NaBloPoMo – Cameras – Zorki S

A bit of a change,  we go back to the start of the Soviet/Russian 35mm camera industry.  I believe the first Soviet 35 mm cameras were rangefinders based originally on various Leicas.  In general, they were based on the Leica II.  Two factories made most of the Soviet rangefinders based on the Leica models.  They were KMZ and FED.  While originally close copies, so close they form the basis of many forgeries; they quickly envolved.  Yesterday I posted a FED 5 which represented the end of the line, today we look at a Zorki S which is a good representation of the first of the line. 

The Zorki line of cameras were the rangefinders made by KMZ.  KMZ was started during WWII.  The rangefinder camera production started in 1948 with the help of FED technicians and engineers.  The original Zorki was basically the same a FED with minor differences.  Which of course derived from the original copy made in 1935.

The Zorki S bascially added flash syncronization to the original Leica II design.    It was produced from 1955 to 1958 per The Authentic Guide to Russian and Soviet Cameras by Jean Loup Princelle:

This particular example was made in 1957.  One they to notice is it is a bottom loader just like the original German Leicas.  Also notice the snazzy green leatherette.  A nice addition by the Russians.  This one seems to work fine.  I had shot a partial roll of film in it and finally finished it.  So lets see how they come out.

Look at the lens.  It is collapsable just like the Leica Elmar.  But it is actually a totally different optical formula – Tessar.

Zorki-s_2Zorki-s_3

Bottom loading,  fun.

And finally from Wikipedia,  a Leica II for comparison:

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