
  24. mr rusty

    mr rusty Member

    Messages:
    758
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    lancashire,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    As people say they aren't too bad to part strip so you can CLA to some extent. Some time ago I bought a very clean late 4K and found the wind-on wasn't right. Wouldn't click stop and would also wind backwards. I stripped and found a part (can't remember which) that I thought was upside down. Reassembled and it was perfect. My guess is that it left the factory like that, hence it was very clean because it had never been used!
     
  25. Ricus.stormfire

    Ricus.stormfire Member

    Messages:
    271
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ok I've fiddled a bit, seems I've gotten the faster shutterspeeds to work, but 1/60 and below the curtains are still not opening or closing completely....I reckon a CLA might be what this camera needs.
     
  26. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,648
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I submit that a CLA is better than a truly useless purchase or a stick in the eye.