Zorki 3 and 3M

Zorki 1 on steroids?

By many considered the finest rangefinders ever to come out of KMZ. The Zorki 3 and 3M are also the best looking rangefinders. The big difference between them is that the Z3 has a slow speed knob on the front and the 3M has all the speeds (including slow speeds) on speeddail itself.



Functionality is very good with the 3 and 3M. Good handling, enough speeds, but no flash sync. This, and not having a lightmeter, are the only drawbacks on these cameras. Good users, great finish. Big and bright viewfinders. Still not many of these were made. About 44.000 of both were built. Not really rare but on ebay they go for 100 up to 180 dollars with or without the case. Sometimes more...
It still looks a lot like the Zorki 1 just a bit bigger. The tripod mount moved from the rightside to the middle and was raised above the casing. It lost the middle viewfinder and now has a big viewfinder on the left (from a users point of view). But more speeds, 1 to 1/1000th. Nicely engraved, no silkscreening or paint-ons here.



Several user configurations of my 3M. I don't own the 3, just the "Mighty" 3M. Here equipped with a Leica lightmeter. Fitted with the universal rangefinder and a Jupiter 9 85mm lens. A perfect match. Impressive....
The J9, an 85mm telephotolens is one of the best lenses around. Coupled with enough speeds to make it more interesting.



The 3 and 3M are the first of the Zorki Rangefinders to be fitted with a removable back. Making loading easy. There are not many variations, in fact there are no variations for the Zorki 3 and 3M. Except for a Zorki 3 and 3M military version. These seem to have been olive drab ones.

To me this is a very special camera, better finish than the later Zorki 4's certainly better looking than the Zorki 4's. It only lacks a flash sync but on this camera I don't really mind. In the field of Russian rangefinders it has only one competitor, the Fed 3a.
Standard the 3 and 3M came with the Jupiter 8 silver a 50/2 mm lens. A good lens. Sharp and fast. Personally I prefer the 3M over the 3, just because all the speeds are on one button. And it is a lot cheaper than a Leica IIIF.

Copyright © Tom A.H. Piel

All rights reserved