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FSU Former Soviet Union RF This forum is for the Former Soviet Union rangefinder cameras, especially the many and various Fed, Zorki, and Kiev.

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Old 06-19-2017   #41
David Hughes
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Hi,

The Kiev 2a, and perhaps the 2, has a little foot under it in the centre like a Contax II has. Very useful, imo, as you can put it down without it tipping forward. All cameras should have them, especially Leicas that are very prone to tipping forward.

Regards, David

PS If you are going to get one of each (although you may not plan it), try and get one of each lens too. And did you realise that the first Zenit SLR's started as modified Zorkis?
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Old 06-19-2017   #42
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David,
Would you get the Jupiter 8, Helios 103, or the Jupiter 3 with your Kiev IIa?
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Old 06-19-2017   #43
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Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
Hi,

No one seems to have mentioned the FED 3; it's big like the FED 2 but has a lever wind, shorter RF base and the back comes off like a Contax II or Kiev. The take-up spool also removes and can be lost.

Regards, David

PS When you've recovered from all this input, please let us know what you decide and tell us what you think of it.
Personally, I liked the FED 3 better than the 2.

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Originally Posted by komunjist View Post
Thank you all for help!
Instead of choosing one, as I read all your posts, I ended up wanting all three. I guess it's what happened to all of you guys
Whatever you, don't get a copy of Jean Loup Princelle's Book...
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Originally Posted by bobby_novatron View Post
My personal input: the Soviet cameras can be excellent or terrible.

Case in point: I own both a FED Micron 1 and Fed Micron 2, and they are fabulous cameras, they work better than some Japanese rangerfinders I have owned.
The Micron I had was pretty good--not perfect, I never could get the pin-head screw that attached the wind lever to stay tight. Other wise, I quite enjoyed that one.

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Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
David,
Would you get the Jupiter 8, Helios 103, or the Jupiter 3 with your Kiev IIa?
Can't speak for David, but I will be looking for a J-3 to go with the Kiev to I've recently bought. I do not anticipate anything being wrong with the lens it has now but I do use my cameras at night and indoors so the extra lens speed can be useful to me. And, unlike the screw mount J-3, the Kiev mount doesn't seem to have the isssues or problems that the screw mount version does. Same thing for the J-9, actually.

Rob
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Old 06-19-2017   #44
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I am especially proud of my FED-2 because it's how I learned to replace cloth shutter curtains! I made many mistakes and had to start over and over again, but finally I got it to where the shutter needed only light tensioning as recommended by I. Maisenberg. Not fancy, but it's a relatively straightforward design it's well-made. I have the version with the larger wind knob and find it charming. If you go this route, consider buying one which has already had new shutter curtains installed, and you should be good for the next 50 years.

I don't have a Kiev 4A, but I do have a Brezhnev-era Kiev 4 (no meter). Frankly I don't like it as much: Yes, it offers more shutter speeds and is some ways a more advanced design, but it's also kind of large, heavy and not so comfortable to use.
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Old 06-19-2017   #45
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Originally Posted by JeffS7444 View Post
I am especially proud of my FED-2 because it's how I learned to replace cloth shutter curtains! I made many mistakes and had to start over and over again, but finally I got it to where the shutter needed only light tensioning as recommended by I. Maisenberg. Not fancy, but it's a relatively straightforward design it's well-made. I have the version with the larger wind knob and find it charming. If you go this route, consider buying one which has already had new shutter curtains installed, and you should be good for the next 50 years.

I don't have a Kiev 4A, but I do have a Brezhnev-era Kiev 4 (no meter). Frankly I don't like it as much: Yes, it offers more shutter speeds and is some ways a more advanced design, but it's also kind of large, heavy and not so comfortable to use.
I always use my KIEV-4A as a winter camera. I find that the knobs and rings on KIEV very friendly to gloves-wears. Plus you don't have to worry about uneven exposure when it's cold. The heaviness of the camera also fits winter wears.
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Old 06-19-2017   #46
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Well I would recommend to buy something from Fedka, DVDtech or Oleg Khalyavin in the first place. Unless you want to learn how to repair cameras, and that is quite a long road.

