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Help needed with GAS: Zenit-C
Old 12-15-2010   #1
Ronald_H
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Help needed with GAS: Zenit-C

Ok, it is not a RF but it's Russian, right?

I suddenly developed the desire to acquire a Zenit-C. Simple question: What is the best place to buy one, in decent shape, that actually can be expected to work?

I found several Russian/Ukranian sites, some on the 'Bay and even Lomography has them 'reconditioned'. None of them are expensive so that isn't the issue.
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Old 12-15-2010   #2
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Wow , I have exactly the same condition .
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Old 12-15-2010   #3
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And what are YOU planning to do about it?
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Old 12-15-2010   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald_H View Post
Ok, it is not a RF but it's Russian, right?

I suddenly developed the desire to acquire a Zenit-C. Simple question: What is the best place to buy one, in decent shape, that actually can be expected to work?

I found several Russian/Ukranian sites, some on the 'Bay and even Lomography has them 'reconditioned'. None of them are expensive so that isn't the issue.
It is, indeed, russian - it's essentially a Zorki C with a mirror-box added. Very cute camera, I have 2 of them. For me, the only downside is that I need reading glasses to focus them, the engineers kindly placed the focussing screen rather close (optically) to the eye. Remember they do not have an instant-return mirror, which can be an annoyance - no peeping to pre-view the frame unless you've cocked the shutter!
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Old 12-15-2010   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolves3012 View Post
It is, indeed, russian - it's essentially a Zorki C with a mirror-box added. Very cute camera, I have 2 of them. For me, the only downside is that I need reading glasses to focus them, the engineers kindly placed the focussing screen rather close (optically) to the eye. Remember they do not have an instant-return mirror, which can be an annoyance - no peeping to pre-view the frame unless you've cocked the shutter!
The Zenit-S (C) is actually a Zorki 2-S (2-C) with a mirror box added. This was also discussed in another thread, http://rangefinderforum.com/forums/s...2&postcount=26



They are indeed cute. But their achilles heel is the return mirror mechanism which uses a cord and pulley relay. The cord can break or it can jump off the pulley. When either happens, repair can be very difficult. Or almost quite impossible without the factory or Maizenberg instructions. The mechanism is so intricate, and more complex than similar cord and pulley systems used in other SLR like the Contax D.

There is also no auto diaphragm stop down. The lens commonly found with them, the Zenit version of the Industar-50, doesn't even have a pre-set diaphragm system. The aperture will close as the f-stop scale is stopped down, making focusing a bit dim in certain situations. The lens mount is M39, similar to that used in Zorki, but the Zorki lenses or other similar LTM RF lenses can't be used on the Zenit. Unless ultra close focusing, limited to about 10 cms is appreciated.
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Last edited by ZorkiKat : 12-15-2010 at 04:05.
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Old 12-16-2010   #6
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But you can use Zenit 39mm threaded lenses on a Zorki or a Leica if you use one of the Macro rings (the one who sets the lens at the same distance it would be on the ZenitC).
Of course you have to scale focus
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Old 12-16-2010   #7
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The Zenit C is about as close as you can get to a pocketable SLR. In addition to the Industar 50 that usually comes with it, they also made a Jupiter 11 (135mm) and a Mir 1 (37mm) lens in Zenit m39 mount (not to be confused with LTM m39). Both are preset lenses and tend to be less expensive than the m42 equivalents. You can ocasionally find a Helios 44 in m39. My favorite lens with this camera is the Jupiter 11. The Mir 1 is a bit difficult to focus because the is no focusing aid in the viewfinder.

As far as sources are concerned I would recommend Fedka, Oleg, Alex Photo, Cupog or Kubanoid. For those of us in the US, shipping costs and the drop in value of the dollar have pushed the prices on cameras like this a bit too high. That may not be as much of an issue for you in Europe, however.
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Old 12-16-2010   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider67 View Post
But you can use Zenit 39mm threaded lenses on a Zorki or a Leica if you use one of the Macro rings (the one who sets the lens at the same distance it would be on the ZenitC).
Of course you have to scale focus
The "rigid" Industar-50 which was supplied for the Zorki were actually Zenit M-39 lenses with an extension tube with RF coupling cams added. It is possible to remove the extension tube and be left with a complete functional lens which will mount on a Zenit with M39 mount.

To be able to use a Zenit M39 lens on a Leica, an extension tube of exactly 16.4mm must be used- spanning the difference between the lens working distance of the Leica/Zorki (28.8mm) and the Zenit SLR (45.2). It is doubtful though that a "macro" tube exactly 16.4mm long measured from the front mounting flange to the rear connecting one could be found. A discrepancy of a tenth of a millimeter is enough to prevent any form of scale or estimated focusing possible.

