The Piano Is Not Firewood Yet…

My cursor has been hovering over the bid button on a couple of rangefinders recently. A bit daft really when the one I have has only ever seen one film though it during my ownership.

So on tomorrow’s bicycle commute, and until I finish the roll, I’ll be enjoying once more my Зоркий-4 or Zorki 4. If you’ve never heard of it, they are a Russian rangefinder built near Moscow (specifically and because I love the cyrillic alphabet at Красногорский механический завод or the Mechanical Factory of Krasnogorsk) in huge numbers, between 1954 and 1973.
Зоркий-4 - Zorki 4

It is a lovely thing to hold – getting on for a kilo of solid metal, glass and vulcanite. Using it can be tricky though. There’s no meter of course and the shutter speed can only be set AFTER the film has been advanced. Doing the reverse can damage the shutter permanently. Winding on is done with a knurled knob rather than a lever, something else that takes some getting used to.

And then there the rangefinder technique that you either get on with or you don’t. The lens focuses smoothly, once you realise the difference between the focus and aperture ring on the lens which are very similar.

Once all that is done, it’s time to fire the shutter and that can be quite an event. Not on a Bronica scale of course, nothing is, but a surprisingly loud, metallic ‘snap’ for such a small body.

zorki first roll
The results are fantastically analogue. I used one of the cheapest film there is and that probably helped. But that Jupiter-8 lens is nice and sharp as you can see above.
zorki first roll

Pretty good for a camera that is 48 years old and can be bought for peanuts (unless of course you shop on Lomography – they want £175!).
zorki first roll

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