found: bring back alive or put on display?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by johan_de_groote, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. I found a couple of cameras (cleaning up after a relative passed away)and
    wonder if I should bring them back alive and maybe use them, or just clean them
    outside and put on a shelf.
    1: a Voigtlander Bessamatic with a 50/2 Septon, 135/4 Super-dynarex and 35/3.5
    Skoparex. Lenses look clear without scratches but grime and rather stiff
    2: Zorki 4 with a 50/1.5 Jupiter 3. Lens has lot of light scratches

    What would you do with them?
  2. I'd put at least one roll of film through each one, just for fun.
  3. Clean them, use them, post pics here!
  4. If they work, use them. If not... it depends on how much money you have.
  5. I'd ressurect and use the Voigtlander and only clean up the Zorki for the shelf or display case.
  6. I agree with an earlier poster, run a roll of film through each. You can pick up another Jupiter lens cheaply enough. If the Zorki doesn't work, I could use the take up spool for my Zenit 3 (same spool). Put them to work and enjoy them.
  7. I'd give them to me.
  8. The Zorki 4 is a really nice camera, actually. It's not collectible (there seem to be hundreds of them on *Bay) but it performs well and those Jupiter lens can be really sharp. I say 'can be' because Soviet cameras of that age tended to have uneven quality control. If the camera works, get a new lens for it and try a roll of film. You might be pleasantly surprised.
  9. A Zorki 4K was my first non-plastic camera, so I'm a bit sentimental about them. There's lots of articles online about these cameras. Design-wise they have a nice pedigree, the Zorki 1 was a close copy of the Leica II and it evolved from there.
  10. I'd give them to Gene, too!
  11. I agree that the Zorki is a very nice rangefinder camera. Too bad about the lens, but you can get one of the Industar 50's for almost nothing... and they are probably better than the more aggressive fast Jupiters (Tessar vs. Sonnar designs).
  12. If you have a local repair shop, I would suggest taking them in for estimates.

    I've done that with a few cameras, and it rarely costs me over $80/camera to get it fully CLA'd and functioning very well again. If it's going to cost a whole lot, then I'd reconsider, but especially the Zorki is fairly common, and to quote my repair guy, "A rangefinder is a rangefinder." (I questioned him on fixing FSU rangefinders specifically, but that's what he told me. And he's been doing it for 20+ years, apparently, so I believe him :)
  13. If the Bessamatic works by all means clean it up and use it. Don't take the meter seriously but you'll be pleased with the Septon. Actually the camera itself is pretty user friendly. I prefer it to the Retina Reflex and have modified my Retina lenses to fit it.
  14. Hello,

    The Zorki is a very straightforward camera to repair, so you may want to get it CLA'd. The Bessamatic is probably the single most difficult SLR to work on, and will run you hundreds of dollars to fix, and in truth it is not worth the trouble.
  15. I have heard so many pro & con comments about Soviet era lenses to include Jupiter 3. All I can say is maybe I lucked out with my M39 mount Jupiter 3, scratched front element and all. I mounted it on a Canon 7 and took comparison shots with a Canon 50mm f1.8 (black barrel)and was astonished with the nice qualities of the Jupiter photos. The images were better than with the Canon lens (my subjective opinion). Maybe my like-new looking Canon lens was not a good example! My good luck with Jupiter lenses extends to the Kiev 4 camera as well. Nice contrast, sharp as a tack. Right up there with some of my Konica III photos. Now I expect to hear from someone that I'm 'full of it'.
  16. Not at all Gary. My favourite telephoto lens in M42 is a Jupiter 37A. It's a f3.5/135 mm manual stop that I've come to love. Maybe there are better ones around, but I don't think I have to look for one. The best part of it was the price. It was a gift from a friend whose Zenit took a dump on him.
  17. I'm kind of the opposite of Orville, I'd get the Zorki running and clean up the Bessamatic for the shelf. I have both, and the Zorki is more dependable, much easier to work on, and (IMO) a bit more pleasant to use. And the Bessamatic certainly looks prettier than the Zorki on a shelf.
  18. Give to Gene
  19. Glenn: Who's your repair guy? Does he accept cameras to work on shipped to him?

    Regarding the topic: I agree, put some film through! Carefully clean the lenses!

    I have a Zorki 4 also and agree that they're great cameras! Also a FED 3, 5 and 5B. They're all great.

    I'd like to throw in a vote for the Jupiter 12 (35mm) and the Industar 61 L/D (55mm). Both great lenses! And both available new.

    If the Zorki works, get it adjusted and it should serve you well.

    Regarding the Voigtlander, of course I'd pursue it.


    Give 'em to Gene!


    Give 'em to me!!!
  20. Michael - no idea if he'll take repairs by mail. His site is here - you'll have to ask yourself :) (Note that I'm in Canada.)
  21. Thanks for the advise. I'll get some film and see what happens with it. It might be nice to have one of those always ready to use. I found a manual for the Zorki so that will be the first to see action.
  22. I didn't look so closely at the list of lenses, etc. (since my approach is if it clicks at all, run a roll of film through it at least once anyway). But the Voigtlander Septon is really nice. If the camera works at all, you really should enjoy a few shots through that one.
  23. Anyone who has a Jupiter 3 that is really and truly sharp should never play the lottery as they have used up their luck. I gave up after buying three of 'em. Get a J-8 or J-12 and enjoy yourself.

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