Rangefinder love....

First off, here's a few photos of this soviet shooter... Zorki 4

Zorki 4


As I've said in my previous post... What is it about rangefinders?!

I found this particular guy sitting on a shelf at this little shop near school.  My accounting class had the day off, so I decided to check the store out in my free time.  I love looking at cameras, and wanted to see some that day.  I really didn't know what to expect at the shop.  I knew there would be at least one Pentax K-1000 sitting around as it's such a ubiquitous 35mm camera.  The shop's website is very Web 1.0, so it was really just a shot in the dark walking in.

I was greeted by a Russian lady, then soon after a Russian man.  I'm presuming they both own the store, but who knows I could be wrong!  I was ecstatic looking around the store.  It was a little dim, but there were analogue cameras everywhere!  I saw TLRs sitting on shelves, I saw SLRs inside cabinets, I saw a huge nest of charging cables - my eyes were wide open.  I looked inside the main cabinet and immediately I saw my Zorki 4 just sitting on the shelf.  I had to have it.  That week I had been just lurking on eBay staring at russian rangefinders...  Kiev 4, Zorki 4, FED 3...  When I saw one in person, I had to nab it!

The Zorki is a brick.  A brick that eats film and spits out photographs.  And I love it.  It's very simple, you wind the film advance knob and press the shutter to take a photo.  Unloading and loading film involves twisting a ring around the shutter release to unlock the film rewind, then turning the film rewind knob.  It kind of takes forever to wind or rewind the film, but that's the fun of it!  When you remove the backplate the entire thing comes off.  I've been used to the Canonet 28 and the Yashica MG-1 rangefinders which both of have backs that swing open.  Even weirder for me is that the take up spool comes out of the camera too!  It is so much fun loading and unloading film, though.  I feel like I'm transported back in time.  I feel like I'm shooting for a Russian newspaper, potentially coming out with propaganda!  It's fantastic, I can't stress it enough!  The Zorki has shutter speeds of 1/1000s, 1/500s, 1/250s, 1/125s, 1/60s, and some slow shutter speeds that I don't see myself using in the near future.  A little quirk about russian rangefinders is that you need to advance the film before changing the shutter speed.  I'm not technically sure why, but I've read countless times on the internet and from the Russian man at the store not to do so.  The lens, the Jupiter 8, is interesting.  I love the chrome color and I love the depth of field markers.  My only gripe is that the aperture ring is stepless so I have lot of wasted frames from being on the wrong aperture.  Also, I'm a little scared that f/16 and f/22 are the same thing on the lens.  When you look at the aperture blades, it only looks like they move a minuscule amount stopping down from f/16.  Maybe that does let in a stop less of light, I'm not sure.  There's no meter on the Zorki, so I've been shooting everything with the Sunny 16 heuristic, hence why I'm a tad bit concerned about the stepless ring...  Lastly, the viewfinder is fun!  It's orangish.  I know right?  It's supposedly a 50mm field of view at a 1:1 ratio, so everything looks really natural through the finder.  What's even more interesting is that there's a diopter adjustment built in!  This is great as I wear glasses, and the frame through the viewfinder looks more like an 85mm field of view with glasses on.


Zorki 4

I've yet to develop any rolls of film with my Zorki yet...  I really hope I did Sunny 16 right hahaha.  I shot 4 rolls of Fuji Superia 200 and an expired roll of Kodak Portra 160VC.  I'll take them to costco eventually and see what happens.  Fingers crossed!  I'll let you all know the results when they come back!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I finally loaded up a roll of black and white negative film.  It's a little funny shooting at a base shutter speed of 1/500s...  I do have a darkroom setup, so the turn around time for black and white is going to be significantly less.


Until next time guys!