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jamiewakeham
01-27-2005, 03:46
Hi all

Having been looking for a hwile now for a Canonet or Yashica electro, I've fallen head over heels in love with the design of the Zorki 1 / FED 1. I'm thinking of getting one, almost as much as a beautiful object as a user camera, though the collapsible lens actually means that it's likely to become my 'always in the glove box' camera. Questions, though... apologies if a couple of these are a bit obvious!

1) Anyone have experience of these guys - http://www.ruscamera.net ? Their prices actually seem quite reasonable for the UK.

2) Do Zorki 1 and FED1 cameras have interchangeable lenses? If so, is that the Leica M39 thread I keep reading of?

3) Is the gorgeous collapsible lens I've fallen for called the Industar-22? So many pics of very slightly different cameras and lenses have me confused...

4) As I'm getting this almost as an object of desire as a tool for naking images, I'm a bit tempted by these - http://www.ruscamera.net/copy.shtml - not the Nazi insignia ones (most certainly not this week!) but maybe the third or eighth ones down. I assume they're just a Zorki 1 with a bit of rebadging and that the 1/25th is a lie (as Z1 has 1/20th?)? Is there are compromise made upon the working condition of these cmeras by the coversion, or will they be just as good at making photos as a mint Zorki 1 from the same place?

5) If I'm right in saying that the Zorki 1 has interchangeable lenses, what actually happens when (for example) I stick an 85mm lens on? Will the focussing still be accurate, but I'll need to use a separate (bolt-on, I assume) finder for composition/guess at how much of the 50mm view will be cut out? Or does focussing need a separate finder?

Thanks for your patience!
Cheers,
Jamie

newspaperguy
01-27-2005, 04:48
Jamie... do yourself a favor... do some web searching.

Here's a couple of starting places:

http://jay.fedka.com./

http://www.okvintagecamera.com/

Laika
01-27-2005, 04:56
1) Anyone have experience of these guys - http://www.ruscamera.net ? Their prices actually seem quite reasonable for the UK.

>> None here, I've seen the site before and thought they were a bit pricy. I guess the Zorki 1 prices arenít that bad, some of the other are a bit over the top IMO.

2) Do Zorki 1 and FED1 cameras have interchangeable lenses? If so, is that the Leica M39 thread I keep reading of?

>> Yes. That includes the Soviet lenses like the Jupiter range, Leica screw mount and new Voigtlander lenses.

3) Is the gorgeous collapsible lens I've fallen for called the Industar-22? So many pics of very slightly different cameras and lenses have me confused...

>> The Zorki 1 comes with a Ind-22 as standard.

4) As I'm getting this almost as an object of desire as a tool for naking images, I'm a bit tempted by these - http://www.ruscamera.net/copy.shtml - not the Nazi insignia ones (most certainly not this week!) but maybe the third or eighth ones down. I assume they're just a Zorki 1 with a bit of rebadging and that the 1/25th is a lie (as Z1 has 1/20th?)? Is there are compromise made upon the working condition of these cmeras by the coversion, or will they be just as good at making photos as a mint Zorki 1 from the same place?

>> I wouldn't get one of the fake leica's or the refinished cameras as a user, a nice clean late model Zorki 1 would my preference. BTW a lot of the Zorki 1's have 1/25th.

5) If I'm right in saying that the Zorki 1 has interchangeable lenses, what actually happens when (for example) I stick an 85mm lens on? Will the focussing still be accurate, but I'll need to use a separate (bolt-on, I assume) finder for composition/guess at how much of the 50mm view will be cut out? Or does focussing need a separate finder?

>> Focusing should be ok but using long lenses like a 85mm on a Soviet RF especially wide open (say F2 on a Jupiter 9) can show up errors as the depth of field is so shallow. This can be caused by the RF not being set correctly, the lens being out of tolerance and the Zorki/FED 1 short base rangefinder. With lenses 50mm or wider you should have no problems. Any lens other than a 50mm will require a finder to match the lens the fits on the cameras shoe (like a flash shoe on later cameras)

pshinkaw
01-27-2005, 06:59
Jamie:

I've purchased from Ruscamera, but only on e-Bay auctions. I try and limit myself when buying from the former USSR to Seller's who use WesternBid. They tend to be reliable because WesternBid is very protective of their reputation. I know there is now a WesternBid Europe srevice, but I know nothing more about it.

From the UK, I don't really know how payments are handled. There is one UK based Soviet camera Seller whom I have purchased from in the past when he was US based. "Lemiu". I would not buy from him again.

The Zorki/ German style reproductions on Ruscameras website are basically made up out of Zorki-1's, Fed-1's (almost indistinguishable unless you have lots of experience) and Zorki-C and Zorki-2C's. (AKA Zorki-S and Zorki-2S). My feeling is that most of these reproduction style cameras were converted out of Soviet cameras that were so beat up that they could not be sold. Some are combinations of several cameras. With Soviet cameras that could be a problem becasue QC/QA was non-existsnt and parts from across a span of time might not interchange readily.

I have also heard from some people that they have found Fed and Zorki parts mixed in these cameras. Since Zorkis come from Moscow in Russia and Fed's come from Kharkov in the Ukraine, that is a sure sign that someone is freely mixing parts.

If you want to buy something good and have it backed up with a good reputation Seller. I echo the recommendation to use either Okicameras or Fedka. If you wan to have some fun and you don't mind buying 2 or 3 cameras to eventually get what you want, buy from someone either off the web, e-Bay or at a boot sale.

I suggest looking for something unmodified. Fed lenses with Fed cameras and Zorki lenses with Zorki cameras. You can interchange them yoursaelves, but I am cautious about buying from others who freely interchange parts.

There are Fed's which were made pre-WWII. Their lenses do not freely interchange with the LTM lenses or post-WWII Fed's. Reputedly there was an error in the Soviet reverse engineering that made the lens mount incompatible.

You probably are thinking about an Industar 22. That is a Leitz Elmar copy that is usually very good. Again QC/QA is the issue . I have an almost mint example that won't focus anywhere in this universe. I have 4 others that are terrific.

An Industar-50 collapsible is almost indistinguishable from the I-22. It has the advantage of being newer and perhaps less abused. It is reputed to be sharper, but I can't tell the difference.

The LTMN (39mm Leica screw thread mount) is supposed to be the standard. As I mentioned, the pre-WWII 39mm lenses were incorrectly reverse engineered (so say the historians). That is two types of 39mm lens mounts. There is a third type of 39mm lens mount too. It is a 39mm mount made for early Soviet SLR's which used the basic body form of the Zorki-1. These lenses will screw in but will not focus to infinity. They will also not have a rangfinder coupling collar inside the mount. Be careful when buying on e-Bay auctions because many Sellers do not know very much about their merchandise. They may telly ou something totally wrong.

The funny looking cameras with the out of proportion top rangfinder/viewfinder housing are Zorki-C and Zorki 2C's. These are improved versions of the earlier cameras. The Soviet's made incremental improvements in their design, much like they did in their defense industry and space program. These cameras are basically the earlier models with a flash synchronization mechanism incorporated into the top and a self-timer. The C has no strap lugs, the 2C has strap lugs.

These are my two favorite websites for Soviet cameras.

\\http://www.commiecameras.com/

http://www.geocities.com/fzorkis/


One last thing before I conclude this too long post. Always check when you buy one of these and make sure that you are getting a take-up spool. Most Sellers' don't intentionally leave it out, but they simply don't know. Those that do leave it out intentionally will try and make an additional $5 to $15 selling you one later.

Have fun.

-Paul

jamiewakeham
01-28-2005, 07:32
Thanks for advice, guys.

Rick - sorry if I gave the impression I hadn't. I've looked at a LOT of websites; probably too many. There's been at least one that categorically stated that Zorkis do not have interchangeable lenses, which confused the hell out of me! Admittedly I'd not found okvintagecameras, which does clear the issue up by means of showing lots of pictures of zorkis with no lens attached :-)
Of course, asking here gets you definitive and concise information in a tenth of the time it'd take to hunt down out there, and I'm very grateful for this!

So as long as I get a post-WWII FED or Zorki 1, it'll be happy with any Leica thread lens. And the looky-leicas (you've all heard that one before, haven't you?) are probably to be avoided. Thanks for the spool heads-up, by the way.

I'll let you know how I get on. Prices for these cameras aren't so great over here, and anything but the Zorki 4K seems quite rare - I look at the prices on your eBay with annoyance, realising that the shipping fee has just eaten up any saving made - but the strong pound makes anything bought in dollars reasonable at the moment.

Cheers,
Jamie

pshinkaw
01-28-2005, 09:02
Jamie:

How expensive is trip to the Continent from the UK? I hear that that there are many camera stores and open air market sales behind the former Iron Curtain. Prague is supposed to be an especially good place for cameras stores with both Eastern and Wstern products. I have heard that with the digital craze going full speed that there are a lot of used film cameras available.

With all of the cumpulsory vacation time I 've heard about in the EU, there must be some good opportunities to travel.

-Paul

peter_n
01-28-2005, 09:26
Jamie FWIW I have bought just one lens from Ruscamera, a Jupiter-8 that appears at first blush to be a very good lens. If it turns out to be as good as I think I may send it for a CLA but I need to get another roll back from it first. The glass is fantastic but there is oil on the aperture blades and focusing is smooth but not smooth enough. So far I'm very happy with this one item.

dll927
01-31-2005, 09:48
I got a Zorki 1 a while back, admittedly because the prices are a lot better than on real LTM Leicas. Never having handled an LTM Leica (I do have an M4-2), and assuming the Zorkis are copies, I was really surprised at how compact that thing is. Later Zorkis seem to have been on steroids! I'm trying to put together a set of Zorkis 1-6, and right now I'm missing a 2 and a 6. I keep watching eBay, etc.

One thing about eBay - you need to watch who you buy from. Go over some of the "feedback" on the sellers before you commit yourself. But all in all, I have been quite pleased with the condition of the examples I've bought. Some are hard to tell from new.

Somebody mentioned Czech Republic (Prague). I bought a beautiful Exakta VX1000 from a seller in Prague - again it looks nearly new. Since both of the Exaktas I've bought have the waist-level finders - something I'm not attuned to - I'm looking for a prism finder.

Back to Zorkis - I currently have a 1, a 3, two 4's and a 5. The 4's were by far the longest-lasting model in terms of how long they were produced - some 1,700,000 of them. Sort of like the Leica M3's and M6's. Although I'm not especially interested in using them as shooters, they make a nice display. (I'm too spoiled by more modern cameras - after a Minolta Maxxum 7, who wants to bother with those old-timers?)

RML
01-31-2005, 09:54
Although I'm not especially interested in using them as shooters, they make a nice display. (I'm too spoiled by more modern cameras - after a Minolta Maxxum 7, who wants to bother with those old-timers?)

Blasphemer! :eek: :)

dll927
01-31-2005, 10:48
I probably shouldn't have said I WON"T use them. But I'll have to have some time on my hands to play with them! I've always been primarily a color slide person, and I think I'd prefer to limit the Russkis to print film. But I also use my share of that, so there's always hope.

I might add, it's refreshing here NOT to see a lot of trivia about digital.

RML
01-31-2005, 10:51
Instead you get a lot of trivia about RF cameras. :)

dll927
05-02-2005, 12:31
But that's what we're here for!!