Zorki 4 shutter glitch - oddity

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by gib, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. gib


    About a week ago I was out taking some photos with several cameras at
    a connservation area, a small one for wetland birds, a small marsh
    areas with some trails and some trees but mostly open. Temperature
    was about +3 C, no wind, and sunny. I was using a Kiev 3 with Jupiter
    12, a Nikon 5700 and a Zorki 4 with Jupiter 8 50mm f2 lens and
    Jupiter 9 85mm f2. I like the Zorki viewfinder and I was trying to
    determine for once and for all if the Jupiter 9 focused correctly.

    About ten shots into the roll of Superia 200 24X, the Zorki shutter
    will not fire. This particualar example I had tested simply and had
    thought that the shutter seemed to be working fine at shutter speeds
    above 1/60th. 1/60th would hang, slowly closing the second curtain.

    When I was shooting at the marsh, I was shooting 1/250th f11 and
    maybe f16. Took about 7 or 8 shots and then switched to the Jupiter
    9 lens and after three photos, the shutter refused to work. I had not
    changed shutter speeds. I have learned not to change shutter speeds
    on these Soviets until I have advanced the film and recocked the
    shutter. I gave up on it and used the other cameras.

    At home I rewound the film and then tried the shutter again, worked
    like a charm.

    Any thoughts as to what the heck went wrong.

    I thought I might ask before trying another roll of film through this

    Thanks for any thoughts.
  2. Your lube is so marginal that 1/60th doesn't work right and you're surprised
    that everything stops working in freezing temps? Freezing temps can be a
    challenge to well-lubed modern cameras.

    Don't have my Zorki-4 handy, but I can tell you that the changing-the-shutter-
    uncocked problem ONLY affects those cameras where you're comparing the
    speed setting to a mark on the body--if both the speed and the mark rotate
    together there's no issue.

    Even on the bodies that are affected, there's no direct harm of setting the
    shutter speed uncocked; it's just that the speeds aren't in the right place
    relative to the mark on the body until the shutter is cocked, which can lead
    people to try to set the speed off the end of the scale, which WILL cause
    damage. But if you're doing "I know it's at 125, so one more click is 250" you're
    fine on ANY of the Soviet Leica's.
  3. In the Zorki, the 1/60 speed is actually part of the "slow speed" system, along with 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and 1. 1/30 second is not part of the slow speed range, oddly enough. It sounds like the lubricants in your slow speed escapement are thickening, blocking the slow range speeds but not affecting the high range.

    Here's how it works and how to work on it:
    How it works
    How to fix it

  4. I used a Zorki-4 back in the late 60s, while still living in the UK. It too had trouble with its FP shutter, but not quite the same as yours. The problem seemed to be across the board with all shutter speeds, and was that pix darkened slightly towards the left side - suggesting erratic blind travel. The camera shop I bought it from repaired it - "supposedly" - under warranty, but it kept happening. In the end, I just swopped it for another KMZ masterpiece, a Zenit B. Well, crude as it was, the Zenit at least gave consistent exposure from its limited range of speeds! Being a persistent sort of bloke, I acquired a later Zorki 4K a couple of years back, just to stick away in the trophy cupboard as a collectable. However, curiosity and all that .... I did actually try out a film in it, and the results were fine - no suggestion of any variation in blind travel speed. However, I'm now living in Australia, where the temperature is a lot higher than it was in England in October 68 when I bought the first one! I mentioned this to our local repair guru, and he just smiled and said something rude about the Russian Tractor Grease, that KMZ lubicated their cameras with. He reckons 9 out out 10 problems with KMZ cameras can be solved by cleaning their awful grease out, and replacing it with a modern, hi-tech synthetic grease that doesn't stiffen with the cold. Which is strange, of course, seeing as KMZ comes from one of the colder places on God's Earth! And to think I always thought only AGFAs had problems with solidifying lubricants .... ---<Pete N>---
  5. Usually diffrent tensions on the two shutter curtains cause this problem in zorki cameras. For example the first screen is released and the second screen follows immediately. There should be an interval between the first and second release. Check curtains tensions and also lubricate or use a little file to SLIGHTLY soften the little pin attached under the shutter release button and spool- lubricate.

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