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Camera Zorkiy-2 review

Zorkiy-2 is, as you might guess, a modernized version of the first Zorkiy.

Zorkiy-2 came out in 1954 and had several rather significant improvements against the first model.

The first thing that catches your eye is, of course, the appearance of the self-timer.

The self-timer in this model is the so-called. Kyiv type, and has a characteristic lever shape and a sliding start button, which is hidden under the uncocked lever.

Self-timer is not the only innovation.

In the second Zorky, from the very beginning, the shutter speed head had a fixed central part, i.e. shutter speeds could be changed both when the shutter was cocked and when the shutter was released. It is very comfortable.

Instead of a rewind release lever, the second model has a pivot sleeve around the release button.

Also, ears appeared on the case for wearing the device around the neck without a case.

In general, a good package of changes.

At the same time, the second model of the FED camera was also released at the Dzerzhinsky plant in Kharkov in 1955 (a little later).

Before the release of the second models, both enterprises produced the same, in fact, camera - the pre-war FED, each under its own name.

For modernization, each of the enterprises has chosen its own path.

For example, the second FED did not receive the opportunity to change shutter speeds with the shutter released immediately, but only in 1956-57. And the self-timer - and even more so in 1958.

The second Vigilant had it all at once.

On the other hand, the FED-2 sported a rangefinder combined with a viewfinder, and had a removable back wall, and not the bottom panel, like the Zorkogo-2.

From this tz. Zorkiy-2 already looked a bit old-fashioned for 1954.

The main feature of Zorkogo-2 is still the self-timer. Let's see if this device was the first to give the Soviet amateur photographer the opportunity to take a selfie without the help of a mirror or external self-timers?

Unexpectedly, but the self-timer was not something radically new in the 50s.

Even before the Great Patriotic War, Photocor-1 devices, those with Kompur and Temp shutters, had a self-timer.

After the Second World War, the earliest devices Moskva-1 of 1946 with German shutters also had a self-timer.

But, let's agree to take into account only post-war and serial cameras.

No, the first Zorkiy-2 was not the first either. The first, I think, was Kyiv-2, which was released back in 1947. And further, until 1954, several more models of rangefinder Kievs managed to come out.

It was Zorkiy-2 that abolished the monopoly of the Kyiv Arsenal on devices with a self-timer, but after a year or two this device became truly massive. The self-timer appeared on the devices Lubitel-2 (1955), Smena-2 (1955), Moscow-5 (1956), Salyut (1957), Start (1958), FED-2 (modified since 1958).

Zorkiy-2 was in production for only 2.5-3 years. During this period, the assortment of very similar rangefinders simply rolled over at KMZ. In 1955, eight (!!!) different Zorki models were produced.

But in 1956, they apparently decided that it already looks a little strange and the number of simultaneously produced models was reduced.

The logic of a camera with a self-timer was continued in the Zorkiy-2S model, which was produced in 1955-56 in parallel with the Zorkiy-2.

It is worth mentioning that the Zorkiy-2 prototype looked completely different. Two photos from the book "1200 Cameras from the USSR".

Although it is obvious that these are developments for the Zorkiy-3 apparatus, of course. There is just some inconsistency in index assignment.

There is no wide variety of modifications in the Zorkiy-2 line. The differences are mainly in the engraving on the top panel.

The earliest versions had the number on the top panel above the KMZ emblem and the number was not present for a year. Even the front viewfinder window was devoid of a decorative frame. Two photos from This is a very rare option.

Then a more massive modification followed, in which the name on the top panel was applied by stamping. This is the model in the review.

Even later, the name began to be engraved and the style of the letters changed. Photo from

Rarer options are export ones, which instead of the KMZ logo had the inscription “Made in the USSR” in two languages. Photo from

Now Zorkiy-2 is relatively rare. Affects a small amount of output. Although, setting out to find it is not a problem.

And in the review we have a copy in excellent condition of 1955 with the number 551573.
Zorkiy-2 was produced at KMZ from 1954 to 1956. The volume of issue is 10.3 thousand copies. A little

The standard lens is mainly Industar-22 3.5 / 50, although the instructions list quite a few options.

Type of mounting optics - thread M39×1. Working length 28.8 mm.

The shutter is curtain, cloth. Beats shutter speeds 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/250, 1/500, V.

The camera is equipped with a self-timer. There is no synchro.

The weight of my copy without a lens is 424 grams.


In front, in addition to the lens, we have:

- a rectangular viewfinder window and two round rangefinder eyepieces on the sides of it;
- cocking lever and self-timer start button.

The button is hidden under the lever. Until the self-timer is cocked, there is no access to it.

Base rangefinder Zorkiy-2 - 38 mm.

Behind are two round small eyes. The right one is the viewfinder. Left - rangefinder.

The system is archaic and it is unreasonable to expect special comfort from it.

The viewfinder of the Zorki-2 gives a bright picture, but very small in size.

The picture in the rangefinder window is tinted. The periphery is purple and the doubling spot is yellow. In principle, everything is clearly visible and focused normally.

On the bottom of the device is a bottom cover lock (left) and an old standard 3/8-inch tripod socket (right).

On the top panel from left to right are:
- rewind lifting head;
- "cold" bracket for flashes;
- shutter speed head;
- shutter release button, around which there is a sleeve to turn off the shutter during rewind;
- a head for cocking the shutter and transporting a frame with a frame counter at the base.

Shutter speeds change typically for devices of this type. To change the shutter speed, the head must be pulled up, rotated until the desired shutter speed is aligned with the dot in the central part of the head, and lowered.

When cocking the shutter, the head rotates, but the dot always indicates the set shutter speed, which is convenient.

You can change the shutter speed both before and after cocking the shutter.

To load the film, you need to remove the bottom panel. To do this, open the twist lock and pull off the cover on the left side. On the right, the cover is put on with an eye on the ledge on the side of the case.

Attitude to the camera:

Here's what I'm interested in.
Why didn't the enterprises of KMZ and FED combine the efforts of designers and combine all the improvements into one model at once?

No, I understand the spirit of competition was, of course. But the 50s are in the yard. The economy is planned. In the photo industry, there is probably a certain unified plan for strategic development. Why haven't all the best been combined? After all, the device would come out quite creditable.

Improvements in FED-2 and Zorkiy-2 do not seem to be incompatible.

Alas, history does not tolerate the subjunctive mood ...

That's all I have


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