Siren Song of the Russians

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by craig_supplee, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. After reading and researching for months about the various Russian cameras and their great glass, I finally succumbed to the Siren Song of these Russian cameras. They seem to be very addicting. I now have a Kiev 4, Zorki 5, Zorki 4, Fed 2, and a Zorki 1 (on the way). I think I will quit there. LOL. They are all neat little cameras with their own distinct personalities. I just finished my first roll of Fuji Superia Extra 400 in the Zorki 4, and was quite impressed with the Jupiter 8 lens. I have included 3 shots, and one of the camera. Please note the fine, rich looking "Corinthian" leather. Lol.
  2. Nice, crisp images. I had a very nice Zorki 4 in the mid 90s before it locked up on me. One day I'll have to round out my collection with another, an early Fed and Zorki, and a (more serviceable example of a ) Kiev 4 that the one sitting in my curio-table.
  3. I stopped after 3 Kiev 4 models! So far....we're never really cured.
    As you cans see Russian glass is superb. Many Soviet era optics are horribly under rated. If people knew better they'd be hacking this glass onto their Leicas. But they don't, so we get to have cheap thrills.
  4. >As you cans see Russian glass is superb.

    Thanks to the Zeiss designs from which they were cloned.

    >If people knew better they'd be hacking this glass onto their Leicas.

    People do put them straight on screw-mount Leicas, or add a simple adapter with an M body. Those who do know
    better, avoid using the Jupiter 3 and longer lenses on their Leicas because of the Contax RF standard on which
    the lenses are based.
  5. Nice camera and excellent, sharp pictures! Man, I wish you hadn't done this...I must explore these Russian cameras now, as I see that my arsenal of cameras is apparently incomplete. I can't allow that.
  6. The Jupiter 8 is one of my favourite lenses. Nice and sharp. As for the cameras, if you get lucky and get a good one then you've got a great combo.
  7. It's a sickness but you're doing well.
  8. Thanks everyone! So far, apart from a few minor adjustments, all cameras seem in good working order.

    Andy, sorry, but it had to be done. Sooner or later you would have seen the light.

    Gene, I think some illnesses are best left to just run their course, even if it takes years to go away (or never) :)
  9. I too have recently bought a couple (Kiev 4), not yet arrived, form that big auction site. I bought a couple of cheaper ones from one of the smaller know sellers just to see what they're like. I expect they'll need more work that from someone like alex-photo, but my thinking was that I want to hold one in my hand before springing for a bigger purchase.

    My own motivation was the fact that every time I see a real Contax the prices go through the roof. What good is a camera if you spend so much money you can't afford film. I mean, after all, it is about taking pictures isn't it?

    So, I'll see what I've got in about another week, and I hope I'm posting success stories.

  10. Michael, I bought my Kiev 4 from a seller here in the states. I quickly looked on the alex-photo site, and some of his stuff seems a little pricy. I bought my other cameras from "vladimir" and "kubanoid", and all cameras were in very good to excellent condition. Prices weren't bad either.
  11. I enjoyed all your pics; no 3 takes the cake with the grilled arches and shadows! Wonderful! I learned [if any] photography on a Fed 2. In my days at UW Seattle [1966 ++] my friends were all sporting Pentax, Canon etc. They used to give me funny looks and smile, "what kind is that?...a camera? does it take pictures?" I now have Feds 5, 4 and 3 in that order! plus 2 Zorki 4Ks. The Industars and Jupiters are superb lenses. Wish I can live up to their quality, soon! Regards, sp.
  12. Craig, what a neat looking camera. Seams to be brand new. I like your pictures.
  13. There's something about them that makes people giggle. They do take nice pictures. Do remember that on some of these you can fog the film if you rewind it with the lens cap off. I was lucky to find a nice FED-4 in its original box with its guarantee, "passport," other paper work, and manual.
  14. Oh and the selenium meter worked too - had to find a GOST conversion table, though. ;)
  15. Your pictures with the Jupiter 8 are nice and sharp. Another lens that provides nice crisp results is the Industar 61LD. You can still get them quite cheap, but for some reason, the price on Soviet made cameras seems to be on the rise. I'm looking for a Moskva but they all seem to be going through the roof.
  16. these are really sharp photos, I would love to see some black and white shots. I have been considering getting a fed2 or 5, now i am sold on it...thanks!
  17. Thanks again everyone for all the nice compliments.

    Adam, I have a roll of TRI -X almost finished in my Kiev 4 that has another Jupiter 8 lens. Excited to see how that one is. I also just loaded a roll of Ilford XP-2 in my Zorki 5 with the collapsable Industar 22. I have heard good things about that lens as well.
  18. I'm glad you have had such good luck w/ the Kiev's. It has taken me about 3 buys to finally get a good Fed 2 but I really like it. Probably should have just bought the first one and sent it out for a CLA but I seem to like doing things the hard way when it comes to cameras. I had a bit of a surprise w/ the lenses. Went out and shot the J-8, the 61LD, Industar 50 3.5, and the coated collapsible Industar 10 and measured them against my Elmar 50 3.5. The Industar 10 was the better lens. It can't resolve as much as my Leica R lenses, but up to maybe 8x12 it is really a fine lens. Here's something most people probably wouldn't admit to doing. I shoot the Industar 10 on a Bessa R3a w/ a LTM to M adapter and it is one heck of a combination. Sort of the best of both worlds. Now that you have the Russian bug it's time to explore the world of folders!
  19. Nice shot Steve. I'm not so familiar yet with the Russian lens designations. What exactly is an Industar 10? How would it be different than my I-22?

    2nd part on folders, I went out searching for a Moskva 5 awhile back, but had trouble finding anything that didn't look like it had been run over by a Panzer, so I gave up and opted for a RB67 and lenses. Go figure. Still have a few Kodak and Japanese folders I play with.
  20. Great buy Craig. Enjoy your commie cameras while they are still affordable.
  21. "Nice shot Steve. I'm not so familiar yet with the Russian lens designations. What exactly is an Industar 10? How would it be different than my I-22"
    Industar 10 was made before WWII for Kharkov's made FED camera and SLR camera called "Sport'. Resolution of the I-10 is 30/18 lanes per mm. It is 4 lenses semi-glued anastigmat based on the Tessar optical design. After WWII Leitz Elmar lenses, parts, optical glass etc. found a good home in Krasnogorsk city about 10 miles from Moscow. The lens Leitz Elmar was renamed Industar 22. Number of first post war soviet rangefinders like FED and Zorki were equipped with those lenses. TLRs Zenit also received that lenses as a standard kit. The main difference of I-10 and I-22 that the focal length of I-10 is 49.99 mm vs 52.43mm of I-22. Later I-22 was improved and renamed Industar 50. And by the way leatherette of the Soviet camera always came in one color – black.
  22. The prices are going up for U.S. buyers for two simple reasons: Demand for FSU equipment is rising and the dollar is taking a pounding compared with most other world currencies. Shipping from Europe to the U.S. has been rising because of the weak dollar and the rising cost of fuel.
  23. steve mareno

    Gorgeous. Ansel-like.
  24. Talk about great camera values.
  25. Great again, Craig.

