This was a surprise? (Zorki 4 owner, but mine surprisingly does work )
Originally Posted by Ricus.stormfire
I never load a roll of film in a new "old" camera without first testing to make sure everything is working properly. I bought an XD-11 from the local camera store and found that the shutter didn't work in manual but it worked perfectly in the other settings so I shoot it in either shutter or aperture priority and never have a problem. One day I will dig into it but until then I still enjoy shooting it.
Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy
Of the bawbles that it may.
I just bought a lemon myself and was not too impressed. I think everything about it said "lemon" but I was too excited and went for it thinking that legendary toughness means you'll never get a lemon. Not so.
Nowadays, I don't do much buying online and prefer to see the camera. Even though used camera stores charge a premium, I go to one that atleast offers 30-day repair warranty if it's a lemon off the shelf (could possibly negotiate a return if it's that bad maybe).
The main lesson I learned: See it in person before buying, don't pressure yourself to buy it just because X Y or Z, and try to have some sort of return or repair guarantee
Good morning, Ricus;
The Zorki 4 and 4K are actually pretty good cameras, and you may find that yours will respond very nicely to just a CLA (Cleaning, Lubrication, and Adjustment). Guitstik alluded to the simple nature of the things, and he is right. If you do not feel comfortable looking into it yourself, there are a couple of places where people do still work on them. For you in the U. of S. A. it would not be to much of a stretch to send it to Arax Foto in the Ukraine ( www.araxfoto.com ), or to Oleg near Moscow. Oleg is probably the best known specialist for this camera at this time.
If you do feel like opening up the camera and looking around inside, there are several places where information on working on these cameras is available. The Rangefinder Forum is one of those places. Yes, I do know about this part also. My own Zorki 4 came to me with the caveat and warning that the shutter did not work, and that the camera had been just sitting idle for about 40 years (think that it might have needed a CLA?), and the Zorki 4K developed a problem with the shutter while I was testing the camera after taking it out of the box when it had been shipped to me. It also responded to a simple repair and CLA.
Do not give up on them just yet. You may find that it really is a nice camera, but with even a Leica, every once in a while you do need to do the CLA routine on them. Even our old mechanical watches and clocks needed lubrication every 4 or 5 years or so. How long do you think your car can go without at least having its oil changed? Be careful before you respond; I know the answer. My best friend did this with his car.
Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington
When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."
I agree with Ralph..these can be a fine picture taker, and both my 4 and 4K work fine..
Don't be too scared pulling one apart - you don't have much to lose..There are a couple of Russian books on camera repair that may help, but a syringe, fine needle and some good oil applied VERY SPARINGLY to the right points on the shutter rollers can free them us and make them work like new...
I never expect anything to work correctly when I buy it - especially if it's cheap :-)
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Ok, having had a good sleep on it, I can think more clearly.
I am very tempted to take this one apart, but I'll have a chat with a repair tech locally (albeit 1400km away). It's not broken outright, just doesn't close it's curtains fully, so it could be a lube issue or spring issue.
This is a lesson learned, check before I buy. The only problem with that is there is not much (nothing worth buying, owning or using) in the area where I live, so I usually buy online (which is risky in itself)
...so much for my return to 35mm photography
I think I'll call this Zorki....Lemonov
Last edited by Ricus.stormfire; 07-21-2011 at 01:26 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: added something
Zorki's, are a gamble at best.I wouldn't touch them...
The curtain tension probably just needs to be adjusted. If you take the bottom plate off you should see the bottom of both shutter curtain drums. Adjust there. If you put the camera in bulb you can more easily discern whether the curtains are traveling at the same speed. I have a few FSU cameras and they are nice to play around with. My favorite is a Zorki 5 that I rebuilt and underwound the curtain springs so the speeds are half what they show. It is super quiet and runs like a swiss watch, or at least as close as a soviet camera can be to a swiss watch.
FSU cameras have a bad reputation I think just because most, if not almost all, have not been cared for.
Yep, I know the feeling. Bought Two, not one, Leica C1's and both suffer from collapsed control switches.
Gotta ask detailed questions and insist on returnability if DOA, or don't buy. I even do that on APUG, where this policy tends to be assumed. Lesson learned...as many of us probably have.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)