zorki 4k film advance problem

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by fotopom, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. Hi all,
    Recently purchased a Zorki 4k with jupiter 8 and now a jupiter 12 lens. Very happy with the results, camera is working well at all speeds and seems to function well with tractor like efficiency... one small problem though, a roll of film I took at a show this week seemed to get stuck. The result was a 24 film exposed with multiple overlapping images and my frame counter reading 36! Two shots were advanced normally (in the middle of the film), the rest overlapped at least to some extent, leaving half the film unexposed. I noticed at the end -the rewind knob was not turning... it did with the new film afterwards.
    What happend, did I load the film wrong, did I bulk load the casset wrong? all my other films have come out fine (all bulk loaded cassets bar one i bought)... any thoughts?
    I have found the rewind mechanism was a little stiff when I first started using the camera, but it seems to have loosend up now. To start with I had to use the advance leaver while rewinding the film to get the mechanism to release, i chewed and sheared my first film learning this... and also i learnt not to poke the leader too far into the loading spool else it hangs up when you rewind the film. Could my advance mechanism not fully engaged when i loaded the film this time?
    Would love to hear if anyone else has had this experience and what the out come was.
    I love the Zorki and the images it produces so I will persist with it, I am considering bying a Leica iiia as a second body (or first!) I realise this will be a bottom loader, that aside is the film mechanism more reliable?
    Yes I would love an M series Leica, or a Bessa, but thats not in the budget... and I love old cameras and the fun of using them!
  2. More than likely it was a loading problem, I use a Zorki myself, and had similar difficulties when I started with it. The film loading on the Leica III is a bit more complicated than on your Zoki 4, but the film mechanisms will be more or less the same.
    The Leica M models are expensive, but in my experience, Bessas are relatively inexpensive, particularly used ones. My favorite Bessa is the later versions of the R2, which I can usually find for much less than the cost of a decent Leica III (usually $300 to $400 here in Tokyo).
  3. When I started using my Zorki I had a similar issue where I would advance the film, but I really was exposing the same position. I figured out that the problem was with that wheel at the base of the shutter button. When moved clockwise to unwind film, it disengages the winding mechanism, but when I was loading new film and moving it back, counter clockwise, it seemed to get stuck in the disengaged position. Rotating it a bit around the engaged position would fix this (I would hear a distinct click). So, now I always make sure to wiggle that wheel a bit, so it engages properly.
    You should test your camera with no film in it, by doing the same moves that you do when you unload, load, and shoot film and see where exactly the problem appears.
  4. That would make sense Laurentiu, it has been slowly getting easier to turn the more i use it. I'll have a good look at it when the next film is finished. If definetly went click when I loaded the current film, and the rewind knob is turning as I advance the film this time so hopefully all is well.
    Thanks Jeff, the Bessa is a nice camera, and I am tempted... but the leica iiia is a leica... oh for an M4 though. My local Camera store has a Bessa R something for sale for $700AUS but I don't want to spend that much. A Canon P was another option I'm considering...
    Cheers all
  5. It is true that a Leica iiia is a *Leica*, but you have to remember that your Zorki is more advanced - it winds with a crank, the Leica uses a knob - it is much newer - the viewfinder is BIG and combined with the rangefinder, the viewfinder on the Leica is tiny and seperatede from the rangefinder.
    The one thing where the Leica beats the Zorki - it has got straplocks.
    Some might say that is not the the only thing, but this is my opinion.
  6. When loading film--in almost and 35mm--attch the film toungue to the takeup spool, advance far enough to make sure the tongue is attached to the spool, then turn the rewind knob to take up slack in cassette. When film is tight make sure the takeup sprockets on the right side are engaged in the film perfs, put on the back and you should be good to go.
  7. Yeah Dan, they take a little getting used to, but I think the results are well worth the learning curve. I have a Zorki 4, and a 4K, and they both work flawlessly. I learned the weird pecadillos of FSU cameras from my blue Fed 2. If you can ever find (or afford) the Orion 15 28mm, go for it. It was the most exspensive lens I've bought for my Russians, but it's an awsome little lens. Liecas are truly amazing cameras, but they also demand amazing prices.
  8. The Canon P is nice, I've thought about getting one of them, or perhaps a Canon 7 (with it's built-in meter). My favorite camera though is the Zorki 3. It's got the same control layout as the Zorki 1, but has the large integrated view finder/rangefinder, strap lugs, and the same loading system as your Zorki 4. The only bad thing is that the Zorki 3 is probably the most expensive Zorki, usually costing upwards of $150.
    Another camera to look at (if you like old rangefinders) are the old Leotax models. These were made in Japan, and were of surprisingly high quality. Having compared a couple Leotax cameras to Leica II and III models, I would have to say that the Leotax gives up nothing in quality, and actually seems to operate more smoothly and quietly.
  9. Nowadays you'll pay more for a Leotax that you will for a Leica from the same period.
  10. Well after another chewing incident (not Zorki's fault -my bulk loaded spool had an issue) I have decided I must have a back up body for on the road. The choices I have without resorting to hell-bay is a Zorki 4 $200AUD, or a Leica 3a$400AUD.
    What do you guys recon?

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