Zorki 4.

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Markok765, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Hey guys, I got a zorki 4.
    Seems like a great camera, other than speeds under 125th are not working. I got it with a jupiter 8 lens! It seems like a nice city/with friends camera, though I normally use the Nikon F5 for that.

    Anything I should know about this camera? What do you guys think of it?
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Don't give away your Nikon F5 quite yet.
     
  3. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I know. Its a lot faster and stronger. I wouldn't even trade it for a bessa R4.
     
  4. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    So few words, so much sense. :tongue:

    Well OK, it isn't the greatest camera ever made, but if you happen to have a good one then it certainly has a future on the street. The great thing about the Zorki and other FSU cameras is that they are cheap enough to be "almost" disposable, so you can get in close for the really good shot without worrying about the camera.
     
  5. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Marko,
    I agree with Peter Black; not so much as a throwaway, but one you can afford to lose if set upon by a bunch of rabid Leicaphiles whilst you are doing street shooting .
    A friend shot a Zorki 4 he had bought used in London--shot it for years. The focussing of the prime lens got a bit stiff; but it was more than useable. He picked up a Zeiss Orthometer WA--an F4.5 that was really sharp; and also used a 90 mm Elmar on it. When he made the transition to an M Leica, he used all those lenses on it with an adapter.
    I have a FED 3. All those Soviet-built cameras aimed at the more sophisticated shooters among the New Soviet Man do a decent job.
    Which lens does your Zorki 4 have on it?
     
  6. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    It has a Jupiter 8 50mm F2. The lens gets easier to focus the more I use it. The weird thing is, the resistance of turning the lens changes depending on where its focused.
     
  7. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    *****
    Probably an indication the focussing mount has some "dry" spots. Keep using it, perhaps the lube will spread itself back to where it is supposed to be.
    If you have a good example, the lens can be very sharp. Be sure to use a lens hood.
     
  8. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    What will happen without a hood? Is this lens bad with flare?
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Did you see this related thread? http://www.apug.org/forums/forum65/47489-zorki-4-a.html

    I like my Zorki. With glasses on, though, the viewfinder becomes only a 'rangefinder peephole' and I would like to get a separate viewfinder for it some day.

    In terms of you low speeds, you know how to set the dial, after winding, etc?
     
  10. elekm

    elekm Member

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    It seemed that for a while, the price of Soviet cameras was on the rise, sometimes going past $100. But with the economy reeling, maybe that will change.

    I bought a nice Kiev for $40, which is just about my limit for a Kiev. I also have a Fed -- nice camera.

    The Fed isn't the equal of a German camera when it comes to fit and finish, but they're reasonably well made and seem to be very durable. My Kiev seems to be nearly the equal of the Contax II in terms of quality of construction, and I think the viewfinder/rangefinder is slightly better.
     
  11. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Yes, I know that I should never change the shutter speeds before winding the film.
     
  12. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    About 10 years ago I traded an Olympus XA and some cash for a pristine Zorki 4. It lasted 24 hours. I still miss the XA ...
     
  13. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    I ve heard the Jupiter 8 is a good lens. I have used this cam and lens a few times and have been impressed with it. The serial on my camera is 73003194
     
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  14. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I would rather have a Olympus XA than my zorki!
     
  15. mabman

    mabman Member

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    I quite like my Zorki 4K (same as the plain 4 but with a winding lever instead of a knob - just a bit more comfortable for me). I had to have my local repair guy service it, though - the slow speeds worked intermittently, and after he fixed that, the shutter speeds stopped engaging at all after a random winding of the lever.

    He told me to be very gentle with it after that :smile: Seems to work OK now, though. The Jupiter-8 is a fine lens (I use its cousin the 85mm Jupiter-9 in M42 mount on a regular basis), but for general shooting I prefer the somewhat sharper Industar 61 L/D. If you plan to shoot a lot of portrait-style shots, the slight softness and the bokeh of the J-8 might be preferable to you (if you shoot portraits with a 50mm lens - personal preference, but I prefer an 85mm focal length for that).
     
