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Zorki-4K

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This camera is the common Russian Zorki-4K
rangefinder. It was in production from 1972 to 1978, and this particular example was made in 1977 based on the serial number. It is the last of the Zorki range, all derived from the German Leica L39 screwthread cameras. Although usually fitted with the 50mm F2 Jupiter-8 standard lens, this one is pictured with the optional 135mm F4 Jupiter-11 lens. A Zorki-4K is generally worth between 25 and 60 with the standard lens. The 135mm lens falls into the same 25-60 range.

 This Zorki-4K was the very first classic camera I ever bought, and in this picture it is fitted with a Japanese Helios multiviewfinder that was the very first 'Russian' accessory I obtained, bought even before the camera! I have now obtained a better Russian viewfinder - the Universal Finder.

Photo of Zorki-4K

Photo of derelict helicoptor taken with Zorki-4K

 

This picture was taken with this Zorki-4K and the standard 50mm F2 Jupiter-8 lens.



The following picture is the same camera with 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 135mm lenses displayed.
Photo of Zorki-4K with selection of lenses 

Both Zorki-4K pictures were taken with a Minolta 7000i camera, handheld under normal room lighting. The film was ISO400 B+W print film pushed to ISO1600. Unfortunately the F2 aperture used resulted in a lack of depth of field.

Lens Specifications

Focal Length 

No. of Elements 

Angle of View 

Maximum Aperture 

Filter Thread 

Orion-15 

28mm

4

75 deg

F6

40.5mm

Jupiter-12 

35mm

6

63 deg

F2.8

40.5mm

Jupiter-8 

50mm

6

45 deg

F2

40.5mm

Jupiter-9 

85mm

7

28 deg

F2

49mm

Jupiter-11 

135mm

4

18 deg

F4

40.5mm


 Note: The Orion-15 is included to complete the standard range. I don't actually own one. There is also probably a 20mm lens and possibly a 200mm lens also. Certainly there are many variations of the standard lenses not listed above.

Note: The Zorki-4K takes the 39mm Leica screw lens fitting - also known as L39. Some of the lenses listed above were made in a variety of different lens fittings - so if you are looking to buy a lens for your Zorki - make sure you get one in the right fitting.


 

Some tips on using the Zorki-4K

This page is one of the most accessed on the whole site - so I gather there is a lot of interest in Zorki cameras. I don't really know what people are looking for but I suspect its help on using the camera. Here are a few usage tips to get you going:

Note: "cocking the shutter" and "winding the film" are used to mean the same thing as the two operations are linked.

Never change the shutter speed dial setting when the camera has not been wound on.

Never turn the speed setting dial between "30" and "1"

Do not leave the speed setting dial between "60" and "1" when the camera is not to be used for some time.


 

Loading the Zorki-4K

Pull up the latches on the camera base and give them a half turn. The back can then be slid downwards and lifted off.

Place the film cassette in the left hand chamber and draw about 7-10cm of film out. Insert the tongue of this film into a slot on the takeup spool. Using the winding lever, wind the film on taking care that the film perforations are fully engaged on the transport sprockets - both top and bottom. You may need to wind the film on several frames (firing the shutter in-between windings) until it has properly taken up. If activating the winding lever does not move the film - then the collar around the shutter release is probably in the rewind position. Rotate anticlockwise and try the winding lever again.

Replace the back on the camera pushing it up until fully closed. Then turn the latches back to their original positions. The back should now be firmly secured.

Wind and fire the shutter twice more to make sure unfogged film is now being drawn from the cassette. Wind once more and set the film counter. This is done by applying firm but gentle thumb pressure on its knurled surface. Rotate the disk clockwise until the "0" figure aligns with the Frame Counter mark on the camera top plate.

The camera is now ready for use.


 

Unloading the Zorki-4K

When it is not possible to wind the film any further - it is time to rewind and unload the film. It is advisable to replace the lens cap - or cover the lens otherwise at this point just in case the shutter is left slightly open by partially winding the shutter.

Rotate clockwise the collar around the shutter release until it stops. Pull up the rewind knob and turn clockwise until the film is fully rewound. You will know when this happens as the tension will increase when all film except for the tongue has been rewound and you have to give extra effort to pull the tongue from the takeup spool. After this the tension stops and the rewind knob turns very easily.

Open the back and remove the cartridge. At this point it is also a good idea to rotate the collar around the shutter release back to its original position and check that the film transport sprockets move when the shutter is cocked. Also you may find that the shutter requires cocking twice without firing in-between in order for the shutter blinds to reset to their proper positions. This is normally required when one of the seams of the blind is visible in the film gate - instead of just smooth material. Either way it is advisable to check the operation of the shutter now before loading another film.

The camera is now ready for loading.


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