Zorki 4 or Minolta 7s (for first rangefinder)

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by BryceEsquerre, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. BryceEsquerre

    BryceEsquerre Member

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    The title states what my question. I have the opportunity to get either or for 65 dollars +shipping. Except i will have to pay for a cla on the zorki 4. What would be better to go with for my first rangefinder? If i need to include anything more specific about what i do with photography or anything really, please say so. But i would like to get some opinions. Thanks guys.
     
  2. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    As it happens, these were my two first rangefinders (well, the 7s and a Mir, which is a Zorki-4 without the slow speeds). Both are good, but they're very different cameras in use.

    The Zorki has the virtue of interchangeable lenses, the clumsiness of knob wind and rewind, usually seems to come with a Sonnar clone that can be quite good but doesn't make anybody's "best lenses in the known world" list, has the ineffable smell of a Soviet rangefinder[1], has no auto-anything, and might break in interesting ways. I've seen the word "agricultural" used to describe its mechanics.

    The Minolta is really at home in auto mode, a bit fiddly to use the manual settings on, has an extremely bright viewfinder but a focussing ring that I always found a little awkward, meters *extremely* well even in low light, has a dead-sharp lens that can be a little "clinical" (nice color rendition though), has a certain "mushiness" in the controls that's hard to explain, and doesn't smell like anything. My first one experienced an electronic sudden death without warning, costing me what I believe to have been a really nice roll of slides---however, it had served me well enough that I went out and got another (which I believe is still in use in the hands of the friend to whom I eventually gave it).

    The 7s was a *great* travel camera, which is mostly what I used it for when I was travelling a lot for work. In a lot of ways it was less "involving" to use than the Mir is, though---it's a really good automatic transmission, whereas the Mir is a somewhat cranky stick shift.

    -NT

    [1] I once walked into a Ukrainian cow-orker's office carrying my Mir in its leather case; he immediately grabbed it and buried his nose in it, then explained that for him it was the smell of childhood. I can see how that distinctive smell, once learned, would never leave you.
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    if you are buying any used camera, or a any shutter ... ( a zorki, minolta, leica, rollei pentax, ... rapax, betax, alphax copal &C )
    expect that you will need to cla them all ...
    unless the person selling it / them has a receipt that states it was just cla'd ...

    chances are both the zorki + minolta will need to be cleaned, adjusted and lubricated
    so they can give you years of trouble free use :smile:


    have fun ( and good luck ! )
    john
     
  4. BryceEsquerre

    BryceEsquerre Member

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    It appears that i will prefer the zorki to the minolta. I don't use auto settings ever, and i'm not so sure im keen on the idea of having a fixed lens, i like to have a variety of ways i can shoot the same subject. I also want to start learning to guess exposure , and will use a handheld light meter at times. I also like how the zorki is pretty much entirely mechanical. Thanks, i'm 100% sure of what i want to get now.
     
  5. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Extremelly beatiful camera , congrulations , jupiters are great lenses and you can find thousands of japanese cameras for 3 dollars but thisis a piece of history.
    Dont forget to check shutter curtain , there can be holes or light leak cos of wear.
    But you can order a replacement for each part. If I were you , I buy from APUG Classifieds from trusted member , it will be cheaper and in one piece. Dont forget my word , be a subscriber with 10 or so dollars and put your request. If you have no money , someone would help you again , lots of people touched the heated pan from online dealers.

    Umut
     

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  6. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Aha , You are an subscriber , why wait , go to classifieds.
     
  7. BryceEsquerre

    BryceEsquerre Member

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    I am buying one from a member. jnanian actually haha. i'm just waiting until i have a little more cash and then im going for it. I can't wait to start shooting with it.
     
  8. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    John is a great guy and you can expect a great camera.:smile: