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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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Russian Rangefinders ???
Old 06-27-2014   #1
Ned
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Russian Rangefinders ???

Any thoughts on Fed or Zorki Cameras, ie: Leica copies - I have four, a couple of Fed's, a Fed 2 & 3 + a couple of Zorki's, a Zorki 3 Olympic version & a Zorki 4. All are in full working order and used with a Weston Light Meter & Tmax 400 B&W film

Anybody else got one or any other Russian Camera?
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Old 06-27-2014   #2
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Fed, Zorki 4k, Zorki 6. The Fed has a light leak and the Zorkis work fine.
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Old 06-27-2014   #3
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I'm sure many here have Russian RFs ... in fact the chat about them was constant when I first joined RFF.

Sadly those days seem to be over.
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Old 06-27-2014   #4
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I think they've been moving on from the FSU stuff, Keith. Seems a lot of folks got one to see if they liked using a rangefinder, then went upscale from there.

Right now, Ned, I've got a Zorki 1D that has been retired (it's worn out), and three FED 2's that need work. The Zarya works now, but needs light seals somewhere.

What I like about the FED 2 is the wide rangefinder base combined with the viewfinder, and the built-in diopter adjustment on the viewfinder so I can use it without my glasses on. It looks much better than the original Leica copy, and if I ever get one of the three to work right, could be my everyday user. I really like the results from the lenses I have for it, and plan on getting more to fill out the kit.

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Old 06-27-2014   #5
AndersG
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I have a FED 2 loaded with TriX, a FED 3 (out of adjustment), a Zorki 1 (works well), a Zorki 4 (out of adjustment) and a Zorki 6 (light leaks). I usually use my Canon 7 due to its much better finder.
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Old 06-27-2014   #6
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Where are still talks about them. Mostly how to fix them, because most of them never seen CLA

Family FED-2, using it regularly. Zorki-6 which I CLA_ed few days ago.
Working Z-4, which I received as J-3 rear cap, it is missing film spool, need to get one.

Restored two Z-1 with dead curtains in the past and owned/used Moskva-2 and 5 6x9 RFs.

My 50mm RF most used primes are I-22 and J-3. I-26M on FED-2 is very nice lens as well.
I'm re-shimming J-3 to make it only one 50mm lens for my M4-2.
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Old 06-27-2014   #7
KnipsOmat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned View Post
Zorki 3 Olympic version
Zorki 3 Olympic? Hardly. The Zorki-3 were produced from 1951-1956. The Olympics were in 1980...

There's a couple of FED Olympic versions around, one of which is a FED-3 late style.

But no Zorki-3. In fact, no Olympic Zorki at all, as the only one being built long enough for this would be the Zorki-4K, but I'm not aware of any Olympic version of that camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned View Post
Anybody else got one or any other Russian Camera?
Yep. Just short of 100. From a 1937 Trudkommuna FED to a 1990 FED-5V. At least one of each major FED or Zorki model. Some of which are being used regularly.

Is that a Honda VFR 750 on your avatar?
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Old 06-27-2014   #8
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Sure, we're still around! See my signature.

I never warmed to my Zorki-4 (a very tired sample, to be fair) and gave it away, but the FED-2 is working so well it's boring

Plus a Zorki-1 in pieces, waiting for new curtains when I finally work up the nerve to tackle that job.

I would much rather keep a couple of FSU cameras than work around the compatible-but-not-quite issues with FSU lenses on Leicas. And you gotta use FSU lenses!
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Old 06-27-2014   #9
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I have a couple of pre-war Fed 1s, that I keep for collector purposes. I've shot them, but don't any more. I do use a lot of Soviet lenses still.
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Old 06-27-2014   #10
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I have 2 Zorki's a I and a 4 that were both professionally refurbished and I love using them plus they are a real conversation starter. I confess I dont use them if the shoot is critical but thats only because of some bad experiences with other somewhat abused Fed's
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Old 06-27-2014   #11
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Zorki-4K, Zorki-6, FED-3, FED-5b.
Lenses: J-8, J-12, I-61 Zebra, I-61 L/D.

I prefer the FED-3, a 50 years October Revolution model and the Zorki-6. In lenses I think the best 50mm is the Jupiter-8.

I am also working with a Leica M7 and some (4) Leica glass, so I can say the price quality for these Ukraine and Russian cameras are extremely good.

Greetz,

Robert
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Old 06-27-2014   #12
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I still use my FED-2 every now and again, especially in winter, since with the collapsible FED 50 it fits easily in a coat pocket. It's a handy street photography camera.
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Old 06-27-2014   #13
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Not exactly russian, though, as they were copied, developed and manufactured by Soviet people and that included russians, ukrainians, belorussians and many more.

I have poor FED, 5 that is, and while it doesn't have long RF base nor it is made from German made parts, mine works OK. Cleaned and relubed Industar-61 L/D. Not the thing I'd like to have as only rangefinder but it works and gives feeling of late Soviet era photographic gear.
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Old 06-27-2014   #14
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I've got a Fed 3 and Zorki 4, plus two malfunctioning Kievs I need to get rid of. Previously had a Fed 4 and a Fed 5, but prefer the earlier model 3 greatly.

