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  1. #1
    wotalegend's Avatar
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    Zorki-5 Shutter and Lens

    I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of a Zorki-5. The salivating doesn't diminish with experience. Tonight, on the following web site:
    http://home.att.net/%7Ewayne.cornell...a/zorkic5.html

    I found the following statement: "Several Z5 authorities warn that the camera can be damaged if the shutter is tripped without a lens on the body."

    Now with my rudimentary understanding of FSU LTM bodies - 8 FEDs and 3 Zorkis - this has me stumped. I mean, how does the shutter 'know'
    whether there is a lens mounted or not? Does anyone have any experience of this, and why is it so?

    Cheers, Peter.

  2. #2
    bruce terry's Avatar
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    Nice pure mechanical camera! If I could screw a 50mmf1.4 on that.....

    Since you've three Zorkis already, you might be the expert here!

  3. #3

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    I read that once, and it made no sense to me either, especially since I had one that I had done that with. I have Maisenbergs book, and when I get the time I will see if he mentions it or not.
    Urban legend perhaps?

  4. #4

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    I've fired all the Zorkiis I've ever owned or handled in the last 40 or so years without worrying if there's a lens on them or not, without any problems (apart from flaky Soviet quality control and ageing cameras). I've never even heard of this problem. Sound like typical internet paranoia and brain damage.

    Sure, I could be wrong. It's happened before. But in this particular case I'd be astonished if I were.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  5. #5
    ZorkiKat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    I've fired all the Zorkiis I've ever owned or handled in the last 40 or so years without worrying if there's a lens on them or not, without any problems (apart from flaky Soviet quality control and ageing cameras). I've never even heard of this problem. Sound like typical internet paranoia and brain damage.

    Sure, I could be wrong. It's happened before. But in this particular case I'd be astonished if I were.

    Cheers,

    Roger
    Maizenberg's warning was not to wind the shutter without the lens in place. But since the the winding and firing actions involved the same movement in the concerned parts, it could equally apply to shutter firing as well.

    The Zorki-5 had a slightly different layout. Parts of the shutter speed regulator disk and the rangefinder arm were laid out quite precariously close to each other. Under certain situations, such as when there is no lens mounted on, the shutter and rf parts concerned can get in the way of the other and cause damage.

    This is unique to the Zorki-5. Its different in the Zorki-6 or any FSU FED or Zorki for that matter.

    The camera will "know" that there is no lens mounted on it. The RF cam will extend out more if there is no lens on the mount. When the RF cam extends out further, the part it's connected to inside will also get out of its normal area of action. Often, this part strays into the area where the rotating speed regulator disk turns. The RF part can mesh with one of the protrusions of the speed regulator disk- and both can be damaged.

    I've "accidentally" fired my Zorki-5 without its lens, and thank goodness, it hasn't caused damage. There was however a strange feel /sound when it was released that way. It's best to heed the warning since the threat is very real. It is definitely not a case of "internet paranoia or brain damage", nor is it a form of "urban legend". You could take the Zorki-5 top off and see what happens in there when the shutter fires without a lens in place.

    Perhaps the reason why my Zorki-5 has survived these accidental firings is the fact that the RF hangs so low that the regulator disk can't catch on it. Or it could be that
    I happened to have fired the shutter at certain speeds where the regulator disk cannot catch on the RF lever.

    If you must fire the Zorki-5 shutter without a lens in place, the safest way to do it is to push the RF cam a bit.

    Jay
    jay.fedka.com
    FED ZORKI SURVIVAL SITE
    RANGEFINDERFILIPINAS
    Zorkikat.Com

    "不管黑猫白猫能抓到老鼠就是好猫。" 邓小平
    It doesn't matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice.-邓小平

  6. #6

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    Dear ZorkiKat,

    OK, I was wrong. And I am indeed amazed. What an appalling piece of design!

    I apologize to anyone I have misled.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  7. #7
    DBP
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    Fascinating. The two parts don't look perilously close on my Zorki 5, but I can see how the usual Soviet assembly tolerances could change that. It seems to fire ok now, though there is always the possibility of a field mod sometime in its prior history. The advance lever on that one feels like there is ground glass in the gears, so who knows if it has been a problem. I had never noticed before that the rangefinder arm hinges on the shutter dial side on the Zorki 5. Having had that pointed out, I had to run all over the house doing a survey:

    Cameras with arm hinged under viewfinder
    Fed 1
    Zorki 1
    Zorki C
    Fed 3
    Zorki 4
    Fed 5
    Canon L

    With hinge near shutter dial
    Leningrad
    Fed 2
    Zorki 5
    Zorki 6

    The deciding factor seems to be rangefinder base. I can't tell on the Bessa R how the cam is connected.

  8. #8

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    I'll be damned. I'm assuming Zorkikat is Jay Javier (how many other guys named Jay from the Phillipines can write knowledgeably about FSU cameras?) so he would know if anyone does. I always thought Zorki 5 (which I don't own) and Zorki 6 (which I do own) were very similar, but I guess I don't know as much as I thought I did!!! Thanks to Jay for the authoritative statement on Zorki 5. Damn, the things you can learn on APUG!

  9. #9
    ZorkiKat's Avatar
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    Zorki-5 RF cam, &c

    Roger:
    It is indeed an appalling design. It seems that the designers overlooked this fact and realised what they've done only after they've put the camera in production.

    DBP:
    The faulty design may be more of an issue with the first version of the Zorki-5 (red logo). KMZ might have modified this oversight in the second version (the more common) Zorki-5. Moving the arm by even just a couple of millimetres more can spell a lot of difference. Or they could have raised the speed disc regulator a bit so that it clears the RF arm. Maybe this is why the later Z-5 can be wound and fired without the lens on. But still, there is a strange feel when this is done. As far as the "gritty" Z-5 winding you've observed, this seems to be innate to the camera. Z-5 really wind harder compared to Z-6.

    Fossilised lubes in the Z-5 plus the peculiar film advance mechanism design add up to this grittiness. When I first got my Z-5, it wouldn't almost advance. The advance mechanism in both Z-5 and Z-6 are assembled in a crate which seems to loose its integrity with age and use. Cleaning, lubricating, and slight juggling to make the gears mesh and fit better are the key. The last bit is really tricky- you would have to slightly loosen the crate mount, then move the crate up/down, left/right, or whatever it takes to get the gears' teeth bite right. The gritty feel with the Z-5 won't totally go away, but the Z-6 can be made to wind really smoothly.

    RF arms and shutter discs colliding with each other is no longer an issue with the Z-6. KMZ spaced these parts far enough so the Z-6 can be wound and fired without a lens on the mount.

    Stark raving:
    Yes, same person

    Jay
    Last edited by ZorkiKat; 07-07-2006 at 09:19 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    FED ZORKI SURVIVAL SITE
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    Zorkikat.Com

    "不管黑猫白猫能抓到老鼠就是好猫。" 邓小平
    It doesn't matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice.-邓小平

  10. #10
    DBP
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    That makes more sense, as I have the later Zorki 5 with the screwed on nameplate. Maintaining configuration control within a model number is a relatively recent and not terribly widespread phenomenon. I'm not sure I have seen an industry other than aviation that consistently does it well.



 

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