    I have to confess that I’m not working so many times with my Soviets since I shot with Leicas, but I still using a Jup8 with all of them very often, even with the M3 + adaper. It is an outstanding lens than I’ll never go to leave abandoned.
  26. Yes, I too have listened to tha sirens song, and now own two Feds. My lovely blue Fed 2, and my Fed 3(which is still a work in progress). I hope to win the Zorki that I'm bidding on Now. By the way will the Fed lenses fit the Zorki? The Zorki I'm bidding on comes with a 3.5 lens, and when I got my Fed 2, it came with an extra Industar 2.8.
  27. "By the way will the Fed lenses fit the Zorki? The Zorki I'm bidding on comes with a 3.5 lens, and when I got my Fed 2, it came with an extra Industar 2.8."

    All. Here is the list on cyrillic
    Индустар-22 (Industar 22)
    Индустар-50 (Industar 50)
    Индустар-61 л/д (Industar 61)
    Юпитер-3 (Jupiter 3)
    Юпитер-8 (Jupiter 8)
    Юпитер-12 (Jupiter 12)
    Юпитер-9 (Jupiter 9)
    Орион-15 (Orion 15)
    Руссар (Russar)
    Two latter are relatively rare
  28. Yes yes, very pretty. But those cameras won't ever measure up to this one.
    <img src="">
  29. Paris Hilton's Special Order? That camera came from where? Did you paint is yourseflf?
  30. I powder coated it a few years ago. Just for something to do.
  31. Josh, did you spend too much time in your younger days watching wrestling? Did you buy this camera from the Hit Man or the Anvil?
  32. Only a true badass could use a camera like this in public.
  33. Josh, that nice Fed 2 sould be ideal to my assistant.
  34. "I powder coated it a few years ago. Just for something to do."

    May I ask about motivations? Was that a protest against the fall of Soviet Union? May be I should Paint my Moskva 3 in red?
  35. Josh, I think you might be onto something... perhaps a custom camera beauty contest? I don't currently have anything like that done, but if a time frame were allowed that would permit some creative camera work, you might get something going here. The only sticking point might be the camera still has to work.
  36. "May I ask about motivations?"
    My motivation was that I had a Fed 2 sitting around and I have a powder coating setup. And at the time, I did not have a baby in the house. So I actually had some spare time on my hands.
  37. Josh, I post this picture on one site of the Russian film-camera enthusiats. I hope that you do not mind that. It is now the early morning in Russia but I hope that they will have fun time tomorrow.
  38. Copyright infringement!

    Seriously though, just do me a favor and link it back to this thread. Got to promote my employer (
  39. Josh, I post the link below the picture. People in Russia are quite knowlegable about I just hope you did not do that in some kind of a political protest, like Checks wich painted T34 tank in the center of the Prague in pink colour about 15 years ago. That camera I was learning how to shoot, and it is not that bad for its time, a bit worse quality than Zorki 4 though. Plus the lenses you have I-61 are very sharp almost as Zeiss Tessar for a fraction of coast.
  40. The Russian lenses are made to the Contax standard, but it is not hard to collimate them for the Leica by adjusting the variable stand-off ring or by changing the Shim. They are not exact clones of the original Zeiss lenses, but are pretty close to it. The optics fixture is shorter, probably done when the German glass ran out and new glass was formulated.

    This is with a 1935 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 remounted in a J-3 focus mount, collimated for the Leica standard.

    Wide-open and close-up, focus on the eyes. <p}

    <img src=><p>
  41. The Zorki 3M is my favorite Russian camera.<p>

    <img src=><p>
  42. Where did you get that crazy colors? They all were black as far as I can remember.
  43. OOOHH, that Zorki 3M is SEXY!. Cameras are female aren't they???
  44. Somebody help me figure out why Josh would have pink powdercoat lying around his house. Barbie furniture?
  45. "Somebody help me figure out why Josh would have pink powdercoat lying around his house."
    I used to have a small "beer money" business powder coating aluminum yoyos. Yeah, yoyos. Go figure.
  46. Hey Josh, no problem here. Whatever works. Might be a good time to resurrect a small business like that. Do they make glo-in-the-dark powdercoat? The possibilities are endless.
  47. Ahhh I want to have glow in the dark Russian Camera. I will get and sacrifize Zorki 4 and Jupiter 9 85/2.0 in alluminum body + revolving viewfinder, I will get the whole set of lenses for that . Must be a cool gift to hard core enthusiast. Even better each lense would be color coded. Josh, please send a protocol for that. Much appreciated.
  48. OK, wait a minute! I 'm going to copywrite that right now! Don't anyone move!!
  49. They do make a glow additive, and I might actually have some around here. I always meant to give it a try but never got around to it.
  50. . . . powder coating aluminum yoyos. Yeah, yoyos.
    Cool. You have any leftover inventory?
  51. Yes. A few.
  52. Too late, somebody already did. Looks like your camera's leatherette is made of plasticki looking material like from sits in Krasnogorsk busses :))
  53. Actually the "fine corinthian leather" on my Zorki 4 is very soft and feels like leather. Quite nice to hold.
  54. At least it does not say that it is a golden limited edition official Third Reix Leica. I have seen a bunch of those on the main Moscow "art flea marlet". Poor cameras were transformed from the mass produced FEDs. A bit of disgrace, but obviously targetting foreign tourists and they look very neat.
  55. Josh, I have to say this reveals hitherto unrecognized facets to your personality. Bravo!
  56. Great looking camera, Josh.

    I still have a Zorki from about 1972, and a Horizont from '72 also. My Horizont died a few years ago and I have been looking for another terrific panorama camera. Three weeks ago I found that the Russian factory was selling the Horizon Pro S3 for $350, plus 35 bucks for air mail, I now have it in hand, I love it. Yes I have 3 digital cameras plus lots fo film cameras from 8x10 down to 1/2 frame 35 but the Horizon with 24mm X 58mm in a single fram makes blending in PhotoShopcrazy by comparison.

  57. I have not look at the Krasnogorsk factory's web site for a quite a wile and I found out that only two cameras now are in production: Horizont-perfect and Horizont-compact. Also Zenitar lenses fisheye 16/2.8. So long Russian photo industry :(. However there is a hoax circulating the ru-net for a while that they are going to start produsing Zenit-D fully manual full frame digital.
  58. Here I have many Russian lenses; about 4 doaen at one time. I still own a mess of Jupiter-8's 5cm F2; several I-22 and I-50's; and few I-61's; and four J-9's; one Orion-15. I have not found that they as a group do not match the Leica standard. Only 1 Jupiter-9 focuses ok; the other 3 are wildly off due to mixed up lens blocks. I have many Jupiter-8's; two I-50's, the Orion-15 that focus perfectly with my Leica M3; by scale of with RF. The message that there is a gross miss focus issue with Russian LTM is a *newbies* conclusion; done by folks with a small sample and thus a non scientific conclusion. Its more a new internet thing of publishing total manure/BS as fact. The Russian lenses often have a soft cam ring surface; many are old and worn and thus they often focus abit off just due they are worn. Here I had some Zorki's a couple of decades before the internet came out and often used the Orion-15; I-50 and Jupiter-8's on my Leica M3 too. Its not true that all Russian lenes are off the LTM focus scheme; many samples focus jsut like my Nikkors and Canon LTM lenses; even wide open. One of the best Russian lenses I own is a ridid mount I-50; 50mm F3.5 its a foil for an elmar or summicron; one of the sharpest lenses on a 35mm camera I have ever used in 5 decades.
  59. "I have many Jupiter-8's; two I-50's, the Orion-15 that focus perfectly with my Leica M3; by scale of with RF"

    Kelly that is quite interesting. I-50 always in Russia consider to be a low-price-budget kit lenses. Lots of people
    opted for a faster Helios in the case of SLR Zenit, which apparently was not that sharp. And wast majority of people I
    know of damped their old range finders for cheap Japanise (Made in Hong-Kong) poit-and-shoot cameras as soon as
    they came to the market in the beggining of 90-es. It is truly "No profit in the homeland" type of the situation. Last
    night I looked at the price history of the Russian cameras and I was surprized that in the 1960-ies Zorki 6 with I-50
    cost 35 roubbles, Zorki 4 with J-8 47 roubbles. That even at that time was more then modest price for that cameras
    plus in the most of cases they last for decades. Albeit, I would say that in many cases due to underdevelloped film
    procesing service in FSU most of the people shoot very few films and lots of people just have their cameras sitting in
    the closets and that can contribute to the longevity of them. However after minilabs came to Russia people did not
    dig old stuff but rather forget about them. I am really surprized that there are so many enthusiasts of the Russian
    cameras/lenses in the West even if they like to paint them pink...
  60. Well, I won the bidding on the Zorki 4. Now I'll probably start salivating every time the post truck rumbles up to my house. Now I've got to start looking for some wide angle lenses for them.
  61. "Now I've got to start looking for some wide angle lenses for them."

