Zorki Id w/Industar 22 50mm f/3.5

It’s a quirky little thing, but I love its looks. It looks so … mechanical. This is definitely a product of the industrial age. The one thing all the Web sites tell you is to make sure you change the shutter speed only after you’ve advanced the film and cocked the shutter otherwise you’ll radish the thing. I did a little cl


eaning up and it turned out very well. The lens seemed clean and the shutter curtains looked to be in good shape.

Another quirk is that you have to load the film from the bottom of the camera, the only part that opens up. You cut the leader 20 perforations long, thread it onto the take-up spool then slide the whole shebang into the camera ala the old Leicas. I read enough about what a pain this can be, especially with the FSU cameras, and was expecting a struggle. Turns out it went in smoothly on the first try.

People complain about the squinty rangefinder but I had little trouble even wearing glasses. The rangefinder patch has very good contrast. I like the 1.5 magnification which makes focusing easier. The viewfinder is separate, and that had me looking through the wrong whole more than once.

I also like the fact that it takes a little more time to set up each shot.  The film advance is a knurled nob, the shutter speed adjustment you have to lift to turn and I usually used a light meter since I have a difficult time reading the light when it’s overcast, which it seems like it’s been for weeks. On the other hand, this is an incredibly compact package with its collapsible lens. It easily fits in my jacket pocket, although it is a heavy beast.

I got the first roll back today and the best shots are incredibly sharp. On some shots, the shutter obviously lagged and there are frames with half a black curtain. There also might be a problem with the film slipping  wiht the film advance as there were some overlapping frames. It probably needs a cleaning and adjustment. The camera is over 50 years old.

The lens is amazing for being so old. It looks like the collapsible Leica Elmar, but the literature says it’s a four-element Tessar clone, kind of like the lens that comes on the Rollei 35s.

I decided like the camera enough to build a system out of it and ordered a Jupiter 12 35mm wide angle, which cost almost as much as the original camera/lens package. Teh viewfinder is strictly 50mm, but I have an old Leica turret universal viewfinder that covers 35mm. I’m also looking at other FSU cameras, maybe a Fed 2 which talk says has a great rangefinder. I’d love to get a brighter 50mm lens and maybe a short telephoto. Those will have to wait.


One Response to “Zorki Id w/Industar 22 50mm f/3.5”

  1. […] Zorki Id w/Industar 22 50mm f/3.5 October 2009 5 […]

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