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                     Zorki 4K    vs    Leica M4

cold war duel

      From time to time on various forums people ask if they should abandon their FSU equipment and buy leica instead. I will try to compare these two cameras and to help people decide.


Zorki 4K

Leica M4

Date of Manufacture 1972-78 1967-1975
Manufacturer KMZ Leica


M39  ltm M Bayonet Mount
Film Advance Single Stroke Lever Single Stroke Lever  
Film Rewind   Knob Rewind   Rewind Crank
Shutter Focal Plane Focal Plane
Rangefinder Base Length 40mm        48.5mm   
Viewfinder Magnification           1:1      .72
Framelines 50mm view 35,50,90,135mm  
Diopter VF Adjustment        Yes    No
Shutter Speeds 1,B,1/1000 1,B,1/1000
Flash Sync Yes, 1/30 Yes, Elec. 1/50, Bulb 1/500  
Loading Removable Back    Bottom Loading
Exposure Meter No No
Self Timer Yes Yes
Weight 519 Grams 600 Grams

Now lets compare camera appereance (this is modified version of Zorki 4K, i made it from one Zorki 4K and one Zorki 4. I replaced shell because i liked this more than ruberized 4k shell, and also i replaced speed selector because on Zorki 4 numbers were engraved and on 4k they were painted)

look from the top of both cameras. rapid winders are a bit different - zorki winder has a bit longer throw so it winds a bit slower. Also zorki shutter button is mover toward center and its not so easy to access, but it seems as it is more stable when shooting in low speeds because hand grip camera more firmly.

Lets compare speed selectors:

As we see zorki has red numbers for speeds where flash can be used, leica has a little flash sign for same purpose, Also to change speed on zorki you have to push selector up and then rotate, leica speed selector is used with simple rotation.

Now to see their frame counters:

Zorki frame counter is easier to see, but also it is possible to change it by accident which is not possible at leica. Also on leica it resets automatically when you open camera, and on zorki you have to do it manually.    

Rewind knob and crank:

It is faster to rewind with leica crank, but users also say that it is easier to break. Under zorki knob you can see lever for diopter adjustment.

Self timers:

Both are very similar in operation, except that zorki is started with that small silver button, and leica with normal shutter button. In top of leica you see little rewind lever which is used to free film when rewinding.