Type: rangefinder, fully coupled to lens, no parallax compensation
Lens: 50mm Industar-50, f/3.5, helical focusing. Minimum focusing distance: 1 m/3.3 ft. Apertures: f/3.5 – f/16. Filter thread 34.5mm.
Shutter speed: 1 s – 1/1000 s, “Bulb” and flash-sync (1/30 s) settings.
accessory “cold” shoe, pc sync connector.
diopter correction lever
self-destruct mechanism (if you move the shutter speed dial without having the shutter cocked, you can destroy the shutter!)
requires a removable (and easily losable) take-up spool for the film.
First things first: I don’t have very many sample images from this camera, because it was a real wreck of a camera! I’ve complained about it on this blog before, so I’ll skip repeating myself. Mine came with an Industar-50 lens, which is not as nice (so I’ve read) as the Jupiter-8 that often accompanies the camera body. So putting aside the problems that were the result of a defective copy, my main complaints with the camera are twofold:
1. The shutter is loud! Not quite Bronica-loud, but loud enough that it’s a real liability for street photography. Might as well be flapping around an SLR mirror, it’s so noisy.
2. The shutter dial is really difficult to set. I found myself shying away from changing the speeds, and adjusting aperture instead. Didn’t help that the speed indications were shifted so they were approximately one off from the true setting. But that might just be the particular copy I had.
3. (I know I said two…) The diopter adjustment lever is extremely easy to knock out of position. Just about every time I put the camera to my eye, I thought “ack! I’m going blind!” Only to discover that it was out of adjustment again.
These flaws, plus no real perceived benefits other than historical value, mean that I can’t recommend this camera. There are rangefinder cameras out there with worse designs of course, but with so many better options, I’d suggest skipping this. Except that I have a Jupiter-12 wide angle lens with a Leica Thread Mount, and now I have nowhere to use it. Might have to go find a FED-3 just so I can use the lens (or sell it). This particular Zorki-4 has gone back to its homeland, and is no doubt complaining about its stay here in the US.