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Smoothest, quietest - FSU cam
Old 04-24-2007   #1
triplefinger
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Smoothest, quietest - FSU cam

I'm thinking of a fed 1 or 2 or a Zorki 1 or 2 or 3.

I know they can be very clunky and loud. does anyone have knowledge of the smoothest quietest one?

Thanks!
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Old 04-24-2007   #2
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Hm ... I have not heard of the existence of a "quiet" FSU camera. They usually range between "very loud" to "unbelieveably loud" with intermediate postions inbetween.

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Old 04-24-2007   #3
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Once in a Prague antique shop, I saw an old Kiev copy of a Contax II. It had a wheezy sound that was so gentle I thought it was broken, until I removed the back and saw the shutter working.
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Old 04-24-2007   #4
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i see on fedka's website a couple cams where he talks about them as VERY smooth... fed 2 and a couple others
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Old 04-24-2007   #5
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Hi...
Fed-2 from the 60's; Fedka is very reliable.
Or check with Oleg for one that's been CLA'd at okvintagecamera.com
Good luck, mike
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Old 04-24-2007   #6
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The build quality- which varies a lot- can determine how much noise a shutter in an old soviet camera makes. My quietest camera is one Zorki-1, but my other Zorki-1 and FED-1 are also among the noisiest as well. My FED-2 also fire with more noise. The laths used in the shutter - early ones used plain metal ones with the cloth wrapped around it, and the latter ones used crimped metal- would determine the firing sound as well. The latter, found in FED-2 and later cameras- tend to create more noise.

Then there is shutter tensioning as well. The more tensioning there is in the shutter, the more noise it would likely produce.

The soviet RF which I found to make the least sound when firing are the Kiev RF, the older ones in particular. They "sigh" rather than "wheeze" as the latter ones would.

If I were to select the soviet camera in my stash which makes the least noise when firing, it would be the Kiev-35A, Smena-8M and Lubitel-1.

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Old 04-24-2007   #7
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A good Kiev will be quieter than most Leicas.
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Old 04-24-2007   #8
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my Kievs are definitely quieter than my former FEDs and Zorki 3.
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Old 04-24-2007   #9
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I doubt that any Fed, Zorki or Kiev model is inherently smoother or quieter than other models. The same is true of Leicas. All depends on the attention that the particular example has received.
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Old 04-25-2007   #10
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One day I handled an old Kiev 4 (Contax copy): the overall impression was of an ugly and heavy tank, but a masterpiece of smooth mechanics, a clear viewfinder and a soft and beautiful shutter sound!
If I didn't have my Bessa R I had bought that "not so little" jewel
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Old 04-25-2007   #11
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Definitely a Kiev, the older the better.
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Old 04-25-2007   #12
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Quote:
does anyone have knowledge of the smoothest quietest one?
One of my FED-2s (but not the other one)

Considering FEDs and Zorkis I think there's probably more difference between individual cameras than there is between specific models.
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Old 04-25-2007   #13
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Of course Kievs are quite quiet

but if you want a screwmount then probably one without slow speeds - FED 1 and 2, Zorki 1 and 2, and maybe 5 nad 6. But it depends on the shape of the camera, and the time from last CLA...

A CLA specially to make a camera quiet should always include decreasing the shutter curtains tension as much as possible. I did this to my Zorki 1 and it's just soooo quiet. I tried to decrease the tension on my Zorki 4, 3C and FED 3, but none of these can compare to the Zorki 1...
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Old 04-25-2007   #14
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I have 3 Kiev's and they're all very quiet. You'd think that the metal shutter would be louder, but that's not the case.

My Fed 2 is also very quiet, but not as quiet as the Kiev's. However, my Fed 2 is the smoothest.
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Old 04-25-2007   #15
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I did not know that Kiev cameras are that quiet.
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Old 04-25-2007   #16
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Like Kin, my Kiev is my quietest FSU, followed by my slightly louder but not aggressively loud Fed-2. My Zorki 4's now, they're aggressive. KA-CHUNK!!

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Old 04-25-2007   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by payasam
I doubt that any Fed, Zorki or Kiev model is inherently smoother or quieter than other models. The same is true of Leicas. All depends on the attention that the particular example has received.

That is an innacurate sweeping generalisation. You'd need to have several of these cameras of different models with all the shutter variations and 'average' out their relative firing sounds.

You're comparing three cameras here which used two very different shutter
systems. Kiev RF shutters- metal blinds which glide to and fro with silk ribbons and sufficiently dampened by complicated gear trains- can really fire significantly with less noise than any FED or Zorki, regardless of the "attention" they received.

