What I use my RF [Zorki 4] for

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Markok765, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I use this camera as a camera for when I am just walking around taking photos. It is manual focus, and I have to estimate the exposure, so it's not really reliable for every day photography. The shutter speeds also do not work really below 1/60, so it is not really good for indoor.

    Do you use your RF as a main camera? Is it a better camera than the Zorki? Something like a bessa/leica with a meter?
     
  2. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Marko, did you know you can get a little meter that fits the shoe on top of your camera?

    I use a rangefinder for my walking around camera. It's a "brick"
     
  3. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Yeah, Gossen I think. I don't have money for one currently though :sad:

    A small RF is nice for walkaround, I agree. If I had a newer RF [leica M mount] I would use it for a camera that is always with me. Right now, the Nikon F5 fills that. It's durable and reliable, if a bit large.
     
  4. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    calling the Nikon F5 "a bit large" is like saying New York City is "a bit large".:wink:

    My favorite walk around cameras are all RF's.

    My favorite two would have to be the Leica M5 or the Minolta CLE, which is a VERY small RF. The M5 is considered a rather large RF (about the same size as a Nikon F without the prism), but compared to the F5 it's tiny.

    They sell Zorki's and other Russian cameras over here (Afghanistan), but all the ones I've seen are very "well used" (read: dirty and beat up) and they're asking more than I'd probably give for a new-ish looking one.

    For an SLR walk 'round setup, I use a Minolta XG series camera with winder. It's a small, light combination that coupled with a 28mm lens is perfect for a day at the park or the museum. I had the 28mm, f/3.5 and recently got a 28mm, f/2.0. It's light, the Rokkor glass produces amazing images and if something happens to it, I'm out practically nothing.


    Jeff M
     
  5. Schlapp

    Schlapp Member

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    I use a Zorki 6 a lot with an Industar 61 lens. This seems quite sharp and with B&W film I either use 'sunny 16 rule' [in summer] or else a hand-held meter that you can pick up for next to nothing. Nice little camera - small, compact and usable.
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    My favourite walk around camera (at the moment) looks like a rangefinder but isn't. It's a Kodak Retinette 1b. It has a built in lightmeter which is accurate but I tend to estimate using the sunny 16 rule instead.

    This camera is scale focus and has click stops in various distances on the focus scale. At these positions it also shows the depth of field extents in red for f16.

    I really like this camera and if it had a rangefinder it would be perfect. That's why I'm bidding on a Retina Automatic III which has both lightmeter and rangefinder!

    Other than that I have a Yashica J and a Balda Baldina in 35mm and an Ansco Speedex Super R which is a 6x6 folder with un-coupled rangefinder. This is also a good carry around camera and is not really any bigger than the 35mm cameras.



    Steve.
     
  7. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    RFs I have in the bag most of the time, as a walk-around type of sorts. Several types, including Zorki.
    Yes, there are better RF than Zorki 4 and they are also Zorki. The other models like the Zorki (1) and Zorki-5 or 6 are very good reliable cameras.

    They can shoot as good as an equivalent Leica. Don't ask how I am able to say this, but I sometimes have a Leica SM on hand and I couldn't really tell the shots it made from those which came from the Zorki.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    No, its a Zorki 4 also :wink:

    Although one thing that limits my enjoyment of that camera is that I only see a 90mm equivalent view with my glasses on. You really need to have your eye right up against the viewfinder to see the whole frame. But viewfinders are overrated anyway :smile: for walking around on the street I don't always use it.
     
  9. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    My every day camera is a Cosina Bessa R3M, or a Voigtlander Vito CLR. I like the Vito for its near silent leaf shutter.
     
  10. mabman

    mabman Member

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    If by "everyday photography" you mean "street" shooting outside, why not? Unless you have something like heavy clouds followed by bright sun, or you're going from sun-to-shade and back quite a bit, the light value isn't going to vary a lot mid-morning to mid-afternoon. So, you can either use Sunny 16 as previously mentioned, or take a handheld meter reading and set-it-and-forget-it (eg, set the aperture and shutter speed, and either set the lens to the hyperfocal distance for your aperture, or pick a general distance like 10 ft/3 meters if your subjects are generally that far away).

    I do this sometimes with a FED-2 with FED-50, or a Zorki 4k with Industar-61. Admittedly I do like my Konica Auto S2 a lot for this, which does have a meter.
     
  11. leicarfcam

    leicarfcam Member

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    I seldom use SLR's so my walk around cameras are mostly my Leica screw mount cameras as well as a M3..
     
  12. jolefler

    jolefler Member

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    I'm in....

    with the RF walk-around crowd. A Leica II, which is about the same as your Russian model, Marko. I even use an FSU J3 lens on it, though it's been tweaked out. Faster, easier focusing for these old eyes....something you won't have to worry about for decades, kid! :tongue:
     
  13. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    sunny 16 is pretty easy if you take the time to master 16-9
    few days at most before have a solid handle on it -and this is only like a few hours of actual study-
    (have to wait for different times of day and different weather)


    I picked up my Zorki 4K to go out at sunrise this morning ..not that there is much to shoot but it was a nice sunrise
    It jammed or was jammed
    I got pissed and swore off russian RF's
    Messed with it for a bit
    the wind lever was stuck and shutter release didn't do anything
    fiddled with the rewind/wind settings .. didn't work
    Tried self-timer which didn't work
    changing speeds didn't work
    Then found out I could actuate wind lever if held down shutter release but lever still had no effect on curtains ..just a free movement that was stopped as soon as let shutter release go
    Tried pulling/pushing on curtains which isn't a good idea and didn't work, anyway

    Held down shutter release and actuated wind lever to "full cocked" position
    Held the two in position
    push/pulled on shutter curtain (thumb on film side and forefinger through lens mount opening)
    FWAP!

