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Leica Screw Mount Copies Classic Leica Copy forum as listed in the book 300 Leica Copies, including but not limited to Nicca, Leotax, Honor, Canon etc. At one time there was a major part of the camera industry just trying to make a lower cost copy/dirivitive of the original Leica.

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The most Leica-like FSU copy?
Old 08-18-2007   #1
mike goldberg
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Cool The most Leica-like FSU copy?

Hi All...
As I begin this, I know that "What is like a Leica?" is a highly subjective topic.

Perhaps NOTHING is really like a Leica. The so-called Leica copies I am familiar with, are the Fed-2 and the Zorki-4. Both are good shooters, and the downside of the Fed is its dim finder. The Zorki-4 just arrived, and it's shape, weight and feel are similar to my Leica M2. Of course, the Zorki IS screwmount, and in screwmount camera bodies, I use one of several 50's. The Zorki-4 finder is bright, the focusing patch easy to use, and the one I have [recently CLA'd by Oleg], has smooth winding and a very quiet shutter.

Both the Fed & Zorki are from the KMZ factory in the Ukraine. I'm wondering what our fellow historians & technicians have to say about a technical issue: NOTE: Raising a small spring-loaded dial, turning it, and dropping it into a slot to choose shutter speeds [after winding+cocking, of course]... is the most unpleasant part in FSU camera usage.

Leica did it differently and apparently better.
So let's hear and thanks,
Mike
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Last edited by mike goldberg : 08-18-2007 at 13:28.
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Old 08-18-2007   #2
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How do you define "Leica-like"?

In the looks/cosmetics department, it would only be the FED-1 and Zorki-1 which look like Leicas. The internal mechanisms, physical dimensions, and physical appearance are virtually Leica II. The next models are departures from the Leica "look". Not only has the appearance been changed, but the Soviet makers have also put in their versions - improvements or not- in the
next models.


The cameras which came after the FED-1 and Zorki-1 can no longer be Leica-clones or copies. FED-2 and Zorki 4, for instance have little resemblance to Leica- Rather they are redesigned cameras built around the Leica II shutter, lens mount, and RF. Even the RF isn't always very Leica- the rf optics and mechanisms found in FED-2 or Zorki-4 are very different from the Leica style RF.

In terms of function (focusing, VF/RF abilities, shutter movement and sound, &c) there can really be no Leica like amongst the FED or Zorki. But there would be found examples which can approach the Leica in this regard, or be even better.

BTW, FED were made by the FED factory in Kharkov, Ukraine. Zorki were made by KMZ in Russia.

Jay
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Last edited by ZorkiKat : 08-18-2007 at 22:23.
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Old 08-19-2007   #3
mike goldberg
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Hi Jay and All,

I want to appreciate your precise knowledge. I'm feeling a bit like the eek face, because I mixed two issues that do not really belong together... In Jewish kitchen tradition, we say, "You don't mix kasha mit borscht." This means that buckwheat groats and beet soup do NOT go together.

So, I definitely want to move away from any question of which FSU cameras are the most "Leica-like." As you so graciously showed me, after the early Fed & Zorki models, things changed. Still and all, the technical issue of the small, spring loaded shutter speed dial... raising, turning and dropping it into a slot, fascinates me. And, for sure, it makes sense to do this when advanced & cocked.

Did the FSU camera industry not know, there might be a better way? Or, was it too expensive to retool? I read there were several million Zorki-4's made; perhaps they had to stay with what people were used to.

BTW: Please see my First Zorki Pix at:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=45744

Anyhow, thanks again and cheers,
Mike
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Old 08-19-2007   #4
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Mike, for what it's worth... I personally feel that my FED-2 makes me feel like a 1920s/30s/40s/50s/60s Soviet news photographer a la Yevgeny Khaldei (I get the idea that time stood a little still in the former USSR when it came to news photography, changing little between the Oktober Revolution and the 1970s).
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Old 08-19-2007   #5
mike goldberg
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Hi there RML,
I've copy-pasted the keywords:

makes me feel like...

The Zorki-4 makes me feel like an eccentric in a country with significant hi-tech sophistication, and I love that feeling ;-) And, I too, enjoy my digis. With
the Zorki, the M2 and other R/F's, it's back to basics with an all metal camera...
and that wonderful sense of contemplation, that many have written about in RFF.

Cheers, Mike
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