Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ

 All Forums
 General Discussion
 Collectors and Users Open Forum
 A strange Zorki 4

Note: You must be registered in order to post a reply.
To register, click here. Registration is FREE!

Antispam question: What letter is used to denote aperture on a lens?
Format Mode:
Format: BoldItalicizedUnderlineStrikethrough Align LeftCenteredAlign Right Horizontal Rule Insert HyperlinkInsert EmailInsert Image Insert CodeInsert QuoteInsert List

* Forum Code is ON

New! Upload Image

Smile [:)] Big Smile [:D] Cool [8D] Blush [:I]
Tongue [:P] Evil [):] Wink [;)] Clown [:o)]
Black Eye [B)] Eight Ball [8] Frown [:(] Shy [8)]
Shocked [:0] Angry [:(!] Dead [xx(] Sleepy [|)]
Kisses [:X] Approve [^] Disapprove [V] Question [?]

Check here to subscribe to this topic.

T O P I C    R E V I E W
uwittehh Posted - Dec 19 2017 : 2:37:27 PM
Hello to all,

this strange Zorki 4 arrived today. When I saw it first I thought, nice, a grey Zorki 4, but when I looked closer at the pictures everything looks totally different. Now I have it in my hands and it is totally different:

1) Different molded top cover
2) Other type of lever for rangefinder sharpness
3) No screws on top cover and no screws on front
4) No serial number!
5) Lens dated from 1957 but has the double focus helix
6) Different screws that hold the shutter on bottom, looks as if it could be removed at one piece. I will see this when I try to diassemble it. The I'll make more pictures of the inside.

It is totally functional and nothing of the differencies are selfmade. So, what is it? A Zorki 4 prototype?

Hera are some pictures:


35   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Luiz Paracampo Posted - Mar 23 2018 : 8:01:28 PM
Thanks -Everything solved !
Copper alloy painted bottom

levonsa Posted - Mar 23 2018 : 05:11:01 AM




Luiz Paracampo Posted - Mar 20 2018 : 4:06:06 PM
and about the bottom plate?
The question remains!
Luiz Paracampo Posted - Mar 20 2018 : 4:05:01 PM
Fantastic! the top is injection moulding as I suspected!
Thanks a lot for the clearance of the question
levonsa Posted - Mar 19 2018 : 4:47:22 PM





levonsa Posted - Mar 15 2018 : 6:06:41 PM
I myself do not understand why there is not this camera!
I guess I just do not have time to do everything ....:)))
Luiz Paracampo Posted - Mar 15 2018 : 5:41:27 PM
Of course Alexey!
The exact shoe mount finish is another Strong reason of my suspects and of course the name engraving!
My best regards!

PS I can't understand the abscence of this model in your site.
levonsa Posted - Mar 15 2018 : 09:48:52 AM
Luiz greetings!
I have such camera Zorky-6.
If you are interested, I can open and take a photo inside.
Regards, Alexey!



D-KLIK Posted - Mar 15 2018 : 07:30:32 AM
Woaaw ! This gives the Zorki 6 such a great look...
Luiz Paracampo Posted - Mar 14 2018 : 05:00:22 AM
This Zorki 6 type, seen at Aidas site conduct ourselves to believe that the moulded top was used on Zorkis.
This camera is contemporary of Kristall that used the same "hammered paint" and the same name ingravings:
Ths câmera was also a matter of discussion in this site some tim ago.

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1432018_zorki 61.png

Luiz Paracampo Posted - Mar 10 2018 : 4:19:50 PM
observe that Kristall asr thefollowing camerato use ths process but it died there wit no further productuin using similar technology.
In Checoslovakia the Etareta used a similar technich
D-KLIK Posted - Mar 07 2018 : 04:20:07 AM
I agree with Yuri. The milled top case undoubtedly says it is a prototype ; this would be much too costly for serial production, but is definitely the way for prototyping because you already have the machine-tools in shop for other things to do, and the cost (and time) of developing a mold + process for the cast part is way too high for just a few parts ; especially as it is more difficult (and costly) to achieve high precision on cast parts than on milled parts. Same in aerospace that I know well...
To Juhani's point, casting will allow to produce parts of complex shape easily (once you have the mold) ; however when the shape is complex it is fairly difficult to ensure high quality, and to control it. The geometric tolerances are not as good as on milled parts, so you may run into later difficulties during assembly. Also, due to uneven alloy cooling-down if the shape is complex, you may have inconsistencies leading to micro-cracks, voids, that will make the parts more fragile. This might well be why, despite significant time savings, a consolidated design was not retained in the end... Of course, bureaucratic routine would be another credible reason :-) !
cedricfan Posted - Mar 05 2018 : 10:55:39 PM
Maybe it was too difficult to produce with needed preciseness?

