Zorki I with some Ektar 100

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by rick_van_nooij, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. I've had 3 bad ones before, so I really don't know why I bought another one that came up on Ebay. I just knew that for $29 + Shipping from the Ukraine I'd be getting another paperweight with more holes then curtains, and with stuck shutters gears and all the other things I've suffered from with previous Leica copies.
    I think all the topics that have been going round about turning one of these into a digital P&S kinda got to me. If the camera did turn out to be a complete dud I'd take a hacksaw to it and shoe-horn my nearly classic Ixus V2 into it , all 2 megapixels worth!
    So after about a week it arrived. The exterior looked good, with the regular brassing and chrome flaking off here and there. The Industar-22 looked good, though I could see the beginnings of some fungus on the edges.
    Inside though is where the treasure lay. I checked if it had film loaded by turning the advance knob; There wasn't. So I took the bottom plate of and behold.....
    A non-descript film cartidge. Possibly a reloadable one. And turning the spool told me that there was film inside. Time for another "found film" topic somewhere in 2 weeks! It might hold Chrutsjev's greatest secrets.
    But back to the camera. I took it apart and cleaned everything I could get to (with exception of the half-mirror in the rangefinder). The biggest job was getting the curtains light tight again. The rubber of the first curtain was starting to flake and the second curtain wasn't closing completely on Z and 1/20th.
    2 thin layers of Liquid Electric tape brushed on with some Q-tips seemed to work miracles. After a few extra dabs to get to the more persistant leaks the curtain was light tight again.
    A drop of gun oil in the shutter speed selector also appears to have fixed the dragging 2nd curtain.
    Long after the fall of the Iron Curtain this Zorki I(d?) is back for action.
    I loaded it with a roll of Ektar 100 and took the camera with me to a Charity Beach Volleyball Tournament. Some of my friends enter every year and I go to take pictures and offer moral support.
    I still haven't got the hang of scanning Ektar film, but we keep trying....
    There was also some live music to entertain the players and supporters, including the cover band "Deeper Underground". Two of my drinking buddies play the guitar in this band..
    But the best results appear to be on the last photos from the roll, you know, the "filler-uppers"
    Best one I think, that shows the Tessar-like quality of the I-22 and the saturated colors of the Ektar film.
    And finally the last one. This Vanessa Atalanta twarted my attempts to take its pictures several times by flying away as I tried to focus on it at the shortest possible distance. Eventually I got it though.
    I don't know how long the fix on the curtains will last, but for now it appears that this Zorki has been brought back to life. It might not have the same fine finish and smoothness that I've experienced with my Leica cameras, but it's a pretty darn sturdy camera and will get the job done.
    Now I got to go and finish up packing for my trip to Ireland, I'll be back in a week or so, hopefully with some interesting pictures taken with my Leica III and Rolleicord Ia.
  2. Lovely photos and a great story! Thanks for sharing it.
    I have a Zorki-1 exactly like yours and I use it with pleasure from time to time. My only gripe with it is how hard it is to load AND unload that little bugger. I'll manage the loading but for unloading the cassette I usually need some sort of a tool like small scissors or pliers. My fingers are not up to the task (ouch!).
  3. While my FEDs have worked fine, my only Zorki (now dressed up as a Swedish gold and rosewood military Leica) gave very "glowing" pictures. Congratulations on yours, the Industar came through as well as my FED ones do.
    The pictures are interesting, I didn't know the First and Third Armies were so informal. :)
    By the way, the scanning problem is maybe something in the settings. Your first picture almost looks like old film or some such, since the green component has been cut back too much, leaving a magenta cast.
    I took it, opened it in Photoshop CS3 and merely hit the "Autocolor" option (nothing else) with the following result:
  4. That does look a lot better indeed. I had Vuescan set to auto-white balance and generic color film. And locked the orange film base color. If I recall correctly this particular image was also underexposed by one stop which should explain the muted colors.
