Posted 4 years ago
The Zorki-4 (??????-4) is a real Russian classic. It was manufactured by KMZ, the Krasnogorskij Mekhanicheskij Zavod Imeni S.A. Zvereva (the Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant, Bearing the Name of S. A. Zverev). KMZ was, and still is, located in Krasnogorsk, a suburb of Moscow, and made all kinds of optical equipment, both civil and military. The Zorki-4 was manufactured from 1956 to 1973, and evolved out of the Zorki-3S. J.L. Princelle says, in his book, that 1.715.677 were produced over those seventeen years.
The Zorki family started off as copies of the Leica Screw series, like a lot of Russian cameras did. The basic pre-war Leica design was copied since the thirties (by FED) and after the war continued by KMZ in their Zorki series. '??????', by the way, means 'sharp-sighted' in Russian.
After a range of Zorki cameras during the forties and early fifties, KMZ finally cooked the Zorki range down to the one Zorki-4, which contained all the advantages of its predecessors, such as all the shutter speeds combined in one dial, a variable flash sync delay, and (for those days) a reasonable finish. And when the Zorki-4 was finally taken into production in 1956, it stayed so for seventeen years. Talk about the Russian plan economy...
The Zorki-4 is a small camera, which still looks a bit like its inspirator, the screwmount Leica. My neighbour, a photographer who knows, said it has the feel of the pre-war Leicas. Generally the finish is fine, with all the parts fitting reasonably. On my camera, there is only some tolerance between the top plate and the body, which is quite harmless. One of the things perhaps less elegant, are the cogs and rods inside the film compartment. The knobs might also have been a bit more smooth and elegant, than the big protruding cylinders they are now.
The thick body metal is cast aluminium, but the top plate with the viewfinder is made out of thin sheet metal which was pressed into shape. The Zorki-4 is skinned in a fake leather substance, which on my camera has started to peel off.
Name: Zorki 4
Frame size: 24x36.
Lens: Jupiter-8 f2/50mm
Shutter: 1-1/30S, 1/60S, 1/125S, 1/250S, 1/500S, 1/1000S + B.
Diaphragm scale: 2 - 22
Focusing: from 0.9m - ?
Body: 9/10 (very good, almost no signs of use)
Optics: 9/10 (very good, no fungus, dust that might affect the image quality)
Functions: 9/10 (all functions works as it should except timer knob is missing)
1. Photo camera Zorki 4
2. Leather case