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KMZ Moskva 4.

Since the purchase of my Moskva 5 I thought it might be cool to own a Moskva 4 also.

I bid for one on an internet auction and was lucky enough to win it.  I waited for it to arrive.

Initial reactions:
When my parcel arrived from the seller in the Ukraine I couldn't wait to check the contents.  
After unwrapping the Moskva 4 I was amazed at the condition it was in, I think it is in better condition that the Moskva 5 and it looked like it was almost new.
According to the serial number it was made in 1956.  It looks much more like the original Zeiss that it was copied from.

I pushed the button to check the bellows and lens and the rangefinder popped up!  I pushed a bit harder and the bellows/lens popped out.
The bellows seemed to be in great condition. 
Setting the shutter to "B" and opened the back door (not a cover like the Moskva 5) to I checked the lens.  It was quite clean.
The shutter dial had stray oil leaking from the mechanism.  The shutter sounded strong, so maybe the oil was from a recent service..? 

Trying it out:

I'm starting to like this camera more than the Moskva 5.  I think it looks cooler.  The way the back door overlaps 1/2 the body width took a bit of getting used to.  This has proved an excellent design in eliminating light leaks.  This camera has none.
The film spool holders also differ from the "normal" Moskva 5 in that they are mounted on leaf springs.  The back door has to be opened to pull the spools down.  This is a cool design, as the spools knobs are very small.
One "feature" of the Moskva 4 is that is has a brass body.  This flexes greatly (compared to the Moskva 5) when pressing the shutter button with it mounted on a tripod.

Results:
I was stunned with the results captured on Provia 100F.  I expected to see some light leaks but this Moskva 4 has none!  I think this is due to the back door design.
The first few exposures were taken at 1/250 and 1/100 sec and were disappointingly blurred.  It seems the shutter kick is quite strong.

The real surprised came from the exposures made at lower speeds.  I am incredibly happy with these results.
Image 1 Click for larger photo  
This exposure is so sharp!  It was taken at f/11 for 1/5 sec at work during lunch. I was very impressed to see the results of images taken at lower speeds.  I thought that higher shutter speeds would eliminate shutter kick blur, but I now think they create it.

Image 2 Click for larger photo
This exposure of Brisbane was taken at f/8 for 1/10 sec from an over pass, unfortunately I couldn't use a tripod for this shot.
This was to test the focus at infinity, which is supposedly soft.  Not having it mounted on a tripod sort of defeated the purpose.   

Image 3 Click for larger photo
This one was from the second "test roll", it was taken at f/8 for 1/10 sec.  The colours in this exposure are so wonderful I think I was lucky to get them.

Image 4 Click for larger photo
 This was taken at f/8 for 5 secs with a tripod.  Unfortunately the tree is slighty out of focus.

Image 5 Click for larger photo
This was taken at f/32 for 1/10 sec to see if I could get reasonable results focused on infinity.  This exposure is quite sharp from edge to edge, a bit of a surprise.

Conclusion:
I think this camera is great.  Apart from the body flex everything seems as good as the Moskva 5, less the self timer.
 
Case Front view Back with 6 x 6 plate Closed Open 
 
I have since read that the Iskra 6 x 6 folding camera could be better than the Moskva for sharpness as it has a better focusing system.
Maybe I should buy one... 

This page was created on Tuesday 29th June 2004