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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 02-15-2019   #1321
carbo73
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I was taking a snap of my FSU 'Barnacks' yesterday and, as I had a couple of minutes spare, thought I might as well get the Kievs out too. Here they are. The III top-left is a '52 and has some Contax parts. Next along is a Ukranian logo one. Bottom row starts with '55 Cyrillic II; '55 Export II; '56 IIa;



The Barnacks;



Philip.
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Old 02-23-2019   #1322
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Zorki 1b
Old 03-03-2019   #1323
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Zorki 1b

Purchased over three months ago, then refurbished by myself (needed a cleaning and the shutter ribbons were worn). Loads of experimenting with adjusting the shutter, etc. Now finally in reasonable working order.

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Old 03-03-2019   #1324
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Originally Posted by eratosthenes View Post
Purchased over three months ago, then refurbished by myself (needed a cleaning and the shutter ribbons were worn). Loads of experimenting with adjusting the shutter, etc. Now finally in reasonable working order.


You did do well; welcome aboard.


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Old 03-07-2019   #1325
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Bought a few things this last week.


First is just a humble 1949 Fed 1 (F) but in 99% mint condition. Even the leather of the case is just as it would have been when it was new.






Second was a Jupiter 12 for the Contax II and Kiev II things.
A 1958 from, unusually, the Arsenal plant. It came in its original bakelite case with front and rear caps;






Third was - apologies for it not being a rangefinder - this Almaz 103. "Obvious Signs of Usage" but at least it worked when it arrived - which doesn't always seem to be the case with these beasts!





The main reason I mention it here is I could really do with a bit of help from anyone who can read Russian!
There are three 'buttons' which I can't work out what they do.
They are numbered 16; 17 and 18 on pages 2 and 11 in this instruction book which, unluckily for me, is in the Native Tongue...

EDIT : I've worked out 17 and 18 (double-exposure unlock button and lever!) but 16 is still a bit of a mystery. If it is the release button for the ASA (GOST) speed dial then mine is not functioning! But the 103 doesn't have a meter and there is a film speed reminder frame on the rear of the camera so unless the GOST thing worked with one of the metering prisms?...

http://www.commiecameras.com/sov/35m...rs/manuals.htm

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!

Philip.
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Old 03-07-2019   #1326
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Old 03-07-2019   #1327
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Every camera in this photograph is a Soviet-era Russian camera.

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Old 03-07-2019   #1328
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16 is gost dial lock/unlock button.
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Old 03-07-2019   #1329
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16 is gost dial lock/unlock button.
Thank you, Santino, for the confirmation.
So as I suspected this might be the case mine is (for the moment?) non-functioning.


I could try to get it fixed, I suppose, but as there is no built-in meter there is nothing to be fooled and as metering prisms for this camera are, to all intents and purposes, merely mythical, legendary monsters...


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Old 03-08-2019   #1330
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Here's my little collection of communist cameras.










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Old 03-11-2019   #1331
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Zorki 4 and my Leica MP


Some impressions about the Zorki...

Difficult to cock the shutter, the button is too small and too deep in the camera (FED 2 is better). Heterogeneous arrangement of the speed dial, the release button and the accessory shoe at the top of the case. Their aluminum construction does not give off the same feeling of sturdiness as the rest of the camera case.
The trigger is located too high (compared to the Leica M) and too hard to trigger (and is pretty loud).
The viewfinder is relatively clear, but pinkish in color and the outline of the frame is not well defined. Small frame of the rangefinder don't have enough contrast, always compared to Leica M.
Erratic slow speeds, they sometimes work ... Rewinding defective, the armament does not recover properly after having actuated the button.
In fact the impression of an unreliable device on which we can not really count. (The FED 2 seems better drawn, better finished, even if its viewfinder seemed too small.)
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Old 03-11-2019   #1332
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Zorki 4 by Mike Novak, on Flickr
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Old 03-12-2019   #1333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aton View Post
Zorki 4 and my Leica MP


Some impressions about the Zorki...