A similar device, but one which spans the Zenit M42 SLR's 45.5 mm working distance with that of the Leica is available.

Scale focusing is not feasible too with most lenses, except for wide angles and slow normal lenses. For the Zenit M39, that would be the Mir-1 38mm and Industar 50mm lenses. The fast 50's, the 85 and 135mm won't be easy to use.
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Last edited by ZorkiKat : 12-16-2010 at 07:26.
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Old 12-17-2010   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorkiKat View Post
It is doubtful though that a "macro" tube exactly 16.4mm long measured from the front mounting flange to the rear connecting one could be found.
In fact there is. One of the tubes in standard Zenit M39 extension rings kit is exactly that long.

What a coincidence!
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Old 12-17-2010   #10
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Sorry, I can't help with places to get them,
I have five FSU cameras and none of them were bought from FSU sources. Patience is all I employ.
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Old 12-17-2010   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorkiKat View Post
The Zenit-S (C) is actually a Zorki 2-S (2-C) with a mirror box added. This was also discussed in another thread, http://rangefinderforum.com/forums/s...2&postcount=26
The Zorki 2C has a self-timer, which the Zenit C does not have - hence I thought it was based on the Zorki C, which is also sans self-timer. Whichever, it's essentially the Zorki with a mirror box/pentaprism. I've not used either of mine much - have you found the cords to break easily?
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Old 12-17-2010   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolves3012 View Post
The Zorki 2C has a self-timer, which the Zenit C does not have - hence I thought it was based on the Zorki C, which is also sans self-timer. Whichever, it's essentially the Zorki with a mirror box/pentaprism. I've not used either of mine much - have you found the cords to break easily?
From an "anatomical" point of view, the Zorki 2-S (C) was the camera with mirror box that became the Zenit-S (C). The incorporated rewind switch into the shutter button collar (in the the Zorki-S/C, the rewind is still a separate lever) and the flash synch mechanism are two distinct features which the Zenit S got from the Zorki-2S.

Some other combinations:

Zorki-1 : Zenit (original)- same body shell, lens mount, and no flash sync.
Zorki-5 : Zenit-3 (both bottom loading, but flash synch is not the same)
Zorki-6 : Zenit-3M (both back loading, but flash synch is also not similar)
No Zenit SLR was based on the Zorki with slow speeds (3, 3M, 3S, 4, and 4K) because the slow speed dial already crowding the shutter speed mechanism left no room for the extra mirror actuating parts.


The self-timer from the Zorki 2-S was not installed in the Zenit S perhaps due to mechanical issues- the extra mechanism could no longer fit into the same shell, or perhaps because the delayed release will complicate the already intricate mirror release/ shutter blind release sequence during firing.

The cords are quite brittle, two of my three Zenit-S have already had their cords break. Replacement is a truly hellish affair. I used nylon braided fishing line for the replacement.

In contrast, the Zenit (-1) had a more reliable, albeit rougher, mirror system. It used levers and arms instead of the mirror and pulley relay. This was not too different from the latter systems used in the Zenit-3 or 3M, but the latter mechanisms had less parts. The arms and levers gave way to the cord and pulley to free the top for room for the synchro timing mechanism.
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Last edited by ZorkiKat : 12-17-2010 at 22:56.
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Old 12-18-2010   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZorkiKat View Post
From an "anatomical" point of view, the Zorki 2-S (C) was the camera with mirror box that became the Zenit-S (C). The incorporated rewind switch into the shutter button collar (in the the Zorki-S/C, the rewind is still a separate lever) and the flash synch mechanism are two distinct features which the Zenit S got from the Zorki-2S.

1..
The Zorki-S/C has the same collar rewind button as the Zorki-2S/C. Apart from the self-timer I have always thought that the Zorki-S/C and the Zorki-2S/C were identical. What are the 'anatomical differences'?
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Old 12-18-2010   #14
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Quote:
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The Zorki-S/C has the same collar rewind button as the Zorki-2S/C. Apart from the self-timer I have always thought that the Zorki-S/C and the Zorki-2S/C were identical. What are the 'anatomical differences'?
You are right. They are quite similar, except for a few internal parts which show some variation:

The strap lugs and the baseplate lock style are two common parts present in both the Zorki 2-S and Zenit S. The long
release spring is longer in the Zorki-S, but shorter and shaped differently in the Zorki 2-S. The shutter's spring loaded rollers from a Zorki 2-S will fit the Zenit-S crate better than a the shutter rollers from a Zorki-S or Zorki-1.
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Last edited by ZorkiKat : 12-18-2010 at 08:14.
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