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Russian half-frames

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  1. Removed Account2
    Whenever someone starts a discussion on half frames, most people seem to think there was one player in the market only, Olympus.

    Well thats wrong. Of course the germans was in the market very early on - I think they was first.

    But also the russians played along. So anyone else that has russian half frames?

    This new group inspired me to find a couple of my russian half-frames, one Tsaika 2 and one FED Mikron. I also have another russian, 100% plastic......

    The Tsaika 2 is intriguing, it even has an exchangeable lens and built in exposure meter that (still) works. The lens ha 39mm leits screw threeads and one can use regular russian leica optics. However theres no frame finder for those that I know of on this camera.

    The Mikron has auto exposure and seems to work. I just gotta try out both of these, all forgotten about for far too long on a shelf!
  2. Removed Account2
    Loaded up my Tzchaika II today. Black-n-white film long outdated. It will be part of my ongoing experiment with caffenol developer & outdated film. So far I have scored nearly 100% success in this project, this will be the first half-frame and the first new exposed of those outdated B&W films I have (re)discovered in my attic!

    The light is very low on these northern shores, this time of the year, hopefully it will be possible to get a few frames wide open!
  3. Iantoz
    Erik, I am looking at a 1/2 frame and as you say everyone thinks of Olympus.
    I am entertaining the idea of a Russian made camera but I know next to nothing about them. I have recently bought a 16mm Kiev 30 (for the cassettes and the take-up spool) and seem to have found a good contact in the Ukraine.
    Can you advise me on what makes of 1/2 frame camera to look out for?

    I will also be trying the caffinol soon, I just need to get myself organised (again).

    Regards Dai.
  4. Iantoz
    Erik, an update, I have purchased a Chaika-2 from Ukraine for US$5 plus postage, that is a very cheap price. The price is cheap because it comes with no lens. Were you aware that the lens screws off to to used on an enlarger ?
    I am now having fun looking for a suitable lens to put onto my new half frame camera. At present I'm looking at M42 lenses that are still plentiful and cheap and using an adapting ring 39 to 42 mm.

    Photography can be so much fun.

  5. Murray Kelly
    Murray Kelly
    I did see a lot w/o a lens and it didn't occur to me they would have a 39mm LTM base and a separate shutter. I did think it was strange.

    Anyone know the lens register? I have a few LTMs and maybe one could use one of those. The 25mm Skopar comes to mind. Leica register is 28.8 +- 0.02.

    Otherwise the prices are looking pretty silly.

  6. Removed Account2
    I think the lens register is similar to Leica screw, i.e. all russian 39mm works fine....

    However, since its a shutter inside the throat there, much like in my german Robot camera, it means you cannot use old wide-angles, especially the russian models, they stick their lens elements deep inside that throat.

    I have film in mine, I am about to empty that camera, since it has images from a pre-christmas exposition-and-sales thingie from last week-end, I need to have them developed (caffenol of course!), this means I can put on an Elmar and check to see if it focuses on infinity. Better that than developing 1/4 of a film empty! I'm gonna have a look at that tomorrow, and hopefully develop the film tomorrow nite.
  7. Removed Account2
    Ian did you know that Chaika, or more like Tzaika means seagull in russian? I trhink famous author Anton Tsjekov wrote a play with that name, set in Riga....

    You can acknowledge that translation on the camera, just above the legenmd is a stylised seagull imprinted.... I always felt that Tzaika and Mikron cameras was russias finest.....
  8. Removed Account2
    Register solution

    I tried to mount my Hektor 28mm onto the Tzaika. No luck.

    The shutter inside the throat of that little camera sits too far forward, the Leica 39mm thread is too deep, when the lens screws in it meets that shutter flange and this precludes the lens to be fully seated. I'd say the lens sits a little over a milimeter too far out, this means its the perfect Spy lens, only close focus document photo mode!

    The original Tzaika lens won't be of much use either if one tries to mount it the other way around, because of coverage, at best this little lens will cover 24x24mm and it won't couple with the rangefinder.

    God knows what that russian selller did use that missing lens for, if it was sold together with a FED camera body, the buyer would be equally as disappointed as you Ian, now looking for a lens to go with that camera body!

