Did I screw up my Zorki 4K?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by The Bill Mattocks, Jul 11, 2003.

  1. Feeling the need to try out a rangefinder with interchangeable lenses,
    and not yet *quite* ready to plump for the Cosina/Voigtlander Bessa R
    I've been promising myself...I bought a Zorki 4K off of eBay. Not
    much money, thought it would be fun to play with. Took forever to

    I *am* enjoying it! The camera arrived fairly clean - so clean that
    the shutter speeds had been scrubbed off the ring where they're
    printed (rather than engraved). Not a problem, I could make out faint
    traces and guess at the in-betweens. Oh, yes, and it...smells. I
    mean it smells kind of bad. I don't know why. Not a real problem.
    Just curious.

    Took a roll of Agfa Optima II ISO 100 at a local petroglyph field, and
    with the supplied Industar 50mm lens, the results were pleasing (even
    though the Industar's aperture setting dial rotates rather freely).

    Found a 'bargain' gen-u-wine Leica lens, thought I'd try it. Lens
    says Ernst Leitz Gmbh Wetzlar, Hektor f-13.5cm 1:4.5, and appears to
    be in clean, if dirty, shape.

    Noticed that the gen-u-wine Leitz does not have the Industar 'collar'
    to engage the rangefinder. Instead, it has a tab that sticks out. I
    carefully attempted to mount the lens - but it catches on the 'foot'
    that sticks out of the Zorki 4K body and will not 'depress' the tab,
    the 'slope' is too steep.

    I opened the back of the Zorki, cocked the shutter, set it on "B",
    held down the shutter release, and carefully reached through the back
    to engage the Zorki 'foot'. It was not under tension and did not
    appear to have reached the end of it's travel, so I pivoted it enough
    (spring tension) so that the Leica lens would be fully screwed in.

    Then I released the shutter, put the back on, and attempted to use the
    camera to rangefind. It appears that the rangefinder does not know
    what to do with this lens - it shows 'infinity' match when the lens
    itself is showing about 10 meters. OK, perhaps the lens and camera
    are not happy with each other. I dunno.

    So, I took the lens off. No problems there. Then, I put the Industar
    back on. Oh, oh. Now *it* doesn't rangefind correctly, either.
    Again, it seems to think infinity has been reached when the lens has
    about 10-20 meters cranked onto it.

    Did I break the Zorki? Not that it's a big deal, I just wonder what
    the heck I managed to do to it. I was careful, I didn't force
    anything or feel anything bend or break. Can't be *that* fragile, can

    Worst case scenario, I pitch the Zorki in the trash and keep the
    Industar lens and my new Leica 135 Wetzlar for when I finally plump
    for the Cosina/Voigtlander. But if any of you Leica (or Zorki) folks
    know what the heck I've done wrong, I'd love to know it, so I don't do
    it again!

    Best Regards,

    Bill Mattocks
    The Bill Mattocks, Jul 11, 2003
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  2. The Bill Mattocks

    Peter Irwin Guest

    Look at <http://www.fedka.com/~jay/page14.html> for some
    help with your predicament.

    Thay are lots of fun.
    As you have discovered, you can't use those lenses with the tabs
    on Feds and Zorkis. But I don't think you have done any serious
    The pointy bit on the lever which feels the rangefinder cam
    has moved a little. You should be able to nudge it back to
    the correct position with a little trial and error. The best
    description I've seen is Jay Javier's at :
    I really doubt you have done anything serious, but the rangefinder
    arm is easier to disturb than you might think. Fortunately it should
    be fairly trivial to put right.

    If you can't put it right, and I expect you can, you can always
    send your camera to someone like Oleg <www.okvintagecamera.com>
    who can make it work like new for remarkably little money
    plus postage both ways.

    Peter Irwin, Jul 12, 2003
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  3. Peter, thank you! Believe it or not, I googled for an possible answer
    BEFORE I posted, but didn't find anything - perhaps not asking the
    right questions. You've been a BIG help, and I really appreciate it!

    OK, so no Leica lenses on the Zorki - got that. Will my 135 work on
    the Cosina/Voigtlander Bessa R I'm wanting to buy, or should I sell it
    and go for Voigtlander lenses for the Voigtlander body?

    Thanks again!

    Best Regards,

    Bill Mattocks
    The Bill Mattocks, Jul 12, 2003
  4. The Bill Mattocks

    bill martin Guest

    If you're going to "pitch" it, pitch it my way. I have lots of fun using
    those cameras. Seriously, when you moved the RF lever to accomodate your
    Hektor, it probably stuck in an abnormal rest position when the lens was
    removed -- maybe sort of like hysteresis :>) Pivot point's probably
    gummed up a little. Sounds like a little lighter fluid applied at the
    lever pivot might fix it. I find that lighter fluid's a great accessory
    to have, if you're going to own Zorkis. Also, next time you buy another
    one ( you need 2, they're Commie equipment you know ), look for one with
    a serial number that begins with 59, or earlier. First of all, those old
    ones were made before the Soviets "improved" the Leica shutter design.
    Secondly, the numbers, and even the logo, are engraved ( unless
    someone's replaced the top with a newer one, which is done sometimes ).
    The downside is that the body is painted with a crackle finish, to
    imitate a leather look. What the heck, though, you're probably not
    interested in being fashionable or you wouldn't be seen in public with a
    Zorki anyway. If you don't mind a bottom loader, get a Zorki 1, an
    almost direct copy of the old Leica. Enjoy your camera, they're great
    fun; And pray that everyone keeps on bad-mouthing them, it keeps the
    prices down.
    bill martin, Jul 12, 2003
  5. The Bill Mattocks

    Peter Irwin Guest

    Only the ones with the tabs, the once with the all-round
    rangefinder cams should be no problem. Long focus Leica
    standard lenses may require a different rangefinder calibration
    than for Soviet lenses.

    I expect the Leica lens with the tab will work fine on the

    Peter Irwin, Jul 12, 2003
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