Zorki-4K time warp

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by rick_van_nooij, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. *Que heavy Russian accent*
    Greetings comrades and fellow фотографы,

    It is time to review one of the peoples progressive weapon systems...euh...picture capturing devices and another roll of Lucky 200 Color film from our allies the heroic peoples of the republic of China. This combined with some Sunny F/16 action at the LPLG-weekend; The annual event where all Dutch Living History Groups who are part of the National Living History Platform get together in one big multi-period mash-up.
    This year the event was held at the "Kasteelse Bossen" near Horst-aan-de-Maas. The only downside was that we were not allowed to dig in, which was kind of limiting for our little World War 1 display.
    As it was I did not find a lot of time to go and take pictures at the battles at the big arena, but on Sunday I did get an hour away from the public and filled up the rol with pictures of the various displays and people plying their historic trades.
    I used my Industar-61 50/2.8 in LTM on the Zorki-4K. I picked up this camera at the Doesburg camera fair last month and I really wanted to put it through its paces.
    (click to enlarge)
    The Zorki-4K still keeps its feet firmly planted in the basic Barnack design when it comes to the lay-out. But the 4K has some big improvements over the basic Leica II copy KMZ and FED started out as;
    • A film advance lever,
    • A fixed take-up spool,
    • An opening back (similar to the ZI contax/ KIEV).
    • Self-timer
    • RF diopter control
    And last but not least a HUGE bright combined VF/RF.
    Even though there are a Zorki-5 and Zorki-6, the Zorki-4K is actually the last one in the line. Over half a million were manufactured between 1972 and 1978.

    That must have put a dent in the Glorious Soviet Peoples Tank Production levels! The KGB is watching production figures to assure production of the progressive weapon systems are maintained, so we can crush the Western capitalist pit vipers! Urrah!
    "Keep your Friends under observation".
    "Keep your Enemies in a Pit".

    Anyway, back to the Time Warp,
    The film was scanned at 2400dpi as a color negative and I used different film pre-sets from vuescan in an attempt to squeeze more contrast out of it. Not much luck there though. And I'm still underexposing too much with Sunny F/16. Next time I'm bringing the Lightmeter again. Hehehe.
    Now, Comrades follow me deep into the the underground research facilities at Katorga-12. Where
    Comrade Barisov will fire up the photographic time machine powered by the mysterious Element-99!
    One of the members of our freshly created WW1 French study group showing off his Model 1915 French infantry uniform.
    This American capitalist WW1 Doughboy pig dog giving the one finger-salute. The basis for 80 years of Cold War!
    ...Of course I was wearing the same uniform when I took this picture of our little display. Hah.
    Members of the Dutch Napoleontic Association (or the SLGA, not sure at this point) preparing lunch.
    18th century Pirates from Allemansend mending sails and cooking.
    Under-exposed and ill-composed prospector's son from the Dutch Indian Friends
    Preparing kindling, with some added flare.
    Capitalist vendors selling their inferior weapons systems and other items into the Eternal Consumption Engine
    With enough light and stopped down far enough the I-61 appears to even make the Lucky film look sharpish.
    A member of the Medieval groups showing off her pottery skills. I think it's the "Lands of Herwaerts Over" association.
    One of the organ guns of the Gelres Overkwartier. The booms of their cannons, blunderbusses and other blackpowder fire arms reverberated throughout the site all day long.
    A fascist Gitlerite pit viper with inferior MG-36 weapon system.
    I believe one of the members of the DRG 40-45.
    My friend Paul, depicting a soldier of the British 8th Army in North Africa. Note the M1928A1 Thompson with 50-round drum magazine against the tree.
    Ah Comrades. Welcome back to the Katorga-12 research facility. Now please report the Comrade Victor at the Lubyanka for brainwashing and behavioural reconditioning.
    So, again I'm re-affirmed that Lucky is absolutely horrible film in my hands. It's only redeeming quality is its relative cheapness. I'm told there is cheaper and better re-labeled films to be had from a German retailer. Something I need to look into.
    The camera for me is a bit of fresh air, certainly when you're used to the roughness of the early Zorki and FEDs. This camera operates very smoothly, and it feels pretty well built.
    The thing that annoyed me the most is the HUGE VF. Looking at the results of the negatives it looks like I was composing from a completely different angle. The VF is supposed to approximate a 50mm lens coverage., but it feels larger somehow. Also the diopter adjustment is a little loose which caused me to go cross-eyed trying to focus on the image in the VF a few times.
    Despite these niggles I'm quite happy with this addition to my collection.
    Next up, the FED-KNVD. As soon as the Politica Commissars let's me go, so I can go and find a replacement take-up spool for it.
  2. They probably did not allow you to dig trenches for your WW1 display because they saw you carrying a non-period camera. No nice folder in your arsenal? ;-)