    For most images I used f/5.6 to f/8 and I used a Leitz FIKUS hood.
    Matt, I have that fight with my leica cameras too sometimes to get the film or the take-up spool out. I normally have a pair of needle nose pliers in my camera bag (or line-man's TL-14 pliers dangling from my belt) if I can't get a grip with my chubby fingers ;)
    As the day progressed the aperture ring got stiffer and stiffer. Until it was more or less stuck on f/8. Injected a 50/50 mix of watchmaker's oil and naphtha into the ring. Hopefully it won't lock up any more when the naphtha evaporates.
  5. The overexposure, is the key, I'll bet. VueScan is usually pretty smart, but exposure can throw it off sometimes. In more severe cases you can actually open it as a RAW file and play with all the slides to your heart's content. Sometimes it even does better than "Autocolor" by itself ;)
    Another "auto" procedures that often straightens out such pictures after scanning is "Autolevels", especially where overexposure is obvious. These work on the general principle, I think, that the lightest part of the image is white and the darkest part is black. It's amazing how often and how well that works. Of course a white border has to be excluded from the area manipulated in these ways.
  6. A great project Rick, and the photographs are a just reward for your time and efforts. As JDM has pointed out, a little after-treatment helps most scans. Photoshop or Lightroom are the big guns, but I use ACDSee as my frontline "tweaker" as it's quick and easy with great interface and effective algorithms. In my experience the Industar-22 is pretty hopeless if fronted into any strong light, including skylight, but your copy seems to perform reasonably well. Congratulations on a worthwhile restoration and an interesting post. I'm looking forward to the found film pictures, if the KGB don't get to you first...
  7. I've had a few of these cameras, and I actually enjoy them. They are fun for shooting as well as tinkering. I've done a shutter replacement now it 2 different cameras, and both repairs came out well. I sold the cameras on eBay for a small profit (local sellers seem to get better bids than the sellers from eastern Europe).
    Now I have 2 FED-1948-Zorki cameras, both of which are very nice. The mintier looking one is a little rough to use, the film wind knob is stiff, and the shutter sometimes sticks, but the ratty-looking one works perfectly and is much smoother in operation. I find that a Leica VIOOH finder gives much more accurate framing than the Zorki finder, it's a good accessory for any of the old FED/Zorki cameras.
  8. Rick what is the number of the camera? Lens look like are made in 1952. They use to make this cameras very carefully until at least 1955. Well, some people said that. Curtains needed to be replaced on almost all Soveit cameras, especially on ones made at the time when Comrade Stalin was still alive.
  9. Jeff, please show the picture of FED-Zorki 1948 it is exceptionally rare camera very priced collector's possession...
  10. Nice job. My experience is that the liquid plastic curtain repair will work indefinitely. But indefinitely is not forever, thus there is always that suspense about whether this will be the roll when the leaks open up again. If the camera hasn't been used for a while I flashlight-test them again before loading just to make sure they're still good.
  11. Nice Job on putting that camera back together! I had "on loan" a Zorki and I couldn'T get the film in or out.. the chamber is just too narrow Even with pliers. This was one of those "golden Nazi" cameras and I think they took this one becasue it was otherwise a POS. I tried using it but the film jammed three of rour times and then the curtains jammed too! I ghave it to my repairman requesting that he just make the shutter run again so I can give it back!.. He's had it now about a year...mmmhhh Your photos are nice and show that this thing is really working! Good job! Have fun in Ireland!
  12. Kozma, the serial number starts with 207*** as I recall (currently at work). Looking it up I saw that it was close to 1952/53 as I recall.
    Unfortunately, the film came back blank. It was a bulk-loaded Ukranian brand film.
  13. Good work Rick.
    I was lucky with my Zorki 1E from a camera fair,worked fine straight away.With the collapsible Industar 22 it is the smallest classic I have,smaller than my FED-2.Very handy to carry round in the pocket, rather Henri Cartier Bresson what.

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