    Orion 15 28/6, Russar 20/5.6, Jupiter 12 35/2.8 That is pretty much it.
  62. Rather than go by any type of sampling, I go by the Spec Sheet of the Russian lenses that I have. The J-3 in LTM is built to the Contax standard, as per the data sheet that came with the lens. I doubt the factory spec sheet is in error.

    I have probably adjusted more J-3's and J-8's than most people, over 50 of them. Typically, a slight adjustment to the Shim will do the trick. Most seem to do well by increasing the shim by 0.2mm or so to focus close-up and wide-open. Some are dead-on from the get-go, others have required adjustments of up to 3mm. I'm sure those were mistreated over the years.

    It is not a random error. It is the systematic error that would be expected from using a 52.4mm lens on a camera with the RF calibrated for 51.6mm.

    But this "debate" will dribble on for years. Never could figure out why Dante just did not post a factory spec sheet on the lenses.
  63. Of course, my J-3 is close to the Leica standard focal length. I moved the rear optics group in to shorten the effective focal length and then shimmed it.
  64. The Contax mount FSU lenses can also be shimmed to work well with Nikon RF's. Loosen the set screw, move the optics module out 1/2 turn, tighten the set screw. I've set the Helios-103, J-3, and Menopta 53/1.8 for my Nikon RF's.
    Helios-103 53mm F1.8 wide-open and close-up on the Nikon S2
  65. Cute portrait. Great bokeh!
  66. Leica 11619 50mm F2 New LTM Summicron; cost 1250 dollars<BR><BR><img src="
    albums/y148/ektar/LTM%20lenses/tripods-209.jpg?t=1225849291"><BR><BR>Russian Industar-50 in rigid mount;
    NON shimmed; from Anya via Ebay in the Ukraine about 1998.<BR><BR><img scr="
    albums/y148/ektar/LTM%20lenses/tripods-210.jpg?t=1225850603"><BR><BR>Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM
    <BR><BR><img src="
    t=1225850101"><BR><BR><img src="
  67. Russian Industar-50 in rigid mount; NON shimmed; from Anya via Ebay in the Ukraine about 1998.<BR><BR><img src="">
  68. The Contax mount FSU lenses can also be shimmed to work well with Nikon RF's. Loosen the set screw, move the optics module out 1/2 turn, tighten the set screw. I've set the Helios-103, J-3, and Menopta 53/1.8 for my Nikon RF's.

    Brian, however it should be noted that on some Nikon SLR models Kiev lenses can cause severe problems. Nikon has the screwdriver or something which can penetrate the screw hole on the O-ring of the lenses which are located exactly on the same radius as this screwdriver thing. The results are quite dramatic: lenses stuck forever, people had to saw off the entire lenses off the body. That issue was vividly discussed on many Russian photo forums. People should exercise extra caution and consult knowledgeable people before installing Kiev's lenses on Nikon. As an alternative one should plug that screw holes with some sort of epoxy glue.
  69. The shot with the 50 year old Industar-50 is a Tessar design; a 100 + year old design. Its a well studied lens; the most successful one ever made. The 1958 I-50 wide open at F3.5 is in the same league as the 1999 Summicron F2 at F2; the I-50 has no shimming; just a cheapie Ebay lens as is; placed on a Leica M3 with an adapter.ALOT or Leica users have it in their brains that all Russian stuff is crap; has to be shimmed; or all Russian LTM are built to a jackass bastard standard. Its just an biased agenda. Its easy to prove with only a few samples; no expericence; or witrh worn samples. Here the only weird Russian lens I have fooled with is the known problematic J-9 8.5cm F2; which is often bought with miss matched parts; junk sold in the USA ; the Russian stuff that didnt focus. <BR><BR>
  70. Kelly, the focus error of a lens made to the Contax standard on a Leica camera is about 1" at 36". Just enough to
    be a problem on a J-3, pushed the DOF of a J-8, and is no problem for an I-50 with a max aperture of F3.5, or any
    lens stopped down to F2.8.

    I've worked with old Russian lenses and New-Old-Stock Russian lenses. I can tell when they've been re-adjusted by
    the number of taps done for the set screws. It's easy to tell when a lens has not been changed after it left the
    factory, the set screws have one set of taps. After shimming the lens, a second set of taps needs to be drilled
    out for the aperture ring.

    My FSU lenses are as good as my Nikkor 5cm F1.4 in LTM, sharper than the Canon 50/1.4 wide-open, and within a
    hair of the CZJ Sonnars.

    No agenda here. If someone has a lens that does not focus correctly, I'll be glad to point them to Kim Coxon's
    website on adjusting them.

    No one is insinuating that the FSU lenses are crap just because they are built to the Contax standard. No one
    insinuates that Nikon S-Mount lenses are crap because they are built to the Leica standard and put in a Contax
    bayonet mount.
  71. Kozma- I learned the hard way that T-Mount lenses in general can be a problem on Nikon AF-SLRS. Cost me $100 to have Nikon get a T-Mount of of my N8008 about 18 years ago. It hung up on the AF contacts.
  72. This 1959 J-3 was in Mint condition when I got hold of it. One of the few lenses that required the Shim to be
    reduced, but it does happen. This is the one with the rear group moved in closer to the front group to reduce the
    effective focal length.<p>

    J-3 wide-open on the Bessa R2 <p>

    <img src=""><p>

    Tight Crop: <p>
    <img src=""><p>

    another wide-open at 1/15th. <p>

    <img src=""><p>

    <img src=""><p>
  73. Brian how did you shim them is that difficult to perform by a non-specialist? Is not be easy just to use a soviet body for that lenses? If I am going to use Konika Hexar body should I shim the lenses? BTW I have the lenses I-8 and I-64 but I do not have Konika so far just thinking about it :)
  74. Kim Coxon hosts guides on the J-3 and J-8. The first J-3 that I shimmed is posted on his site. Kim Coxon's Repair Site You could get a nice FSU body for the J-3 and J-8. Some lenses "might" require some fine tuning. But- sometimes it's nice to have TTL metering, parallax correction, etc. The FSU bodies do not offer these features. The Zorki 3M and Zorki 4 have superb viewfinders- but not parallax corrected. So you end up with a German or Japanese camera body to get these features. I doubt many German or Japanese Leica mount F1.4 or F1.5 lenses can be bought for the $80 that this J-3 cost me.
  75. Just to add- try the Lens on your camera before doing anything else to it. Try a few shots wide-open and close-up
    on a well-defined target. I use a fence post, so I can judge where the actual focus is. The last J-8 (a 1955
    lens) that I bought was perfect out of the Ebay box. BUT- it had been worked on, and the optics module was
    epoxied into the focus mount. Good thing they got it right.
  76. Have anybody tried Industar 61? There is a perception in Russia that it is the sharpest Soviet lenses ever produced. How about colors did not they have any issues, for most of the lenses came decades before color film become in mass use in FSU. Albeit, my father shut ORVO color slide film with his Zorki I and I-22.
  77. Craig,

    Sorry it took me so long to reply to you. I think the Industar 10 has the little aperture clip thing like the Elmar 50 3.5, and the Industar 22 has the easier to adjust aperture ring on the front of the lens. I certainly could be wrong. For what it's worth I have one of those Moskva 5's, it does look like it was run over by a Panzer, and it takes really great 6x9 photos. Who knew? I almost never shoot color film, but the photos from your Zorki are amazing. What a lovely palette of colors.

