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Real Leica I Basement discovery or Zorki fake?
Old 05-04-2012   #1
krötenblender
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Real Leica I Basement discovery or Zorki fake?

Hello

Question to the experts: a colleague yesterday came to me and gave the camera below for free. He had cleaned his basement and found it somewhere in the darkest edge and thought, he'd give it to me instead of throwing it away. Nice to have such colleagues and nice to be known as camera freak...

The camera is not in real good shape (shutter curtain is ripped off from one side, but the mechanics seem to work), but may be it would be fun to restore it and bring it back to life.

If it would be a real Leica, it would be a Leica I from 1928 according to the serial number. But I suspect it being a russian copy (Fed, Zorki?) because the Elmar has printed 50mm instead of 5cm on it and because of some other things.

But since I am no expert for such an old Leica, I am not sure and would like to get your opinion.

The images of the camera can be seen here in original resolution and the first three of them below in the tiny uploads:

http://mempool.net/galleries/misc/leica_zorki/lz1.jpg
http://mempool.net/galleries/misc/leica_zorki/lz2.jpg
http://mempool.net/galleries/misc/leica_zorki/lz3.jpg
http://mempool.net/galleries/misc/leica_zorki/lz4.jpg
http://mempool.net/galleries/misc/leica_zorki/lz5.jpg

Thanks for all your comments.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg slz1.jpg (71.9 KB, 154 views)
File Type: jpg slz2.jpg (57.3 KB, 123 views)
File Type: jpg slz3.jpg (62.8 KB, 131 views)
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Old 05-04-2012   #2
jsrockit
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I believe it is fake.
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Old 05-04-2012   #3
karlori
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I'd go with fake also... Check this link
http://www.portretteur.nl/index.php?...=article&id=86
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Old 05-04-2012   #4
xayraa33
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Fake, it looks to be a Fed 1 camera.
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Old 05-04-2012   #5
chrishayton
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Its certainly a fake, sorry to say, the shutter release surround and the viewfinder window are the main give aways I can see from the photos.
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Old 05-04-2012   #6
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well,
its a real fake.

Stephen
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Old 05-04-2012   #7
Paul T.
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The VF window surround is always the easiest to spot sign on these, I reckon - it's squarer, and reaches up to the top face, unlike the original.

But if you didn't spot that, the case on which someone has - with expert craftsmanship - sanded off the cyrillic logo is a pretty good warning sign!
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Old 05-04-2012   #8
FrankS
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Yes, it's a real fake. Leica's do not have shutter buttons threaded for cable release.
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Old 05-04-2012   #9
HuubL
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definite fake
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Old 05-04-2012   #10
greyelm
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Another giveaway are the four chrome screw heads on the front.
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Old 05-04-2012   #11
dotur
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It is undoubtedly a fake.
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Old 05-04-2012   #12
karlori
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greyelm View Post
Another giveaway are the four chrome screw heads on the front.
I've seen black ones on also... Best bet to check if fake are the threaded shutter release and the rf cam imho.
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Old 05-04-2012   #13
reagan
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Ah yes, yet another Russian beauty in disguise, hoping to attract a wealthy suitor. But the sacred yak hair string used to repair the stitching on her case has betrayed her - a dead giveaway. The jig is up and she's tossed out with the rubbish.
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Old 05-04-2012   #14
krötenblender
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Thanks for the answers. That is, what I thought anyway.

But no, it is not "hoping to attract a wealthy suitor". As I said, it was gift from a colleague, and I don't intend to sell it. May be just a little bit of cleaning and then it goes into the shelf just looking good. If it had been a Leica, I would have tried to fix the shutter.

In any case, it was a very nice gesture, to give it to me.
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Old 05-04-2012   #15
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I like the stitching on the top of the case. . . like Frankenstein, or the Russian fake equivalent.

Indeed a nice gesture.
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Old 05-04-2012   #16
gb hill
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One thing for sure is that it's a real camera capable of taking some good photos so worth repairing.
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Old 05-04-2012   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlori View Post
I'd go with fake also... Check this link
http://www.portretteur.nl/index.php?...=article&id=86
That is by far the best website to find info like this

Thanks Karlori!
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Old 05-04-2012   #18
colyn
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While this is a fake it is if in good working order a surprisingly good camera.

I've had a couple of Fed's with the Industar lens that took very good images..
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Old 05-04-2012   #19
reagan
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Quote:
"But no, it is not "hoping to attract a wealthy suitor". As I said, it was gift from a colleague, and I don't intend to sell it."
Totally my bad, krotenblender. I did not intend to insinuate at all that you were trying to fake a Leica to make some dough. I understood it was a gift to you.

I was talking / joking about the many [rather talented IMHO] craftsmen that spend a lot of time and energy to turn a pretty darn good and fairly lucrative Russian camera into a fake that will sell for a few extra bucks then probably sit on a shelf. No doubt, there's a market for 'em, but I still don't get it.

In any case, if in your shoes, I would spend a few bucks on it, get the shutter replaced, clean it up and enjoy using it. Judging from the "trimless body" it's a very early model, and in FSUdom, "older is better" and smoother. The fact that it was a thoughtful gift would make it even more enjoyable.

And again, my apologies for not making my pun clearer.

Edit: Scratch that "trimless body" comment. I've learned all FED.1's are such, unlike Zorki.1's.
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Old 05-04-2012   #20
farlymac
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Best thing about that camera is it was free from a friend. The next best thing is it's not as expensive to get repaired. The third best thing is you can get some wonderful FSU glass to use on it. Go ahead, get it repaired, and shoot the daylights out of it. And get it recovered with some jazzy snake skin while you're at it.

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Old 05-05-2012   #21
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Just to add, it's certainly a fake. It's a FED 1(g) from the mid fifties. They work quite well when up to snuff though.
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Old 05-05-2012   #22
krötenblender
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reagan View Post
Totally my bad, krotenblender.
No problem, I was not offended, I just wanted to clarify.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reagan View Post
In any case, if in your shoes, I would spend a few bucks on it, get the shutter replaced, clean it up and enjoy using it. Judging from the "trimless body" it's a very early model, and in FSUdom, "older is better" and smoother. The fact that it was a thoughtful gift would make it even more enjoyable.
This and other similar suggestions are interesting. Is it really that cheap to replace the shutter? Who does it and what does it cost?
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Old 05-05-2012   #23
Steve M.
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The shutter is cheap to replace if you send it overseas to someone like Oleg. But then shipping both ways will be expensive. Fedka can do it, but it won't be cheap ($150, plus both-way shipping the last time I had this done there, and it didn't work right afterwards anyway).

I'd either look for a camera that was working properly, if there is such a thing w/ Feds, or take the lens off and put it on a Bessa R.
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Old 05-05-2012   #24
reagan
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Oleg at okvintagecamera.com offers $54 shutter replacement + the cost of shipping. Yes it takes time to cross the big water, but FSU's aren't really built for *hurry-up* anyway. Some time ago, Oleg worked on both my Leicas and one Zorki. I don't recall the shipping being too killer.

I've purchased items from Fedka.com, but never service. Most folks seemed to be satisfied with both there.
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