Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by tri-x|1, Oct 26, 2005.
Shots taken with Zorki 3S, Jupiter 8, Kodak Gold 200 film.
Wayne, you have me stumped. I have a Zorki 3 and a 3M. Is this the Zorki 3 that Oleg added a synch terminal to?
The 3 series are nice low tech beauties that are smooth and quiet shooters.
A Zorki 3S looks just like a Zorki 4 without a self timer. The late Zorki 3M had sync but without the ugly enlargement of the viewfinder housing.
I love the first shot!! It looks like it was taken with Time-Zero film and manipulated for a painterly (not sure if that is a word) effect.
Great Pics Wayne, that J8 is one fine lens...... looks like your "sample" is outstanding. Old rail equipment pictures are reminders of the "old days" for me. I buy the Walmart Kodak and Fuji film specials and Kmart processing which is very inexpensive....... works out to less than $0.20/frame for film and processing. I had bad luck with my Kmart's scanning so I have to scan on a much maligned 4870.... chuckle.
Michael is correct. The 3S (or 3C in Cyrillic) is a Zorki 4 without a self timer or, "a 3M that has been beaten with an ugly stick." It was the only Zorki 3 model with factory flash sync. I think is was only built two years (1955 and '56). There were only about 45,000 manufactured (a small number on Soviet camera terms). Like the early Zorki 4s, it is very well built.
I like to shoot the railroad related stuff. My office is less than a block from the Union Pacific main line from Salt Lake City, Utah to Portland, Oregon and I often spend my lunch hour along the right-of-way taking test shots with differentFSU gear.
Wayne, actually there were factory installed syncs on a few Zorki 3M circa 1955 (Princelle variation K111). I bought one from Cupog and thought it was an after add on until I researched it. Very distinctive as it sits flush with the camera body on the upper front on the film advance side.
I'll try to say this in my best Russian accent, "Very interesting". So, the 3C wasn't the first large vf Zorki with slow speeds on the top dial and to have a flash synch. It's a shame they didn't leave it on the body. Here is an old door shot from my 3M.
A crop from above
quoteWayne, actually there were factory installed syncs on a few Zorki 3M circa 1955 (Princelle variation K111). I bought one from Cupog and thought it was an after add on until I researched it. Very distinctive as it sits flush with the camera body on the upper front on the film advance side.quote You mean like my Zorki 3? I've had a number of FSU sellers assure me than no Z3s or Z3Ms had factory sync. But I've never seen Princelle's model descriptions.
You are right Princelle is rather vague. Nathan at commiecamera.com has this to say:
"A few of these cameras have what appears to be a factory installed flash jack. When this is installed on the left front of the camera the case will have a matching hole and have the KMZ prism embossed in the back."
My case does not have a matching hole but I have seen photos of similar sync installations that claim they were that variation (by the way higher up than the Zorki 3 pictured and with a wide flat bezel). With FSU equipment you never really know do you?
You really can't tell. The factories apparently didn't keep detailed records.
From the reading I've done about the Soviet system in general, I suspect there were some favors done at the factory for Party members with a lot of clout. I have some examples of cameras where it is obvious special care was taken in the manufacturing. One is a "Double Zorki" 1B with a special lined case and a super smooth finish -- about as smooth operating as a Leica. It has flash sync but I'm nearly certain it wasn't added at production time because it only works with an electronic flash (zero delay) and there weren't many of them around, anywhere in the world, in 1951. But a person who received a special camera would have had the clout to get flash sync added at a later date.
I'm told that in the early days at KMZ, each camera was assembled by one worker. Each technician was given a block of serial numbers for the cameras he or she assembled. That's why early serial numbers bounce all over the place and you may find a camera that by model was probably made in 1951, has a lower SN than one made in 1949. The worker with a lower block of numbers might have been sick for several months and fallen behind the pace -- or was just slower, Since the cameras were made by individuals it also would have ben easier for a supervisor to step in and say "Make an especially nice camera because it is going to Comrade so and so. -- and throw in flash sync." If flash sych was added to some cameras at the factory I believe it was probably for specific customers rather than a production run with that special feature.
opps, forgot a title
I have a Zorki 1c that slipped on film advance. I disassembled it and tightened up all gear screws, cleaned and lubed it. That didn't solve the problem so off it went to Oleg. Now I have a Zorki that is properly adjusted and lubed and feels like a Leica. With one particular collapsible I-50 lens it is an outstanding performer. I suspect that gears were cut better in the early days when the tooling was fresh; cleaning out half a century of dirt and removing the dried axel grease the Soviets used as lubricants probably goes 90% of the way towards making a "special" Zorki.
The effects of the craftsmen vs. assembly line model of assembly are also seen with the Salyut. The Salyut and early Salyut C are far smoother and reliable than the Kiev 88 because they were completely assembled by one worker and the very complicated design requires hand fitting.
I also suspect that cameras were factory modified; there are an awful lot of Kiev II cameras out there with flash syncs that are identical to the Kiev IIa flash syncs. The Soviet system was run for the benefit of high party officials, but also these model designations are purely the invention of collectors and given the inefficiencies of the Soviet system it is entirely possible that a 1951 camera could leave the factory in 1956 with flash sync.
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