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Best cheap Russian Rangefinder?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me there were several factors to consider when I investigated "economic" Russian rangefinder cameras a good few years ago (when they were still cheap!)

1- Range of shutter speeds
2- Ease of use
3- Viewfinder size
4- Overall "look" or "coolness factor" Wink

For the first three the Zorki 4K fits the bill, wide range of speeds, lever wind and a big bright viewfinder. Also good for knocking in tent-pegs or discouraging wannabe muggers!

The early models, both FED and Zorki were just a little too inconvenient to use with their knob-wind. The smaller viewfinder and separate rangefinder were also less easy to use.

To my eye, the later FEDs, with their built-in selenium meters, just looked too "top-heavy", though doubtless fine cameras in their own right and the supplied I-61L/D lens is still well rated!

However the camera I almost always picked up was the Zorki 6 - it just "looked the part", in my eyes ... a fine Jupiter-8 50mm f/2 lens and how often did I need a slow shutter speed anyway Wink

The cameras are long retired now, but I still use some of the lenses I accumulated at the time. My Orion-15 sits almost permanently on my Samsung NX-5 Smile

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting observations Kypfer!

I've been thinking of the Zorki-4 too, only because it looks like a brick with a viewfinder Laughing
Thnaks for your thoughts on the -6, I never considered that one.

Since these cams are pretty cheap, I might get a few more.

The one thing about the FED-2 that I have to really get used to is the viewfinder diopter lever, which is very easy to move when grabbing the cam or putting it back in the pocket or bag.
Otherwise, there's not much adapting involved when I have the FED and the Monochrom with me on a shoot.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO there are also some other features for consideration:

The Zorki-4 offers fastest aperture speed 1/1000 sec but is otherwise really basic.

The FED-5 comes with an inbuilt selenium light meter, a film advance lever and built-in viewer diopter adjustment. Max. speed 1/500 sec.

The Zorki-6 offers the most convenient SLR-like way for film loading and is equipped with a film advance lever. Max. speed 1/500 as well.

It's more an adventure to use such a camera nowadays, therefore my FEDs and Zorkis are only collecting dust since many years. Wink