Zorki 10

  • Year : 1964
  • Dimensions : 129 x 77 x 76mm
  • Weight : 666g
  • Shutter speed : Auto, 1/30 sec – 1/500 + B 
  • Iso : 20 to 320 
  • Lens : Industar-63 – 45mm f/2.8
  • Focal Range : 1,5 m to infinity

Everything seems strange about the Zorki 10. It looks very modern, it is asymmetrical, and the black and light grey metal make it look like an Apple product. But the Zorki 10 is indeed a film camera from 1964, made in the USSR. 

The Zorki 10 is a fully automatic rangefinder camera (alignment of two images in the viewfinder to focus). It measures the light with a selenium cell around the lens which requires no batteries (magic!). It can also be used as an aperture priority camera by setting the aperture of the lens from f/2.8 to f.22.  On the right-hand side of the lens is a very unusual shutter lever. I’ve struggled to find a nice way to activate the shutter;  with the index or middle finger it does not feel very stable. I ended up sometimes using my thumb which was more stable, but it is a very strange way to hold the camera. 

To make things even more unusual the film advance lever is on the bottom left side of the camera. The viewfinder is extremely small, which makes it almost impossible to get your focus right (especially when wearing glasses). Also, the rewind dial under the camera is really not practical as it requires using a coin, and still it can be difficult to rewind. With the exception of these flaws in it’s design, the Zorki 10 is great when you get used to it. It’s a quirky, curious camera to shoot with and quite handy to carry around. Unfortunately this camera is not a brilliant invention from the Soviet Union but just a copy of the Japanese Ricoh Auto 35V. 

The images I shot with it came out okay, although the focus is not always accurate. I was quite sceptical about using a 50 year old light cell with no battery, but the exposure was right.  

I found the Zorki 10 online for 30€ and picked it up in Lyon in 2019. Here are some shots taken with it in Clermont-Ferrand and the Chaine des Puys in Spring 2019 on Agfa vista plus 200 :