Zorki-5 02

Zorki-5 type 6 (2nd model) (1959)

The Zorki-5 is a 35mm film rangefinder Leica-derived camera, made by KMZ. It was produced from1958 to 1959 with quantity a 236501 units.

The Zorki-5 is a less known Zorki model. Some collectors consider it (and its successor Zorki-6) one of the best Zorki ever made. The Zorki-5 evolved from the Zorki-2S : but with a longer rangefinder base, an advance lever instead of knob, and a combined viewfinder/rangefinder window, with an adjustable diopter magnification.

The Zorki-5 comes in two versions with 7 types.[1] [2] [3] [4]The first version with a square rangefinder window and Industar-50 both collapsible or rigid lens. The second version is very similar to the Zorki-6. With a round rangefinder window and Industar-50 f3.5/50mm lens. There are at least 2 different body coverings.


Zorki-5 type 2b (first model, 1958)


  • Engravings on the back of the top plate: KMZ logo, serial no. and СДЕЛАНО В СССР ( = SDELANO V SSSR = MADE IN USSR)
  • Lens: "Tessar"-type KMZ Industar-50 (ИНДУСТАР) 50mm f/ 3.5 collapsible or rigid.
  • Mount: M39 screw mount, filter slip-on.
  • Lens release: simply screw anti-clockwise.
    • Aperture: f/3.5-f/16, no click stops
    • Focus range: 1-20m +inf
  • Focusing: coincident rangefinder image focusing. Collapsible lenses have a focusing tab and scale on the focusing helical of the lens. Depth of Field scale; Focusing lever locks on infinity
  • Shutter: horizontal travelling focal plane, rubberized cloth double cloth curtain; Speeds: 1/30-1/500 +B; setting: dial on the top plate, lift and turn.
  • The shutter dial may be safely shifted to other values even if the shutter isn't cocked. This won't damage the mechanism of the Zorki-5 or any other Zorki without slow speed controls. A secondary dial within the dial itself has an index mark which can be used to reference the set speed.
  • Shutter release: located on the cocking lever knob.
  • Cocking lever: also winds the film, with a long throw, wide-arc stroke, on the right of the top plate.
  • Frame counter: on the cocking lever knob, additive type, manual reset.
  • Winding is more positive and shutter cocking will be less prone to error if two or more shorter strokes are made, instead of a single long throw stroke. Two shorter strokes are also easier for the hand than the long throw arc required to fully wind the Zorki-5/6 shutters.
  • Viewfinder: coupled rangefinder/ viewfinder, blue rangefinder images, orange glass, very bright.
  • Diopter adjustment lever: beneath the re-wind knob
  • Rewind release: via a small knob beside the shutter speeds dial
  • Flash PC sockets: two, bulb and X, on the left side of the top plate
  • Others: Cold-shoe; Memory dial; Tripod socket: 3/8"; Strap lugs
  • Film loading: bottom loading like old Leicas, it is necessary to cut the film tongue to make it longer; Bottom plate opens by a pop-up lever on it
    • Engravings around the opening ring: 3aKP - ОTKP (= Zakr - Otkr = Close - Open). ОTKP is an abbreviation for ОТКРЫТЫЙ
  • Special take up-spool, removable
  • Body: metal; Weight:604g
  • Serial no. first two digits correspond to the production year

Attention! Winding and Firing the shutter without any lens in place may damage the rangefinder mechanism. In the Zorki-5, the shutter speed disc control and the rangefinder parts located inside the top plate are laid out too close to each other. Without a lens in place, the rangefinder arm juts outwards, and doing so, causes the part connected to it to stray into the path of the shutter control disc. If the shutter needs to be wound or fired without the lens, gently push the rangefinder follower tip slightly inwards before firing or winding the shutter to assure that the rangefinder and shutter speed disc controllers are cleared of each other. The Zorki-6 has resolved this by revising the mechanism's layout.

Notes and references[]

  1. Typing is according to Alexander Komarov, you can also find serial numbers for dating of the cameras in this site in Fotoua
  2. There are usefull books about cameras of former USSR and have classifications also.
  3. Pages from the the book of former USSR cameras by Suglob, Shaternik, Kochergin
  4. Discussion about clasifications in the books of Princelle and Suglob, Shaternik, Kochergin in USSR Photo Forum


Zorki cameras
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