Setting Shutter on ZORKI 4?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by dave_f|2, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. Let me start out with a disclaimer. I've never used rangefinder, the closest I've come is a Nikonos III (which is a
    viewfinder). So I really don't know how rangefinders are SUPPOSED to work, so I'm having a bit of trouble figuring
    out how this one works.

    I am tinkering around with a Zorki-4. Everything seems to be in good practical order except I am having a bit of
    trouble figuring out the shutter dial. I am told Zorki-4 needs to be cocked before I set shutter speed, but once I cock
    the shutter, the shutter speed indicator moves out of place so I can't point it to the speed I want directly. Can
    anyone point out what I am doing wrong? The indicator seems to be pointing at the current speed when the shutter
    is not cocked.

    Also, what is under the shutter speed setting? I have a dial with an arrow then number increasing by 5 from 0 to 25.
    Is this the flash delay setting?
  2. let me clarify the problem. Essentially, after cocking, the shutter speed select doesn't rotate a full 360 degrees back to its original position so it is difficult to ascertain what shutter speed is actually selected.
  3. You wind the shutter wind knob on the far right clockwise. Then you set the shutter speed by lifting up the smaller concentric knob; thats the one closest to the accessory shoe. Thus when fired the 1/50 setting appears like its on the 1/2 second mark; when cocked its back at the 1/50 mark. The 1/10, 1/5, 1/2 and 1 second settings have one feeling abit more resistance when changeing/setting the shutter speed; one is winding up a delay geartrain. Here one the focal plane setting is fully "full frame" and thus the shutter is held open longer. The high speeds such as 1/1000; 1/500, 1/250, 1/100 etc have the slit non full frame. The markings of 0,5,10, 15,20,and 25 are the old delays in milliseconds for flashbulbs; one uses a 0 setting for strobe and a slow full frame setting like 1/25 second.
  4. The inner concentric dial thats got the pointer that revolves and is about 11mm in diameter only revolves abit over 3/4 a turn; say 280 to 290 degrees. <BR><BR>The pointer on the knurled 11mm dial *points* to a different shutter speed when cocked; than non cocked. ie this is normal.
  5. The dial at the far right of course ar the number of exposures on has fired off; it points to the three o'clock position; ie towards the center of the camera. Its a friction fit; one rotates the knurled deal to aim the say 0; and one fires off say a frame or two as a buffer. Or one can aim it at say -2 or -1 and just have it read good frames shot.<BR><BR>The 11mm dial that revolves during a shot is tied to the shutter; thus one should'nt touch it during an exposure; or you get a slower exposure.<BR><BR>
  6. Ok ; maybe this is obvious but one Lifts up the 11mm dial with the pointer after winding the shutter knob; and drops it back in place say in the 1/250 second position. Wind the shutter and set it to 1 second adn fire it off and one hears the geartrains buzz.<BR><BR>The outer knob around the shutter button when pushed down and rotated clockwise declutches the sprocket; when one has shot a roll and is rewinding back into the 35mm cassette. <BR><BR>The lever on the far left by the rewind knob is a diopter adjustment; ie to make the viewfinder more clearer for folks like me that sometimes get tired eyes!
  7. I got my old Zorki 4 out of the drawer to play with, to make sure I'm not lying to you! :)

    Wind/cock the shutter -- as Kelly said, far right knob. As you do this, you'll see the small knob, on the right
    side but more towards the middle of the camera, revolving. This has a black line inscribed on its top; that's the
    pointer. This knob revolves as you cock the shutter.

    Lift this little knob, and adjust the pointer until it points to the speed you want.

    As I recall, you can't revolve this 360 degrees. For example, to get it from the highest number (fastest speed)
    setting to, say, one second, you have to revolve the knob all the way through the smaller numbers, not just
    straight through "B" over to "1".

    It's important to note that, as you're setting the speed, don't force anything. Don't try to force the setting
    knob by pressing down on it to get it into position. Let it come to rest (stop lifting), then a gentle rotating
    of the knob once it's in the "neighborhood" of the setting you want, and it will just drop into place. If it
    doesn't, let it drop into another setting, then lift and try again.

    By the same token, if the knob doesn't "want" to rotate in one direction, stop and rotate it the other way.

    They're fairly tough little cameras, but you do have to mind your Ps and Qs when setting the speeds, because you
    definitely can damage the mechanism with forceful wrong moves.

    There were a couple of different models of the Zorki 4, but I believe they're functionally the same. They do look

    Here's a link to an online copy of the original English-language manual (translation is all right, not the best,
    but hey, it's Soviet, okay?):

    As I said, this is only for one of the Zorki 4 models, but the shutter speed setting should be the same on both.

    Hope this helps.
  8. Thank you all for your detailed contributions. I just realized my clarification of the problem is probably causing some confusion. What I meant to say is that AS you cock the shutter, the speed speed indicator will turn, but not a full 360 degrees back to its original position. Thus I have to guesstimate what shutter speed I am selecting based on the relative original position. I think Kelly touched on this in her first post, that all Zorkis do this. Did I understand that correctly?
  9. dave; you wind the shutter knob first; the one on the far right that has the 0 to 40 frames dial; the one that cocks/winds the shutter.<BR><BR>THEN; ONLY THEN do you lift up the 11mm dial with the pointer up and set the shutter speed ie the 11mm diameter dial. Thus there is no guessing involved at all. .<BR><BR>When the shutter is already fired the camera shutter reads a nonsense shutter speed. .<BR><BR>You do NOT set the shutter speed before the camera is cocked. .<BR><BR>There is only guessing if you want to set the shutter before its cocked; and risk doing it the non recomended way; one that sometimes causes shutter problems.. .<BR><BR>The 11mm dial is not suppose to rotate 360 degrees; it never will; thus do not focus on this nonsense. .<BR><BR>Once the zorki camera shutter is cocked you set the shutter speed. If you want 1/250; you lift the dial up and place it in the 1/250 position. .<BR><BR>Imagine watching a football game; each player has a number on his jersey; thus you know who is who during a game. Now imagine a pre game practice and all the jerseys are mixed up; thus the numbering is wonky; thats what the shutter speed dial is before its cocked; ie nonsense. Thus all you do is wind the shutter; set the dial; shoot the image; bingo.
  10. Kelly,

