Opening the Zorki-S

Alfred's Camera Page

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Here's a small guide on how to disassemble a Zorki-S. So far I can only show you how to take off the top and separate the body into its three main components, but I'll add more as I get wiser. Not that I ever expect to really understand how a cloth shutter works...

Taking the top off

Taking the top off of a Zorki-S is so simple that even I, the archetypical left-handed fool, can do it without losing too many parts, making dents everywhere, and cutting myself. Trusting that you're a better repairman than I am, I present you these instructions. As usual when embarking on adventures with screwdrivers, be aware of the magnitude of what you're getting in to. Your camera could be at stake! So don't try this on your Leica, don't keep me responsible if it goes wrong, don't sue me in court ‒ you know the rap.

Taking the top off a Zorki-S is like taking candy from a sweet, complacent baby. To make it even easier, I'll do it all in bulleted list form. To close the camera back up again, just follow the numbered steps in reverse order.

Update: this page shows the operation in graphic detail.

  1. Loosen the screw on the big wind knob, and rotate the knob against the direction of the arrow. It should come loose. Remove the knob, the number dial, and the metal ring.
  2. Unscrew the two dark screws that were just unveiled.
  3. Make sure the shutter is cocked, and set the shutter speed dial to 1/100s. Set the X synchro ring (under the shutter speed dial) to zero.
  4. Unscrew the shutter speed dial and take it off. Do the same with the X synchro ring. Take care with the small headless screws ‒ they tend to be very fragile.
  5. Unscrew all the round windows on the chrome top. All unscrew in the usual direction, being counterclockwise. Lay them aside in some order you can remember. If they won't move, grip them with a piece of cloth (my t-shirt usually does it).
  6. Unscrew the two remaining screws on the front and back of the top. The shallow one is on the front, the deeper one on the back.
  7. Looking at the camera from the back, unscrew the bottom right screw in the hot shoe.
  8. Remove the top!

Now you can clean the camera on the inside, and see if the Krasnogorsk laborers left any secret messages. Happy repairing!

And now the rest of the body

How to open the rest of the body

The rest of the body comes apart in three pieces: the base plate, that you can easily remove; the top plate with the shutter, and the cast oval body. To disassemble, unscrew the five screws in total in the rim of the top assembly; unscrew the four screws on the front facade, and unscrew the lens mount. Take out the lens mount supports, dip in the rangefinder to clear the upper assembly, and lift the parts off each other. The drawing, the idea of which I obviously stole from from Rick Oleson, shows how.

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