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  1. #1
    Ralph Javins's Avatar
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    "New" Rangefinders (Made in USSR)

    Good morning;

    One admission I must make is that I have become a "camera collector." No longer can I just claim to be "a very well equipped photographer."

    Another KMZ Zorki has come to live with me; this time a Zorki 4 to go along with the Zorki 4K. I do not really know what to say. These Russian cameras are heavy, very simple, quirky (You WILL follow the correct order when doing things with this camera; cock the shutter first, THEN change the shutter speed dial!), sometimes unreliable, have a "different" film loading procedure, lack most of the things we consider to be standard modern conveniences for use, and are a lot of fun.

    At times it is nice to use a camera that expects me to be a participant in the photograph taking process.

    And, with the arrival of a Minolta Hi-Matic 11 Range Finder, the Hi-Matic Numbered Series is complete, the 7, 7s, 7s II, 9, and now the 11. The 11 was the camera of a fellow's father, and it has come to live with me, where it will still see occasional use. I admit that of this series, I do prefer to use the Hi-Matic 9 with its full range of lens apertures and shutter speeds from 1/500 to 1 full second. Interestingly, both the Hi-matic 9 and the 11 are fairly large and heavy cameras, similar in that respect to the KMZ Zorki 4/4K.

    No, none of my cameras may have the panache of an Ernst Leitz-Wetzlar Leica M4, but they are fun to use. And, if I encounter an early Summicron or Elmar in L39 screw thread mount, it can go onto the Zorki and produce photographs.
    Enjoy;

    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."

  2. #2
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    See if you can come up with a Fed 2 or 3. Especially with the 53mm 2.8 Industar 61 rare earth element lens. They are a bit less funky than the Zorki IVs. And that lens cuts a nice sharp image--at least it does on mine.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  3. #3
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    I was given a Zenit E some time ago, with a Helios 44-2 lens and a really heavy Opticam II 85-205 zoom. Other than the meter on the camera being u/s it seems ok. Haven't tried it out yet though. Anything I should be careful of?
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  4. #4
    mablo's Avatar
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    Bought a very nice looking Zorki 4K last week. It turned out to be a brick. I guess someone has forgotten the golden rule of cocking the shutter first. Well... I didn't lose a fortune.

  5. #5
    Ralph Javins's Avatar
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    Good morning, all;

    AnscoJohn, thank you for the recommendation of the Industar-61 2.8/53 lens. The only other manufacturer I know that made a 53mm lens was Minolta, and I missed getting one by about two days. I will watch for the Industar-61. I am not sure about looking for a Fed-2 or Fed-3. There might be a reaction from the distaff side if I were to set up another space for yet another brand of camera manufacturer. While I do appreciate the recommendation for the Fed, I must temper my impulses with the recognition that I do live with someone else. But then, I also remember that she does have 1,385 little green creatures that live in and around our house in pots, plots, beds, and other dirt filled places. Well, that was the number before she went to another plant sale yesterday afternoon.

    JohnnyWalker, I have not heard of any absolute precautions for the Zenit-E, unlike what I heard for the Zorki and the Kiev 88. If you do not have a copy of the owner's manual (try www.butkus.org) you can also go to Nathan Dayton's web site, www.commiecameras.com where you can find some information on the Zenit-E. Another FSU friendly place is Rick Denney's The Kiev Report Group on www.delphiforums.com.

    Mablo, do not give up on the KMZ Zorki 4K just yet, and the Zorki 4K is not "The Brick." That is the argus C3 (yes, that is a lower case "a"). And there are some of those around here also. (Remember, I did admit that I am "a collector.") The most recent argus C3 arrived on Tuesday. I do not believe that it is possible to overestimate the effect of the argus C3 in establishing 35mm film as the film format of choice in America in the latter half of the 20th century. Regarding the Zorki 4K, I did mention the reports of "unreliability." The Zorki 4 that arrived also has some problems to be checked. The Jupiter-8 2.0/50mm lens is stiff when trying to turn the ring to change the aperture. One of the latches on the bottom for the back is very stiff. The shutter speeds from 1/60 second and shorter are fine, but the 1/30 to 1 second slow speed escapement needs work; the second curtain or closing curtain does not make it all the way across, and it is very slow in making those efforts. Steve Ash and John Goodman both have very good descriptions about repairing and adjusting these cameras. It may be that just a CLA will cure the slow second curtain. I believe that John Goodman's paper can be found at www.kyphoto.com. I will check and provide confirming information for you. One nice thing about these cameras as that they can be repaired. The way that they were designed and manufactured does allow us to repair them with some relatively simple tools common to technically minded people with an interest in photography. Getting the Zorki 4/4K shutter speed system apart to put the pin back into place is not that difficult.

    Thanks, guys. I have a meeting to attend this morning.
    Enjoy;

    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."

  6. #6

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    The Fed-2 has the benefit of a *huge* rangefinder base, the simplicity advantage of no slow speeds, and arguably a bit better ergonomics than the Zorki-4 family---but on the whole I'd say they're more similar than different.

    If the only problem with the "bricked" Zorki-4K is that the dial points to the wrong speed, that can sometimes be fixed with ad-hoc fiddling. I did it successfully with my Mir---I can't remember the exact procedure, but it involved finding where B was and moving the dial until it pointed there. Obviously if something has actually been broken, though, that won't help.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  7. #7
    stevebrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Javins View Post
    ...Getting the Zorki 4/4K shutter speed system apart to put the pin back into place is not that difficult.
    I wish I had known that a few weeks ago. I was in a local shop looking at a very clean Zorki 4K with Jupiter-8 and passed on it due to the zapped shutter issue. Other than the shutter it was very clean. Oh, well...I have too many cameras as it is.


    Steve

  8. #8
    agfarapid's Avatar
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    You are not alone! I must admit that a Kiev 3 and it's Jupiter 8m friend have dropped by and show no sign of leaving. While my back was turned, a pristine Jupiter 12 (35 2.8 Biogon clone) snuck in and now occupies a comfy little spot in my camera bag. I think t they are both trying to push my Leica's to the back of the shelf. Pushy little beasts!

  9. #9
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the references Ralph.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  10. #10
    Steve Mack's Avatar
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    If you're looking to buy a FSU camera, take a look at fedka.com. Yuri provides wonderful service and more reliable equipment than you will be able to buy from Volodimir in Kiev. I've got three cameras ( a MIR, a FED II and a Fed Ig.) and I most probably will bet getting some more from him.

    Just my 2 cents.

    With best regards.

    Stephen

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