    The problem is exactly opposite to what you're describing. I have only been adjusting shutter after advancing film, but once cocked, the shutter indicator now points to a nonsense setting (oftentimes at nothing, the empty space between B and 1000 or B and 1/30). This is because as the film is advanced the shutter indicator does not come full circle to where it originated, but the original starting shutter speed (set from a previous film advanced position) is what the camera actually fires at. For example if the dial is at B before advancing film, after advancing, it may point to the empty space between B and 1/30 after advancing but will fire at B. Someone has suggested that I just reset the dial by loosening the screw, something that I might do if I get the camera CLA-ed.
  11. I never could get my Zorki 4 to consistently have an accurate shutter speed setting. Yes, I always cocked the shutter first, then set the speed. But there was just something fiddley and unprecise about it. Had another Zorki 4 that was the same way. I finally sold the camera and bought a Fed 2 (lousy viewfinder compared to the Zorki, but better everything else) and all works as it should now. I thought I had hit on the best of both worlds recently when I bought on the auction site a Fed 3 Type A that had the big, bright Zorki like viewfinder, but lo and behold, there was that darn Zorki type shutter speed dial sitting on top of the camera! After fooling around w/ that Rubik's Cube of a speed dial I gave up and sold it too and went back to the reliable Fed 2. Maybe it's just me.
  12. Steve; your post about the FED 2 makes NO sense at ALL.

    BOTH a Zorki and FED point to a nonsense shutter speed before being cocked; and the correct position after being cocked. The dial doesnt revolve on either camera 360 degrees either during an exposure. The only thing is say your the FED 2 has them in order; if they are thus a Rubic cube by the lower speeds on a Zorki being out of order Lord help us. Here the FED2's have had more shutter issues than Zorki's; maybe its just because they are older than my Zorki 4's.

    Dave; your 11mm knurled has slipped/rotated; or an idiot/dolt/duffusi did the CLA. Its held by 2 setscrews with a standard American style - /slotted head. Any jewelers screwdriver set from Radio Shack or Walmart (Stanley yellow box) will work. You do NOT have to remove the screws; just back them out a couple turns; ie counter clockwise. Then the dial can be rotated and its correct position set. The two screws bare down into a turned groove on a shaft; there is no detent. The B ie BULB ie open shutter position is facing backwards usuallly. You just try an find the open shutter setting; then set the knob facing back towards the B.

    A slipped ie wrong set pointer explains the vast number of questions; about a camera thats so easy to use a 3 year old could set the shutter on!
  13. I never thought it was so difficult to understand how a Zorki shutter dial works...
  14. Nicolas; it sounds like Daves pojnter is settup wrong; ie slipped. Thus its like getting into a car with an automatic transmission and P doent mean Park; it points to R for reverse. <BR><BR>One can actually see the Zorki shutter speeds blindfolded. One cocks the shutter and lifts up the 11mm dial and rotates it counterclockwise and "jsut feels" where the slow speed geartrain starts to wind; thats the 1/50 1/160 setting. More counter clockwise rotation has a spring feel to it; ie one is winding up the geartrain. One also has feedback with noise too; thus going to the 1/10 1/8 spot or 1/5 1/4 spot and rotating backwards one hears the geartrain unwind. After awhile its like riding a bike; shifting a stick shift car. One can add a third non visual feedback/clue with a filed flat on the 11mm dial; or glued bump on teh pointer. Thus with a filed flat on the 11mm dila one has THREE ways to properly set the shutterspeed in total darkness!
  15. Probably the pointer was adjusted intentionally by someone who was paranoid about storing a camera with cocked shutter?
    Silly, as Zorki-4 maanual specially warns of touching the speed dial before cocking the shutter. It can cause a serious
    damage to long speed escapement. This applies to all russian LTM rangefinders with shutter speeds longer than 1/30th,
    except maybe Zorki-3.
  16. Kelly, what is the normal shutter setting if you turn the dial to the rightmost position? 1/30 (after B setting)? After cocking
    the shutter, turning the dial to the rightmost position should point (let's say) 1/30. If it is not the case, yes, the pointer is not
    aligned properly. As you suggest, the use of a small screwdriver should fix it easily.
  17. I do not have a Zorki 4- but do have a Zorki 3M.

    On my Zorki 3M, the shutter speed dial is held in by 3 set screws. They hold the shutter dial in against a "rim".
    Loosen the screws, and the dial rotates freely. I find the setting that is "B", with the shutter cocked, rotate
    the shutter dial so "B" lines up, and then tighten it down. The same procedure works on my Canon 7 and several
    other cameras.
  18. The Zorki 4's and Zorki 3C's I have use two setscrews with a (-) Minus/slotted head. One just backs them off and you rotate the 11mm dial; then tighten them again. You do not have to remove them; you just loosen them up; align the dial; retighten them. Sometimes the dial is stuck a tad; it might have been not moved in 40 to 50 years. Once you find what postion is for open shutter bulb; you wind thee shutter; align the pointer towards "B" and tighten the 2 screws on theh 11mm dial; the one that has the pointer on it. Its like aligning the automatic gear selection dial on the steering column on a mid 1960's Plymouth! One finds neurtal; then one aligns the pointer to N for neutral; then checks L, 1, park reverse etc.

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