Quote Originally Posted by Lamar View Post
I wish I was taking more pictures.......... Actually today I had to catch up with all the work that I got behind on the last two days because I was playing with my cameras. Real life intervenes with playtime yet again...... Based on yours and q_x's advice earlier (thank you to both of you) I decided it was best to keep the 3C. The seller gave me half the price I paid back since the slow speeds don't work. I think it is a fair deal. I did manage to work with the shutter enough to get everything from 1/25th and faster plus B working reliably. I actually put it in front of a little space heater fan to get it warmed up and that seemed to help even after it cooled back down to room temperature. I have a roll of film in it now but have only managed to get a few shots so far. I'm going look for a good repair service and price having it CLA'ed. I believe that is my best option, stick with these 2 bodies and maintain them. I feel a case of Russian GAS coming on though...... I ordered a Universal turret viewfinder last night........ Looking at 35mm lenses now too...... does it only get worse?????
You're correct about getting good gear and maintaining it, it's the only way - as long as you find a competent tech. The J-12 35/2.8 is a clone of the prewar Zeiss Biogon, and can be very good. I'm keeping an eye open for one myself. For me one of the attractions of Soviet gear is the lenses, many are clones of classic prewar Zeiss designs, albeit recalculated for Soviet glass types and given more-or-less modern coatings. As I indicated, I'm very happy with my J-8.
Properly cleaned, lubricated with modern synthetic lubricants, and set up properly these Soviet cameras should perform as well and reliably as any camera. All you really need is an accurate shutter, accurate rangefinder, a decent lens and you're there. You can even buy a Summicron and screw it on, or any other screwmount lens - although you'll have to recalibrate the RF for non-FSU lenses if you want the Nth degree of accuracy from the RF at close focus & wide aperture. I'm sure I'll end up with at least one FSU screwmount body to compliment my Canon SIIb.