Originally Posted by Apostata
............So, I'm stuck with an Iskra that doesn't work. I now have to choose between using it as a paperweight or finding another one for parts. But the truth is that this totally sucks and has (at least temporarily) killed my faith in purchasing FSU items on eBay (and in general). ...................
Let me be positive.
I do have some knowledge about the Isrkras, excluding the internal shutter mechamism.
I have given a glance to your quoted thread, and it seems the problem as you perceive it is that the camera doesn't activate the shutter. If I am wrong, kindly correct me.
But if I am right, I will need a big BIG sized sharp picture of the same pose as you posed the attached pic from your thread.
Now, in case your Iskra is faulty without hope, you have there a lot of great and potentially very convenient spare parts, that I would not disdain at all.
A new working Iskra, in case you can still breath, from a high class can high price US seller, will work but will also show small imperfections for which your present Iskra may be of great use. It happened to me as well, and the issue was that the thread for hood was not usable. Was it the fault of the seller not to inspect this detail. I forgive him.
Be it said clearly and loudly, that upon a thread I posted about old Canon Qls with stucked iris, some folks emerged with the original argument that most old cameras never work - I do not accept this type of argument at all, as it only reflects the selling interests of their posters.
I myself own four Iskras. One doesn't work and its internal shutter is absoulutely broken and disected into parts. A second I am not sure.
But from the three, I have the capability to mount 220 film, have either
6x6 or 6x45 format, exchange red holed backs with non-holed backs, etc.
As a buyer of measurable amounts of FSU gear, I do symphatize with your anger when your first purchase is a non working camera. By chance, my first Iskra came extremely dirty, as if it was stored in a stable, (and so what, couldn't the seller clean it a bit ?) and its focusing ring was extremely hard to move, if at all. By then I had no tech knowledge of the camera at all.
So I went mad, but wrote a polite message to the seller, and he had the nerve to answer me that for "these old"
cameras these issues are usual.
I have never purchased from Grizzley Bear, a woman whose personal name is Zhania, but I have been close several times, and in other forum she is held as a generally good seller. I do assume her acceptance to fix your camera came out from good will, and I do know she does have repairing services at her disposal. I guess that if she didn't repair your camera properly it was due to the repair demmanding sacrificing another camera.
Now it is also possible that she didn't act properly in your case, but to my overall knowledge she is not a junk seller, nor a crook.
There are crook sellers at eBay, like every where and at every trade, like another US woman selling black Yashica Electros "black beauty !!!", and I don't think the chances to get trashy gear are related to place of birth but rather to the age of the specific piece and its resistance along time.
Iskras have not passed the test of time in great shape, but they are usable. You just didn't know a risk was involved. You didn't went wrong with the seller - I myself with all my experience could have been now in your shoes as well.
So let's recapitulate
aa) In my humble opinion the Iskras are not tank built, and it is to be expected they require carefull use, and here and there a non working model may arrive. A non working model is a relative evaluation. How would you qualify an Iskra whose shutter is working but it has a hole in its bellows. Or a light leak ?
a) I am not sure your camera is unfixable and the opinion of your technician about the parts he needs is of no great impact to me.
b) Kindly send me the requiredphoto, and if possible try to light the deep black background as well (the side below the shutter button). The picture should be sharp from the lens to the camera inner background.
c) In case the camera will show as definitively broken, you do have good chances to sell parts of the camera which may interest several folks here.
d) There are very decent FSU gear sellers as every where. Crooks as everywhere. But as a general rule, FSU gear require from the user some acceptance he/she will have to use the screwdriver at home for best results.
e) Every old gear from every country is low priced precisely because is prompt to pitfall. If you, like me, find an old camera in true pristine conditions, including cosmetics, its price will jump several times. Five times at least.
f) Finally let's not forget, that from time to time, although rarely, we also buy absolutely new and costly gear and it shows slight or big deffects too. Right ZI owners ? Right M8 owners ? (I am just selecting from my bad memory). And in those rare cases you also have to pass a via dolorosa path untill your issue is solved