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 Zorki 4 and S?
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Posted - Jan 13 2021 :  06:30:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi there. I'm not a professional photograph, so my knowledge is quite basic. I am looking to purchase (what I guess is a modified) Zorki S or 4...images attached. I want to use this for taking photos. The site that is selling them seems to be selling them more for "cool" factor than function. They are coming from the USSR. I have asked the owners if they work and they say they are functional but have not tested recently because film is expensive and or hard to get.

So I am not sure about purchasing from this site, even though they cameras are 50-60USD. I am wondering if anyone could give advice as to where I could find these types of cameras, that are funcional, at around the same price. Thank you!
http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/1312021_Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 07.21.10.png

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/1312021_Screen Shot 2021-01-13 at 07.21.53.png

Michael Perkins
United Kingdom
23 Posts
Posted - Jan 13 2021 :  11:48:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Sam,

Personally I would steer clear of these modified cameras. It's not impossible you'll get one that's fine, but they look like they're made more for display and likely to be made from cameras that would otherwise not be saleable.

Buying old cameras is always a lottery. You can test that a camera is basically working quite easily. So if it is tested as working, you can reasonably expect the shutter to fire, it to wind on correctly, and the rangefinder to be ok. Self-timer may not work unless the seller says it does - it's not really considered a critical function I find. The slow speeds might be dodgy too, with the camera still described as tested and functional. If a camera is sold as "untested", as so many are, you might feel like taking a risk. But it won't often pay off in my experience, since sellers might describe a camera as "untested" to avoid having to say "tested, and not working".

Almost no sellers test with film. I can't blame them - it's time consuming and costs money. And the results might come back that the camera doesn't work well, which leaves the seller with the dilemma of whether to declare that or not, since declaring it would lose them the money they spent testing it and more. If it does work well, great, but they are taking a risk.

Alas, there are a couple of problems that only show up running a film through. Firstly, light leaks. No big deal generally, since you can usually avoid by sticking black tape around the back after loading the film. Worse though is banding, where the curtain moves irregularly and gives bands of more- and less-exposed film across the negative. This is very common, unfortunately, and doesn't even happen consistently, so you'll see it on some frames and not others.

This all sounds quite disheartening, but in my experience there are a lot of reliable sellers out there on eBay, and the problems with the cameras they sell are really not their fault - they are trying their best. Unless you find someone who really has run a film through, you can't be sure, though. Maybe someone on this forum has one they know works and would be prepared to part with? Does it have to be a Zorki 4? What about a FED? And the leaf shutter cameras tend to be much more reliable - the Smenas take surprisingly good pictures!

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Guido Studer
362 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jan 13 2021 :  5:28:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit Guido's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by sambrown19

They are coming from the USSR.

Really? The USSR has gone December 26th 1991, it don't exist anymore. Maybe you mean the Russian Republic?

For the proposed Mickey Mouse camera my advice would be to look on eBay for a newly CLAed Zorki-6 or Zorki-4K. (CLA stands for cleaned, lubricated and adjusted AFAIK).

Best wishes - Guido
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Vladislav Kern
4188 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jan 15 2021 :  09:17:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If you want a working camera I would probably check with https://fedka.com/catalog/ in US or Oleg Khalyavin https://www.okvintagecamera.com/ if you're in Europe.. these are all CLAed ones ready for shooting.

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Posted - Jan 16 2021 :  2:49:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
thanks vlad. just looked at oleg's page. wonderful cameras and reasonable prices. I ordered a camera and will report back when it arrives.

www.a7camera.com www.120folder.com www.instantphoto.eu www.135compact.com www.oddcameras.com
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