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GeneW
08-16-2004, 06:46
The collecting disease is seeping into my soul -- I feel I can no longer exist without owning an FSU RF.

I have no experience with them but I love their looks. So my question to you knowledgeable people is: Zorki 4 or Fed 2 (those are the two models I've tentatively narrowed it down to). If you think another model would be more appropriate I'm all ears.

Also, which 50mm lens for above. Industar or Jupiter? Which would you choose for a starter?

I'm thinking of purchasing directly from Oleg but if one of you has a working-order spare in your cupboard that you want to sell, let me know.

I'll tell you up front I'm not a repair kinda guy -- all thumbs -- so I need one that works without disassembly and lighter fluid.

Is this madness??

Gene

wlewisiii
08-16-2004, 06:56
I've no answers for you, but I'll be watching the thread closely as I'm thinking of either a Fed-5 or Zorki-6 myself with one of the various 50 mm lenses.

I've exceptionally good service from Yuri Boguslavsky at www.fedka.com so you might consider him as well.

William

taffer
08-16-2004, 06:58
Madness ? No, just get one cheapie FSU camera each month during a year and you won't think of it as madness anymore ! :)

Yours it's a pretty difficult decision, as in some way both are the flagship or their respective brand.

I think the Zorki 4 (or 4K if you like a wind lever) may be more versatile, but the Fed-2 are so plain lovely...

Also another good point on the Zorki is you can easily get one with the great Jupiter-8 lens, while the Fed will probably come with a more humble Industar. Maybe Oleg or Alex-photo on ebay can arrange you a Fed-2/J8 combo.

The Zorki however, will give you apart from probably a J8 by default, a bigger and brighter finder.

What I would do is get a Z4 with a Jupiter 8 and then talk to the seller to include also a cheap Fed-2 body in working condition.

Welcome to madness Gene ! :D

back alley
08-16-2004, 07:02
is it madness? oh probably!

the fed 2 seems like a great camera if you get a working one. while i'm having trouble with mine i can tell you that i like the look and feel of the camera. it has a good heft and balance and 'feels like a camera' in my hands.

now this info is just from reading only - no personal experience...but i have shortlisted the zorki 3m & the 6 as the best to buy. and to be honest i didn't keep my notes on either after i made the list. i also have the fed 3a on my list.
you might want to read up on those also.

just my 2 cents,
joe

pshinkaw
08-16-2004, 07:04
gene:

Either is a good choice for starters. The Zorki has a few more features, hence a few more moving parts that can be out of kilter. The Fed is slightly simpler and in my experience requires a little less work "out of the box" to make it satisfactorily functional.

The Zorki balances best in your hands with a Jupiter-8. I prefer the silver (aluminum) models rather than the black ones because the f-stop scale doesn't rotate as you focus. The Fed-2 seems to work best with an Industar-26m. Some of the collapsible Industar 22's and 50's made for the Zorki's get tangled up with the self-timer lever.

There are more variations of the Fed-2 then the Zorki-4. If you are going to start or feed an addiction, definitely start with the Fed.

-Paul

vladhed
08-16-2004, 07:28
Originally posted by Gene
So my question to you knowledgeable people is: Zorki 4 or Fed 2


Why choose? Get one of each? :D

I had the same dilemma and chose the Zorki 4 because I wanted to use it for available light photography, hence the slow shutter speeds and I found one with a fast f2 Jupiter 8 lens.

If I were to get another, I'd get the FED2, with the older-style wind-on knob (not the more common mushroom knob)

Originally posted by Gene
Also, which 50mm lens for above. Industar or Jupiter? Which would you choose for a starter?


I think they are both equally good lenses. The Industar has click-stops for the f-stop, but the Jupiter is faster.

Originally posted by Gene
I'm thinking of purchasing directly from Oleg but if one of you has a working-order spare in your cupboard that you want to sell, let me know.

I'll tell you up front I'm not a repair kinda guy -- all thumbs -- so I need one that works without disassembly and lighter fluid.

Is this madness??


Get them from Oleg if $$ is not a problem for you, you don't feel lucky or mechanically inclined.

cheers!

RML
08-16-2004, 07:44
I like the looks of the FED2 but the VF of the Zorki-4 is much bigger and brighter. And the later Zorki-4's come with a advance lever, which IMO is a big plus. I prefer the mushroom type rewind knob of the later FED2's over the older type. Perhaps you better get one of both. :)

I much much prefer the Jupiter-8 over the Industar 26M, the Industar 61 or Industar 61 L/D. I found the I-26M lacking in performance. Both the I-61 and I-61 L/D produce results that are too harsh, too contrasty. The J-8 is a bit soft but can give that elusive old-style Glow.

If you get the Zorki-4 get one with a good J-8. You'll love that lens, and the camera is nice too (especially with the advance lever).
If you get the FED2 you'll get it with an I-26 or one of the I-61's. The camera is really a step into the nostalgia realm. You can almost sense how the Leica photogs of the early 30s must have ran around shooting.