For a beginner I would recommend a serviced Zorki 6 (the late serial numbers '65 and onward). Large base, bright finder, hinged back.

The Zorki 4 is perhaps the most versatile camera, but really needs an extra finder. That's part of the fun.
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Old 06-19-2017   #47
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Originally Posted by Valkir1987 View Post
Well I would recommend to buy something from Fedka, DVDtech or Oleg Khalyavin in the first place. Unless you want to learn how to repair cameras, and that is quite a long road.

For a beginner I would recommend a serviced Zorki 6 (the late serial numbers '65 and onward). Large base, bright finder, hinged back.

The Zorki 4 is perhaps the most versatile camera, but really needs an extra finder. That's part of the fun.

I've bought from Fedka and from Oleg and been very happy but a few years back, I asked DVDtech a question about some camera they had listed and did not recieve any response. So, I can't offer any experience with them. But they do have a good selection and their prices are reasonable.

Rob
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Old 06-19-2017   #48
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OK, I'll chime in even though plenty of good suggestions, etc. have been provided.

First, I would favor one of the LTM options. The Kiev (with its Contax mount) can be a perfectly fine camera, I think there's a lot more LTM lenses out in the world that you can play with. And the budget can be whatever you want to spend; from $15-20 all the way to $2000 or more.

I know that often the Contax mount version of a lens is cheaper than the LTM version of the same lens, but overall there are just plain fewer Contax mount lens options. So the price difference between Contax - LTM lenses is really only an advantage for a small number of lenses.

If you have not used a Contax/Kiev camera before, it might be good to try one out before getting one. You have to hold the camera just the right way to be able to focus and keep the rangefinder windows clear so that they work. Its frustrating and nearly impossible for some people (yes, I'm one of them) so you might want to see if you can do "the Contax hold" before you commit to one.

Among LTM bodies, there's some good choices. There are some quite good options among the FSU models in my opinion. When it comes to FSU cameras, I focus on their strengths. Simplicity that can associate with reliability. Yes, I said "reliable" and I meant it. I own quite a few FSU cameras, and there are some that I think are good representatives of simplicity, ruggedness, size, handling, and reliability. Three top choices would be:

1. Fed-3(b). The Fed-3 with lever advance is a very simple body. Its one of those cameras that if its working, its going to keep working. They are very simple mechanically, and so they're easy to repair if you like to do your own camera repair. The lack of slow speeds keeps the mechanism simple and reliable. The removable back makes film loading very easy. The viewfinder and rangefinder are plenty good for this type of camera. Better than the early Leicas (e.g., III, IIIa) and other FSU (e.g., Fed-1) with tiny squinty little peep holes. Just a good plain camera. I take one with me when I'm doing fieldwork at the coast.

2. Zorki-C Another simple and reliable FSU camera. Aside from that, this one is smaller than a Fed-3 (or Fed-2 or many others), and it has flash synchronization. I don't use flash with RF very often, but its there if ya want it. I've used a Zorki-C/I-22 combination many times.

3. Zorki-6 Probably the most advanced of the FSU. Kind of small, lever wind, easy film loading. However, I've found that this model can be less reliable than many other models. Get a good working one and its great to use. There's a member here on RFF (Klaus?) who quite likes the Zorki-6. Do a search and you'll find him and more on these.

I'm not a big fan of the Fed-2. They're fine, but I like the Fed-3 more for practical reasons (film loading, lever advance). There's folks who really like the Zorki-4 models. I have a couple, but they're not working well, so I can't comment on them.

And.....And there's more out there than just FSU cameras. Quite a few LTM cameras were produced (so-called Leica copies) by many companies over the years. The Canon cameras are great. I have a few of them and the quality is excellent. They can be found at prices not much more than FSU cameras. Look out for a Canon 7, Canon P, Canon IVSB, or Canon L-1. That's just a few of the models made in LTM that happen to be well liked by rangefinder people.