    That pink camera is oddly attractive.
  78. Kozma - see this old thread for some samples of the I-61 L/D.
    I don't have any more recent examples - so many lenses, so little time :)
    The I-61 L/D is quite sharp - whether it's as sharp as Leica glass I can't say, as I don't have any of the Leica. As I recall I put a couple of rolls of colour film through a camera with it on as well, and didn't have any issues (completely unscientific, I know).
    It depends on what you're after - the Jupiter 8 and 9 are Zeiss Sonnar clones, and are sometimes preferred for people pics, as they have very nice bokeh and are a touch softer in general, but it's really down to personal preference.
    Pursuant to some of the other posts here, I also have (amongst others) a collapsible FED-50 (same design as the Industar-10, although possibly made by a different factory) - nothing wrong with it, the pics from it look like an older-style non-coated or possibly single-coated Tessar, which it is (I'm pretty sure my sample is single-coated, as there is a slight colour visible in some light when looking at the front at an angle, but not absolutely positive on that or if it's even a factory coating). The only issue for me is the tiny aperture-selection slider on the front of it that has to be operated with a fingernail. Because of this (and because I have it mounted on a FED-2 with the tiny vf/rf), I usually just pick an exposure value, set the aperture, set the lens to its hyperfocal distance for that aperture, and use an external viewfinder. A fun combo for walking around with - with the original leather case, older people tend to make comments about it being a "real camera" :)
  79. I am still facinated that there are people which can actually afford a quite expensive Leica RF body and then stick to them a FSU lenses which are a dozen per dime. But may be that is way to go. Why spend 50 times more money on the lenses which are producing a similar result. May be it is even more fun to photograph w/o TTL metering and parallax correction. BTW those people called themselves in Russia "Jeday photographers", and may be that is way to go, clear difference of a dedicated experienced amateur vs point-and-shooter amateur :)).
  80. Stiking old FSU lenses on the expensive Leica M body sounds a bit strange way of saving money. However fixing yourself the Zorki 3/4 body and taking pictures w/o TTL mettering and parallax correction - it is the way of the "Jeday worrior" like that people call themselves in Russia. :))))
  81. I made Collapsible I-61L/D's in Contax mount for two of my friends. I used the collapsible mount from a pre-war Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F2 lens, the Industar screws right in. You have to mill the aperture ring down a little bit to collimate it. This is an easy job. . They are VERY sharp, and fairly high contrast. I have one collimated for my Nikon RF's, but it is not collapsible. I tend to use the J-3 much more, as I like the signature. And it's fast.
  82. Kozma, I think the English you want is Jedi Warrior. (I have no idea how that would translate.)

    With no meter and no parallax correction you must know the correct settings by intuition. You "Use the Force" to
    set the camera.
  83. I'd love to get a couple FSU lenses set up for Leica, but I'm not sure I'm exacting or patient enough to do the job myself.
  84. Michael, you got it. Just start the training with Smena 8M and in two years anyone can get the correct exposure setting w/o meter "Force will be with that photographer..."
  85. >>>Kozma Prutkoff , Nov 06, 2008; 02:58 p.m.

    Michael, you got it. Just start the training with Smena 8M and in two years anyone can get the correct exposure
    setting w/o meter "Force will be with that photographer..."<<<

    I find this very helpful as well. Fred Parker's ultimate exposure calculator:
  86. > Stiking old FSU lenses on the expensive Leica M body sounds a bit strange way of saving money.

    Kozma, it's not a matter of saving money. They are great lenses with their own particular signature. They are also smaller and lighter than their German and Japanese counterparts. A Leica CL with a J-3: a small, light, and fast combination.

    Josh- anyone that can paint a camera like that can shoot a few test shots and change the Shim by a fraction of a millimeter.

