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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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Im so sad right now :(
Old 08-18-2009   #1
moretto
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Im so sad right now :(

As You guess, I really love my russ-gear. But i have never really compared it to other stuff, so, yesterday i did.
I took my Zorki 4 with J12, J8 and I61LD, and Minolta x700 with Tokina 28/2.8, Rokkor 50/1.4, and a Vivitar 70-210.
Both cameras with Efke KB 50, metered everything with Leningrad 8, ignoring the Minolta's TTL. So, shot in same conditions with same values of speed/aperture.
Developed both rolls in same tank (together), in Rodinal 1:25

Scanned in same resolution on a Canon 8600f

And guess what: Minolta overperformed my beloved Zorki in every possible aspect. Better resolution, better sharpness (even with Vivitar zoom), better contrast.

S, I'm really sad right now.
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Old 08-18-2009   #2
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.......Adam can taste all the fruit in the garden EXCEPT the apple tree over there......
.......Moretto you can use all the Cameras in your collection EXCEPT the NON RF's......

Result: Paradise Lost
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Old 08-18-2009   #3
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Well, I don't think any of us love FSU gear for its superior technical qualities.
My wife loves me because of my flaws as well as in spite of. I think it's the same type of love for FSU gear.
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Not really a fair comparison
Old 08-18-2009   #4
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Not really a fair comparison

Hi Moretto,

Don't feel too sad, You are comparing two really different camera systems. The Minolta cameras were quite expensive when they were sold new, and the FSU stuff was always sold, in the West, at least, as inexpensive gear. The Russian cameras and lenses can be pretty damned good, but Minolta always had better quality control. Tokina lenses were also known to be very high performers, and that Vivitar 70-210 lens, depending on who made it, is also a first class lens.

If you really love the FSU stuff, keep using it for what it does best, and use the other cameras for what they do best. No need to be bummed about it, you have two camera systems to enjoy. I have a screw-mount RF rig, with a J12 and a J8 and a Minolta rig with a bunch of Rokkor lenses and a Vivitar 70-210 zoom, and I just use whichever system I think will work best for what I'm photographing.

Maybe you need to check the rangefinder on your Zorki to see if it is focusing accurately.

Mike
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Last edited by Zathros : 08-18-2009 at 15:08. Reason: Cleaning up spelling boo-boos
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Old 08-18-2009   #5
chris00nj
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I'd hate to break it to you, but the Soviet Union was never known for high quality engineeredd products. Production was measure by quantity only. Quality was not job #1 (or 5 or 15).

The old joke goes, "We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us"
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Old 08-18-2009   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris00nj View Post
I'd hate to break it to you, but the Soviet Union was never known for high quality engineeredd products. Production was measure by quantity only. Quality was not job #1 (or 5 or 15).

The old joke goes, "We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us"

Yeah, but every once in a while they'd screw up and make something that actually was good

I do like my J12 and J8 and FED 50 lenses on my old IIIf however, they ain't bad a'tall.

Mike
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Old 08-18-2009   #7
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minolta gear was exceptional at one time. i remember back when i actually read all the reports and compared the charts and minolta often beat it's competitors, like nikon and canon. they just had better and bigger marketing budgets.
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Old 08-18-2009   #8
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Effectively , 1930s engineering updated , versus 1980s - I love my Fed collapsible and Summitar on my M8 , but I love that look , just as I love a J8 and collapsible Sonnar on my Kiev .
Equally , my many Rokkors perform differently on my 4/3rds Leica DIG 3 ....
I never expect them to be similar .

If I need precision - XD7 / SRT / SRs / Rokkors [ even Vivitar ]
If I just want to have fun - any Kiev and 50mm Sonnar / Jupiter 8 .
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Old 08-18-2009   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
minolta gear was exceptional at one time. i remember back when i actually read all the reports and compared the charts and minolta often beat it's competitors, like nikon and canon. they just had better and bigger marketing budgets.
I was surprised at just how good it really is. I got a SRT-101 out of curiosity and bought a few "bargain" grade lenses from KEH. I was so Impressed by it that it is now my go to camera for most of my stuff except when I don't feel like carrying a big old "Tank" around with me. (SRT-101's were called the Tank by a lot of their owners because of their build quality)

I also use Minolta enlarging lenses frequently, don't have EL-Nikkors any more.
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Old 08-18-2009   #10
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I can look at my time with FSU gear as a black hole for all the money that went to it, but I'd rather look at it as a learning time. There are some fine examples of FSU glass out there, cameras too. But there are a LOT more duds that good ones. So I look at it as how I got from Leica Ms to Nikon Ss. I love my Nikon S3 and the S2 I had before her. I never would have found out how much I like the crazy Contax/Nikon grip and focusing wheel. I had lots of chances to get great used Nikon RF gear over the years, never did, DUMB, DUMB, DUMB, just plain DUMB.

