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FSU Former Soviet Union RF This forum is for the Former Soviet Union rangefinder cameras, especially the many and various Fed, Zorki, and Kiev.

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New to the world of Zorki 4...
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
crave1ne
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New to the world of Zorki 4...

After searching endlessly to find a RF that I could purchase and get into, I finally purchased a Zorki 4 with a Jupiter 8 lens. I'm still waiting on it for the CLA and then being shipped to me. I've been shooting with film since the beginning of 2018. I have a Pentax K1000 and have just gone through 3 rolls of film with a Mamiya C330. I'm not new to 1/500 shutter, no internal light meter, so I don't think that will be a problem for me. I have read the manual 3 times already, and I'm trying to repeat over and over in my head "cock the shutter, then set shutter speed". I've been wanting a RF and have looked for a gateway into them. The Zorki 4 and the FED 2 is where I ended up. And decided to go with the Zorki over the FED, I hope that was a good decision... Anyway, new to the forum, wanted to say hello! I'll be lurking to find out information on my new camera from here, as well as, enjoying the RF community.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
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I hope you find joy with your Zorki 4, I had a good one, the lens really, a good J-8 can make sharp, contrast-y pics.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidnewtonguitars View Post
I hope you find joy with your Zorki 4, I had a good one, the lens really, a good J-8 can make sharp, contrast-y pics.
That is what I'm hoping for. I purchased it through Oleg Khalyavin. So, I think it'll be in good shape when it comes in.. I'll snap a few photos of it and post them.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
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I received Z4 as lens cap for J-3. Sold it quick and no regrets. I have three FED-2 now.
Just trying to get even exposures at all speeds. One came as replacement for "serviced" one.
From the same source OP has purchased.
But I'm on the same page with G. Romanov who recently ranked FED-2 as best FSU RF.
This Russian photographer is using FED-2 as the only camera:
https://www.instagram.com/tonyhanson/
https://youtu.be/vCSaPuwnL2A
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
crave1ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I received Z4 as lens cap for J-3. Sold it quick and no regrets. I have three FED-2 now.
Just trying to get even exposures at all speeds. One came as replacement for "serviced" one.
From the same source OP has purchased.
But I'm on the same page with G. Romanov who recently ranked FED-2 as best FSU RF.
This Russian photographer is using FED-2 as the only camera:
https://www.instagram.com/tonyhanson/
https://youtu.be/vCSaPuwnL2A
It was honestly a toss up between the two. I think I enjoyed the way the Zorki looked alittle more than the FED. I'm sure eventually I'll end up getting a FED. And, I'll have a J8 to go along with it. I do however wish that a 28mm lens would work with out the extra view finder.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
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Personally I prefer the Zorkii 4K (lever wind) to all but the earliest Feds.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
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I am awaiting a recently purchased Zorki-3m body. Sort of excited since my FSU experience has been several Zorki-1 and the one Zorki-4.
The 3m seems to me a really good design with large combined range & viewfinder, 1 to 1/1000 on a single knob and built on the small Zorki-1 lower unit, but with a removable back instead of bottom loading.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
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I bought one once at a camera show, and forgot to do a proper inspection before I did, because it turned out to be junk, and was missing the take-up spool.


But I have a 3 which is similar in layout, except for the combined speed dial on top of the 4. That also makes it slightly taller as the speed dial is on top of the rangefinder housing.


It appears to have the same rangefinder as the 3. The 4 has a heavier copper tint to it, where the 3 is more clear with a slight blue cast. Could be they used more gold in the beamsplitter on the 4. I really like the diopter correction on both.



My 3 has large, swiveling strap lugs, as opposed to the small solid ones of the 4. They look like they could wear out quite fast (though the camera is pretty darn old), so maybe a half case is called for.


If you have a 4 with the engraved name and numbers that is better than one where they were printed, because over time and use they will wear off.


The entire back comes off both cameras making film loading much easier than on a Leica Barnack design. There was a change in the film pressure plate, and bottom cover plate. The bodies and back cover are cast, with deep edge channels, so there is no light blocking material (I've put black thread in the top edge of a couple of mine anyway to help). The shutter button on the 4 is in a more natural place for your finger to fall, whereas on the 3 you have to hunt past the the winding knob to find it.


The 4 is slightly heavier because of the enlarged top cover, and it has a self-timer built in.


Zorki made good cameras, they just weren't made to last a long time without proper care. Good to see you are getting one from Oleg.


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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidnewtonguitars View Post
I am awaiting a recently purchased Zorki-3m body. Sort of excited since my FSU experience has been several Zorki-1 and the one Zorki-4.
The 3m seems to me a really good design with large combined range & viewfinder, 1 to 1/1000 on a single knob and built on the small Zorki-1 lower unit, but with a removable back instead of bottom loading.
I didn't even see this camera. 1/1000 is what i'm used to with my pentax. I just know for really sunny days to use 100 iso film with my C330 so I can top out at 1/500 with no problems
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
skopar steve
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I have bought 2 cameras from Oleg and would not hesitate to buy from him again. You will find the Zorki 4 a better choice when you get the Jupiter 12. Some Fed 2's have interference with the focusing cam with the 12.

