I know I'm supposed to be finishing my collection but this has been in my ebay watch list for some weeks now. I went for it. From seller emjaybe63 in Ukraine. I've bought from this seller before. Its a British guy living over there. I think it took just 4 days to arrive.
The camera is in good condition, worn a little but no bashes or anything and the shutter and rangefinder appear to be spot on. The shutter curtains appear to have been replaced, he said it had been CLA'd.
A nice little camera. I can't wait to use it. Back loading too - not bottom loading like my 2C
The best of the Zorki models, it was intended as the flagship model, but the designers moved on the type 4, and I think got it a bit wrong. The 4 remained a long time, but the design team in Russia were more involved with the reflex Zenith by then.
It comes up to Leica in specification, and exceeds in details, like the removable back, able to open and close cassettes, and an excellent viewfinder, with a good rangefinder.
Whilst good spec., of course the usual caveat is the standard of build, but these were intended to be used professionally and to sell at a premium price.
The Russian designers were influenced to alter the Zorki 3 to the 4, by export requirements, they felt it looked a bit old fashioned, and the 4 more acceptable. The four soon lost engraving because of the sales export push, they changed to inked lettering to enable the name and brand to be altered to suit the importers around the world.
The 3 was always engraved, and generally better finished than the later model. Side by side with the Leica or the early Fed or Zorki it is a lot larger, having aquired a die cast body and back, and the bosses under the shafts on the base push the height up.
The shutter follows the last design before the 4, with separate low speeds, before the integration on one knob.
The model has variants on flash and self timer versions.
All in all a nice camera, they usually work well with Leica lenses, and deliver as good as the lens can manage. The removable back is very worth while in testing, as ground glass can be used to check focus etc. The non removable back on Leica was a silly mistake by them.
Still after a decent one, as costs allow, I have the others in the whole Zorki range now.
So I will blame you for no Christamas lunch,.... !..
I have given into evil temptation, and bought one from the same seller, looks OK in his pictures, slight rubbing, claims serviced, lens OK with slight cleaning marks.
I had wondered about this seller, but he seems to have supplied a large amount with little or no complaints on EBay.
Same model Zorki 3 with the low speed knob.
Hope the lens is a good one, but at least it can take others like the Leica and TTH, and all other 39mm screw lenses.
I have never had a bad Soviet lens bar damaged ones, and now having had a lot in the last year or two, had no problems at all.
I suspect that the standard was higher than once thought, after all until recently the old lenses from the pre 60's were rare items. Condition was often poor due to age or bad owners.
All the then current 1970's Russian lens on new cameras we sold were 100%, failures were down to the photographer, not the lenses.
I think a lot of the examples of the early stuff are just worn or damaged over time, and the poor reputation was grounded in using poorly looked after examples.
I know of at least one Industar that was used for work used in the National Geographic magazine, including covers, and they demanded the highest standards....mind you the lens was on a fake Leica and posing as an Elmar at the time!....the owner was not best pleased to find out the lens was Russian and not treasured German glass! He brought the copies of the National Geographic in to the shop to show us, along with the Kodachrome slides, and they were perfect, but just not made by Leica glass....
That completes the Zorki collection, still trying for a Leningrad......now put off again with this purchase.
I have a Zorki 3 with flash sync added and a 3M which is the same camera without the slow speed dial. I actually prefer the 3M. IMO it would be the perfect camera with flash sync. I had a Leningrad but sold it. There are reports that firing the shutter repeatedly on the 'Grad can pulverize the viewfinder. It's an interesting camera and one of the few that shows the Soviets were capable of independent design.
Thanks for your replies and particularly Stephen for (as always) his knowlege. I'm sure you will be happy with your purchase. Mike has has sold me a few lovely cameras. I trust him completely. Not bad prices either perhaps a tad high but you know you you'll get one that works. That's good enough for me.
Its a shame that this hasn't got flash sync, but I can accept it.
Stephen, a question. The eyepiece is blurred, I can see thru it all right with my glasses on, but prefer not to use them. Can I adjust the focus of the eyepiece? It's either stuck or not supposed to be turned.
Wayne, the Leningrad sounds interesting I've seen the odd one on ebay. I'll keep a look out for one. Particularly if it will fit in with the 1954-1957 theme of my collection.
