In 1955 the Soviets decided to design a camera which embodied everything the Leica was but in a package "everyman" could afford. Camera engineers worldwide for years had trouble copying the Leica shutter, but in my opinion their trouble all centered around their inability to mass-produce the thing. It is a very simple shutter, but mass production of something requiring so much precision was very challenging and expensive with manufacturing capabilities of the day. So in 1956 (the same year Nikita instigated the post-Stalin thaw) the Russians presented to the world the Zorki 4. Everyone agreed the 1956 model of this camera was as close as anyone ever came to the Leica, and it was instantly just as popular as you'd expect it to be. Production in 1957 quadrupled, the tolerances were changed to allow faster assembly and the magnificent Zorki 4 irreversibly and sadly became a different thing. Today...right here on APUG you can have one of the first of Zorki 4 units produced. Hint: if you want to know if a Zorki 4 was produced in that first and historic year, look at the winding knob and rewind knob. The first year had grooves running vertically (like you see below). All other years had a cross-hatch groove on both knobs. Today it is very difficult to locate a Zorki 4 from the first year. You can look on eBay for months and never see one. Then you will see one, but the knobs will be wrong and you will know you have located a camera which has been patched together from other parts crudely. Another key is the shutter curtains. Early curtains were stitched. Later ones were glued and stamped between folded lath ends. Also, the 1956 model was not marked USSR or CCCP.

So by now you know this isn't a Leica. Shame on Jon for bait and switch marketing, but those of you still reading now also know a little more of the story about the 1956 Zorki 4 and you also know this unmolested one may be more collectible than any other Soviet made camera with the possible exception of the NKVD. But what you can't know is how smooth this camera really is. And it isn't easy to put into words. It has a souplesse of action that for a camera which has never been serviced is impressive. Some might say remarkable. The viewfinder is both bright and large...not at all squinty or small. The rangefinder patch is bright and there is a diopter adjustment which makes accurate and quick focusing pleasant and easy for any eye. Cocking is easy. The shutter is surprisingly quiet and works with such ease and grace that you instantly understand the amount of care given to the production of this camera. Self-timer works and the camera has never been abused nor damaged. All numbers (even the tiny flash delay numbers) are engraved. I'd say it shows less than average wear given its age and the amount of use it has seen. It comes with the Jupiter 8 in silver (also from 1956) a 5 cm (50mm) 1:2 lens. That lens is still smooth and nice. I'll also include a black Jupiter 8 produced in 1975 which is in like-new condition and comes with both end caps. I'll also include an Industar 61 L/D lens (53mm / 2.8 lens thought by many to be one of the sharpest lenses available)--sorry but I forgot to take a picture of it. It is the black model, though and has both caps. And I'll include from 1963 a Jupiter 11 135mm / 1:4 lens in great condition with both caps. The original leather case comes with it. Shows some wear but is still fine. $300 plus insured and trackable shipping for the camera, the case and a total of 4 lenses.

If questions, please ask. I'd rather sell this one in the USA, but I'll consider sending it abroad.