I spent way too much getting my Fed 2 pimped and CLAed and it still had shutter bounce. Split the cost of another try at fixing it with the guy who bought it from me and it still did not work.

Perhaps you Zorki is ill, casting a bad light on all your LTM glass? Run some tests, depending upon what you were shooting I would be surprised that the J12 was wiped off the map by a Tokina. What did you shoot?

B2 (;->
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Old 08-18-2009   #11
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I am now combining Minolta SLR lenses with RF bodies via an adapter.The Rokkor lenses are awesome.In your case, maybe the FSU lenses used need some adjustments.
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Old 08-18-2009   #12
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If your Vivitar is a Series One it is a very nice lens. I miss my minolta kit...
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Considering minolta history, why the surprise.
Old 08-18-2009   #13
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Considering minolta history, why the surprise.

Minolta has been making high quality camera's and glass for as long as Russians have been making camera's from liberated parts and equipment, post WWII.

Also consider that right around the era of the X700, Minolta was collaberating on at least one camera and some lenses for Leica. (The Leica-Minolta CLE???).

You're definitely not testing apples to apples.

That does not, however, mean that the inferior quality of pics from FSU lenses and cameras, does not appeal in some way, to some people. This is obviously a generalization that does not account for the small percentage of FSU equipment that occasionally reaches higher standards.
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Old 08-18-2009   #14
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Good point Kuzano. Minolta did make some CLs and were the only folks to do the CLE. Take a look half way down the page here for some info on the SLRs:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leica_Camera

That's they way I remember it from years back.

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Old 08-18-2009   #15
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Don't know about the FSU, but the shutter of the X-700 I shot with sounded like a gun going off. That's not RF-shooter hyperbole, at the time I'd only shot with SLRs and it still stood out as exceptionally loud to me.
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Old 08-18-2009   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moretto View Post
Developed both rolls in same tank (together), in Rodinal 1:25
How do you know which roll from which camera then?

Just kidding...

Look at it this way. Many of us have a cabinet full of cameras. Will all of those cameras produce the same exact quality of pictures?

Of course not, that would be awfully boring, wouldn't it?

Most Minolta lenses have high contrast, a lot like Leica, smooth bokeh (I have two favorites, 58/1.2 and 38/1.8).

My J12 also and J8 also have smooth bokeh, not as sharp, and way lower contrast.

The trick for you and I is: How to pick subjects that are more suitable for each brand.

Take heart, now you have two beloved cameras that produces different results. I see that as a plus
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Old 08-18-2009   #17
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Thanks for the moral support, guys

Yes, I know it is not really a fair comparison, but I just thought the old Russ will compete better.
I used to drag it along with me on biking trips all the time.now Minolta will get a better mileage

I must say, on this test, I shot different stuff, from the village architecture and some nature..to some cows and some people... The day was bright and cloudy..perfect conditions...(1/60 f8, and equal with different f, depending on the DOF i wanted)

There is no doubt that I'll keep using my FSU stuff, just for fun of it, I'll just lower my expectations, and learn to live with it. I like this old gadgets too much to give them up
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Old 08-22-2009   #18
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How about some samples ?
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Old 08-22-2009   #19
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That's life.

I have a lot of Konica SLR gear standing on display. I haven't been using it for some years. A couple of months ago I scanned some of the color slides taken with a T3 52/1.8 and 28/2.8 - those pics have better resolution and finer details than the pics from my 12mp Canon 450d with the standard kit lens!
And yes they have better color and better resolution than my FSU gear - still, I love shooting with my Fed 2 and my Zorki 6 - the pictures from those FSUs have a certain something I-do-no-know-what to them.

Don't loose your Mojo over that! Grrr baby!
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Old 08-22-2009   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinafore2 View Post
How about some samples ?

hm...a 400x600 pixel jpeg won't show much of a difference. I didn't say the zorki pics were bad or poor quality. I confess i did some pixel peeping, like we all like to do with digital cameras. (everybody says that sony alpha has a lot of noise on high iso...convert it to bw and 600 pixels, You'll never see it)

Anyways, I'll upload some samples I have with me, as I'm in the office now, in a night shift.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Zorki 1.jpg (132.6 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg Zorki2.jpg (145.5 KB, 26 views)
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Last edited by moretto : 08-22-2009 at 11:20.
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Old 08-22-2009   #21
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and the Minolta
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File Type: jpg Minolta 1.jpg (146.7 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Minolta 2.jpg (135.8 KB, 22 views)
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Old 08-22-2009   #22
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1953 J-3 at F4, 1/1000th



Canon 50/1.4 SSC at F4, on the Canon F1.



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