My Zorki 3M from Oleg.

DSCF8896 by Steve Belden, on Flickr
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #11
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Congrats on the new camera, and welcome to the forum.
Depending on how it spent its life, the Zorki 4 can be a very good camera. Many have had hard lives, or weren't well cared for, so there is some luck involved with what you get. The same is true with the FED 2.
I've bought 4 different FSU cameras from ebay and all have worked well for the most part.
I've found that the shutters in FSU cameras seem to leak a bit, so it's a good idea to always keep a lens cap on.
On the Zorki 4, you need to careful with the shutter speed dial. Along with never changing speeds until after winding, you have to be careful not to go from 1s to 1/30s (or 1/25s) directly. You need to go from B to that 1/25 position.
I think the Zorki 4 is one of the best looking of all the FSU rangefinder cameras. Opinions vary of course
What year is your Zorki from?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crave1ne View Post
I didn't even see this camera. 1/1000 is what i'm used to with my pentax. I just know for really sunny days to use 100 iso film with my C330 so I can top out at 1/500 with no problems
FWIW, the Zorki 4 has 1/1000s speed as well.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #13
crave1ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skopar steve View Post
I have bought 2 cameras from Oleg and would not hesitate to buy from him again. You will find the Zorki 4 a better choice when you get the Jupiter 12. Some Fed 2's have interference with the focusing cam with the 12.

My Zorki 3M from Oleg.

DSCF8896 by Steve Belden, on Flickr
If Im not mistaken... If I go with a J12, wouldn't I need the attached view finder to get the right frame lines? I thought I read that somewhere, that the Zorki 4's View finder can only be used with a 50mm lens?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #14
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I didn't see a date for the camera. It does show this "Camera #67643092", and "Jupiter-8 #6751596" .... it is a commemorative 50 year camera... actually, here's a link...

https://okvintagecamera.com/ocart/in...product_id=202

I hope that gets you to it...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #15
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If I understand correctly, those serial numbers correspond to a build date of 1967. Its in the first two digits... "67".

Oh, and you can use many different lenses on your Zorki-4, but anything other than the usual 50mm will require an auxiliary viewfinder. Welcome to the quirky world of film rangefinders!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #16
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so what auxiliary viewfinder would be a good investment?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crave1ne View Post
I didn't see a date for the camera. It does show this "Camera #67643092", and "Jupiter-8 #6751596" .... it is a commemorative 50 year camera... actually, here's a link...

https://okvintagecamera.com/ocart/in...product_id=202

I hope that gets you to it...
That should be a 1967 camera and lens. The last variant with strap lugs, and should also have engraved markings.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #18
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I'm already looking into a leather strap for it... just haven't found one i like and in a good price range... I think I'd much rather have a strap then the leather case/strap
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crave1ne View Post
so what auxiliary viewfinder would be a good investment?
If you plan on getting a Jupiter-12, the KMZ made plastic 3.5cm (35mm) auxiliary finder is fairly inexpensive and easy to find. It doesn't have framelines, but the entire finder shows roughly the field of view of a 35mm lens.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift1 View Post
If you plan on getting a Jupiter-12, the KMZ made plastic 3.5cm (35mm) auxiliary finder is fairly inexpensive and easy to find. It doesn't have framelines, but the entire finder shows roughly the field of view of a 35mm lens.
And all viewfinders are only roughly accurate, after all. You can get used to (almost) anything, and compensate accordingly.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
And all viewfinders are only roughly accurate, after all. You can get used to (almost) anything, and compensate accordingly.

Cheers,

R.
Agreed
For a few years now, I've been composing with a 35mm lens and no viewfinder whatsoever
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #22
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I have bought a few of those "Tele-Wide" finders for 15-20 bucks, pretty bright with a fairly low profile and not in the way of the shutter dial too much.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #23
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The Zorki 4 is probably the best rangefinder to come out of the old Soviet Union - in fact I wouldn't hesitate to call it one of the best thread mount rangefinders period. The 4K fixed the only problem with the 4, the laughably anti-ergonomic wind knob, but also deletes the strap lugs which introduces another problem.