Last Edit: Nov 23, 2014 13:39:08 GMT -5 by philbirch
As far as I know, only the Fed had adjustable eyepieces at first, lever, or the knurled surround. The Zorki had fixed design, and it looks more like fixed one.....you could get a prescription lens and have it cut to fit a holder on the rim, or if the prescription is simple, then find a Poundland pair of reading glasses, that work for you, and cut out the lens, as they are made of resin. Put sellotape on each side and cut with a hacksaw, then round it off with sandpaper to smooth and fit (remove the tape!). Then find a tube that fits the surround and fit together, or get a lathe owner to turn one in stainless steel
On the flash, get a syncroniser, fits a cable release, and most are adjustable to suit both bulb and electronic. they are a bit of kit that has been forgotten these days, and the reason so many cameras had no flash contacts in those days.
Some net sources report the Leningrad as being made with contaminated Mazak casting metal. Mazak is stable when pure, and most Russian castings are sound, but if any trace of lead gets in the metal at the foundry, the Mazak oxidises and expands, eventually disintegrating. The Leningrad may have had he issue, the numbers were low, and all the chassis could be affected. It seems not all are, so people say it can't be Mazak disease, but the problem was patchy anyway, one batch of metal OK, the next day bad.
Amazingly the problem seems to have come from the metal foil used to wrap cigarettes, lead tin alloy was used at one time to make the thin foil, and people at the foundry threw the foil papers into the melt.
The manufacturers knew no contamination was allowed, the US inventor of Mazak demanded 99.9% purity, and sold it on this basis, but the works seem to re-use old castings or chuck in things like the foil, or aluminium, not realising that it ruined the castings later on.
Last Edit: Nov 23, 2014 15:04:04 GMT -5 by Stephen
I have bought the cheap incomplete one as I can make the adaptor for the speed dial, and was willing to take the risk it will take a bit of adapting.
A search for syncronizers will bring up a UK one of the same item, with adaptor and instructions but it is £29 plus post.
I very much expect that even with the knob it might not fit the Zorki. But there are other listings, including three cable adaptors, and they are cheap, but the postage near £15, as they are in the States.
If anybody is unfamiliar with the body mounted Leica fit syncroniser, it is an electric switch fitted into the camera shoe, with a knob on the side, which is struck by the rotating speed dial, fitted with a cap with a bulge that strikes the switch. The adaptor fits the top of the speed dial, and is marked with positions to set the sync.
On the viewfinder......it has got an adjuster, just like the Fed, under the rewind knob, yours is there in the shot, and moves back and forth to adjust the diopetre of the viewfinder lens.
... Stephen, a question. The eyepiece is blurred, I can see thru it all right with my glasses on, but prefer not to use them. Can I adjust the focus of the eyepiece? It's either stuck or not supposed to be turned ...
Phil, in case you still haven't solved you're eyepiece adjustment, take a look under the rewind knob. Is that small lever a diopter adjuster? Just a thought.
The syncroniser brought to mind a conversation in a group at the local photographic club. The chairman, a very good photographer, bemoaned the lack of a contact on some early cameras when the subject of the early Russian cameras came up. I mentioned syncronisers and he said they were awkward to set etc. I said, of course you do not need one really, as if the flash has a button to fire, then all you do is set to B and fire the shutter and then the flash and release the shutter.....he said B****r!... He had never thought of doing that! It of course works with all cameras with B setting.....which is what B stands for, to fire bulbs.
I actually had to do this once with a relatively modern 35mm camera when a large group of us were celebrating the arrival of new millenium in the centre of town. The hot-shoe contact on my camera wasn't working, I had no flash lead, so I did exactly as you suggested, opened the shutter on 'B', fired the flash with the test button, and then closed the shutter. Interesting ghost images and trails from surrounding lights, but it did the job!
Results very dependent on the film speed!.....I heard old stories of Victorian Photographers using slow wet emulsion, with by our standards slow lenses for portraiture, who would ask the sitters to stay still, take of the lens cap, and sit down and wait whilst drinking a cup of tea, then say to the sitters, you can move now...and only then remember to put the cap back on, or fit the darkslide plate.....the shots came out fine anyway!!!