    As far as Jedi Warrior- they did fashion there own Light Sabers. Kind of like a J-3... a Fast/sharp Light Saber...
  87. Brian, I have never had an opportunity to shoot with German lenses like Summicron. Honestly the only Zeiss I have
    ever tried was Tessar on my Ikoflex I TLR. I am pretty much positive that in terms of cost efficiency custom adjusted
    J-8 beats it badly. Too bad I can not compare them myself since I do not have Leica. However I still have Zorki 4,
    Zorki 6 and Fed-3 with I-61 and J-8, which are collecting dusts somewhere. I think that I still have I-22 and J-3 but I
    am not that positive because of my family circumstances. I am going to dig them up, resurrect them and see how
    they compare with Zuiko 50/1.8 and Nikkor 50/1.8 that should be fun…
  88. I hope you find the J-3! I've used the Nikkor 50/1.8, several versions from the original 50/1.8 AI to the AF
    version. The J-3 and J-8 are "smoother" in terms of Bokeh. They are lower contrast in a good way that tends to
    preserve shadow detail and not blow highlights.
  89. I can get J-3 even if mine is gone forever. Just let me check if my Zorki-es are still in operational conditions, I did not touch them in decades may be they need a bit of CLA which is outrageously expensive in the USA.
  90. Excellent photos Craig.Great dynamic range like only 35mm negatives and slides can provide.These cameras are masterpieces.All-metallic bodies, chrome or steel, robust and simple construction that make them work for decades.I once used a Kiev and a Zenit cameras, i don't remember the exact models, but surely i will remember till my ages the quality of the photos, sometimes with the usage of a hand photometer.Astonished results.Use them as long they endure and then put them on a self in your room.They will remain the best ornament.Best wishes.
  91. Thanks Apostolos. I just got my Zorki 1e, and I think I like it the best. So small, and fits right in the hand with the collapsible lens. Have it loaded with Superia extra 400 right now.
  92. Craig,
    Did you check its curtains for elasticity? Zorki 1 is very old and that is its main problem. And because it does not have the romovable back there is no easy way to check it for light leak.
  93. Here I got my first Zorki back in the 1970's from Wall Street camera. Its Jupiter-8 50mm F2 was also on a canon RF and my Leica M3 at times too. The 1959 vintage Jupiter-9 I have tracks well with a Leica; its never been messed with. The 1970's versions are grossly off. Here I use to buy Russian cameras in bulk and sell them on Ebay in its early years; one could buy a dozen units for 100 bucks and sell the stuff in theh USA for double or triple. I once had a mess of J8's and J3's and never got into the shimming thing; for the web tales were not floating around then. The J3's varied more than J-8's as how well then worked on a Leica; ie to Leica standard. The ones that focused more "ill/off" had worn cam ring surfaces; ie 5 the Russian bodies have NO roller but a simple pie or finger cam tht slides and wears the soft aluminum ring on the lens. On a Leica Summicron the lenses are made and focal lengths measured; there are different lens mount helical pitches matched. Thus my 50mm F2 LTM has a "22" on its barrel; its in the 52.2 mm "actual focal length" bucket. A friends same lens with a different serial number has a "19" on it thus its a 51.9mm focal length; it has a 51.9mm helix mount. The Russians probably didnt group lens blocks to matched helixes; this adds to the variablity of what one gets in focus. <BR><BR>USED Leica RF bodies were not always expensive; a used IIIc LTM body in 1969 cost less than a new Zorki with J8 and case in 1969 from a NYC dealer<br><br>here I have had many Russian lenses work well on a Zorki, Fed; Lennigrad, Leica, Bessa R or Epson RD-1 with NO shims; some have been off; some way off like ill J9. The funny thing is that my J8 that I got new in 1969 has no shimming required; and was used for meny decades before the internet tales of shimming came out. Thus here I view the claims of all Russian LTM having to be shimmed as bit of a farce/wrong ; or one to fix ones that were built wrong ; ie way off in tolerances. The build quality is less than a Canon, Nikkon or Leica. One has a super soft came ring material; aluminum. One has product that many Americans has just discovered via the internet; Russians uncover old dresser drawers of old cameras and sell them 4 to 5 decades later; often old worn out stuff. The BEST focusing russian LTM lenses I have are samples bought long ago that have never been "messed with" direct from Russia or the Ukraine ; the worst is from USA sellers.
  94. The body of knowledge about Russian cameras on is rather small and newer than other sites. Older sites like the old now history Yahoo groups Russian camera board have radically more followers; since any mention of Russian stuff on the Greenspun Leica board then later the Leica board had purists in heart attack mode. The old Yahoo groups Russian board moved to long ago when annoying advertising increased; folks there deeply into Russian cameras. Once folks here on the Leica forums got really hostile if one mentioned one used a Canon 50mm F1.2
  95. I just received a 1939 Carl Zeiss Sonnar 5cm F1.5 "T" lens in Contax mount. It was a good price, and I took a chance on Ebay. Glass was nice, but oil on the aperture and enough internal haze to be a problem. Some marks on the side from pliers, and marks on the back retaining rings from a Spanner that lost its grip. Someone tried to get it out of the mount to clean it, and had removed the obvious set screw that held it in place. I could not get it out, either. So I used a dremel to cut the mount off. Once the optics module was out, I could see why it was frozen in place. Turns out that this lens had an extra retaining screw to hold the rear module in, and it was not in far enough. It was stuck tight in the (now cut off) threads. It was screwed up 70 years ago. Cleaned the aperture and optics, it is now in a LTM J-3 mount. Think I'll use it on the Zorki 3M. This ancient stuff can be a can of worms, no matter who made it.
  96. Well, I said earlier that I had bought two of these sirens from a seller in the Ukraine, and they arrived today
    registered mail, a whole week earlier than I expected. His eBay ID is vitalii9146 and the cameras are very
    reasonably priced, and both appear to be completely functional as he advertised.

    True, they are a bit ragged looking, not museum quality like some, and they do smell of machine oil, probably
    from recently being serviced. I have not put film in them yet, as I've been convincing myself that everything
    works, including the flash sync sockets. I have a little concern about the shutter speeds for the Kiev 4,
    particularly the 1250 - it seems way too long to be 1250 just from watching the curtain flash by. Frankly I don't
    think it's any faster than the 500 setting, and I'm not real sure it's right either. Slower speeds appear to be
    OK, but I didn't "measure" them, I just eyeballed them. Focusing with the rangefinder, then reading the scale
    from the lens, it looks like the rangefinders on both are pretty close, but I didn't check the image at the film
    plane. I'll do that with a roll of film.

    All in all, they do look to be "sound" even if not adorable. Something that I can use, abuse, and if necessary
    loose. I'll load them with film tonight, and shoot a roll in each tomorrow morning. I hope to have negatives on
    the light box by late afternoon, and I'll report how they actually perform.

    I'll also try to take a couple of pics of the cameras themselves and post those. Like I said, they look to be
    completely adequate even if not precious little darlings. In other words, I think I've got a pair of good tools.
    For the price, they were cheaper than the plastic Holga I bought and put on a shelf after one disappointing roll,
    if they work well then they're a bargain. If they work superbly like everyone says they were an outright steal.

  97. Kiev's sure have a cool shutter sound thats very interesting.<BR><BR>With a Lennigrad the lens flange is sunk into the body' one may say thatr part of teh body sticks up above the flange. Thus some non Russian LTM lenses will not work; like a New LTM Summicron of old 50mm F1.2 Canon
  98. Kelly, how Leningrad came on the radar screen? This is rare, notoriously unreliable, revolutionnary designed, must have in the collection camera. I have never seen working one.
  99. Bill Pitt November 9th 08

    Not much about the Zenit I see. This sparked the entry of many Brits to the world of SLR Photography. It weighed
    about half a ton - or felt like it - and used 42mm screw thread lenses, which made quick changes impossible. But,
    the Helios lenses, its built in exposure meter and just the fact that it was an SLR that people could afford made it
    irresistable - before Pracktica et al cornered the market. I've owned a Zorki, I still have a Leica IIIc, a Bronica, four
    Nikons and sundry others but the thrill of my first Zenit SLR is still remembered. Some years ago I gave it to the son
    of a friend to start him on the same magic path. sadly the attraction palled I think he found out about girls!
  100. I have a little concern about the shutter speeds for the Kiev 4, particularly the 1250 - it seems way too long to be 1250 just from watching the curtain flash by. Frankly I don't think it's any faster than the 500 setting,
    The curtain moves at the same speed - what varies is the width of the open slit. BTW if correctly adjusted it does give 1/1250.
    Bill, the Zenit 3M SLR (with a Helios-44) was my first serious camera. Very tough, and very similar to the Zorki-6.
  101. Kozma; here I have one a Lennigrad body now for 11 years without any issues. I got it from a Ebay seller Anya inteh Ukraine for about 65 bucks. Its got a big wind knob and big button to fire off the frames from the spring wound motor advance. I bought several from the Ukraine and Russia in the early Ebay days and resold them here in the USA with no issues. I have heard and read woes and horrible stories about the Lennigrad but never had problems with any of mine I have owned. I am doubting or argueing that problems do not exist; I just have had any issues. Mine is not a collectors camera but just a handy "brick" to thrown inot my hockey bag for shooting adult league "pickup" hockey while playing it myself. The spring wind is handy; the rig works with gloves even. <BR><BR>To me the Lennigrad is just another Russian LTM camera like a Zorki or Fed. The lens flange is recessed abit on the Lennigrad; a 50mm F1.2 Canon will not fit; its too big at the flange area; it fits the body of the Lennigrad. The Zorki, Fed and Lennigrad have no roller cams; so of course the fit a subset of LTM lenses; ones with circular cam rings; NOT a stub like a 13.5cm F3.5 LTM Nikkor. The Lennigrad further reduces the subset of LTM lenses; it has to be not only a circular cam ring type; but also one thats not too fat withing a few mm's close to the lens LTM flange. At one time Lennigrads, Zorki's,and Feds; plus Nikkor and Canon LTM were low in cost on Ebay. One could buy a zorki 4 with Jupiter-8 and case with shipping for the same price as two rolls of 36 exp print film with developing the 4x6" prints. Many of us bought bulk of our Russian camera gear at trivial flea market prices 10 to 12 years ago.<BR><BR>The Lennigrad came in a color box; with a manual printed in colro too; with a case with chrome trim pieces.
  102. >here I have one a Lennigrad body now for 11 years without any issues<

    You are lucky one. Even old experienced techs in Russia refuse to fix it. It has got Grand Prix in Brussels in 1958.
    BTW the camera name is Leningrad, not Lenni-grad :)
  103. OK gang, now that I have these two old range finders, I'm going to ask for a bit of help.

