Welcome To My Russian Camera Collection Page

There is a special kind of camera called Range Finder, unlike SLR 'what you see is what you get', there are separate viewing and focusing windows, and extra windows for different lens in some design. Focusing is done by aligning a superimposed image, usually with amber filtering, to the main image in the viewer. The viewer is fixed frame size for 50mm, but in newer Leica and Contax design there are frame lines for 28-135mm, an external viewer like the Kiev Finder also can be used to fit on the hotshoe, focusing is done with the main viewer. Since the focusing is not 'through the lens', there is parallax problem when shooting at close range, so RF is not suitable for close-up work, also not for long telephoto because the focusing accuracy will not enhance with long lens, also no depth of field preview.  In other words, range finder is for general non critical works. But on the plus side, RF does not has focusing problem with slow lens like SLR, they always work at their best as long as the coupling in good alignment. To further enhance the accuracy, the viewing window should far apart from the focusing one, and has a long 'base line'. Further more, there is no need to put a mirror between the lens and film plane, the vibration caused by 'flipping mirror' in SLR doesn't exist here. The lens can go deep into the body, getting closer to the film at about 29mm compared to 46mm in SLR, the light fall off 'vignetting' reduced. For the same reason, the effective aperture is also wider.

During the 30s'-80s', Russia produced many 'Leica look alike' range finder cameras, some of them are of high quality and low cost, so called "poor man's Leica", there are also some good quality lens too, the 2 most famous brand are Zorki and FED. Unfortunately the Empire's photographic industry ceased after the 80's, hardly any new camera produced since then. The remaining units gone to the used market and collector's hand, many of them still can be found today in good working order and reasonable price, here are some famous examples.

Some Famous Models

Fed-1 (1934-1955)

Kharkiv plate Copy of Leica II
First Russian RF camera
Shutter: 1/20 -1/500 + "B"
(Picture shown with collapsible 50/3.5)
Fed-2 (1955-1970)
 
Shutter :1/30-1/500 + 'B'
Variant : Self timer and crank models
Production all edition : 1,632,600
Zorki-1 (1948-1956)

Krasnogorsk plate
Shutter:1/25 - 1/500 + "B"
Production all edition :472,702
(Picture shown with collapsible 50/3.5)
Zorki-3 (1951-1956)
 
Krasnogorsk plate
Copy of Leica III
Two shutter dial :
Top : 1/50 - 1/1000sec.
Bottom : 1 - 1/25sec. + "B"
Production all edition :87,569
(Picture shown with Jupiter-8)
Zorki-4 (1956-1973)

Krasnogorsk plate
Shutter: 1-1/1000 sec. + "B"
Production all edition :1,715,677
(Picture shown crank model)

Other Models

FT-2

First Russian panoramic camera,
angle of view 120,
take 24x110mm photo,
shutter speed 1/100 - 1/400
Horizont

Another famous model born in 1966,
still in production today,
with a 28mm lens take 24x58mm photo.
Leningrad

Motorized mechanic,
take 24 frames per wind,
unusual split screen focusing




Inspired by the Leicavits they made the DRUG in 1960


A cute little camera LOMO
Produced in 1983-1990
Lens : 32mm/f2.8 Minitar MF
Shutter : 2s-1/500 Auto
1/60s Manual flash sync.
First model : LC-A
Redesigned LC-M with reliable shutter

Lens And Accessories


Russar

20mm/f5.6
Excellent near flat field lens without coupling

Orion

28mm/f6


 Jupiter-12
 
35mm/f2.8
Jupiter-8

50mm/f2


 Jupiter-9
 
85mm/f2
 Jupiter 11

135mm/f5.6
35mm Viewer










Kiev Finder

Multi viewer for 28-135mm


In 1948, a famous camera called Kiev II has born, it is a close copy of Contax II ,and it was first made with original German parts by German engineer. As opposite to Leica copy, it is more complex in mechanics design and 'heavy metal'. It also has a more accurate range finder, although old today, it is still the best model they ever made, name plate changed in later models.

General Spec. for all models :

Shutter : Vertical travel metal 'Jalousie' design,
speed from 1/2-1/1250sec.
Lens mount : Contax bayonet

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