Best regards,
uwittehh Posted - Mar 05 2018 : 3:06:36 PM
Luiz, wow, great find! But I wonder a bit why they did not built it when it saves time and money...


Luiz Paracampo Posted - Mar 05 2018 : 2:41:14 PM


Of great importance for the improvement of photographic production was the proposal of Nikolai Mikhailovich Marenkov - Combine the upper cover of the outer casing, the casing of the curtain, the objective plateau and the camera's rangefinder case into one cast piece. (Previously, these parts were manufactured separately and attached to each other.) To assess the economic effect of the introduction of this proposal, you need to imagine that the top cover of the camera passed 19 mechanical and finishing operations. The body of the curtain shutter had 18 mechanical operations. Only by reducing the mechanical processing of parts on each machine, the time savings was 46 minutes. And this is without taking into account the release of workers, machine tools, the elimination of assembly and fastening of these parts. In monetary terms, the total savings during the transition to casting was at least 200 thousand rubles a year.
Such a solid body was used in the development of new plant equipment. (Page 114)
Year 1957
Luiz Paracampo Posted - Dec 28 2017 : 1:07:13 PM
according to my experience this camera follows general construction lay-out used on Kristall Zorki 6 and all the following Zenits -3M, E, EM, etc.
althought not accepted to be put into production this câmera is easier to load than normal Zorki 4 and are similar to FED 2, 3, 4,and 5 altthough crate constructions differs considerably

The intiguing screw has exactly the function I first preview _Nothing!
its point nclusive may damage the upper strap.
and a Happy New Year to all our USSRphoto companions!
uwittehh Posted - Dec 28 2017 : 11:47:00 AM
As I said before I want to try to remove the shutter to see how it is fixed on the body. My thougths were that the black screw on the back and the 4 screws on the bottom of the shutter fixes it.

I removed the black screw, it seems to be a senseless big set screws that fixes - nothing! When removed you can see the top strap of the shutter. I have no idea which sense this screw has ...

Then I removed the 4 screws on bottom to see if something got loose. But nothing happens, the shutter sits tight as before. So I have no ideas how it is fixed. On top I don't see any screws that may hold it.


levonsa Posted - Dec 28 2017 : 01:43:19 AM
A unique camera!
fedka Posted - Dec 24 2017 : 08:41:56 AM
I think Vlad said it correctly here - "I believe this is a prototype made mid-production as an attempt to simplify the production of the camera with a single-piece top cover that seems like was not approved by the management as it would require significant changes in assembly line at the time"

The single piece top cover in this Zorki is milled, not cast. They do not commit to high cost of tooling (form) for casting until all prototyping is finished with milling (same practice in use today, though with 3D printing it is much simple).

Also, they did not know for sure how to deal with diopter adjustment lever and made it internal with a fixed screw. Which is a good idea - there is usually one user, the diopter is adjusted and set with a screw. A usual lever is easy to knock out of position, a nuisance.

This must be truly one of a kind camera, we are all lucky to see it here.

Jacques M. Posted - Dec 24 2017 : 05:19:22 AM

Much interesting!
Thanks for the pictures, Ulrich. I understand you could not wait more!

The cover is original and the way to fix it by the hidden screw is very smart! It would be interesting too to weigh this camera and compare to the running production.

Really, congratulations, Ulrich!

Amitiés. Jacques.
uwittehh Posted - Dec 24 2017 : 02:11:45 AM

thanks for your opinions. You are right, the back cover is about 0,5 to 1 cm taller than a normal Zorki 4 back cover. After Christmas I have more time to make some comparison pics.

To the screw: I think the one on the back holds the shutter on the shutter housing. The "screw" in the second picture of the lens mount isn't a screw, it is the lacquer that has sealed the screw of the mount. The lacquer comes off in one piece so that it looks like a screw :-)


Luiz Paracampo Posted - Dec 23 2017 : 10:05:24 PM
there are some intriguing pictures:
The advance knob has a diferente stripe from rewind meaning two diferente batch eras.
The accessory shoe is from Zorki 3 series era
and two screws: One on the upper right side of the film frame and the other head of a screw in the second Picture of the lens mount.
what do they there?

Luiz Paracampo Posted - Dec 23 2017 : 9:44:15 PM

You are the Boss!
Undoubtly a great neat construction! And of course the camera of our 2017 Christmas!

