I struggled with this camera – not the fault of the camera, more my lack of familiarity with it and some basic mistakes I made. Loading was easy enough, but after that things started to go downhill.
Admittedly I was rushing. I was leaving on vacation and wanted to finish a roll quickly before I left. I had the camera set for 6×9 and so only had 8 frames available. I composed my first picture and pressed the shutter release. Nothing happened. Maybe I needed to advance? I did this and still nothing. Now getting flustered I tried again. Still nothing. Eventually I realized that I’d forgotten to cock the shutter – three frames lost, five to go.
It was a fairly dull day and I was using 100 ISO film and in one of the shots I think the shutter speed was too slow for me to hand hold – four frames down four to go.
Only occasionally having used medium format cameras I didn’t realize that depth of field is less than I was used to with 35mm. Only a small area was in focus, with the foreground and background badly out of focus. Five down, three to go (the images above and below),
I found the camera quite cumbersome to use. I couldn’t seem to hold it comfortably and the focus mechanism at the end of the lens was also uncomfortable. I left with the impression that it’s really designed to be used on a tripod, which is what I’ll do next time I use it.
So while I didn’t really like the camera all that much the 6×9 negative is hard to resist so I’ll certainly try it again.
Made from 1955-59 by KMZ, Krasnogorsk (Moscow), USSR. Earlier models were copies of the Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta C. Unlike the earlier models, this model is a Zeiss Super Ikonta adapted form, rather than a clone and unlike the Super Ikonta, its solid top plate has a built-in rangefinder and a dual-format viewfinder. The Moskva-5 was the latest model in a series of cameras, the main difference from the Moskva-4 being the addition of a self timer. The Moskva-5 was undoubtedly designed as an expensive professional camera, and not as an amateur model.
It uses 120 rollfilm and produces a negative of 6cm x 9cm (or 6cm x cm) with mask (apparently the mask is often lost, but I was lucky that mine still has it.
It weighs about 30oz and has an Industar-24 f3.5-f32 (4 elements in groups) lens, which focuses from 1.5m to infinity. The shutter is a Moment 24s with shutter speeds of b, 1-1/250. The shutter isn’t set by advancing the film; it has to be cocked at the lens by a lever. To take a picture, press the button on the left of the camera top. The button on the right is for unlocking the front plate when the camera is collapsed. To fire the shutter, the film needs to be transported, if not, the release button will be blocked, a double exposure locking mechanism is indicated by a small window beside the winding knob, before winding it is white and the shutter release is blocked and after winding it is red and shutter release works.
It sports a rather strange, but effective, rangefinder mechanism with a rotating arm at the end of the lens (I’m not entirely sure how it works but it does). The rangefinder window is separate from the viewfinder, so it’s select the focus distance using the rangefinder and then compose the image in the viewfinder.
The rear of the camera has two red windows, one for the 6×9 frame and the other for the 6×6. Both windows have a blind and whichever frame size is selected (by moving a lever inside the camera back) disables the other.
For a more thorough review see here.