Difficult to cock the shutter, the button is too small and too deep in the camera (FED 2 is better). Heterogeneous arrangement of the speed dial, the release button and the accessory shoe at the top of the case. Their aluminum construction does not give off the same feeling of sturdiness as the rest of the camera case.
The trigger is located too high (compared to the Leica M) and too hard to trigger (and is pretty loud).
The viewfinder is relatively clear, but pinkish in color and the outline of the frame is not well defined. Small frame of the rangefinder don't have enough contrast, always compared to Leica M.
Erratic slow speeds, they sometimes work ... Rewinding defective, the armament does not recover properly after having actuated the button.
In fact the impression of an unreliable device on which we can not really count. (The FED 2 seems better drawn, better finished, even if its viewfinder seemed too small.)

Let me guess; did you buy it online?

The problem with comparing a Leica M with a Zorki is that people neglect Zorkis and then sell them but they spend a lot of money on the M's. Treat any Leica like a Zorki and it will fail and treat a Zorki like a Leica and it will delight you.

As I see it - this is an unpopular view, btw - all cameras need looking after and servicing from time to time. One of my Nikons said, in the manual, that it should be returned for a check every two years and I see no reason why that shouldn't apply to any other camera; although 2 years seems a bit extreme to me.

The real problem is that cameras decline slowly and you don't really notice until it's a bit too late. But the next owner will; it happened when I bought my M2 years ago.

Regards, David



Regards, David

Last edited by David Hughes : 03-12-2019 at 02:02. Reason: Gerunds
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Old 03-12-2019   #1334
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
Let me guess; did you buy it online?

The problem with comparing a Leica M with a Zorki is that people neglect Zorkis and then sell them but they spend a lot of money on the M's. Treat any Leica like a Zorki and it will fail and treat a Zorki like a Leica and it will delight you.

As I see it - this is an unpopular view, btw - all cameras need looking after and servicing from time to time. One of my Nikons said, in the manual, that it should be returned for a check every two years and I see no reason why that shouldn't apply to any other camera; although 2 years seems a bit extreme to me.

The real problem is that cameras decline slowly and you don't really notice until it's a bit too late. But the next owner will; it happened when I bought my M2 years ago.

Regards, David



Regards, David

Dear David,

I love the Fed and Zorki, but I only made a descriptive feedback on my Zorki 4, my feelings. I have a different and more positive experience with my Fed 1 from 1940, which offers a more advanced level of mechanical engineering (also perhaps because it's a close copy of Leica 2.)
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Old 03-12-2019   #1335
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Originally Posted by aton View Post
Zorki 4 and my Leica MP......Some impressions about the Zorki.........always compared to Leica M....
With all due respect - and no offence intended I assure you - I'm failing to see any value whatsoever in comparing these two cameras. What, exactly, was the point you were trying to make? That a £30 Zorki isn't as well designed, engineered and manufactured as a £3,000 Leica?



If you wish to contrast the differing qualities of FSU cameras with their German antecedents then you could compare a Fed 1 with a Leica II. You could also compare a Zorki 1 with a Leica II. You could, furthermore compare a Kiev II with a Contax II and a Kiev III with a Contax III.

But to compare a Zorki 4 with a Leica MP? This is akin to comparing a Trabant with a Mercedes Benz...

Pip.
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Old 03-12-2019   #1336
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aton View Post
Zorki 4 and my Leica MP


Some impressions about the Zorki...

Difficult to cock the shutter, the button is too small and too deep in the camera (FED 2 is better). Heterogeneous arrangement of the speed dial, the release button and the accessory shoe at the top of the case. Their aluminum construction does not give off the same feeling of sturdiness as the rest of the camera case.
The trigger is located too high (compared to the Leica M) and too hard to trigger (and is pretty loud).
The viewfinder is relatively clear, but pinkish in color and the outline of the frame is not well defined. Small frame of the rangefinder don't have enough contrast, always compared to Leica M.
Erratic slow speeds, they sometimes work ... Rewinding defective, the armament does not recover properly after having actuated the button.
In fact the impression of an unreliable device on which we can not really count. (The FED 2 seems better drawn, better finished, even if its viewfinder seemed too small.)
On the other hand, I have a Zorki 4 and 4K, both of which have been fully and properly CLA'd. Ergonomics aside and not comparing them unrealistically to vastly more expensive cameras, they are both reasonably quiet. Both are smooth and easy to wind on. The slow speeds all work flawlessly, as do all the other mechanical functions. Do you suppose the CLAs have something to do with this?