If you stick with FSU stuff, Fedka is a good source for FSU gear. Not as cheap as ebay sellers in Russia or Romania, but he gives a warranty and checks to make sure his stuff works as expected. Worth the higher price.
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Old 06-19-2017   #49
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Originally Posted by mich rassena View Post
If you really just want a cheap rangefinder, get a working Yashica Electro and a battery, and start shooting.
I was just thinking something like a Canonet QL 17, Canonet 28, Olympus 35SP, etc. might be the ticket.
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Old 06-19-2017   #50
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I have a knob-wind version of the Fed 3 and it works as smoothly as my Leica IIIf. Which means it works more smoothly than all other cameras in my collection. I would say the overall quality of the build and fit and finish is about on par with "typical" Japanese quality of the same era - and noticeably better than the quality of later soviet cameras made in the 70s and 80s.

It is a better camera than the IIIf in several respects - easier loading, combined VF/RF, and more ergonomic advance knob.
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Old 06-19-2017   #51
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over the last two decades, I've owned everything from Leica MP and M7 to a Zorki 4, Fed 2 and 50's Kiev 2 and 2A. In my experience, the early Kiev are the best of the FSU cameras.
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Old 06-20-2017   #52
David Hughes
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Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
David,
Would you get the Jupiter 8, Helios 103, or the Jupiter 3 with your Kiev IIa?
Hi,

Well, um, I got my Kiev 2A with the Jupiter-8 but that was because I had the Contax II from the 1930's with the Sonnar and wanted to compare the two. I was also curious to see how the J-8 in the Kiev 2a compared with the (modified) J-8 in a FED or Zorki.

In the 39mm cameras I've a Jupiter-3 and I guess you can get to love it regardless of its foibles but it seems to me that you have to love it to use it. I wouldn't recommend it as a good, everyday lens. It's also overpriced, imo, but what have prices to do with anything?

I hear/read good things about the Helios and, like the Zenitar, I shall probably find one and play with it one day but I've no opinion of it at the moment.

(EDIT) I just realised you are thinking of getting a Kiev, so I'd say go for the 2 or 2a and look for an instruction book first. There's also a good series of books on the Contax by Focal that are worth having. There's lots out there for the 4's and one of them would do at a pinch. There are two versions (I've seen so far) and the larger one of them looks as though it started as a book about the 2's and was modified for the later models.

Using a Contax or Kiev is different to every other camera I own and can be a nuisance as you get half way into the cassette before feeling at ease, then you change lenses and realise it's even weirder than you thought. And if you've the 135mm lens as well as the 35mm then you can multiply that by 2 or even 3. I often think that in the 30's pro's used them and fumed at the problems they had to put up with to use superior "pro" cameras. The Leica and FED/Zorkis are wonderfully simple and consistent by comparison. And after using the Contax/Kiev you have to rethink using normal cameras, but it feels a lot better.

The main reason given is that Leitz got there first and had patents on everything and the Contax had to be designed to avoid legal patent troubles. Many also thought that the Zeiss lenses were superior to Leitz' offerings and the Contax was worth the extra trouble. There were some incredibly expensive modified Zeiss lenses available for the Leicas in the 30's... The lucky Soviets could have the best of both worlds with the FED/Zorki and a Jupiter-8...

Sorry I can't say more to help you.

Regards, David
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Old 06-20-2017   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mich rassena View Post

If you really just want a cheap rangefinder, get a working Yashica Electro and a battery, and start shooting.
Off topic but might be an interesting trivia for some: Back in 1970 Yashica Electro 35G was more expensive than most other top of the line fixed lens RF models from other brands, namely Canonet QL GIII 17, Olympus 35 SP, Minolta Hi-Matic **... and so on. The aperture priority (real auto exposure rather than trap-needle mechanism) and the accurate long time exposure was really a space era killer feature back in the days (now taken for granted).

Every time I decide to take Rollei 35 SE out for shooting, I need to makeup some reasoning to convince myself not to take the Yashica Electro 35 MC instead..

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Originally Posted by rbiemer View Post

Can't speak for David, but I will be looking for a J-3 to go with the Kiev to I've recently bought. I do not anticipate anything being wrong with the lens it has now but I do use my cameras at night and indoors so the extra lens speed can be useful to me.