The FED, Zorki and Leica (pre IIIc) curtains are constructed with less complication and run in a very straightforward manner between drums and rollers through a narrow channel. This is where the manner of treatment during assembly or repair can spell the difference between a sigh or a clunk. Then there's also the shutter lath. The later FED and Zorki all used exposed metal laths, which would make more noise once they meet at the other end of the shutter traverse. No sort of "attention" given will make them as quiet as those with wrapped laths like those found in FED-1, Zorki-1, and Leica, which BTW used the same style laths until the IIIg.
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Old 04-26-2007   #18
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Bye, friends.
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Old 04-30-2007   #19
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Old 04-30-2007   #20
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As everybody else has pointed out, there's a great deal of variation. My Kiev 2a is very quiet. My Fed3b is also extremely quiet -- sometimes so quiet I have to check to make sure it's working. It's much quieter than my Fed2, but was CLA'd much more recently.

All of my FSU cameras are quieter than my Bessa R, which is quieter than most SLRs.
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Old 05-01-2007   #21
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It's true, Brian, that camera noise will vary for reasons of design and materials. However, unless we are speaking only of cameras fresh from the factory, variation in noise will depend rather more on the condition of the particular bodies. A competent technician alone can see to it that a camera makes as little noise as possible -- as little as its design allows.

Such places as recording studios and board meetings (not to speak of confessionals) excepted, camera noise is seldom an issue. Most SLRs are certainly louder than most RF cameras, but in actual use the noise is seldom found objectionable.
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Old 05-18-2007   #22
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My Zorki 2c is very quiet -- it makes a soft chunk. I took a photo on the bus a week or so back, and the woman sitting in the seat next to mine didn't even hear the shutter go off. My Fed-4 and Kiev are both louder -- or least the noise they make is higher pitched and more obtrusive.

As it happens, the Zorki also has a very smooth shutter release and wind -- I think the ebay seller I bought it from may have CLA'd it before I got it as it's smooth as silk.
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Old 05-18-2007   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triplefinger
I'm thinking of a fed 1 or 2 or a Zorki 1 or 2 or 3.

I know they can be very clunky and loud. does anyone have knowledge of the smoothest quietest one?

Thanks!

Hi Triplefinger,
After reading your question and following thread, I find that there are two aspects: One issue is what camera has been better designed for smoothness and silent operation, and wether today several decades after is it still relevant .

For the practical issue, how you can achieve the smoothest and silent possible camera, I would propose to contact Oleg, offering him either to select from his stock or to buy specially for you a camera to which he will perform CLA.

It will not harm if you concede Oleg the treatment a master repairman should get, and remind him you are not in any rush and he can take his time.

As you have posted your question at the leica screwmount forum, I would recall the fact that a recently purchased from Oleg Fed-2, with special request to make it silent, is more silent than my local buddy Mike Leica M4. Oleg is your key person for the practical issue.

Cheers,
Ruben
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Old 05-19-2007   #24
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Hi Triplefinger and all...
There's some great and useful comments above, and I want to appreciate the technical expertise of more than a few of our members, regarding quiet shutters, smooth winding... and, which cameras are the "classics."

Further, I want to support Ruben's comments above, although the Leica he refers to for comparison, is an M2 ;-) Ruben's Fed 2 has an exceptionally smooth film advance & shutter cocking mechanism, and it is the quietest FSU rangefinder camera, I have ever had in my hands.

The Fed 1g that my son brought me from the flea market in Yerevan, has just gone off to Oleg for similar treatment. In an exchange of emails with Spyderman, I learned that the Fed 1g and the Zorki 1 are nearly the same camera, manufactured by the KMZ factory.

More later and cheers, mike
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Old 05-19-2007   #25
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As one of our number mentioned some time ago, the noise that a nice FED2 can make can be an advantage, a nice ker-lop. My CLA'd Fed2 s and 3s can be quiet, but none so quiet as my later model Kiev4. This is by far the quietest shutter noise, much quieter than the Bessa R too. I have had some Kievs which had a heavier shutter "thump", so they must vary too.
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Old 05-19-2007   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varjag
A good Kiev will be quieter than most Leicas.
Thats true.
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Old 05-19-2007   #27
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Very good tip Rueben, thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruben
Hi Triplefinger,
After reading your question and following thread, I find that there are two aspects: One issue is what camera has been better designed for smoothness and silent operation, and wether today several decades after is it still relevant .

For the practical issue, how you can achieve the smoothest and silent possible camera, I would propose to contact Oleg, offering him either to select from his stock or to buy specially for you a camera to which he will perform CLA.

It will not harm if you concede Oleg the treatment a master repairman should get, and remind him you are not in any rush and he can take his time.

As you have posted your question at the leica screwmount forum, I would recall the fact that a recently purchased from Oleg Fed-2, with special request to make it silent, is more silent than my local buddy Mike Leica M4. Oleg is your key person for the practical issue.

