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  1. #1

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    Fixing Russian camera?

    Got an old Russian camera from a thrift store. Name on front looks like Cmapm,looked on ebay looks like KMZ Start model.
    Cant see anything out of viewfinder until u take the lens off and push mirror out of the way. Then shutter works.
    Can i fix this? worth taking to shop? Dont know any repair shops in Cal. but like to fix myself. thanks

  2. #2
    dehk's Avatar
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    you sure its not one of those you have to wind it first to let the mirror down?
    - Derek
    [ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    These early Russian SLRs are fairly simple shutters, they are based on rangefinder cameras with a mirror box added. So it may well be worth a careful look.

    Ian

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ezwriter View Post
    Got an old Russian camera from a thrift store. Name on front looks like Cmapm,looked on ebay looks like KMZ Start model.
    Yes, the name in cyrillic script is Start in roman characters.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  5. #5

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    I had one of those way back, lets see it must have been in 1966 or thereabouts. There was bayonet mount on the lens and I also had a 39mm screw mount adapter so it could take other similar aged Russian SLR lenses, or pre-set lenses with a T2 interchangeable mount.. The lens that came with it was a 58mm F2 in polished alloy construction. This lens was probably a clone or derivative of the Zeiss Biotar as used on the Practica and Pentacon models. It also had a small knob on the top plate that unscrewed and pulled up a hooked knife inside the body, cutting the film off so you could develop a short length without having to wind the film back into the cassette. This was very similar to one used on the Exacta Varex 11a,11b and I think the VX1000

    However I digress. The mirror was an odd affair and when you cocked the shutter the mirror was pulled into place by a fine cord* on one side, I think it was on the left. This has probably rotted and snapped with age. It probably is repairable but at what cost? It probably is worth trying just for the unique-ness of the camera.

    *This cord operation was also used on the Pentacon V and Vb and early Practica IV and IVB models too
    Last edited by BMbikerider; 08-23-2012 at 05:47 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6
    Terry Christian's Avatar
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    More on what dehk was mentioning:
    I don't have a Start, but I do have a Zenit 3M, which an SLR made well after the Start was, and it doesn't have an auto-return mirror. That means that when you look through the viewfinder, you see nothing because the mirror is in the up position. As you wind the knob, it lets the mirror down so that you can then see your subject for your next exposure. Upon pressing the shutter, the mirror flips up so the light can hit the film, and the process begins anew, rendering the scene non-visible until you wind again.

    If this is not the issue and the mirror won't lower, chances are the mirror bumper foam is sticky and deteriorated. You can easily fix this yourself with a replacement foam, or the felt from a 35mm film canister cut to the proper size and adhered with a dab of rubber cement works well too.

  7. #7
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    I had zenit et at 1986 bought new and you see the image at viewfinder , no need to wind the camera.

  8. #8
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	kmz start.jpg 
Views:	49 
Size:	99.9 KB 
ID:	55940

    here is the KMZ Start

  9. #9

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    After owning a dozen or more russian cameras my rule of thumb is that if they need fixing they make good paper weights. They are just not worth fixing.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    After owning a dozen or more russian cameras my rule of thumb is that if they need fixing they make good paper weights. They are just not worth fixing.
    Unlike an Argus aye

    The above is ah, I think you call it politely B.S.

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