Along with the FED 2 I got a Zorki 4: another FSU Leica II copy. The first time I used it turned into quite a saga. I went to the city and lost a roll because of a problem rewinding (I didn’t fully understand how to do it and tore the film out of the cartridge). Then I thought there was a problem with the camera (there wasn’t there was a problem with the operator again). Anyway I put another film in. Everything seemed to go fine. I dropped it off at CVS and went away for an hour and then went back to pick up the results. Only to find that the CVS guy said that they couldn’t process the film. My first reaction was “then why do you sell it. Or why, at least, do you not have a sign saying that you don’t process it”. I guess I should be grateful. If he had processed it the film would have been ruined.

So I picked up another film – this time checking that they could indeed process it. I got up early and went to the Tarrytown reservoir and spent an hour or so there.

Runner at Tarrytown Reservoir.

Weir at Tarrytown Reservoir.

Then I went to the Mariandale retreat house to finish off the roll.

Virgin Mary statue in a small grotto at Mariandale.

Old agricultural implements at Mariandale

Old building at Mariandale.

It was a twenty four exposure roll and I noticed that I was up to 26. That’s OK you sometimes get a couple of extra frames. I kept going and the film counter just kept advancing. When it got into the 30’s I realized something was wrong. So I opened the camera to find that the film hadn’t advanced. A couple of hours wasted but at least the film wasn’t ruined. So I started again, making sure this time that the film was properly attached. Took another 26 exposures. This time everything worked and the film also rewound. Things are starting to improve.

Now back the film that couldn’t be processed. I took it to a photography store in Pleasantville. They couldn’t process it either. They also sold this type of film. When I asked why they explained that they sell it to students who develop their own as part of their course. At least they warn people that they don’t process the film. They also mentioned that Sam’s photo in Chappaqua might be able to process it. So off I went and indeed they could process it. This is particularly good news as I bought two rolls of this film and the other one is in another camera.

Back to CVS to develop my latest roll only to find that their machine was broken. Tried Walgreens in Tarrytown and they were finally able to process it. Here are the results. Considering this was really just to test the camera I’m quite pleased.

So what’s the verdict. It’s a bit of a beast, but there’s something I rather like about it. It feels very solid and has a lot of character. The film advance knob (at least on mine) is quite stiff so my thumb is often a bit numb after I’ve finished with it. Slow and fast speeds, all on the same dial. Combined rangefinder and viewfinder. Removable back for easier film loading. All in all it’s worth having. The pictures here were taken with a Jupiter 8, a copy of the prewar Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f2

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