GeneW
08-16-2004, 09:03
Wow! I knew I was asking the right people! Thanks so much for all the advice. Maybe, eventually, one of each would be nice but I just want to start with one.

Because my eyesight is not quite as good as it used to be, I think I might prefer the larger, brighter finder on the Zorki 4. Thanks for letting me know about that. Also, I like doing available light photography so the Jupiter sounds like the best lens for starters.

I don't feel lucky about eBay so I'd rather spend a bit more for a fully-working cam with no major deficiencies. I've never been mechanically inclined so I'm looking for a shooter than I can use right away.

Again, my deep appreciation for all this great advice!

Gene

Laika
08-16-2004, 09:03
Gene wrote:
> I feel I can no longer exist without owning an FSU RF.

hehehe ... but can you stop at just one? :D

>Zorki 4 or Fed 2 (those are the two models I've tentatively narrowed it down to). If you think another model would be more appropriate I'm all ears

The FED2 is my favourite Ruskie, nice cameras. The Zorki 4 I'm less fond of, I find them a bit big and boxy next to the other Soviet RF but they do have a better finder than the FEDs and have slow speeds. As far as lenses go to tell you the truth I haven't come across any dogs ... even the lowly Ind-26m scrounged from a fed2 parts camera I cleaned up produces very nice images. (see link). But if I had only one lens it would be a nice Jupiter 8 ... I like my late black model.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=769&perpage=15&pagenumber=3

Other options:

The Zorki 3M is the nicest of all the Soviets IMO (I donít have one yet :() but it will cost you as much as three nice FED2s.

The Zorki 6, it also has the nicer big finder (as does the Z3, Z4, Z5, Z6), a convenient hinged film back, long base RF, nice smooth wind action but no slow speeds.

The FED 3 (A & B models), both of these have slow speeds The A model has the knob winder like the FED2 and is more stylish. The B model is kinda "leicaM" looking (ducks for cover:D) with a thumb wind lever, this model has no strap lugs so get a case (half) with a strap. They both have a smallish finder. Oh and if you get the B model you may feel guilty of how little it costs;)

Make sure you check out Jim Blazik favourite Soviet shooters page.
http://www.geocities.com/fzorkis/gallery.html

RML
08-16-2004, 10:21
The FED5 is a good shooter too, actually. It's an ugly beast and also has the same tiny VF, but it has an advance lever and is a (really!) very cheap and usable camera.

OK, forget about the FED5 for now! Otherwise you'll have even more trouble deciding. :)

Oldprof
08-16-2004, 11:04
Gene wrote:

"... I feel I can no longer exist without owning an FSU RF ..."

True. Your life will be utterly meaningless unless you have one. ;)

Be warned, however, that FSU rangefinders are like potato chips ... one is not enough. Regardless of what you start out with, eventually you must get a Kiev 2 or 4 (without the meter). Pure sensory delight.

GeneW
08-16-2004, 18:37
Thanks for all the advice and, OldProf, you scare me! I suspect they ARE like potato chips...

Anyway, I ordered a Zorki 4K with black Jupiter 8 lens from Fedka. I haven't mentioned this to my wife yet so, shush, everyone! I'm hoping to be inspired with some great improvisational rationalizing when the package arrives at the door :cool:

Gene

back alley
08-16-2004, 18:47
maybe have them wrap it in christmas paper?

Doug
08-16-2004, 22:48
I got a Kiev 4a from Fedka... they give good service. I expect your new goodie will work fine and you'll be hap... cross that out... a more experienced photog as a result! :-D

Laika
08-17-2004, 00:32
Originally posted by Gene
...I ordered a Zorki 4K with black Jupiter 8 lens from Fedka. I haven't mentioned this to my wife yet so, shush, everyone! I'm hoping to be inspired with some great improvisational rationalizing when the package arrives at the door :cool:

Gene

Nice one, I've only heard good things from Fedka buyers. It should be a sweet little unit with a black J8... Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it and seeing some pic's ... btw Good luck with the wife and if you do come up with something that works make sure you pass it on, I know I could do with the help for when my next package arrives :D

Spider67
06-10-2007, 10:59
"I haven't mentioned this to my wife yet so, shush, everyone! I'm hoping to be inspired with some great improvisational rationalizing when the package arrives at the door"
There is an easy solution to that problem: Get a Zorki 4, A Fed 3 and a Fed4 and 5. They all look a littlebit alike so whenever a new FSU camera arrives it's just one she already knows and if she catches you redhanded it's one you sent for repair! And if nothing helps show her the forum and say "rangefinderforum.com made me do it!"........needless to say that I am single

murrayb53
06-10-2007, 12:34
I own quite a few FSU cameras and with my experience I would recommend you take a serious look at the Zorki 4K with a Jupiter-8 F2 Lens .The advance lever makes life much easier rather than a winding knob. There is one glitch concerning newer Zorki 4 & 4K bodies, however. I would say it's well worth your wait to locate one that has an engraved shutter speed dial and NOT a screened one. With continued use of the screened dial your shutter speeds will slowly vanish. Their screening process leaves alot to be desired, while the engraved speed dial will always stay .....engraved.
As far as the chrome versus black lens goes, it comes down to personal taste. I like the black or the later chrome which didn't have the focusing tab.