There's no doubt that some FSU cameras were pups straight from the factory and the ergonomics and aesthetics suit some people and not others. Comparing to a Leica MP though, really?
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Old 03-13-2019   #1337
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Another time.. I never wanted to compare a Zorki 4 and a Leica MP. If you read carefully my post, I evoke the leica MP for holding the camera in hand, finding the trigger of the Zorki too high upon the camera, and concerning the rangefinder frame I say that it is quite low contrast (the reference of quality being the Leica), being the same case for the FED 1, Zorki 5 or a Kodak Retina etc.... This is a fact and not a comparison, an experience of the camera in my hand, no more. I think and say again that the FED 2 is better designed, for example for the position of the shutter) and the button of the film advance too, which one has better in hand.
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Old 03-13-2019   #1338
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aton View Post
.. I never wanted to compare a Zorki 4 and a Leica MP. If you read carefully my post...


Actually, aton, I did read your post carefully. This is what you wrote;

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...compared to the Leica M.........always compared to Leica M.


Philip.
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Old 05-27-2019   #1339
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Beautiful thread...

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Old 06-09-2019   #1340
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I was out with my Kiev 5. It was a hot day and I needed a break and a beer :-)


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Old 06-09-2019   #1341
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This is a cool, fairly scarce FSU, Zorki 3M, now wearing a spiffy Summitar, fitting and focusing well. This will be my knock-about combo when I'm riding the bike. The only thing that is weird, it is so easy for the shutter release button to spin over to the locked position. I know it when it happens, but why did they make this feature?



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Old 06-09-2019   #1342
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Quote:
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This is a cool, fairly scarce FSU, Zorki 3M, now wearing a spiffy Summitar, fitting and focusing well. This will be my knock-about combo when I'm riding the bike. The only thing that is weird, it is so easy for the shutter release button to spin over to the locked position. I know it when it happens, but why did they make this feature?



Wow, a FSU camera with a Summitar. I've seen usually the other side arround (myself), a Leica II or III with a Jupiter or Industar lens. Now I've "corrected" this buying at last an Elmar for my Leica III (but also having several FSU "cousins", FED-1, FED-2, Zorki-4, and even a Canon IIB).
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Old 06-09-2019   #1343
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Thanks! I bought the Summitar for a (gone) Leica IIIc, I like its character. It is a heavy lens but it happens to balance well on the 3M. I like to "churn" FSU cameras because they are easier on the wallet to try, though there is some money lost in the selling compared to the big "L". This one may be the next one to move on, but I think my Zorki-Zorki will be my keeper, they are the highest quality build of all the FSU, I think.

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Wow, a FSU camera with a Summitar. I've seen usually the other side arround (myself), a Leica II or III with a Jupiter or Industar lens. Now I've "corrected" this buying at last an Elmar for my Leica III (but also having several FSU "cousins", FED-1, FED-2, Zorki-4, and even a Canon IIB).
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Old 06-23-2019   #1344
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I visited Russia a few weeks ago, so I arranged to get a camera CLA'd which I picked up in Moscow. When we went to St. Petersburg, I dropped by a camera shop and added some lenses. This photo is missing two lenses. I went back to the shop after taking this picture and added a Jupiter 11. Then after shooting a couple rolls, I found that the stepless aperture on the Jupiter 8 was a bit of a pain as I was always knocking it between shots and getting off exposures as a result, so when I returned, I found a Jupiter 8M on ebay, which I bought and am using now.
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Old 06-23-2019   #1345
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Thanks! I bought the Summitar for a (gone) Leica IIIc, I like its character. It is a heavy lens but it happens to balance well on the 3M. I like to "churn" FSU cameras because they are easier on the wallet to try, though there is some money lost in the selling compared to the big "L". This one may be the next one to move on, but I think my Zorki-Zorki will be my keeper, they are the highest quality build of all the FSU, I think.
I'm waiting to test my newly acquired Zorki 3M but it feels very well built (better than the Zorki 4), and I have absolutely no worries about taking it anywhere.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #1346
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