    The Kiev 4 works very well. The rangefinder, with the supplied J-8 lens, seems to be correct at both long
    distances and as close as a few feet. Images are very sharp just looking at the negatives on a light box. I
    haven't tried to enlarge anything yet. Only so many playtime hours in a week, you know.

    One minor detail that I note with the Kiev is that the lens is ever so slightly loose. Not much, and the
    negatives look good. But there is a small perceptible amount of play in the lens. When I take the lens out of the
    bayonet it is clear that the play is in the mount inside the camera. The lens itself mounts solidly into the
    bayonet when it's clicked into the spring. At close focus, when the mount is screwed out on the helix, the play
    is almost gone, as if there is wear on the helix threads at the closed in infinity position. Is this "normal" or
    is there anything I can adjust? Or should I leave it alone so long as the negatives look good? I do want to find
    both a 35mm and an 80mm lens for
    this body in the future, so my gut says don't do anything until I have the lens compliment, then make everything
    work as a system.

    The FED-2 (an old one with no self timer and the flash sync on the lower body) with an Industar-26 is good at
    infinity, but at the close end focuses a little too close using the rangefinder. (Not to mention that the
    viewfinder is pretty dim and hard to focus.) When I focus on an object which is 4 ft (about 1.2 meters) the lens
    scale reads 1m when focused using the rangefinder. Stopped down to f/22 it's fine, but at f/2.8 the negative is
    out of
    focus on the target.

    Unfortunately I didn't have anything in the frame that I could actually measure to see exactly where the focus
    truly is, but regardless I need to check into this. This week I will set up a group of linear targets and see if
    the lens scale markings are correct. My guess is that they are, since at very close range the lens scale markings
    indicate too close when the rangefinder images are coincident.

    I assume that the FED rangefinder is adjustable somehow, plus I certainly need to see if I can clean it up some
    to make it brighter. I have read that they aren't particularly bright even when sparkling clean. Should I expect
    to be able to clean it up enough to focus inside normal household night time lighting?

    If someone can point me to nuts and bolts technical information about these I would appreciate it. I can find
    tons of pictures, but not much about how to actually work on them.

  104. > Is this "normal" or is there anything I can adjust?
    I would leave it alone unless it is so bad that enlargements are affected. Usually, it is the lens in the mount that can be slightly loose. That can be fixed by bending the bayonet prongs. But your lens sounds like it does not have a problem. Contax/Kiev/Nikon RF mounds do not use lubricants, and slight looseness is the norm.
    For a short telephoto- go for the J-9 85/2. I just dropped off a test roll using one on my Contax. We'll find out!
    On the Fed-2: check the actual focus before doing much. I've found that the distance scale and the actual focus on the I-28 and I-61 can disagree as often as the actual focus being out. So get a good test shot where you know the point of focus, focus with the RF, then examine the prints. You could also put a film strip over the film gate and test the actual focus of the lens vs the rangefinder. You'll need a loupe for this test.
  105. If the I-26 needs to be shimmed, it's not too hard. There is a retaining ring in back of the lens, optics module pops out. I cut up some thin material to place under the optics module as you screw it back in with the retaining ring. Maybe a better way to do it, but this method worked for me.
  106. Michael,
    Here is the link how to fix FSU cameras. Too bad it is in Russian. But may help a bit if you find someone who can translate it.
  107. Well, I haven't had a chance to do anything yet with the FED-2 and the I-26. What I know is that the focus at infinity is good, and focus by the rangefinder at several feet is off by some as yet undetermined amount. It can't be all that far out of whack, since the scenes with the lens stopped down weren't bad, only the scenes with the aperture mostly open were out of focus noticeably.

    As I said, later this week I will set up a group of measured targets, and both focus with the rangefinder and using the scale engraved on the lens. I do know that when I focus the rangefinder on a target at 3 meters, the lens scale reads slightly more than 2 meters. And since the range finder looks like peering through a can of 30 weight oil, I think it needs to come apart for cleaning anyway.

    I do like the FED, however. It's small, quiet, and seems solid as a tank. Honestly I've always admired the Leica too, but thought they were unreasonably and outrageously overpriced. It seems to me that this is a way for me to have a "Leica" within a reasonable budget. After all, I care about the pictures, not the equipment.

    The one I have now is the 2b variant, without a self timer. Do the Soviet block LTM style lenses fit all the variations, including the other Soviet LTM "brands" like Zorki? Or do you have to have specific lenses for specific manufacturing lines?

  108. > Do the Soviet block LTM style lenses fit all the variations, including the other Soviet LTM "brands" like Zorki? Or do you have to have specific lenses for specific manufacturing lines?<
    Yes the lenses would fit all M39 thread rangefinders prodused in the USSR: FEDs, Zorkies, Mirs. Exept FED10 and Zorki10 those have leaf shutter. You should probably avoid pre-war FEDs, but some info each of that camera had individually adjusted lenses. Actually standartization came only on the post war Zorkies.
  109. Ralph Nader has a better chance in being elected president in any election year that a random J-9 85mm F2 in focusing OK on a LTM body. The samples I own and have bought and sold mostly had had a horrid miss-focus issue(s). It would be cheaper to buy a Leica M3 and a 85mm F2 Nikkor than the dozen or two J-9's to get one to focus OK.
  110. "Ralph Nader has a better chance in being elected president in any election year that a random J-9 85mm F2 in focusing OK on a LTM body. The samples I own and have bought and sold mostly had had a horrid miss-focus issue(s)."

    So this means I'll have to spend some time working on them to make them right? Don't all good things require effort? At the prices I see Leica's sell for, that buys a lot of my effort.
  111. Michael, if you want you can visit Moscow and do everything in a professional shop for less. People said that it is not very expensive and they do quality work there. Afterwords you can test the lenses on the Red Square or on the details of St.Basil Cathidral. LOL. And it still would be cheaper than the price of Leica M7 and Zeiss.
  112. Michael,
    Kelly is talking about J-9 85/2.0, not J-8 or J-3 50 mm lenses. J-9 is relly needed a custom adjustment to the specific camera. They are old and have soft aluminum body which are often worn up. For that reason people often opted for J-9 for Zenit/Praktika SLR it also fit all M42 cameras like Pentax or Yashica. There is even better FSU lenses for SLRs called Helios 40 85/1.5 they are heavy though but legendary facinating.
  113. The J-9 is Kim Coxon's specialty. He adjusts both the main shim for the optical block to fit in the focus mount, and the secondary shim for the rear module. Once adjusted, it is a fine lens. Lower contrast than the Nikkor 8.5cm F2. I sold my LTM J-9 after buying the Nikkor, but recently picked one up for my Contax IIIa.
  114. Here the many J-9's I have owned ranked up there with Firestone 500's and Vegas.:) The 1970's J9 date codes I have worked on have a massive focus error; nothing subtle; the worst I have seen in say a thousand lenses. Its the lens one recomends to ones mother in law or worst enemy; or the devil. Its like they regreased batches of J9s and an were drunk and mixed up the parts. The ones I have worked on one can adjust the lens block to focus at infinity; but the pitch of the helix is really alot off for its focal length. One can adjust a zorki so that a bastard lens only works on a custom bastard body by adjust the pie cam. I did this for one of my Zorki 3C's and its a great lens. A 1959 J9 of mine focuses great on a Leica M3; its one before then J9's design got ruined.
  115. Kelly,
    I cannot beleive that all M39 J-9 are junk. I post that question on a Russion forum and see what people think aboit it. May be they sell only bad ones, or may be a quality issues.
  116. Here is an update regarding J-9. A very credable specialist from Russia said to me that they are indeed all required the adjustment and custom shimming. The good thing it is not very difficult to do yourself.
  117. This is with the LTM J-9 that I sold. It must have been adjusted for the Leica before I got it.
  118. >This is with the LTM J-9 that I sold. It must have been adjusted for the Leica before I got it.<