    Not jammed anymore
    :victory:



    Could be of use to those with jammed shutters
     
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  15. jolefler

    jolefler Member

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    Non-metered alternatives

    Just a thought on working a manual camera without a meter, Marko.

    For $2 or so you can pick up an old copy of one of the Kodak Guides to Photography. They're a pocket sized booklet (heavily bound for durability) that travels with you easier than any meter. Inside you'll find exposure recommendations for outdoor and indoor photos under various conditions with any speed film. Also, they have a wealth of info on flash, filters, DOF and anything else you may want to know about . A terrific investment at the price and NO batteries required! :smile:

    Jo
     
  16. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Well Marko, my usual walk about camera is a Zorki 1. I have a couple Zorki 4s but they kept jamming when I was doing rewinds. The film would rewind but then I couldn't get the next roll of film to advance. Screwy. Someone told me a secret for setting the little ring around the shutter release. Worked like a champ after that.. but by then I have gotten addicted to the Zorki 1 with it's Industar 50mm collapsible lens. That's a nice camera.

    Of course, when I really need the shot, the FM2 comes along instead.

    Get a meter.

    tim in san jose
     
  17. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I have a meter! It's just too large for carrying with a RF. I also need to get a CLA done on the camera as the speeds under 1/60th, the 2nd shutter curtain doesn't close until you wind. I'll try to shoot for a week with just the Zorki and my head as a meter.
     
  18. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    I have a few FSU rangefinders and I think they are great cameras. BIG bang for the buck. I have a Zorki-5 first version, Fed-2 first version and a few others that I don't really use. They are great small cameras combined with an I-50 or I-10 collapsible lens. I have a bunch of other rangefinders including Leica as well. The following was taken with the Zorki-5 and an I-50 on the Colorado river, where I wouldn't want to take anything expensive since I was wake boarding that weekend.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hey marko

    i wish i had your zorki, its a great camera!
    my uncle picked one up for my cousin years ago
    when he was working in the FSU. he got a few lenses for it too.

    my walk around camera ... i have a few of them. one is a pen ft and the other is a graflex slr.
    i have been using the 4x5 graflex for the most part as my main camera ... but it is hard to point and shoot
    out the window of a speeding car, that is when i use the ft ( and sometimes a m3 ).
     
  20. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    j

    got to tell you... my 3x4 graflex slr is one great walkabout camera. preset the shutter speed, focus, stop down, shoot, cock shutter, wind film, do it again (unless you are using 3x4 sheet film)...

    I have heard the pen ft and half frames are both great cameras for on the spot shooting. I have taken an XA out once or twice, nice little range finders also.

    tim in san jose
     
  21. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    I use a Bessa R2A with a Canon 50/1.8 LTM lens, works perfectly for everyday photography. I've been considering something like an old zorki though, just for the fun of learning to guess exposures a bit better.
    A Nikon FM2n is my secondary walk-about camera.
     
  22. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Have you had problems with the Bessa rangefinder going out of alignment? I've noticed that a few people have reported it, and it seems like a good excuse for getting the new Zeiss Ikon. :smile:
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    yep, those graflex slr's are the best!
    it is amazing how well balanced they are
    and easy to use even the big ones ..
    i've adapted a 2x3 roll film adapter to my 4x5
    ( nothing you can't do with masking tape ) and
    use the big clunker that way too ... the penft
    is pretty cool --- a small, compact, slr
    so one doesn't need to deal with zone focusing
    i am REALLY bad at that ...

    - john
     
  24. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Ah yeah. I have one of those rare 2x3 roll film holders on a graflex 3x4 mount. No tape necessary. Since I have only 4 graflex 3x4 double sides, I use them up on tripod, then pull the camera off and shoot "high speed" hand held with the roll film back.

    tim
     
  25. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I visited my father at the weekend and discovered that he had bought a Vito B and a Vito BL. I was amazed at the small size and high build quality of these. So much so that today I bid and won a Vito B and a Vitomatic II. I look forward to these turning up in the post soon.

    The CLR seems to be similarly specified to the Vitomatic. Just a little bit more modern. I believe they both have the Color-Skopar 2.8-50 lens.



    Steve.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2008
  26. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    I used to keep my Zorki IV in the glove box of my truck, using it as an all-around, readily-accessible camera. No need to worry about batteries dying (especially in the cold weather), and the shutter speeds don't seem to be much affected by climate. And if the vehicle got broken into and the camera stolen (luckily that never happened), no great loss.

    I found it a great exercise for one's skills to learn to meter by eye. The Zorki seems to have came up with a high percentage of "good" shots; perhaps the simplicity of the mechanical design, coupled with the see-through viewfinder, makes the camera transparent to the picture-taking process.

    For shooting with B/W film, you can help yourself by learning to do semi-stand (or compensating) development. This will help to somewhat even out exposure differences between one frame and the next, which can easily happen when your exposures are estimated.

    One tip to operating the Zorki: don't attempt to change the shutter speed setting unless you've first cocked the shutter. This is rule #1 with this camera!

    ~Joe