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Still Cameras > KGB - Spy Cameras > Zorki-6 Portfolio Disguise
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Zorki-6 Portfolio Disguise

This portfolio disguise is quite unusual, since it is using a full-size 35mm rangefinder - Zorki-6.

This type of cheaply-made portfolio was quite common in the USSR in the 1970’s, and probably some time before and after. It is made of soft vinyl, with a single compartment and a flap with a latch. The whole portfolio is about 40-50mm thick.

The camera and mechanical parts are assembled on an aluminum plate. There are two paddle-type levers, left and right (look at the picture where the Zorki-6 is in upright position). The left paddle lever is used to wind the ratcheted crank of the Zorki-6. 3-4 squeezes of the bottom left part of the portfolio would wind the shutter. As you can see the winding lever is modified slightly.

The right paddle lever is used to release the shutter; this is done with one squeeze of the right side of the portfolio. The whole mechanism is easy to see on the picture where the Zorki-6 is upside down.

The lens is a modified 28mm Orion-15. It is stripped of almost all metal down to the lens block. I think it is pre-focused at hyperfocal distance, or infinity.

When the release level is squeezed, the portfolio keyhole plate moves down, and when it is open the camera fires.

Shutter speed dial is accessible from the top of portfolio, when the top flap is open.

This unit was purchased in Odessa, Ukraine, and reportedly came from a local police warehouse. I would agree with this theory, since it looks quite crude for a KGB production. The unit is also much louder than the F-21, during shooting and winding.
I guess police also needed to spy on people. There is a serial number on the plate (#023), so they probably made quite a few of these.

The devise is fully functional, and must have taken good pictures – full-size 35mm frame and a sharp lens.

Oh, and the mechanics are taking the whole space inside, no place for a gun. A knife maybe? A small bottle of cyanide?
(Click to enlarge)

Created by fedka on 5/7/2008 3:10:16 PM   |   Last Edited by fedka on 5/7/2008 3:37:49 PM   Revision History  
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