All pictures taken with: Olympus Pen E-PL3 and Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 ASPH.
“Just 10 Euros,” he said after he saw me look at that camera. It was a generic analog camera, not too sophisticated and in dire need of a thorough cleaning. “I don’t know … it’s a bit …” – “Dirty?” He asked. “Yeah, and besides, I just bought a new camera last week!” Then I moved on quickly, because I didn’t want to get tempted.
Flea markets can be a good spot to pick up analog cameras if you keep your eyes open and don’t buy the first thing that falls into your hands. This time I saw a Kiev in nice condition, and at least one Zorki. I say “at least” because one of those I saw looked exactly like a Zorki 4K, but it had cyrillic engravings. Not paint, no, engravings! It also wasn’t a Zorki 4, because it had a film advance lever instead of a dial. And 4Ks usually don’t have engravings! I was confused. And the lens? It didn’t even look like a Zorki lens! Whatever it was, the viewfinder was broken, so I walked past it. Besides, I just bought a very similar camera last week.
What did I buy? Well, last week I was just watching an auction of a Zorki 4K, seeing where the price would go and somehow I happened to win it … by accident almost. I wasn’t expecting for the price to stay so low, because it was a Zorki 4K with a Jupiter 12 35mm f/2.8 lens and even a case! The lens alone would normally go for a higher price than what I paid in total. I don’t know what kept the price low, but in any case, I was happy. Today the camera arrived in the mail and everything seems to work just fine on initial inspection. The lens looks good, the camera seems to be in good shape, the shutter speeds seem to work ok and even the self timer runs alright. There are only two things I could find wrong with it for now: the plastic bit of the film advance lever is gone and there are two missing screws in the baseplate. The film advance lever works fine like that and I’m not bothered about it. I covered the sharp metal edge with a bit of heat shrink wire insulation and now it looks and feels fine. The missing screws give me more of a headache though, because they could cause light leaks. I will have to shoot a roll of film with it to see whether there is a problem or not. Generally the camera seems to be in fine condition though and I can’t wait to go out to test it. It would be nice to have a working Zorki 4K. The Zorki 3C is definitely much prettier, but I keep breaking my fingernails on the film advance dial. The lever of the 4K is much more convenient, so although the camera is a little ugly in comparison it would make the experience of shooting film ever so slightly less tedious.
Next week I’ll be going to Spain, so this week is all about deciding which cameras to take with me. I already decided on my trusty little Olympus E-PL3, because it’s so nice and small, but I definitely want to take one of my Zorkis as well. After putting all this effort into analog photography I won’t go almost 2 months without it! Before I leave I hope to get through a couple of rolls with my new 4K to see whether I stick with the 3C or take the new one. I’m also looking forward to trying my new 35mm lens which was the main reason for getting the 4K in the first place. It’s going to be even more tricky for framing, because the viewfinder of the Zorki doesn’t even work very well for framing 50mm shots, let alone for shots with a different focal length. For 35mm an external viewfinder would be a good idea, but for now I’ll try to make do without it.
In the end I didn’t buy anything on the flea market. I took quite a few pictures, both with my Zorki and with my E-PL3 though and I’m happy with the outcome. I hope I also managed to get some good ones with the Zorki, but I will only know tomorrow when I scan the results.