Zorki 6 or Kiev 3b?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by M., Jan 26, 2005.

  1. M.

    M. Guest

    Which one would you choose?
    Which do you prefer when it comes to:
    - the viewfinder
    - build
    - controls
    - other?
    M., Jan 26, 2005
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  2. I currently own a Kiev 4am and used to own a Zorki 4, so I can't answer
    your question directly, but I'll give you a view fact-oids to think about.

    What are the ages of the Russian cameras you are interested in? (Most
    Ruskie cameras can be simply dated by using the first two digits of the
    serial number.) Russian cameras made in the 1950s are supposed to be the
    best, and 1970s models the worst for quality.

    I used to own a Zorki 4 with a 50mm f2 Jupiter lens. I bought it new from
    Cambridge camera, and it was made in 1972. The viewfinder was larger than
    my Leica IIIf, but not by much. The leather carrying case had a horrible
    & powerful smell of cheap perfume; the camera body had no shoulder strap
    lugs. The shutter release button had uncomfortably-sharp edges... the
    focal plane shutter went bad and a local camera repairman claimed it was
    unfixable, so I sold the camera body fer cheap, and kept the lens.

    The 50mm f2 Jupiter lens is a light, decent lens, probably comparable in
    optical quality to some of the older Leitz screw mount lenses. I still
    use it sometimes as a "knock-about" lens on a Leica M3: it's much lighter
    than my 50mm DR Summicron, but certainly not quite as sharp. (But the
    quick pitch of the Jupiter's thread makes it quicker to focus than the
    Leitz DR Summicron.)

    Several years ago I bought a nearly new eBay Kiev 4am from eBay, and like
    it much more than my long-gone Zorki 4. The Kiev has shoulder strap lugs,
    and a good 53mm/f1.8 Helios lens that is probably a bit sharper than the
    Zorki's Jupiter lens. My Kiev was made in 1982. I had its shutter
    tested; the repairman was very surprised at how accurate it was. The
    Kiev's viewfinder is about the same size as my long-gone Zorki, and
    perhaps a bit brighter. It's a bit noisy, and for some damn reason it
    sounds like a 35mm SLR when ya trip the shutter. I think my Zorki 4 might
    have been a bit quieter.

    But like probably every Russian camera ever made, my Kiev 4am has a bit of
    Monday-morning vodka in it: the focus wheel on top of the body has sharp
    edges and is stiff; the flash synch plug recently has started screwing up.

    The Kiev 4am has a 1/30th of a second flash synch (when it decides to work
    at all), slow by modern standards. However, if you use the flash at
    1/60th of a second, the vertically-moving shutter only crops off about
    1/16 of the full frame.

    Anyhow.. sorry about not being able to answer your questions directly...
    you might go over to Google and search on "russian camera forum"; there
    are several forums for Russian camera hobbyists.

    Leigh Marrin/KM6JE, Jan 26, 2005
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