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.