Camera Review: Zorki

I’m planning on going through each of the cameras I’ve acquired and talking a wee bit about my experiences using them while showing examples of photos I’ve made with them.

Zorki 4K
This is a Russian 35mm rangefinder the 4K model released around 1973 that is often found with a pretty fast Jupiter 8 50mm, ƒ2 lens. The only negative I’d say with regards to my Jupiter 8 is with the aperture ring, it can easily be nudged and changed.

The Camera
The body is all mechanical and has a descent shutter speed range:
Bulb, 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000

Change shutter speeds by lifting the centre dial to turn then drop it into your chosen speed (see further down). Of course, always make sure you’ve cocked the shutter before changing speeds or you might kill your camera.

There are two flash sync options, X for Xenon and M for bulbs.
You would turn the outer dial so the ‘X’ or ‘M’ is next to the the dot, found above the B for bulb in photo below.

The shutter release button is the centre column next to the shutter speed dial. The outer column controls the film advance mechanism, turn it anti-clockwise to disengage and rewind your film.

The film counter dial on the head of the shutter cock lever is pointless.
It rarely works.

There’s a PC socket on the front under the ‘Z’ for Zorki. Below the PC socket is the self-timer release button and lever. The lever is actually missing from my copy.

A few months after I bought the Zorki 4K I bought a Jupiter 12, a 35mm lens, with matching Zorki 35mm viewfinder to expand the body. The aperture ring is inset and not easy to change quickly but it is a nice lens.

I hoped to be able to use it on my FED 3 but they didn’t get on, the rangefinder mechanism didn’t work well with it.


I can say with confidence that this is my favourite rangefinder camera. The rangefinder viewer is really bright and the dot is very clear, probably the clearest rangefinder I have.

It feels nice in the hand with it’s curved body and it really isn’t heavy either, perfect for street photography.

There’s a possibility you may rip up your film.
This has happened a couple of times now where I’ve either ripped the film out of the canister or the film advance teeth have cut through the 35mm notches, nothing terminal but still not good.

Even though it’s a copy, it’s still not a Leica.

Verdict: for about £30 on eBay? I think it’s worth it.

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