    I think the only solution lies in getting another camera body, with lens...
  9. Iantoz
    Eric, I have posted an update elsewhere but I thought that you may be able to help me.

    The Chaika-2 camera I bought is frankly a basket case, but I now have it in pieces and it looks easy enough ? to fix, as it's a very basic design.
    Do you have any information or drawings of the insides, it makes it so much easier if I have some thing to work from.

    As I said in my other post, once I have it working I only need to put a lens on the front !!
  10. Murray Kelly
    Murray Kelly
    Not exactly relevant to your problem but useful, none the less.

    Follow this link:


    and go down to Estafeta and click on Maizenbeg Book (English)

    18 Mb and slow, but I got it all.
  11. Iantoz
    Murray, once again I'm in your debt, I have downloaded the article and a couple of other "general" articles which I will read tomorrow.

    I seem to having a lot more success with these oldies than I do with the digital cameras, it seems they're not made to be repaired.

  12. Iantoz
    Erik, just a thought about the 39mm lens mounting, you can buy extension tubes for the 39mm lieca lenses, which I think should get you around the mounting problem. Of course it will act like a close up lens and the focusing may need to be checked, but it's fun to play with these things.

  13. Murray Kelly
    Murray Kelly
    Dai, there's a discussion abt. the I-69 over on photonet right now.


  14. Murray Kelly
    Murray Kelly
    Eric has deserted us? What did we say?
  15. Murray Kelly
    Murray Kelly
    Whatever - Dai, I purchased a Chaika 2M - it had a wobbly lens thread, but it's only el cheapo aluminium and a BIG dob of lithium grease has helped. The counter doesn't, but have not looked inside - maybe you can supply a pic with the bottom plate off? Teeth missing off a cog?
    It does wind OK but is wobbly on the winder shaft too. I have only 19 fingers and toes, so counting is problematic. I have a film in it presently but it needs work when I have experimented! We should exchange miseries.
    On another tack - I processed a 100 ASA film in caffenol (stand) for far too long and it's ruined, but you can be assured Caffeic acid is a 'strong' developing agent. Indeed. I intend to sort that out.
    Lesson learned. Don't underate it.
  16. Iantoz
    Murray, I still have my kiev lens sat in a container of lens cleaner mix, (I'll need to seperate the lens to clean out all the bits!) what i hear you say has that to do with your problem.

    Well I have pulled apart my "little seagull" and I did take some photo's of the inside but the Kiev lens has distracted me.

    The build of the Russian camera's is interesting, but they seem to work. I will post the photo's but not tonight, sorry for that but it's been very hot here the last week and I'm tired and about to eat.

    I trust that you are surviving the floods and the storms?

  17. Iantoz
    Murray, as promised the pictures of the insides of the camera, the bottom plate seems to hide very little so the top is where it's all at.

    I hope this helps, if you need any more information please ask me.

  18. Iantoz
    Murray, there is good news, Erik is alive and well, he's now on the "camera-fix" web site and relpying away in true Erik fashion.
    If your quick you may catch him !!!!!
  19. Murray Kelly
    Murray Kelly
    Long gap here~

    I took a film with the Chaika 2M and was very disappointed. Nothing seemed to be sharp at all. I thought and thought and finally did what I should have done when I bought it - do some measurements.

    The lens doesn't screw right down - you can see light as you rotate the camera with a light to the side. Not all the way but apparently slightly proud one side. Still not enough to give one the impression it is back focusing by a mile and I got the feeling there was a sharper zone right down the middle.

    Then I finally got the caliper to work long enough to tell me the screw mount is missing some packing and is uneven as well, being higher one side. Too close to the film plane and enough (+-0.3mm) explain the back focus

    It is way too late to ask alex-photo to take it back so I will have a big job ahead. The lens, mount, and the winder is missing a cog. Might as well toss it and use the one Dai sent me (he had no lens). I was pretty shirty by afternoon's end (I dropped the ground glass screen on the tilled follr) so his gift helped me not go into a rage! It was a close run thing, however.

    It will help trouble shoot if I can find a way to keep the shutter open on 'B' as there is no cable release socket. Maybe I can think of something to wedge it while I do measurements. That will free a hand and save my sanity.

    Fingers crossed
  20. Murray Kelly
    Murray Kelly
    Happy New Year to all.
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