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  1. #21

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    In my opinion the best made Russian 35mm camera is the Kiev 4A. This camera is based on the Contax III and is very well made. Lenses use either the Zeiss Sonnar or Biotar formulas and are very sharp. It has a metal vertical focal plane shutter. My only criticism is that the number of lenses available is somewhat limited and is less than that for the Zorki's. If you get a change to compare the Kiev and the Zorki the quality difference is immediately apparent.

  2. #22

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    Thanks for all of your comments here for the fake Leica Zorki. Now I've got more fair and balanced point of views on this product. Although I did some reserach read reviews before written by the Zorki owners, these owners seemed too afectionate for their cameras to actually tell the truths to potential users like me.

    So, I should ask the auctioneer a few questions and decide if I really bother to bid or not. The price he's asking is about 200 USD, which is way too much for me and perhaps the maximum amount for someone to pay for such a camera.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by firecracker
    ...So, I should ask the auctioneer a few questions and decide if I really bother to bid or not. The price he's asking is about 200 USD, which is way too much for me and perhaps the maximum amount for someone to pay for such a camera.
    Do you want to collect a FSU fake Leica?? If so, then the Zorki 1 you are considering may be ok at $200.USD (IMO it would need to be a particularily nice one, though).

    On the other hand, if you are looking for a USER Leica Thread Mount (LTM) camera, a Zorki 4K is a good choice, IMO (for a lot less money).

    If a LTM is not a requirement, the Kiev 4A is a good alternative (but make sure you get one with a good shutter!)
    Tom Hoskinson
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  4. #24

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    re: Russian Leica thread mount (LTM39) lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    I have always wanted to know if these lenses are still made, as the FSU is still making Leica-thread cameras, it would be logical if they made lenses as well, but I haven't seen anything but 50 (-ish) mm lenses bundled with cameras available for years.
    I'm not positive, but I think that both camera and lens production of LTM39 equipment has ceased in Russia (in the KMZ plant, which produced Zorkis) and in Ukraine (in the FED plant). I know that KMZ recently shut down production of SLRs. That said, you can still find some of this equipment new (old stock; NOS). It crops up on eBay from time to time, and a few Internet retailers who specialize in Russian/FSU gear may have it. I bought a NOS FED 5 about a year ago. It works well, but I personally find it awkward compared to an SLR because of the need for an auxiliary finder for lenses other than the standard 50mm lens, so I don't use it much.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
    Do you want to collect a FSU fake Leica?? If so, then the Zorki 1 you are considering may be ok at $200.USD (IMO it would need to be a particularily nice one, though).

    On the other hand, if you are looking for a USER Leica Thread Mount (LTM) camera, a Zorki 4K is a good choice, IMO (for a lot less money).

    If a LTM is not a requirement, the Kiev 4A is a good alternative (but make sure you get one with a good shutter!)
    Thanks for your comment. No, I'm not a collector but a shooter. What I was and am still looking for is a kind of a used (and old) rangefinder camera that that I could buy for the price of a used old Nikkor lens or something, meaning anywhere between 20, 30 and maybe 100 or 150 USD at the most. So, maybe a Zorki 4k and a Kiev 4a are worth thinking about.

    If I would spend a couple of hundred bucks or slightly more, I personally would go for a old Canon rangefinder because they are far more reliable.

  6. #26

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    An old Canon rangefinder (in good working condition) would be good - but might be pricey.

    You also might take a look at the current LTM rangefinder Voigtlander, Zeiss, etc. at Cameraquest.com
    Tom Hoskinson
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  7. #27

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    Dante Stella has a convincing analysis of the focusing problems of Russian lenses at http://www.dantestella.com/technical/compat.html

    Some people swear their Russian LTM lenses focus correctly on non-Soviet bodies. The only Russian lens I have, a 50/2, shows the focusing problem predicted by Stella when used on a Bessa body.

  8. #28

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    On the other hand, I have an Industar 61-L that focuses correctly on my Bessa-T.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by psvensson
    Dante Stella has a convincing analysis of the focusing problems of Russian lenses at http://www.dantestella.com/technical/compat.html

    Some people swear their Russian LTM lenses focus correctly on non-Soviet bodies. The only Russian lens I have, a 50/2, shows the focusing problem predicted by Stella when used on a Bessa body.
    Have you ever tried a fake Leitz Elmar 50mm F3.5 on your enlarger for printing? I've heard some people do that with the real l Leitz one, but I wonder if you can do that with the fake/copy version. That's just another reason why I was looking at Russian/USSR cameras and lenses.

  10. #30

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    But just as a fair warning in case if you have never heard: It's not good for the lens and/or the enlarger in general. That might cause some damage in a long run, but still some photographers have done it in a history. So, I wouldn't ask you to try if youo haven't.

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