Cheers,
Ruben
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Old 05-19-2007   #28
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As someone allreday said, Kiev is mechanical miracle! I was very suprised, when I saw it's metal shutter - my main dissapoitment about BESSA camera was shutter sound - compared to Kiev machine it's noisy - and with Kiev you don't need soft realise -my Zorki 4 is louder than both - interesting, it has cloth shutter!
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Old 06-19-2007   #29
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One more shout out for the Kiev 4. Mine was made in 71 and obviously saw little use. I was out shooting at the Zoo the other night and I couldn't even hear the shutter myself. That was with a noisy crowd. Most people did not ever realize I was shooting. A good Kiev will beat even the best CLA'd FED or Zorki. My Z6 would be the next best thing.
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Old 06-19-2007   #30
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So far I've not changed shutter speed often on my Kiev 4AM, and at 1/250 it has that SHNICK! shutter sound. Very short and not loud at all.

Love it!
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Old 07-22-2007   #31
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Out of my collection, the quietest LTM is my Zorki 1 and the loudest is my FED 2; both of these have been CLAd as well. However, I have to disagree with ZorkiKat's suggestion of the wrapped/versus crimped metal laths. My Zorki 2C is significanlty louder than my Zorki 1, even though both use wrapped laths and some of my crimped-lath models are quieter. I understand the idea but in practice I don't think it makes much difference, there must be other factors accounting for the differences.

Saying all this, the differences in my bunch are not huge and none of them is particularly noisy or attention-getting when used. In real-life use no-one's ever turned around, startled, when I use them!

Overall, I'd also agree that the Kievs are quieter too, the sound is much softer. Again, my nicely lubricated 4A is quieter than the never-touched 4, with a soft sound that's less noticeable.
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Old 07-22-2007   #32
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The Kiev both my Kiev 4M and Kiev 5 are very quiet...So the Kiev 5 is the Silent Giant
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Old 07-22-2007   #33
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The Colonel's Zorki 4 that Oleg CLA'd is rather quiet. Compared to my Yahica Electro, Minox GL or Iskra it sounds loud, but not as loud as my Canon T90, T70 or the Speed Graphics focal plane shutter. Regards.
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Old 07-22-2007   #34
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Without a doubt my Kiev (kneb) II is the smoothest quietest FSU in my stable. The shutter is barely audible and focusing, film advance etc are silky smooth ... it came from Fedka and no mention was made of it having been CLA'd before I got it but it is very impressive and is one of my best cameras ... period!

Apparently this early model had a lot of Contax parts in it which may or may not be relevant ... all I know is it's an amazing camera. When shooting with it in a slightly noisy environment I tend to feel the shutter more than hear it! Did I mention I think it's a great camera?
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Old 07-23-2007   #35
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Just a sidenote....My Zorki 4k maybe rather quiet when the shutter is released, but thwhen I wind it up and release the lever then the reasalt is a clear and rsonating "Kaplok!"....so “shuold we check out which FSU winds up quietly?
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Old 07-23-2007   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider67
Just a sidenote....My Zorki 4k maybe rather quiet when the shutter is released, but thwhen I wind it up and release the lever then the reasalt is a clear and rsonating "Kaplok!"....so “shuold we check out which FSU winds up quietly?
You surely don't just let the lever bang back against the case do you? No wonder it's loud then, any lever would be. Keep your thumb behind it and release gently, that way all you will hear is two ticks of the ratchet.

Quietest lever-winders would be Zorki 6 or FED 3b/4/5, since they are pretty much silent. Noisiest winder overall would probably be a Kiev (with all the clockwork and gear trains) or, maybe, a Zorki 5 with the "zip-zip" double-ratchet noise. None is noisy though!
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Old 07-23-2007   #37
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My smoothest/quietest is an export Zorki.1c (link in sig) purchased out of the Bay from SOVDEPIA. It's the only FSU I have that I've done absolutely nothing to except load n' shoot.
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Old 07-23-2007   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolves3012
You surely don't just let the lever bang back against the case do you? No wonder it's loud then, any lever would be. Keep your thumb behind it and release gently, that way all you will hear is two ticks of the ratchet.
!
No wolves I don't. The sound I describe comes when you finally have to release the lever ( about 2 cm Space between lever and housing-except take it between your thumb and index finger and put it gently on the housing). I must admit I did let the lever bang....when I was 16...and I was awarded with a "KAAPLOWK!"....24 years later (that somehow hurts) I managed to quiten it by change of handling to "plokk!". I could also try to fill the empty space in the housing...but I doubt the rangefinder mechanism will like it.
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Old 07-23-2007   #39
350D_user
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I'd heard about this legendary "Leica quietness". After firing a few Leicas off on the "Northern Day Out", I'm quite unconvinced.

Now... a Kiev... oh yes.
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Cameras currently in use: 1975 Kiev-4, 1938 Leica Standard, 1946/47 Leica IIIc
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Old 07-23-2007   #40
zhang xk
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After winning the title of the most complex rangefinder camera, it seems Kiev is going to win the quietest camera title, then the most accurate rangefinder, the most under valued,....
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