I've had three 4s and one 4K, and never had issues with any of them, except the 4K which had non-functioning slow speeds.
One 4 got stolen out of my car, the other I lent to a friend (who still has it, I think/hope), and the last one I use every now and then myself, and greatly prefer to use compared to the Leica IIIf I've got. You can find rangefinders with more features, better fit and finish, and smoother mechanisms, but the Zorki does what all of the others do, where it counts.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift1 View Post
I've found that the shutters in FSU cameras seem to leak a bit, so it's a good idea to always keep a lens cap on.
I agree. I've seemed to track down my light leaks to a little that gets in between the first and second curtain, perhaps if slack is introduced during the notoriously "short throw" winding motion. I solve that problem by being certain to always have a lens cap on especially while winding the film. I also put a little black gaffer's tape on the sides of the camera to seal the back against leaks. It ain't pretty but it has cut down my light leaks to nothing.

I also placed a shim under both the takeup spool and the film canister to keep them in the proper orientation. Without the shims, the film canister and (especially) the takeup spool would hang down and the film would ride too low across the film plane. Thus, I could see the sprocket holes on the edge of the developed negative. And worse, one time the film tore due to some tension between the sprocket teeth and the film's desire to ride low on the film plane (it seems the camera was designed for the old, Leica-style reloadable canisters which were taller than modern ones).
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #25
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Welcome to the marvellous world of Zorkis. Hope you will enjoy it. There are many things I like about those cameras. For me it's definitely one of the most user friendlies FSU rangefinders. I have 2 Zorkis 4K - one which I bought in an excellent condition about 15 years ago and is still working well. The other joined me not so much time ago as I noticed that it's faster, more convinient and cheaper to order an CLA'd camera from FSU than to let anyone CLA the camera locally.

Over the time I figured out sevral steps to make the camera more user friendly/convinient/reliable to use.

1) I replace the light seal made of string with proper material - foam works the best in my case

2) This one is just for my eyes and my taste - I reskin the camera with vulcanite leatherette. Akiasahi is my supplier of choice. I don't like the original cloth leatherette and vulcanite gives camera a classy look.

3) I convert the original leather case to half-case. I replace original snaps and add gypsy stud inbetween. This solves the problem with the missing strap lugs. Half caswalso makes the camera a bit quieter.

4) Last but not least - I added a long thumb up grip. Once I ordered one for my Fuji x100 and found it too long for that camera. Then I tried it out on Zorki - it was my discovery of the centrury. Since then the camera lies in my hand like a dream. There just enough space between the grip and the advance leaver.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamil_k View Post
Welcome to the marvellous world of Zorkis. Hope you will enjoy it. There are many things I like about those cameras. For me it's definitely one of the most user friendlies FSU rangefinders. I have 2 Zorkis 4K - one which I bought in an excellent condition about 15 years ago and is still working well. The other joined me not so much time ago as I noticed that it's faster, more convinient and cheaper to order an CLA'd camera from FSU than to let anyone CLA the camera locally.

Over the time I figured out sevral steps to make the camera more user friendly/convinient/reliable to use.

1) I replace the light seal made of string with proper material - foam works the best in my case

2) This one is just for my eyes and my taste - I reskin the camera with vulcanite leatherette. Akiasahi is my supplier of choice. I don't like the original cloth leatherette and vulcanite gives camera a classy look.

3) I convert the original leather case to half-case. I replace original snaps and add gypsy stud inbetween. This solves the problem with the missing strap lugs. Half caswalso makes the camera a bit quieter.

4) Last but not least - I added a long thumb up grip. Once I ordered one for my Fuji x100 and found it too long for that camera. Then I tried it out on Zorki - it was my discovery of the centrury. Since then the camera lies in my hand like a dream. There just enough space between the grip and the advance leaver.

I've wondered about reskining camera's. I may just have a look into this. I know the one I picked up has some water damage to it, so it may need a reskin.

The case has never really been very eye catching. The one that I purchased has the lugs for a strap, so I'm sure I'll go that route. Could you post a photo of the thumb grip you are using? Would be interested to see it.

Also, changing shutter speeds, AFTER cocking the shutter. It has never made sense to me that this is even that hard to remember. With both my K1000 and my C330. When I've shot a frame I always advance the film right after before changing any settings at all on the camera. Cocking the shutter on the Zorki 4, thats also advancing the film as well correct? I've never taking a photo, and then changed the settings and then advanced the film before... Am I not understanding this correctly with the FSU camera's that "cocking the shutter" is advancing the film frame as well?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #27
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The Zorki 1's had a cooked-on skin, it doesn't peel off in sheets. The model 3's above have cooked-on Vulcanite. Somewhere in the time line the KMZ switched to glued-on sheets of covering, and can be removed and renewed.


The shutter and film are wound on together, yes, and then the speed can be changed. If you forget, and change the speed, then wind on, the speed can be changed back, before snapping the shutter, with no danger.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #28
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The grip I use is similar to this one.
I am not sure if this one would work with the Zorki 4 - I have advance leaver instead of the knob. There are many variations of thumb grips over the internet so I'm sure it is possible to find one which would not interfere with the knob.


