ZORKI-3 – collectable Soviet rangefinder camera
MADE IN USSR!
In this design Soviet engineers managed to get really close to the beauty and elegance of Leica.
ZORKI-3 is among the hardest Leica copies to find: only 87.569 copies were produced(together with Zorki-3m) in 1951-1956. M39 lens mount makes the camera compatible with Leica LTM lenses.
A bit of history from fedka.com:
The Zorki-3 was introduced in 1951. At that time the most common rangefinder cameras in the Soviet Union were Zorki and FED, both close copies of Leica II (D). Zorki-3’s design was a real breakthrough. It was slightly larger than Zorki, but it had many new features that Zorki/FED lacked – a bright, large, combined RF/VF, a removable back, a diopter adjustment of the viewfinder, a set of slow speeds and a high quality fast lens – Jupiter-8. The body and the back were cast and rigid. The 39 mm Leica thread mount was preserved, so Zorki-3, as any Zorki rangefinder, is fully compatible with the LTM lenses.
The slow speed mechanism was obviously “borrowed” from Leitz (Leica IIIc), the actual delay mechanism was located at the bottom of the camera and coupled with the shutter controls with a long rod. The shutter had two dials – on the top of the camera for the fast speeds, and second – on the front for the slow speeds.
By 1954 a new delay mechanism was introduced – it was located under the top plate and all the speeds were set by the same dial. Zorki-3 became Zorki-3M. Around 1955 all the cameras made by KMZ and FED were fitted with a flash synch mechanism (Zenit-S, Zorki-S, FED-2 type b), and so was Zorki-3M, which became Zorki-3S. A self-timer was added to this camera in 1956 and it finally became a Zorki-4, which was a very successful model with over 1.7 millions copies made from 1956 to 1973, and after that over half a million Zorki-4K’s made in 1972-1978. Zorki-4K was the last RF made by KMZ, and outlived Zorki-5 and Zorki-6. And it all started with a Zorki-3 in 1951!
Camera (s/n 5418146) is in excellent condition!
Camera’s body has very few signs of normal use. View finder is clean and clear, RF patch is with good contrast.
All shutter speeds work, only “D” was sometimes observed to work as 1sec.
Original curtains are in decent condition, without holes / micro holes.
Camera has been CLA’d, works very smoothly and is film ready.
The lens is coated Jupiter-8, 50/2 – Zeiss Sonnar copy in LTM. Early version with a focusing lever.
Condition of the Jupiter-8(s/n 5424868) lens is excellent.
Clean and clear, no fungus, no haze, no scratches.
Might have a few light wipe marks in front / few internal dust particle that will not affect image quality.
Excellent mechanics – smooth focus, dry aperture blades.
Frame size: 24×36
Lens: Jupiter-8 2/50
Shutter(two dials): 1-1/25s, 1/50s, 1/100s, 1/250s, 1/500s, 1/1000s + B.
Comes with original leather case/strap, metal lens cap + take up spool.
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