Zorky 1 - a film rangefinder camera, produced at the Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant. Replica Leica II. Lake at one time made a splash in the world of photography, and it was copied by all and sundry after the Second World War.

Zorki - the founder of the serial production of cameras at KMZ, the line with a common name includes 15 serial models and many special versions for both defense and medicine.


The rarest version of Zorky are the first models, which were copies of the pre-war FED cameras, and covered with leather from the cameras Contaxreceived as reparations from Germany.

Zorkiy-FED camera (Zorkiy first) | overview with photos

At the same time, the Zeiss Ikon logo was cut out and covered with a metal nameplate with the FED inscription. Also, the first versions of the cameras were equipped with Zeiss Zonnar and ZK (Zonnar Krasnogorsky) 1.5 / 50 and 2/50 lenses. Subsequently, these lenses will be produced under the Jupiter-8 brand name. The standard lenses of the serial Zorky were Industar-22 in a folding frame. However, in the photos from this review you can see a rare version of the Industar-22 lens in a fixed mount. The Russian field of experimentation in the fifties knew no bounds. According to the catalog of 1200 cameras of the USSR, the camera belongs to the group «Zorki-1 (Zorki / Zorki) Model group IV Modification 1 Issue 3 ″ 1952 Features:

  • there are two fastening screws on the rear wall of the upper housing cover: there is no additional stiffener on the lower cover
  • stock lens "Industar-22" 3,5 / 50 mm.

Zorkiy-FED camera (Zorkiy first) | overview with photos

With a slight difference - engraving Vigilant / Zorki replaced by Zorki... The year of issue between 1952 and 1954 is also conditionally determined. On this camera, the shutter speed line corresponds to Leica, and has a range from Z to 1/500 second (Z, 1/20, 1/30, 1/40, 1/60, 1/100, 1/200, 1/500), and the release button has a thread for the release cable and a skirt. The engraving is filled with black paint. The viewfinder is bright, the rangefinder is classic for FED-Zorky and is separated from the viewfinder. There was no diopter adjustment on these cameras.

The camera works quietly, this is the main feature of rangefinder cameras. Compact and easy to carry. There is no exposure meter, as well as no sync contact for flashes. The shutter is curtain and requires maintenance, as it works correctly only at short exposures.

The film is loaded under the bottom cover, during installation it is necessary to use a plastic card, since otherwise the film sits unevenly, clinging to the frame window. Overall, this is a camera similar to FED first with minimal engineering differences. The focal distance of these cameras was immediately fixed at 28,8 mm, in order to avoid fiddling with lenses and cameras, adjusting them together after rearrangement.

Focusing is done through the rangefinder window, frame composition - through the viewfinder window. None of them have diopter adjustment. The viewfinder on this camera is cloudy, the split works in the rangefinder window. The rangefinder window is dark and details are almost indistinguishable in low light conditions.

FED camera # 620158 (1955)

The procedure for working with the camera is as follows:

  • Frame composition is carried out through the viewfinder window
  • Focusing is done by moving the lever on the lens. When the image is aligned in the rangefinder window, focusing is complete. You can take a shot.

The threads on these cameras are for old tripods, and for installation on modern ones, you need to purchase an adapter.

In general, the camera looks interesting and unusual. Such an ersatz watering can. The inconvenience in working with this camera is as follows:

  • rangefinder and viewfinder separated
  • loading a film without special cassettes or plates is a heartache
  • when focusing, you see only an approximate picture, and if, for example, the camera and lens are not "relatives", you can take pictures of the marriage.
  • no exposure meter

What kind of film is needed for a Zorkiy camera?

Any 135 type (35mm) film in standard spools is suitable for Zorky cameras. You can use both black and white and color, you can wind the film yourself. A budget hobbyist color film from Fujifilm or Kodak, black and white Tasma, works well. Films c ISO 400 are suitable for low light conditions, and on films with ISO 200 is best for shooting outdoors in clear or slightly cloudy weather. Examples of photos on film can be viewed here.

The release of the line continued until 1978, and Zorky himself was replaced by the Zorky-S model (produced since 1955) in 1956. The total circulation of cameras is 835.

Sample Photos

Since the quality of photographs does not depend much on a mechanical camera, sample photographs were collected from a standard lens that is installed on this Zorkiy. Examples of photos in this review:

Adapters for cameras and lenses

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