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  1. #1
    sterioma's Avatar
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    Just bought my first rangefinder: Zorki 4K

    Hi,

    I just wanted to share with you my debut in the Rangefinder world: last Sunday I was in Belgrade (Serbia and Montenegro) and picked up at a flee market a Zorki 4K camera for 5€ (!) with a black Industar 50/3.5

    The camera is in excellent cosmetic conditions. The slow shutter speeds (and sometimes 1/60) did not work, but a friend of mine has put some grease in the shutter and "tuned" the curtains so that now everything seems to work just fine. Will need to put a roll in now and go out and shoot

    Since this is the first time I use this kind of camera, I have to admit it takes a while to get used to this different focusing mechanism (the viewfinder seems to be difficult to use, for example, when you shoot to an angle close to the sun), and overall the feeling is a bit "crude", not as smooth as, say, my manual focus Nikon.

    Anyway, I guess it's going to be fun

    Do you know anything about the lens? What can I expect from it? Cosmetically it looks ok.


    Stefano

  2. #2
    eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sterioma
    Hi,

    I just wanted to share with you my debut in the Rangefinder world: last Sunday I was in Belgrade (Serbia and Montenegro) and picked up at a flee market a Zorki 4K camera for 5€ (!) with a black Industar 50/3.5
    I would cruise on over to www.rangefinderforum.com. I recognize lots of people on Apug over there. There's many knowledgeable people there and there is a forum just for FSU cameras. The Zorki 4 is always recommended by those folks.

  3. #3

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    Welcome to the world of Zorki.

    I have 5 of the beasts and found that "Matts Classic Rangefinder" site to be the best. He is one heck of a guy and answers all your questions.
    WARNING: Never adjust your shutter speed before cocking the camera.

    Mike

  4. #4

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    I've got a couple of Industar-50 lenses, but on FSU SLRs (a Zenit C and a Kristall), not on a rangefinder. It's a pretty good lens, but not the best I've seen of that focal length -- at least, the one I compared directly to other lenses wasn't. Actually, I slapped together a Web page with my comparisons. Keep in mind these weren't exactly laboratory controlled experiments. Things like chance camera shake or bad focus could have thrown the results off. (I did use a tripod and cable release, though.)

    Karen Nakamura has a Web page on this camera. Another useful resource is the Zenit Camera Group on Yahoo. (Don't be thrown by the name; they welcome discussions of any Russian/FSU cameras or lenses. Zorkis are definitely on-topic there.)

  5. #5
    sterioma's Avatar
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    Everybody, thank you for your links. A good deal of information to go through

  6. #6

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    I own quite a few Russian cameras among them Zorki's (models 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6), Kiev 4's, Zarya's. Of the Zorki series, the 4's have the poorest construction and the Zorki 1 & 2's the best (being direct copies of the Leica II). For example, the shutter speeds on the Zorki 4 are painted on rather than engraved and rub off in time. On the plus side they do have a diopter correcting view finder. The Kiev 4's are identical copies of the Zeiss Contax III and are finely constructed but have a limited number of lenses available. The Zarya's are similar to the Zorki but have no rangefinder.

    Despite some construction shortcomings, the Zorki 4's are capable of taking good pictures. Be careful, once you get bitten by the russian camera bug, it's hard to stop. It's fun using a camera that doesn't need batteries.

  7. #7
    sterioma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Koch
    Be careful, once you get bitten by the russian camera bug, it's hard to stop. It's fun using a camera that doesn't need batteries.
    This is exactly the same thing that my friend and collegue, who fixed my camera, said to me!

    I have shot a test roll (cheap Konica colour film, a gift from the shop when I printed some XP2 proofs) using "sunny-16". I asked for development only because I was not even sure that something would have showed up! To my great amazement, the pics look ok: neither the camera+lens nor my judgement in exposing was that bad after all

    It's now time to put some Tri-X inside and walk around the city.

    I definitely need a meter, though, but I wouldn't like to spend too much on it (because I wouldn't use it with my other SRL cameras). Any cheap suggestion?

    Stefano

  8. #8
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    Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sterioma
    I definitely need a meter, though, but I wouldn't like to spend too much on it (because I wouldn't use it with my other SRL cameras). Any cheap suggestion?
    Check eBay and buy a used meter. I've got a GE (yes, GE) meter from the 1960s or thereabouts that I use with my meterless cameras. I bought it for $15 or less, including postage, and it works fine. If you want to stick with the "authentic Soviet" theme for the camera, look for a Leningrad or Sverdlovsk meter; several models in both lines are available. If you buy used, though, be sure to verify with the seller that it works. This is particularly true of older selenium meters, which tend to die after a decade or two.

  10. #10

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    I don't remember the URL, but I think if you google search "Soviet era cameras" you will find a website by a guy who the guru of Soviet and Eastern Communist Block cameras.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

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