The Zorki 4 has a great VF, whereas the Fed 3 has a good smooth feel in use. I don't use RFs much these days, but I use the Zorki occasionally.
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Old 06-27-2014   #15
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I been using my Zorki 4k with a J-3 lens for a few weeks now.

I do enjoy using this set-up.
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Old 06-27-2014   #16
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a fed, a fed 2, a fed 3, a zorki and a zorki 6.
the fed 3 is a dud, the fed has a gummy lens, and the zorki 6 is a maniac exhibitionist whose back has fallen open on two out of three films I put through it.

The fed 2 is lovely, accurate rangefinder, diopter adjustment, reasonable viewfinder.

But the russians made me realise that an old leica isn't all that expensive : about the price of a mid-range tourist grade DSLR. And I fell in love with the viewfinder of an M2, an event that forced me into a bigamous relationship with an M3, and I feel my fed 2 must feel extremely jealous. I don't dare approach it for fear of a tizzy fit.

In the mean time, I'm having a quite amazing triangular relationship with my two M's, a summitar and an ultron 28.
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Old 06-28-2014   #17
David Hughes
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Hi,

They are all nice (especially the FED 2) but like all old cameras etc just need a bit of TLC in their old age. F'instance, I've a Leica (from the period before they had model numbers) with a stiff or gummy lens that makes it very slow to focus but it's nearly 90 years old and so to be expected.

Regards, David
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Old 06-28-2014   #18
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I did as farlymac said. Bough a zorki 4, then a fed 2 (wich I'm totally in love with) loved the rangefinder experience but...I wear glasses and i don't like too much to pull the shutter dial each time to change shutter speed so I changed to a canon 7.
I used to have film loaded in the canon 7 and the fed 2 but the shutter died on fed and on zorki...Hope to replace the fed (or maybe try to fix it...) someday.
Anyway I'm still enjoying the jupiter 8 and an industar 61 almost everyday!
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Old 06-28-2014   #19
rbiemer
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Welcome aboard, Ned!
Hmmm, I currently have FED 3, 4, 5 and Zorki 1--the Zorki Zorki one (maybe a 1d, not quite sure). And a Zorki 4. And an Agat 18k. And a Kiev 4--that one was repainted black and marked "Contax" at some point. And a few lenses; J-8, J-11, Industar 50 rigid, I-22 collapsible, I-26, I-61 L/D. And a turret finder.
Previously owned and used (and liked) a couple of Zorki 3m cameras. Had a Kiev 60 for a while. That one I bought from Arax and liked it pretty well also.
I am idly looking to get another Zorki 3m and another J-12 lens. And thinking about an Arax Kiev 88.

The main 50mm lens I use on my primary camera--a Bessa R--is the 1955 Jupiter-8. I like my results with that lens quite a lot. If the J-12 I had would have fit my Bessa, I wouldn't have sold it. And, the J-9 I owned was, fortunately, well sorted for use on western LTM cameras but I wanted a CV 75mm and so I sold a few things.
There are more than a few of us FSU gear folks around, I think.
Rob
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Old 06-28-2014   #20
pete hogan
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My routine camera is a Zorki 1c with an Industar-22 or Jupiter-8, and occasionally a Jupiter-11. Tri-X, though they do fine with Fuji Superia color too.
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Old 06-30-2014   #21
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I use a Kiev-4A since 1975 and I'm still happy with it and its lenses.

In the past, I've been a collector of former-Soviet cameras, also using those that intrigued me more.

Now, my collection is (mostly) gone, but I think that these cameras, treated with the care necessary with mechanisms that usually are 30/60 years old, can give fine results.

E.L.
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Old 06-30-2014   #22
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Kiev 4A (does not really work ...), Fed3b, Zorki6, Moskva-5. Lenses, J12 (Kiev and LTM mount), Industar-50 (black and chrom), J-8, Helios-103 (?) in Kiev mount. The J-12 are really good and so are the Industar-50, the J-8 I am not convinced if it focuses OK.
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Old 07-01-2014   #23
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A Kiev II and Zorki 1d that still get regular use, more than the Canons or Bessas,
plus an early Kiev 4 and Zorki 1e that both work well, but are sorta step-children .

Also a couple of Kiev 4's in pieces. (Not everything always works. )
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Old 07-06-2014   #24
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I posted this pix in the Leica ltm section in response to a inquirey about CV veiwfinders, but I thought it might be worth a repeat (retweet?)

Some things just don't work well together:

Like an old-style CV finder on a Leica II-type body.*



Ok, I guess, if you don't want to change shutter speeds.

*That's my "old, been everywhere, still works great" Zorki 1d shown with a CV25/4 lens & finder.

(Oleg's CLAs really endure. I got this from him with the usually in-place J-12 back in the early 80's.

It looked a lot better before it spent 20 years on the floors of my various trucks...

even survived a wreck - which that particular truck didn't!)
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