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Thread: Zorki-4

  1. #1
    Dave Wooten's Avatar
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    Zorki-4

    Any one use this camera on a reg basis, I picked up one and would like to put some film thro it...any lens recommendations? I have only 50 mm jupiter 8 f/2
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  2. #2
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with the J-8.

    The J-12 (35/2.8) is excellent. The 85/2.8 (J-11? I can never remember) is also good although some samples are better than others.

    The Zorki 4 is one of my favourite Soviet shooters. I'm not sure why. I vastly prefer my 4 to my 4K, even though the 4K has a lever wind mechanism. I prefer the knob.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  3. #3
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Had one, never used it. Rep is quite good lens, weak shutter. As with any focal-plane shutter camera, if you hold the body with lens and back removed against a light (like a window) and fire the shutter at all speeds, you should see a complete rectangle with sharp corners if the shutter is opening OK. This doesn't of course test the accuracy of the speeds, although you can guess whether they sound right, but at least you can establish that the shutter isn't "tapering" (not opening until partway through its travel).

    Regards,

    David

  4. #4

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    I have a 4k - it's an OK camera, especially if you're just using a 50mm lens on it and can therefore use the built-in vf/rf.

    My only complaint (and this might just be my sample) is that the slow speeds are tempermental - you have to wind slowly and all the way to the end, and when you want to take the shot depress the shutter button very evenly and all the way down, or else the slow speed mechanism doesn't engage. I've had it in to my local repair guy - he's overhauled it and says that's as good as it gets. Fortunately, I don't use the slow speeds that often

    I'm tempted to get another one to see if this is a systemic problem with these cameras or not - but then, I really don't need another 35mm camera
    i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.

    - phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds

  5. #5

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    Just a note on the 85mm lens, it is a J-9. I think the J-11 is the 135mm lens.

    Wayne

  6. #6
    Prarry's Avatar
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    I have a FED2 and a 4K and four lenses, two 50, 35, 85, 135. The 135 I never really use. All have been to Oleg (O.Khalyavin <ok@capital.mari-el.ru>, www.okvintagecamera.com) for CLAs. All came back in wonderful "brown paper packages tied up with string" (really!), smelling slightly of oil and working wonderfully. Have it cleaned and lubbed, remember about changing speed only after cocking the shutter and enjoy.
    Last edited by Prarry; 02-22-2008 at 06:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Another bouquet for Oleg. He has overhauled four of my six Feds and Zorkis. They all are working great.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  8. #8
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    I loved my Zorki IV! Great little shooter and the Jupiter lens is quite sharp. The only thing I would recommend if you wear glasses is to put some duck tape over the metal parts of the eye piece. I scratched my glasses mine.
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  9. #9
    kman627's Avatar
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    I have a 1957 Zorki 4, , love it, and use it all the time. I use both the Jupiter 8 and a Canon 50mm f1.2 LTM. The LTM is great for speed, but even stopped down to f2 it can't come close to the performance of the J8 as far as sharpness goes. So unless I'm really hurtin' for light, I get by fine with the J8. I like the way the camera handles, it has a nice presence in my hands. The contrast in the rangefinder/viewfinder is great too for being 51 years old.

  10. #10

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    I'm more of an SLR person than a rangefinder person, so I don't use my FED 2 or FED 5 that much, but I do own both, along with Jupiter-12 35mm and Jupiter-11 135mm lenses, and a handy multi-focal-length viewfinder that mounts on the accessory/hot shoe. The Jupiter-12 is a nice 35mm lens, and I can certainly recommend it. I have less of an opinion of the Jupiter-11; I've just not used it that much. Both will work on the Zorki 4. The accessory viewfinder is a practical necessity when using accessory lenses with the FEDs, which show only a 50mm view in their viewfinders. I don't know offhand if the Zorki is the same way or if it has frame lines for extra focal lengths in its viewfinder.

    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    As with any focal-plane shutter camera, if you hold the body with lens and back removed against a light (like a window) and fire the shutter at all speeds, you should see a complete rectangle with sharp corners if the shutter is opening OK. This doesn't of course test the accuracy of the speeds, although you can guess whether they sound right
    Actually, it's possible to use an (old-style CRT) television as a shutter speed tester. I used to have a URL to a site that gave specifics, but I lost the bookmark in a disk crash. The idea is to look through the shutter at the TV as you trip the shutter. At 1/60s and slower (in the US and other NTSC countries; 1/50s in PAL countries) you'll see a complete frame. As the speed increases, you should see partial TV frames. With a horizontal-travel shutter, such as in Zorkis, the partial frames will appear as diagonal bands. This is of course a crude test, but it can help you to verify that the shutter speed isn't grossly off. I used this method to help adjust the shutter speed on a Kiev 6C medium format camera that I bought a few months ago. It arrived with shutter speeds that were way off, and I managed to adjust them to the point that my exposures are reasonably accurate, at least when using print film. (I've not yet shot slide film in my 6C.)

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