    What is F stop there? Seems to me that the focus was on the elbow. My Nikkor 85/1.8 is better IMHO. Looks like J-9 does not worth the efforts.
  119. Focus is on the plane with the hand and the swirling motion. F-stop is F4. This was a $50 lens. Next shot is at F2, closest focus. Focus point is on the bee. This is a 1970's Black J-9.
  120. The Nikkor 85/1.8 is one of Nikon's best portrait lenses ever. They tend to command a premium, used ones still in
    the $200 range. It is not avilable in LTM. I have the Nikkor 8.5cm F2 in Contax mount. Once I verify the new J-9
    is good, shim it if necessary, I'll test the two. In LTM, my 8.5cm f2 Nikkor was sharper and higher contrast than
    the LTM J-9. BUT: for portraits, the J-9 rendered a more pleasing shot. I thought it was worth $50+10 shipping.
  121. 50 bucks is good. I like the price but nowdays they seems to be more expensive around $135-150 + folks in Russia discurage me to purchass J-9 unless I have an access to a good repair facility, and I do not. I think that I will stick to I-61 for general purposes since it is the sharpest one. Too bad that Helios 103 is not available for M39 camera. According to the Russian info that lenses were done on a brend new Japanise line and were really high quality lenses. I like your shot with that lenses.
  122. > Too bad that Helios 103 is not available for M39 camera.

    That is SO true! Someday, I'm going to make one in LTM. Not sure how yet, but it is going to happen. Probably use a junked Canon LTM lens, or even a Summitar focus mount that I have.
  123. OK guys, I have another question. If you recall, I said I received both a FED-2 and a Kiev-4. I have some
    work to do cleaning the FED, but the Kiev is an excellent little camera just as it arrived. It came with a J-8 lens
    that's sharply focused everywhere with the rangefinder, and the shutter works great at all speeds. Everything
    about it just works, and the images from the J-8 are very good from the first 3 rolls of film. (I ignore the poor
    old meter.)

    I also picked up a very cheap nice looking J-12 Contax mount lens yesterday, but I have not had a chance to
    try it yet. I understand that this is a copy of the Zeiss 35/2.8 Biogon. Can someone tell me the difference
    between this and the 35/2.8 Biometar? Or do I have these two backwards? If this J-12 lens does not work properly is
    there a better F=35mm choice I should hunt? Or should I look for another J-12? (I'm not a fan of F=28mm because
    controlling the perspective is too difficult to do rapidly, and the perspective aberrations don't fit my
    particular style.)

  124. Kiev has very limited number of lenses it can efficiently work with J-12 (35mm); J-8, J-3, Helios-103 (all 50 mm); J-9 (85mm see our discussion above), J-11 (135mm heavy like an anwil) . The choice of rangefinder lenses in the USSR was very limited. J-12 usually works OK. May be a problematic variant but they are cheap. Kiev mount has THE legendary Lenses called Record-4 52/0.9 but those were experimental and I am not sure that they have ever sold in stores. I heard that Cosina's lenses would fit Kiev. I do not know is that variant worth to try. All 50 mm lenses for Kiev are outstanding.
  125. For the LTM mounts, what is the difference between the collapsible Industar-10 and the collapsible Industar-50? Both seem to be normal lenses with f/3.5.

    Which is newer, or do they differ in some way that they are concurrent and I need the serial number to tell the age?
  126. My J-12 works well with the Nikon S2 that I use it with. It is a copy of the 1930s Biogon. Industar-50 is newer than the Industar-10. It is an improvdes Tessar formula lens, and I "THINK" the difference is lower-dispersion glass. It is easy to adapt The Industar-61 to a Kiev mount. The optics module comes out of the LTM mount and will screw into a J-8 Contax mount, or the mount from a collapsible Zeiss 5cm F2 lens. Just one more choice.
  127. >For the LTM mounts, what is the difference between the collapsible Industar-10 and the collapsible Industar-50? Both seem to be normal lenses with f/3.5.<
    I-10 is very-very-very old. I-10 originally was designed for pre-war FEDs and SLR called Sports. After WWII it was replaced by I-22 (Leitz-Elmar everything) which was designed for Zorki. Then in the late 1950ies it was modernised and renamed I-50. The differense is resolution for I-10 30/18 it is for I-22 30/19 it is and I-50 is 38/22 (lines/mm center/margin). I-10 probably was custom fit for each individual camera.
  128. Here I have posted many times on the Russian J9's woe on several sites over the last 15 years I have fooled with them. The vast majority of then I have fooled with have had a gross focus error; nothing subtle at all. The majority of the duds have been 1970's date codes; the best ones stiff chrome 1958 and 1959 dates. The 1970's "junk" appears to have the lens blocks helix pitch not matched to the actual focal length of the lens block. One can adjust the lens so the infinity focus is correct by shim thats already under the lens block; one make the unit true by RF patch and scale at infinity. BUT the lens focused short of long at a clsoe say 1 , 2, 5 meter position. To Fix the issue requires either a custom ground cam ring on the lens; or shiming between the groups to alter the focal length to match the helixes pitch; or aligning a zorki body to fit the bastard lens. The reason mentioned of the J9's woes is thatit is an old well known problem; a random J9 may not work well on a LTM body; it often is a dud; a massive one.My basis is just on several dozen lenses that I have bought and sold; and owned.
  129. > or shiming between the groups to alter the focal length to match the helixes pitch;

    That is the solution that Kim Coxon uses. Change the secondary shim, then change the main shim. You need a good way to test the focus at two distances, or more.

    I once made a hybrid 50mm F1.5 lens from the front group of a Canon 50/1.5 and a rear group from a J-3. Had to get the rear element spacing correct, then shim it. More stubborness on my part, but it did work.
  130. Oooh, it's becoming very clear that this is going to be an interesting experiment for a while. Clearly there's far more to this than I originally thought, and it seems like a home tinkerer's heaven.

    Is it possible to find some old bargain Leica glass and change its shims to make them fit the FED's focusing standards? Wouldn't that send some of the gear heads into a tizzy.
  131. regarding using FSU lenses on Leica bodies... some of the FSU lenses are nicer than some of the early Leica lenses.
  132. I think that a cheapest bargain Leica lenses would be like a whole set of the soviet lenses for both Kiev and FED. I would better play around old Russian stuff and not mess up with working Leica lenses.
  133. You have to be careful with the RF cam of the Leica lens slipping under the RF pickup of the FSU camera. The Cam of the FSU lenses are thick, and the pickup of the FSU camera is "tear"-shaped rather than the wheel of the Leica's. The FSU design allows for slightly closer focus.