I'm not a big fan of the Fed 2 only because it has a small, dark finder with a small RF patch. The camera offers a limited shutter speed range. Will the lack of slow speeds get in your way?
Good luck with your decisions.

Happy Days,
Steve

Stanton
06-10-2007, 21:58
Why stop at one each when the FED 2 comes in various colors? My insanity has caused me to have the usual black and chrome for a shooter, a dark blue, a green, a deep red and a gray or white or sand or whatever it is. All work reasonably well. All were bought on the auction site over a few years. The only problem is the scratching of my glasses. Use some felt or something to protect your glasses (if you have glasses) from the viewfinder. Incidentally, the same caution applies to the Zorki 4K, which I also have.

payasam
06-11-2007, 02:52
I had my cataracts removed, and the implants are such that I focus without glasses.

Oleg selected and sent me a Zorki 1C which would be a good companion to the IIIc I then had -- specifically, one which would mount the Summaron 35/3.5. It is the only RF I now have, with an Industar 61 L/D, a Steinheil Culminar 85/2.8 and a Jupiter 12 expected soon. The point of this is that Oleg is utterly dependable and will go out of his way to find you what you want or need. From Yuri of fedka.com I have bought only an exposure meter, but he is quick and friendly. Admitted ruefully that the meter's case was best discarded.

mike goldberg
06-11-2007, 02:52
Hi Gene,
I have no experience with Zorkis, however, Spyderman confirms that the Zorki 1 and the Fed-1g [bottom loaders], are 90+% the same camera.

That being said, in use, I think you would enjoy the Fed-2b or Fed-2c more; these have a long R/F base. BTW: I have a very clean Fed-2b coming up for sale with a Fed 50/3.5 Elmar type lens. It'll be posted later today in Classifieds.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikegoldberg/471029868/

Ciao, mike

Jocko
06-11-2007, 04:56
It seems a little churlish to point out that this thread is actually three years old, but Gene evidently chose wisely, using a full range of FSU cameras and more to superb effect -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cdnphoto/sets/72157594172072668/

He is a great fellow and very fine photographer indeed :)

All the best, Ian

rbiemer
06-11-2007, 07:31
:D
I will just add that Gene did get a very nice FED2 as well. That apparently didn't suit him as he sold it to me. Lovely camera that didn't suit me either. So I sold it along to someone here at RFF. I am sorry but I can't remember just who:bang: . Be interesting to learn where that FED2 has traveled to since.
Rob
It seems a little churlish to point out that this thread is actually three years old, but Gene evidently chose wisely, using a full range of FSU cameras and more to superb effect -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cdnphoto/sets/72157594172072668/
He is a great fellow and very fine photographer indeed :)
All the best, Ian

mike goldberg
06-11-2007, 10:40
Ho Gene, you did well to order from Fedka... Am looking forward to your J8 pix.
I have two J8's, one from the '50's and the other from the '70's, and I like them both.

Cheers, mike

Malcolm_J
06-15-2007, 15:47
You should not limit yourself to just the FED2 and the Zorki4. Also consider the Zorki6, a really neat and usable camera.

I have tried all of the main Soviet RF and I have come to find the Zorki 4K my favourite, BUT a lot of that is down to the particular cameras that I ended up with. My FED2 is a bit ratty while my Zorki 4K is really almost unused and works a treat. The "survival factor" is a major issue. Still, the 4K has a lovely bright viewfinder, a wind-on lever and loads of speeds, so it is well worth considering. The most equivalent FED would be the 3, not the 2.

I would agree that the Jupiter 8 is the best of the thread-mount lenses. The Industars are good, just not quite as good as the Jupiter (but agin, that is my experience with the particular lenses I ended up with). A good Jupiter is truly superb, probably just as good as the best to come out of Japan.

My favourite cameras of all are my Zenit 3Ms. I think they are better made than most of the rangefinders and they seem to be more robust too. Despite what I said above about lenses, the Industar 50 on my Zenit is exceedingly sharp. I have another Zenit with a Helios 44, which I have not as yet tested. The SLR lenses have the useful feature that they can focus down to 0.5m.

Malcolm_J
06-16-2007, 01:41
I have just read all through this thread and now appreciate that I am a little "after the fact". GeneW made his choices and shot his snaps long ago! Maybe others will find it useful.