  16. ath

    ath Member

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    To be honest, I never liked my Zorki4. I bought it to find out if I really like rangefinders. Due to the quirks (it worked somewhat reliably after several selfmade cla's but many speeds, esp. the slower, were always off) I couldn't find an answer. I found the answer when I bought a Leica M2 and the Jupiter 8 started to shine on this camera.
     
  17. Schlapp

    Schlapp Member

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    I have a Zorki6 and love it. Very easy to use and robust. I did have Oleg run his over it tho.
     
  18. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Just the other day someone asked me what is a Zorki for? I said a Zorki is for when the batteries are pooped out on your Nikon F5. It is also useful when the thousand words you wish to speak would benefit from being cyrillically enhanced and you are just plain sick and tired of speaking with Kanji characters...better it might be if you were to learn a bit of German.
     
  19. jolefler

    jolefler Member

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    Hey Marko -

    It's pretty easy to relube those lenses. There's a fellow (Brian) here sometimes and over at the RFF posting as Lenshacker that has some posted web material on doing that, as well as other things to them.

    His step-by-step instruction got me through re-collimating a J-3 for a Leica body and relubing the same lens while I was in there.

    You may be very pleasantly surprized with the results from it, enough to rethink wanting the XA instead! Wish I remembered saving the links.

    Jo (whose J-3 is sharp and contrasty enough for me to forget about a Summarit....also stops down to 22, as opposed to 16) :smile:
     
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  20. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    Here in Afghanistan there are Zorkis - and Feds, Kievs and Holgas, etc. - in abundance (which is strange considering you can't find anyplace that develops film).

    I've handled quite a few of them, as I expected to buy one as a souvenir of my time here. They are not very impressive cameras. I have yet to find one that I'd spend the $70 the sellers ask - and asking $70 means they'll take $35, but if you barter, you've got to buy so I don't haggle.

    Jeff M
     
  21. menelajas

    menelajas Member

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    I have zorki 4 (CLA) anniversary edition (fifty years for soviet power). I suggest to test your zorki if it focus properly.

    There are page: www.retrography.com (you can find info about zorki, but it is under construction)
    and this

    http://www.jay.fedka.com/

    Zorki you can take anywhere:smile:
     
  22. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    These cameras are fun. Don't expect them to be professional-quality tools - they aren't. However, they're a blast to use if you're in the mood.

    I frankly prefer the Zorki 4 to the 4K. I know that the knob wind is harder to use and slower, but it feels like it belongs on the camera whereas the wind lever doesn't.

    The older Zorki 4s are nicer than the newer ones. They have engraved shutter speeds instead of silkscreened (the "Zorki" logi is engraved too) and the camera has appealing vulcanite instead of nylon. Both models work fine, but the earlier models are more pleasing somehow.

    Unfortunately, my 4 is a newer one but it works very well at all shutter speeds. (I have a 4K too but I seldom use it.) My Fed 2b and 3a cameras are nicer in some ways because of the engraving and the vulcanite, although the 2b doesn't have the full range of shutter speeds.

    Collect the whole set. :smile: I have about six of these beasts. They're all fun.
     
  23. mabman

    mabman Member

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    I have a FED-2 as well, with the collapsible FED-50. I would agree that the FED-2 feels a bit nicer ergonomically than the 4k, but the tiny VF/RF is nearly useless. I use it with an external VF, and it's fun to use preset using sunny/16 (it makes me feel kind of like an early HCB :smile:. However, the rewind knob is a bit of a knuckle-buster - mine doesn't pull up for some reason (well, not easily, and I'm a bit nervous about giving it a hard pull), so my fingers get banged up when trying to rewind. I'm tempted to bring a pair of pliers to make this easier in the field :smile:

    That said, the much, much nicer vf/rf on the 4K makes it easier to use and a bit more compact than the FED-2 plus VF.