Rob
I'd say get a Helios-103 instead of paying much money to get the J-3. It's less than 2/3 stop difference and the Helios is sharper wide open than J-3
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Old 06-20-2017   #54
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Hi,

Re: " ...interesting trivia for some... "

I couldn't agree more and I'd add Konica to the list. Yashica and Konica turned out some superb cameras and lenses but these days you can pick up examples for next to nothing, thanks to general ignorance...

Regards, David

PS And please, no one mention specific models to burst the bubble and put prices up and up and up.
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Old 06-20-2017   #55
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Why one would mess with all these notoriously unreliable cameras from the Soviet era is beyond me (and I've owned and used several by the way). Japanese made Leica copies in working condition are now quite inexpensive, probably as a result of the advent of so many Japan-based sellers on eBay. Any rangefinder made by Canon, for instance, is vastly superior to the best from the Soviet. Right now for example, Canon 7's are often sold for less than $100 in good condition and it is one of the most usable and durable LTM bodies ever made.
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Old 06-20-2017   #56
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At the risk of having hell rained down on me, regarding the Kiev 4 and 4a in comparison to Contax, they are not even remotely comparable in build quality or fit-finish. The Contax IIa/IIIa and its Zeiss lenses are better compared with the Leica M2/M3 at its lenses. Their prices reflect that fact too, now and then. They are priced the way they are for a good reason, the market is telling a story.
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Old 06-20-2017   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Murphy View Post
Why one would mess with all these notoriously unreliable cameras from the Soviet era is beyond me...
Hi,

Simple answers in my case:

A, Curiosity; I read so much about them and, knowing that the internet is a notoriously unreliable rumour exchange, I just had to buy one to see for myself. That's my acid test, BTW.

B, They are dirt cheap; I've bought bodies for a pound*, lenses and lens hoods for half that and other exotic accessories for a penny or so. Even working meters for 2 to 3 pounds, but I can say that about Westons but no one attacks Westons the way they do USSR stuff. I often wonder why...

Having bought them, read the manual and so on I put films through them and been very pleased with the results.

C, Notoriously unreliable; well, um, there's several out there that are not made in the USSR costing from 150 to 600 pounds that are appallingly unreliable; and digital ones costing a lot more. I've just looked on ebay at the completed sales of a famous (not notorious) P&S and was even more amazed by those actually selling them with the notorious "ERROR 02" openly advertised. Again no one attacks their makers the way USSR made ones are attacked...

D, Bargains, the best of the USSR made lenses are good and cheap. A lot of Leica users know this is a cheap way into Leica photography after spending a fortune on a digital one. And repair costs are not in the Leica/Contax class either; just look at Oleg's price list.

The fact is, some of us like playing with cameras and the FED/Zorki/Zenit stable is a good source of cheap and fascinating toys for boys. Even if you want a pre-war FED with the 1000th shutter speed and the f/2 lens, you can get them and they don't cost an arm and a leg compared with the Contax II, or even a pre-war Contax II instruction manual or lens hood or lens cap. The pre-war FED lens caps do though, be warned...

Regards, David

* When bought for US dollars I've got between $1.60 and $1.25 for a pound sterling.
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Old 06-20-2017   #58
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Originally Posted by David Murphy View Post
At the risk of having hell rained down on me, regarding the Kiev 4 and 4a in comparison to Contax, they are not even remotely comparable in build quality or fit-finish. The Contax IIa/IIIa and its Zeiss lenses are better compared with the Leica M2/M3 at its lenses. Their prices reflect that fact too, now and then. They are priced the way they are for a good reason, the market is telling a story.
But, surely, the only way we can comment on build quality up to 80 years or so after the camera left the factory is by finding one still in use that has been the personal property of a died in the wool film enthusiast, senior engineer or technician at one of the factories and so has been maintained in the same way as their German or Japanese competitors have been by their rich owners?