This camera shows a clear construction ressamblance with the contemporary Kristall and shares the same large spring in the bottom.
The top cover although not painted as on Kristall SLR, is of cast alloy. The bach cover is also taller and easier film loading.
According to my view, this prototype is a tentative in standartize shutter mechanics together Kristall and future Zenit 3M and also not the Zorki 5 but clearly the Zorki 6 that shares the same body construction lay-out, and pehaps speed up production.

uwittehh Posted - Dec 23 2017 : 4:07:00 PM
Vlad, ok that's a reason :-)

Maybe Zoom knows something about this Zorki 4?


Vlad Posted - Dec 23 2017 : 3:50:54 PM
Oh Ulrich, there are so many Soviet cameras we haven't heard of! .. You have to realize, the camera production in USSR was a front for 80-90% of seceret military production in those factories.. A lot of the archives that contain information about these prototypes sometimes still fall under top-secret/military non-disclosure.. In Arsenal lots of it was just simply destroyed because they were classified when the factory was closing.. but I'm sure if you dig deeper in KMZ archives you will find so much more!

uwittehh Posted - Dec 23 2017 : 3:42:28 PM
Vlad, thanks :-)

And thanks for the picture op the opened regulary Zorki 4, I thought about to open one for a comparison picture :-)

Yes, I also wondered how many changes there are just under the top cover. Now I think about to open a Zorki 5 to see the differences.

But the biggest questionmark in my eyes for me is why havn't we heard of such a Zorki 4 before? It's on no website I know, not in Princelle, not in the 1200 cameras from the USSR book. And how much were made of them, mine seems to be number 5, but of how much?


Vlad Posted - Dec 23 2017 : 2:49:58 PM
Wow, this is a very different camera! Thank you for disassembling it, the hidden screw for the top cover especially surprised me . Here's a 1957 Zorki-4 with first top off for comparison. Quite, quite interesting camera, congratulations Ulrich!


Best regards,

uwittehh Posted - Dec 23 2017 : 1:43:00 PM
I've had the time today to start the disassembling :-)

Some very interesting things:
- The top cover is not moulded, it's milled from one piece, see the pictures.
- Under the film pressure plate and inside the top cover is a handwritten "5".
- The screws of the mount ring were secured by laquer.

There are more interesting details, the screws on the bottom for the shutter, the screw on the back on top that seems to hold the shutter and so on, just see the pictures.

The next step will be to see how the shutter is attached to the body and if it could be removed.


Jacques M. Posted - Dec 23 2017 : 11:21:16 AM

I completely share Vlad's opinion. The molded cover looks like a Zorki 5's. The reinforcement for the lens does not exist on the belt, here. A sort of return to the past, or a look towards the Zorki 5... The lack of any front screws is another mystery: how is the shutter box correctly fixed to the belt?

Certainly you will have surprises when opening your find, Ulrich!

Amitiés. Jacques.
uwittehh Posted - Dec 22 2017 : 2:34:30 PM
Jacques and Vlad,

I will disassemble it the next days (after XMas) and show pictures. I am very excited of the inside and what is different to a normal Zorki 4 :-)
After that I will put it into our Wiki.


Vlad Posted - Dec 22 2017 : 09:25:57 AM
Ulrich! That is a fantastic camera congratulations!

I believe this is a prototype made mid-production as an attempt to simplify the production of the camera with a single-piece top cover that seems like was not approved by the management as it would require significant changes in assembly line at the time.. It may also have been a transitional camera or a prototype for Zorki-5 as the single top cover design started in 1958. So this is a very historically significant camera! If you could add it to the catalog it would be amazing! Congratulations once again!

I am waiting anxiously for disassembly picture!
Best regards,
xalmaz Posted - Dec 20 2017 : 1:58:14 PM
Originally posted by uwittehh

Xalmaz, I don't think so. I own a Zorki 4 Medical set in a wooden box. The Zorki body of the set looks like a total normal Zorki 4 and has only a different mount.



You're right, very unusual sample. Probably disassembling tell something.

Jacques M. Posted - Dec 20 2017 : 04:41:36 AM

The rangefinder could be different inside, with such a button instead of a concentric lever. And the usual screw on the front, to reach the internal regulation of the rangefinder, is absent too.
That remembers the evolution of the Zorki 3: no screw on the first ones, screw for the running production.

A very interesting find!

Amitiés. Jacques.
uwittehh Posted - Dec 19 2017 : 11:37:30 PM
Xalmaz, I don't think so. I own a Zorki 4 Medical set in a wooden box. The Zorki body of the set looks like a total normal Zorki 4 and has only a different mount.


xalmaz Posted - Dec 19 2017 : 11:23:18 PM
AFAIK, it's a medical Zorki-4. Supplied as part of various medical(science) devices: microscope attaches(MFN-x), eye-/gastro-scope, etc. Not unical, but NOT often meeting.


USSRPhoto.com Forums © USSRPhoto.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000