Tests & Introductions : Zorki 4, Fed 5C & Kiev 60 TTL

In the last post I introduced you to the Zorki 4. And today I have some results. Along with introduction to two new cameras.

Firstly the Zorki 4. I didn’t expect this little rangefinder lens to produce something like this but I have to say I’m impressed. I shot about 2 rolls with the zorki, I have only one roll back but I’m just sold. The best money spent in some time now =)

Zorki 4 + 50mm Jupiter f2 + Fuji Superia 200
The tones are nice and saturated. The lens sharp!
The best I liked was that the camera is quite stable and the viewfinder is big enough to let me see even in low light.

I am in love with the Zorki and would recommend to anyone who wants a rangefinder which is simple, fast and accurate. I did read a lot about the apprehensions to get a Russian camera before ordering and did a lot of research. But handle it nicely and the camera works great. Excited to see the next BW Neopan roll too, but that would take time to develop.

Highlights :

  • Ultra stable at slow shutter speeds and quiet in comparison to my Canon EOS 30 Film SLR
  • Big viewfinder which is 1:1. So no magnification on the viewfinder. Unfortunately there are no guide lines for wider or tele lenses. But the parallax system is sharp and clear even in low light.
  • Sharp lens with great resolution. The pictures you see here are scanned by a crappy lab nearby. But even so the pictures are sharp and full of colors.
  • The only drawback in this camera is the lack of lugs for a strap. Other than that, this is money well spent!

Coming to the second part of the post, the introductions to a friend’s FED and my new Kiev 60TTL. When I bought the Zorki, my pal Magali went out and got herself a Ferrari Red FED 5C. She picked it for its Red color (ahem!) and its built in light meter. The FED 5C is quite an advanced rangefinder, the last in the FED series. You can follow up on updates on this camera’s performance on her blog “Life Etc

And now to the final Kiev 60 TTL. I wanted a camera which can be the quick action stand-in for the Yashica D (which handles most of my street work) and the Hasselblad (for planned portrait work). The aim was to get a SLR type camera which can he held up to shoot faster and has a light meter so I don’t have to carry one around. And after a lot of deliberation, I got the Kiev 60 TTL.

The camera is fking heavy! That is the first thing you notice. Its built like a tank, its heavier than the 5DMKII and the Hasselblad. Its heavier than any SLR you’ll ever use. Its so heavy that I need to go and work out more just to pick it up for longer periods of time.

Just so you can see the size difference, the Zorki and the Kiev

I don’t have much to tell about the camera as I’m still testing it. But when I have the results, I shall write a basic review with pictures. Other than that the camera isn’t as unstable as I read online (atleast not till now). The mirror slap is gentle and the mechanics didn’t quite give me a issue. It did need a basic CLA which cost me about 10$.

And another one of both of them
OK I might have done a few too many pictures
And the final one!

Till now I don’t have a very high opinion of the Kiev. Its super heavy, the light meter is not coupled with the camera and the lens is quite slow to focus. So its a MF SLR all right but no way in comparison to any 35mm SLR which is a billion times faster. So honestly, would recommend that you really really think before you plan on getting a MF SLR like this (or even a higher grade like the Pentax 67).


3 thoughts on “Tests & Introductions : Zorki 4, Fed 5C & Kiev 60 TTL

  1. Your Zorki looks so nice. But I totally understand the frustration about not having strap lugs. I almost didn’t buy the camera because of the missing all-important strap lugs.
    In retrospect I realized that getting the Fed sorely for the light meter was slightly silly, it has an external light meter & a silly dial to calculate appropriate shutter speed & aperture. I am not sure about whether the selenium light meter works, my iPhone is more useful.
    And I haven’t got to test the camera yet so I can’t say about the other stuff yet.

  2. So I was part of the 1st test roll and these pictures, and I must say I am totally impressed. I love the tones,saturation and it is quite stable!

    Cool Camera all in all!

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