Otherwise, we are looking at ones owned by non-camera engineers or technicians that were bought second or third or fourth-hand on ebay or worse. By "or worse" I mean those repaired by idiots who just know one end of a screwdriver from the other and don't think what's at the working end is that important...

Regards, David

Last edited by David Hughes : 06-20-2017 at 03:54. Reason: Finger trouble...
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Old 06-20-2017   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Murphy View Post
At the risk of having hell rained down on me, regarding the Kiev 4 and 4a in comparison to Contax, they are not even remotely comparable in build quality or fit-finish. The Contax IIa/IIIa and its Zeiss lenses are better compared with the Leica M2/M3 at its lenses. Their prices reflect that fact too, now and then. They are priced the way they are for a good reason, the market is telling a story.
IMO, People are buying FSU often because they are influenced by FSU. This way or another.

I don't think here is as much services for IIa/IIIa as for M2/M3. Market does reflect it with cheap, dead Contax bodies with famous Zeiss bumps on the back. IIa not working for under 200$ is common on ebay. IIIa isn't much different if not less for camera which needs CLA forty years "already", somewhere...

M2/M3, first you have to find them in dead condition, because most of them are looked after and they are in fact more expensive than IIa/IIIa.
IIa/IIIa have basically two lenses with as primitive as in FSU viewfinder. 50/2 and 50 1.5. The faster one is notorious for optic problems. Both costs significantly less than Leitz 50/2, 50 1.4. Even same optics "quality" Leitz 50 1.5 costs more.
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Old 06-20-2017   #60
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A lot of Leica users know this is a cheap way into Leica photography after spending a fortune on a digital one.
Is it really Leica photography if you are using an FSU (or any non-Leica) lens?
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Old 06-20-2017   #61
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Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
Is it really Leica photography if you are using an FSU (or any non-Leica) lens?
Hi,

Well, what is it when there's a big/lovely Zeiss ZM on the M9?

Anyway, all you get out of it is a slide or a print or (gasp) a one megapixel screen full. So what does it matter? My local lab says I'm the only one asking for 5 x 7 as everyone wants 4 x 6 anyway; so quality doesn't come into it... I can get as good out of my 50p (US 75cents) XA1.

Thinking about it and the logical thing would be a Leica lens on an old ex-USSR body. That will go down well here. ;-)

Regards, David
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Old 06-20-2017   #62
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It's not Leica photography, but rangefinder photography.
Now that I own Leicas, I don't really find much interest in the LTM Russian cameras. I'd rather use my DAG overhauled IIIG than a Zorki-1. Only because I know that the Leica IIIG I have is absolutely reliable and accurate.
Same with my Leotax S, and Canon 7s, Bessa R.
Don won't deal with repairing Soviet era cameras - I've already asked him.

However, I am curious about this whole Contax experience. The Kiev may be a good way to scratch that itch without the vastly greater expense of finding a good condition Contax color dial camera, then waiting years to have Henry Scherer overhaul it. If I then find out that I don't like it, then I wouldn't have put tons of money into it with a Kiev.
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Old 06-20-2017   #63
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Actually David, I was thinking if the Kiev camera turns out OK, that maybe I could just get a real Zeiss 50mm 1.5 Sonnar (Opton), and stick it on the Kielv. After all, in film photography the camera is just a box. The lens draws the image.
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Old 06-20-2017   #64
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
...Market does reflect it with cheap, dead Contax bodies with famous Zeiss bumps on the back...
Hi,

I'm fascinated by the fact that the bumps' causes are ignored and even copied when the cure appears to be known to every other camera maker.

I've seen it on R7's and they were made until the late 90's...

Regards, David
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Old 06-20-2017   #65
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Hi,

I'm fascinated by the fact that the bumps' causes are ignored and even copied when the cure appears to be known to every other camera maker.

I've seen it on R7's and they were made until the late 90's...

Regards, David
What is R7? Known? Maybe, but I never seen it as bad as on Ziess.
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Old 06-20-2017   #66
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Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
Actually David, I was thinking if the Kiev camera turns out OK, that maybe I could just get a real Zeiss 50mm 1.5 Sonnar (Opton), and stick it on the Kielv. After all, in film photography the camera is just a box. The lens draws the image.
Hi,

Well, I'm sure you know the difference between the dealer's cameras and the auction site ones, so Ill say no more but will wish you luck.