    I set the Zorki 3M RF to agree with the Leica. A Nikkor 5cm F2 lens works beautifully with it, focussus "just a little" closer on it than on a Leica before the RF drops out. The Nikkor can go as close as 18", but the RF mechanisms can't follow it the entire distance..
  134. Here many of the Zorkis and Feds I have bought from the Ukraine or Russia didnt need ANY modification to work great with a Leica lens; and some do. Thus I doubt that the Zorki was built to a different standard than LTM; since many require no adjustments at all; and are spot on. Once can adjust a Zorki or Fed to make the infinity patch line up; and then fiddel with the pie cam's rotation to change its effective length; ie make the close focus work. This changes the GAIN; ie "gear-ratio" of the RF mechanism. With a worn J8 on an old Zorki; a Ukraine repair chap might have just made the worn J8 focus well with its Zorki body. The lens cam surface is soft aluminum on many Russian lenses; the beauty of the Zorki is that one can force the body to work with a worn lens. Here I have seen J-8s that scale focus at infinity perfectly; but the lenses cam surface is worn and recessed; thus one can "fit" the worn lens to one body.
  135. I have got mine FED3 and Zorki-6 I have almost forgotten them. Both spent twenty + years on the farest corner of my mom's storage closed. I feel bad for my mom she had to dig them up and send to US. Too bad that it is raining now and I am eager to test them.
  136. The Zorki-6 was/is listed on some USA sites as having the best rangefinder; ie the product of baseline and magnification. Then I bought a few and found the expert sites were wrong!; Ie the Zorki-6 has a less magnification; thus the product of baseline in millimeters and magnification is the same. .
  137. Here my remaining Zorki-6 1965 date code is one that was painted black by a Ukraine chap; its actually a great paint job. The lens is a rigid Industar-50 thats one of the best LTM 50mm lenses I own; many a fluke; maybe it was built on a Wednesday. Its a 1958 date code; so it probably was not the cameras original lens. I tend to sometimes fire off the shutter with the wrong/other button with the zorki-6 sometimes. The collapsible 50mm F3.5 I-22's and I-50's I have used seem to be well worn samples and thus often have issues with performance.
  138. I had some problems with mine cameras, but I have forgotten which, both were donated to me by different relatives ages and ages ago when I was a teenager, I stop playing with them like in 1983, may be since I have gotten my Zenit ET SLR.
  140. I can not upload my test shot of I-61 too bad
  141. Ok, Ok, where do I go to either get vaccinated against this, or at least is there a 12 step program for us? I just bought 2 more Zorkis, and I think I may have infected one of my coworkers. The post lady is starting to worry about me hanging around at the box waiting for her every day.
  142. There's no inoculation against this, but fortunately the disease is relatively benign. Aside from running out of shelf space, the scorn of your betters, and the frustration of loading any old Leica-type-- there's little actual dollar cost.

    Fortunately both the Russian and Ukrainian Posts are pretty good both in terms of speed and cost (I've had far better luck with them than with Deutsche Post or the British Post).

    My FEDs and Kievs are OK, but the gold and rosewood Swedish army "Leica" (née Zorki I, I think) has an inordinate amount of "Leica glow".
  143. Just got a quote from a friendly vendor in Kiev about Zorki3 +J-3, his answer was J-3 along would be 100 + bucks but Zorki3 is so rare that he cannot predict when he can get a working one. Still the prise combined would be a bit cheapper than a digital 12MP soap box. Total number of production of Zorki 3 and 3M combined I believe was about 87 thousands. That was pretty rare and relatively expensive camera even in 1950ies.
  144. Go for the Zorki 3M. The slow-speed mechanism is combined on one dial and appears more reliable.

    I have the red one loaded up for a test now.
  145. I am going to test FED3+J-8 and Kodak Ektar over the weekend.
  146. Well, much to my delight, I founf 2 packages in the mail today. Both my new Zorkis arrived! I really think the Post lady is a little afraid to deliver, as I always run out to the box when I hear her truck. Anyway, here are some photos of the "twins".
  147. One alone
  148. The other
  149. Yeah I know the "4" is mising the knurled rewind knob, but the screw head that the previous owner used is actually a pretty good temperary fix. I'll post some shots as soon as I can.
  150. I have ordered the Kiev 4a+J-8m+J-9+J-12+universal viewfinder from a vendor in Ukraine. Let see how that will work out. He promises me that J-9 will be adjusted to the body and the camera will be made before 1969.
  151. Do let us know. I'm very curious to see what else is out there.
  152. I bought a J-9 for my Contax. If it needs to be adjusted, I'll try to do it myself. The main module unscrews easily, and does not look any harder to shim than the J-3.
  153. BTW it was very funny. I asked people on the Russian rangefinder forum to help me out to find a reputable seller, they immediately got me a couple of addresses one in Russia another one in Ukraine. I contacted a guy in Ukraine he fixes camera himself and sells it on the local internet auction. He said that he does not speak English, that is why he does not go internationally. The price is more then reasonable something like $30 for Kiev+J-8m. I also get J-9 and J-12 and universal viewfinder. Totally 1/2 price of the point-and-shot digital. If he does send me a good stuff, and does not abuse my trust that could be a good deal. As an alternative I can kiss my money goodbye.
  154. Test of FED3+J-8 1/60 2.8 film Ferrania
  155. Almost full size pics J-8
  156. I must be having a mental block, how to get the picture in the message????
  157. OK, if anyone is still monitoring this thread, if I can pick your brains for a bit please clue me in.

    I picked up a couple more FED-2 bodies (3 total now) to have something to compare and work with to get something decent going with the FEDs. (It is kind of amazing that you can "get a couple more for working materials" cheap enough that you don't worry about it.)

    Anyhow, one of the bodies did not have a lens, and I bought one from a Ukranian guy. It's a collapsible Industar-50, advertised as, and from all appearance, brand new in the box. There's no wear or brassing anywhere; it has a certificate paperwork (matching serial number) - which I can't read - and what appears to be original packing materials including the box, so I think it's really "brand new," even if it's 25 years old. And despite the fact that it was not advertised as coated, there is a red pi looking symbol on the lens and it appears to be coated when viewed in the light.

    Now, I've screwed this lens on to all three camera bodies, and it screws on fine. But the collapsible lens has a push-button lock mechanism at infinity. When the lens is screwed on a camera body, at least on the FED-2s I'm working with, the bottom of the button is flush up against the camera body and you can't push it to release the infinity lock to focus.

    Is this lens:

    A) Designed for some other LTM variant, not a FED-2, that has room between the camera body and the lens seat so it's not flush with the camera body when mounted on the camera.

    B) About what I should expect. Just bend or file down the lock tab so I can unlock it and focus the lens.

    C) Perfectly fine, and one of you swell folks will tell me what I'm overlooking.

    D) Really a bad bargain, throw it away and don't buy any more of these.

  158. I had the same problem with an I-10 collapsible 50/3.5 on my Canon bodies. Worked fine on the Fed 1.

    Maybe file the button down...
  159. I have a domestic Zorki 4k with a J-8 lens. I hate the lack of strap lugs, makes the camera very difficult to keep at hand but not use. I wish I could put a wrist strap on it somehow.
  160. I agree with the lack of those lugs. I once had a wrist strap that scewed into the tripod socket, think it came from an old 8mm movie camera. Of course that was years ago, and the strap, and alot of other tings I wish I still had, is long gone. Does anyone make these anymore?

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