day 305: Zorki 3C
Yesterday my new Zorki 3C arrived. I was really excited and wanted to try it out immediately. It was actually in a nice condition, no scratches, only some minor oxidation marks, which were easy to clean, and it just looks pretty in general. It came with a Jupiter 8 lens, which also seems to be in a good condition. So far so good, but these are only the cosmetic aspects. How disappointed I was when I realised that the shutter speed dial was stuck at 1/100! Well, if you buy something in the bay, that was sold as “in good condition” with a “working shutter” then a stuck shutter speed dial isn’t exactly what you expect, especially not if it’s sold by a photography shop. You’d expect that they actually know how to test a camera! Well, I was pretty annoyed.
Still, I didn’t want to give up on it and so I decided to open it up and have a look under the hood – or the top cover in this case. Easier said than done if the top cover is stuck on one single miniature screw in the flash sync that you can’t even see at all. In the end we managed to get it open though, after I finally found my 0.9 mm screwdriver. After having a look around, it turned out that the pin of the shutter speed dial was stuck between two settings. I’m guessing that someone did the unthinkable – changing the shutter speed before cocking the shutter. That’s a taboo for soviet cameras like this one. Luckily the pin didn’t break off and it’s now repaired. My new camera was good to go and I loaded it up with some cheap colour film. I’m somewhat expecting that the first film might turn out a bit of an out-of-focus / over- or underexposed mess, but oh well.
My GDR light meter – a Weimar Lux Nova – also arrived today. I didn’t even pay 10€ for this one, while similarly old Western light meters go for 5 times the price! I tried it out today and I’m glad to say that it gives me the exact same reading as the exposure meter in my Canon. Considering that both my new camera and my light meter are more than 50 years old it’s pretty cool that they still do their job as intended. It tells you something about what kind of quality you can expect if you don’t produce to maximise your own profit, but for good reliable functionality. Cameras nowadays will never ever run for that long, because they’re not intended to run forever. It would be bad for profit. Type “planned obsolescence” into google and you will see what I’m talking about.