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Zorki 1 - Staff Review

The Zorki 1 35mm rangefinder camera is a redesign based on the Fed series of rangefinders.

The Zorki 1 was the first 35mm rangefinder camera produced by the KMZ (Krasnogorsk Mechanical Factory) in the Soviet Union. Like most Russian cameras at the time, it was a Leica copy. Some engineers from the Fed factory assisted in manufacturing the first Zorkis, making them very similar-looking to the Feds.

Export types have “Zorki” engraved in Cyrillic and Latin. All in all, there are 5 variations of the Zorki 1 – with enhancements ranging from design (types 1a-1d), to newer shutter speeds (type 1e).

The Zorki 1 has a ‘Industar-22’ lens which was copied after the Zeiss Tessar. It’s sharp, yields nice contrast and colors. Since it’s collapsible, the Zorki 1 easily slips into a pocket. Sure, it’s slightly heavier than other point-and-shoot cameras, but it’s not as bulky as an SLR camera!

A Golden Rule that one must remember when handling Russian cameras such as the Zorki – NEVER attempt to change the shutter speed setting without cocking the shutter/advancing the film first, or else you’ll damage the shutter mechanism!

As always, we are on the lookout for any Zorki 1 fans who are willing to share their own personal reviews (w/ gallery) and tips! Drop us a line and win piggy points if your work is published.

written by shhquiet

1 comment

  1. kylewis


    I find the Zorki 1 one of those cameras I can have a love hate relationship with, I love the fact its quirky and I have to cater for its unique loading by trimming the leader, I hate the tiny rangefinder but I really love the quality of lens and the images are always such a stark contrast to my other dreamier(blurred) pictures.

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: 한국어.