Yes - advancing the film is also cocking the shutter. I think it also applies to all cameras, not only to FSU - do not leave the shutter cocked for a long time (ie. when you store the camera).
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamil_k View Post
- do not leave the shutter cocked for a long time (ie. when you store the camera).
Now this i did not know...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #30
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Originally Posted by davidnewtonguitars View Post
If you forget, and change the speed, then wind on, the speed can be changed back, before snapping the shutter, with no danger.
Respectfully, I have to disagree with that. It all depends on the model and which way you change the speeds. On models with one-piece shutter dials (e.g. Zorki 1) and any of them with "slow" speeds (i.e. most of the later models), if you change to a slower speed and then wind on, this is exactly what can break the shutter mechanism. Usually this requires ignorance or carelessness and some force but I wouldn't want to promise that!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crave1ne View Post
Now this i did not know...
It's true for most mechanical shutters. When you cock the shutter, you are winding up springs that are normally (more or less) unwound. Leaving a spring wound up may, eventually, weaken it.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crave1ne View Post
Now this i did not know...
There is also one more thing. If you don't use the camera for longer time don't leave it on slow shutter speeds (marked red on the dial). In both of those cases you don't want the springs in the shutter mechanism to stay unnecessarily under tension for too long time.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamil_k View Post
There is also one more thing. If you don't use the camera for longer time don't leave it on slow shutter speeds (marked red on the dial). In both of those cases you don't want the springs in the shutter mechanism to stay unnecessarily under tension for too long time.
I don't see using slower speeds... At least not for what I want to use the camera for. Usually when doing slower shutter speeds its with my C330 on a tripod. But I'll keep this in mind for sure
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #34
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I think the "don't leave the shutter" cocked idea is basically a myth. The shutter springs are already pre-loaded, they're always under tension, and cocking the shutter only adds slightly more tension to this (if they had no preload, it would be impossible to have accurate shutter speeds and anything approximating even shutter curtain travel). Now, leaving the shutter cocked on a slow speed causes a different issue, because the slow speeds are regulated by a clockwork escapement mechanism, and if set to a slow speed and left for several years, the lubricants can dry out and leave the slow speed mech sticking, preventing the shutter from firing.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #35
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Thank you for that! I do not remember which camera I am remembering changing the speed before winding, I may have changed it back before I wound it, and hoped I placed it in the right speed. I guess remembering things is the problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolves3012 View Post
Respectfully, I have to disagree with that. It all depends on the model and which way you change the speeds. On models with one-piece shutter dials (e.g. Zorki 1) and any of them with "slow" speeds (i.e. most of the later models), if you change to a slower speed and then wind on, this is exactly what can break the shutter mechanism. Usually this requires ignorance or carelessness and some force but I wouldn't want to promise that!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #36
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Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
I think the "don't leave the shutter" cocked idea is basically a myth. The shutter springs are already pre-loaded, they're always under tension, and cocking the shutter only adds slightly more tension to this (if they had no preload, it would be impossible to have accurate shutter speeds and anything approximating even shutter curtain travel).
Almost certainly correct. However, it does depend on the quality of the springs used and how long it's left under tension. I wouldn't want to bet on the FSU materials being top quality though, so it does no harm not to leave it cocked. It's not something I've ever fretted over but as someone with "mechanical sympathy" I try to avoid it.

It's certainly true that in old (as in, very old) watches and clocks the spings deteriorate due to long-term tension. Modern materials should not suffer this problem.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #37
crave1ne
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So I just received my Zorki 4 in the mail today.. its a BEAUT! I can't wait to put a roll of film through it. Question, Im having a hard time trying to get the film counter to move, should I even care about that? I'll post some pics later once I get off of work.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #38
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
I think the "don't leave the shutter" cocked idea is basically a myth. The shutter springs are already pre-loaded, they're always under tension, and cocking the shutter only adds slightly more tension to this (if they had no preload, it would be impossible to have accurate shutter speeds and anything approximating even shutter curtain travel).. . . .
This is my understanding too.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #39
Roger Hicks
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Originally Posted by crave1ne View Post
So I just received my Zorki 4 in the mail today.. its a BEAUT! I can't wait to put a roll of film through it. Question, Im having a hard time trying to get the film counter to move, should I even care about that? I'll post some pics later once I get off of work.
Have fun!

Cheers,

R.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #40
David Hughes
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Shutter Springs, Tension etc



Years and years ago you could send the broken parts of any spring to Terry's and, for a fee, they would make you a duplicate.

I was speaking to them once in the 60's about this and they told me that a spring doing the job it was designed to do would last almost forever if properly designed and used. This made me wonder if they were always consulted about the springs and did the design work or if people bought the basic materials and bent them to shape but didn't quite know how to do it...

Anyway, there it is fwiw. I just hope this doesn't start yet another garbled internet myth.

Regards, David
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