You might like to consider this outfit:-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/KIEV-1956-...wAAOSwHptY-2ud

My interest in it was because it shows that none of the flat metal lens caps have a logo or name on them...

I guess you can afford it if you are thinking of the Zeiss lens ;-)

Regards, David

PS Aren't those outfits tempting? I wish I was rich now and then but being poor and beating the system does me a lot of good.
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Old 06-20-2017   #67
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Thinking about it and the logical thing would be a Leica lens on an old ex-USSR body. That will go down well here. ;-)
I wasn't even going to go there!
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Old 06-20-2017   #68
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
What is R7? Known? Maybe, but I never seen it as bad as on Ziess.
Hi,

The earlier the camera the worse they are, my R5 was middling but I've seen R5's in dealers with far worse and I figure they will all end up that way, although the ones on the R7's seen were just starting.

A pity as I really like Leica's SLR's but have had estimates for repairing mine and the estimates aren't cheap either...

Regards, David
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Old 06-20-2017   #69
mich rassena
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I was just thinking something like a Canonet QL 17, Canonet 28, Olympus 35SP, etc. might be the ticket.
All of those are fine options too.

I could probably make another dozen recommendations myself that I'd prefer over gambling on a FSU rangefinder in unknown condition and at comparable cost.

I think the Leica/Contax mystique gets transferred a bit to the FSU cameras, and people think they can have some of the mystique at a discount. I don't think it's desirable to go that route. Those are big names, with a lot of cachet, but there are dozens of brands that are a bit more obscure with similar attributes, even if they wouldn't be considered quite as good.

As a more in-depth answer to the OPs original assertion that they were purchasing a rangefinder for street photography. Is a rangefinder even necessary? Wouldn't zone focus, fast film, wide lens, and f/16 be good enough to get fast, mostly in-focus images? Wouldn't that arrangement give more spontaneity than fiddling with the focus wheel?
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Old 06-20-2017   #70
David Hughes
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I wasn't even going to go there!
Think about it; x hundred and 95 for the lens and then the odd 5 for a couple of FED 3 bodies and a Helios flash... Simples ;-)

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Old 06-20-2017   #71
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I was just thinking something like a Canonet QL 17, Canonet 28, Olympus 35SP, etc. might be the ticket.
Hi,

Some of these are an expensive gamble, instead of a cheap gamble.

I'd dearly love to replace my original, long gone Olympus-35 SP but have had several fail since and discovered the hard way that once the metering goes, they are dead as 35 SP's but OK as a slightly odd mechanical camera. But the SP was so brilliant that nothing else is the same.

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Old 06-20-2017   #72
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Hi David,
I don't think I'm ready for such an expensive plunge as that ebay kit.
I'd rather just get one from Fedka, with a Helios 103 instead of a J-3, and go on from there.

When I had my Zorki-1, I did try putting my Leica Summicron collapsible on it. That's how I found out the lens register was different.

Correction - it was a FED-1, not Zorki. See correction post below also.
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Old 06-20-2017   #73
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Originally Posted by mich rassena View Post
As a more in-depth answer to the OPs original assertion that they were purchasing a rangefinder for street photography. Is a rangefinder even necessary? Wouldn't zone focus, fast film, wide lens, and f/16 be good enough to get fast, mostly in-focus images? Wouldn't that arrangement give more spontaneity than fiddling with the focus wheel?
Or better yet - an SLR.
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Old 06-20-2017   #74
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SLR is not Rangefinder. For some here it is big difference for street photography. I just can't walk with SLR blocking my nose, head turned and focus screen blurry.
It is the reason why they call modern digital cameras like Fuji X100 series as "rangefinder style".

But if street photography is standing still and taking all of your time to focus and frame, yes, SLR then.