    (By the way: the Kasteelse Bossen are (quite) near Horst - the village - and in Horst aan de Maas - the municipality. Wouldn't want the troops to lose their way. ;-) )
  3. Hah, I was told they normally keep horses in those fields, I'm sure they didn't want them to stumble and break any legs in our fox holes / trenches.
    I do have a Kodak No.2 Box Brownie and a No.2 Folder, as well as a Vest Pocket (the Soldier's Camera). I would've used those but I did not have any film for them at the time.
    Pfff, Topography! Another thing for me to be rubbish at. ;) At least I know it's in the Province of Limburg.
  4. Nice work; Lovely camera and lens. Yes the Zorki 4 and 4K VF covers a much larger frame than that of the 50mm, more like a 35mm frame. They did not care to draw those frame lines. sp.
  5. Great photos. The Lucky film definitely has an "early color film" look. BTW, you may have mentioned this in an earlier post on the WWII reenactments, but are those later weapons functional?
  6. Thanks SP, that explains it somewhat. The kicker is I tried mounting the KMZ turret finder on it, but the accessory shoe was still too tight to accept it. Will try one of my other finders next time.
    Thanks Gerry, LPLG organisation members are allowed to get fire-arm permits (under strict conditions) and dispensation from the justice department for automatic fire-arms (under VERY strict conditions). One of the major conditions is that the weapon has to be modified so it can only fire blanks and not live munitions.
    The Semi-automatic and automatic guns could also be permanently deactivated, but you'd still need a permit to own them (Unless they were sawn in half!)
    "Dura Lex Sed Lex"
  7. Thanks. Enjoyed seeing these a lot.
    I've got Lucky at one time or another. Perhaps I'll have to get Lucky again. It does somehow look good in these contexts.
    The 18th c. folks looked like our re-enactments here. We have one coming up at Fort Massac (Fort De L’Ascension, originally) on October 15 and 16. We get a bit of Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 sometimes too.
    The only Zorki I have is one that was transmogrified into a Leica again. The other Soviet RFs I have are FEDs and Kievs. The later ones are easier to load than the bottom feeders, for sure.
  8. another great post, comrade rick. oh, how i miss the evil empire and its anti-capitalist ways...
  9. Tovarisch Rick,
    Are you sure that the underexposure is the result of poor performance of Lucky-brand film (that is an irony I have a Lucky-brand jeans on). The Z-4K may have a shutter issues. Not that unexpected after 35 years of service or negligence. As of viewfinfer issues the universal one can save the day.
  10. Vintage colour look? Mission accomplished!
  11. Privjet Kozma,
    I don't believe the shutter to be faulty. The under exposure is more likely down to my brain/eyes/exposure computer being off. I shot those photos of the Indian Friends at 1/250th and F4. I should have given it an additional stop I think. I normally unwittingly tend to under expose when I'm shooting in low light / shadows without a meter. Either I use a meter or I practice more.
    But even with a lightmeter at hand I feel Lucky is not very forgiving. Oh well, only 8 more rolls of the stuff left in the fridge ;)
    Thanks Peter. I was thinking about desaturating them like I did with most of the Push-up-the-Peninsula trip ones to be honest.
    пока Друзья,
  12. I don't think the film is all bad; I tweaked your picture a little in Picasa and it seems good to me, in my monitor. You may not need to de-saturate everything. sp
  13. Great series, Rick. Very informative. Thanks for posting.

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