I'm 100% agree, than Olympus Trip 35 with ISO400 film, set to three people distance is easiest and safest way to get to rangefinder style street photography on the bright day.
Add flash on it, select f8, set distance to two people and you all set for Bruce Gillden way.
Also, the lens on this camera is very good:

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Old 06-20-2017   #75
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When I had my Zorki-1, I did try putting my Leica Summicron collapsible on it. That's how I found out the lens register was different.
Strange. All the Zorkis (1,4,6) I owned and have share lenses (FSU and non-FSU) with my Canon RF and Bessa-R with no problem. I only know early FED-1 has non-standardized register distance.
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Old 06-20-2017   #76
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Sorry, I believe you are right. It was a FED-1, very early. I don't think I've ever owned a Zorki, now that I think back.
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Old 06-20-2017   #77
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I've put Leica lenses on FSU bodies -- Went out and took pictures with them too.

Part of the great fun and attraction of LTM is the wide interchangeability of kit. I put Canon lenses on Leica bodies, Minolta on FSU, FSU on Canon, and the permutations go on.... I also like finding those oddball LTM items out there. Lenses from companies I never knew existed (or briefly mentioned on some obscure website). My "Arco" brand 135/3.5 LTM lens turned out to be sharp and accurate on many bodies. Minolta LTM lenses don't get much press, but my 45/2.8 is a good performer. And what's up with those "Sun" brand lenses? Ever see one of those in person? Zunow? (I wish)

Check out the LTM lens camerapedia page; quite a few lenses made to this "standard".

Now that non-FSU suggestions are gaining momentum, I support the Canon suggestions. Nice cameras all of them. Also, the Tower (Nicca) bodies are really quite nice, and some of them are the camera the Leica should have been.

And, in my opinion, actual Leica bodies a real value these days and can be quite inexpensive. You just need to be a little savvy to get a great Barnack (let's say a IIIc) for $200 -- and that could be a working camera that has possibly seen a CLA in its recent past, or at least its in good working order at time of purchase. I've seen just such a camera here on RFF classifieds recently. You can find Leica bodies for less than $200 with the understanding that they need service. A basic CLA service from Youxin Ye is quite reasonable. You will hear praise and criticism for this repair person, but I think for a basic Barnack CLA, his service would be good.

If it hasn't been mentioned before, I'll mention it now: The RFF Classifieds is a good place to find a camera offered by a knowledgeable seller, and known history, and fair price. I'm much more willing to believe "recent CLA" here than the giant auction site. That statement actually means something here. They haven't been too frequent lately, but Canon RF, Leica Barnack, Tower/Nicca, and even FSU can be found on RFF Classifieds. There's a cute little Minolta II LTM in there right now. Price is right and for a working Minolta, who else on the block has one of those? Right?
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Old 06-20-2017   #78
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I've put Leica lenses on FSU bodies -- Went out and took pictures with them too.

Part of the great fun and attraction of LTM is the wide interchangeability of kit. I put Canon lenses on Leica bodies, Minolta on FSU, FSU on Canon, and the permutations go on.... I also like finding those oddball LTM items out there. Lenses from companies I never knew existed (or briefly mentioned on some obscure website). My "Arco" brand 135/3.5 LTM lens turned out to be sharp and accurate on many bodies. Minolta LTM lenses don't get much press, but my 45/2.8 is a good performer. And what's up with those "Sun" brand lenses? Ever see one of those in person? Zunow? (I wish)
That's why l like LTM too, there are more choices from different lens makers.

Sankyō Kōki 三協光機 made some nice lens, often branded as Komura, Acall, Force, etc. I have the 35mm f/3.5(double-gause type) in both M39 and Contax/KIEV mount. I've used them on Zorki and KIEV.
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Old 06-20-2017   #79
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I'd say Kiev 4a, why? because "The worls finest 35mm rangefinder camera":
http://rangefinderforum.com/forums/s...d.php?t=130393
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Old 06-20-2017   #80
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I guess there's one or two we ought to mention that won't work on all LTM's, like the Steinheil Culminar 135mm f/4.5 etc, which has an odd RF coupling that would jam on the USSR versions and only works where the RF coupling is a roller like the Barnacks have.

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