2300 rmb for an early Shanghai 582 in mint condition is about the right price. A Shanghai 581 in any condition could cost much more. Most of these are not users, like those colllectable Leicas, they should be displayed in a well lit glass case


Those pictures of the disappearing old Shanghai are fantastic. Congratulations. Those will be invaluable historical records.

I believe Zhao Zhenxin maintains a personal museum of Chinese photographis products, but I have yet to make a visit. I don't know him in person. If you live in Shanghai, it should be easy to arrange a meeting with him.

I am not sure if you want to send an email to him or to me? If you read Chinese, here is a website that I think is owned by Zhao and you can get in touch with him there.


Good luck,


Thanks Ivan for the infomation. When I was in Moscow some 6-7 years ago, I saw many early Feds in antique shops. I believe they were made before WWII, so they were already more than 50 years old. I bought many cameras at the big flea market in a sport stadium, but I forgot its name. I never had any problems with Russian customs to bring them out, but sometimes I had problems with Chinese customs to bring them into China.



Here is an early Shanghai 58-2 type A. Probably only a few thousand cameras were made. Now these are rarely seen for sale. I bought this many years ago for RMB 350, and the shop owner asked me to think twice because he thought it was a piece of junk not worth the price.
I regret let go a few pre-1950 Kiev 2s with those collapsible ZK lenses for RMB 60-70 only.

The other one is an uncommon Phenix 301 with a fixed 38/1.8 lens. This camera was made in small numbers, so that it now demands a very high price to collectors($150-200).


A simpler model based in the same chassis is the Seagull 205A with a 2.8 38mm lens. This is a kissing cousin of the FED 35 camera.









Looks like a Zorki 3 copy... LOL...

Think I am going to build up a daily camera sys, in the process of getting some Russian standard lenses (only got a I-26 now, like it even in colour, quite warm to me, might get some more like I-61, I-50, J-3, J8, J9). Would a Zorki 3 be a good choice for a body? or should I get a Bessa R? 



Hi Will,

A Bessa R? Who wants that plastic crap? A Russian camera of course! But "what is the camera I should buy?" was the question I asked myself many years ago, and now I have a few dozens.

Just teasing. I think a Zorki 3 or 3M is a good choice. These cameras seem to be better built. One of my smoothest Russian Leica-Contax camera is a Zorki 3M. It has a very bright view finder, a removable back, and strap lugs.
J-3, J-12, J-9 are all good optics IMO.



Is the Zorki 3's VF much better than Fed 1, Zorki 1? Like them for the small size, but dislike them for the separate RF, VF. Any comment on it?






A Z-3's view finder is VERY bright, almost like a Leica M's. A Fed-1 and Zorki 1 is a Russian Leica IIF copy. I think a Zorki 3 is a mix of Leica M and Contax II. But as I said , you may end up with all the variations of Russian gears. That is the very beginning of GAS.


An early MD mount(Seagull DF) 200mm F2! lens was discovered recently by a Collector in Nanjing. Probably only some prototypes were made. The brand name is Changjiang (Yangtze River). I assume it was made by the same factory that made those Changjiang anamorphic projection cine lenses. Compare the logo on the lens with the logo on Changjiang camera (Smena copy).






Remember Yashma-4N for Kiev 19?



That is an impressive piece of glass! I hope I bought that 500mm F4 Changchun made lens. For those who do not bother to read all the message, here is an image of a well made Shanghai 203 120 folder. The 3e/3g lens is much better than that of Seagull 203's. And a Great wall SZ-2 spring wound 35mm rangefinder camera




May be not a good idea, but it is an idea. A LF back with a Nikon or Canon mount so that a DSLR of 6M-10M sensor size can be extended to many folds to produce a much larger file of maybe 30-40M for big prints later with some PS. This may be good for some landscape images that are relatively still.
Someone is selling this back for a few hundred RMBs on a Chinese site, but I think it is not difficult to do it DIY.






Russian 375mm F/2.8 movie lens.



Will, My Chinese cine lenses were made by Beijing Nr.608 factory. They are all in Arri standard mount. Their back focus length varies according to each lens, but I think the registration distance should be the same.

Here are a few back focal length for some wide angle lenses that could be converted for digital cameras:

35DSJ-20 20mm F1.4, 27.36mm
35DSJ-28 28mm F1.4, 27.76mm
35DSJ-35 35MM F1.3, 28.9mm
35SJ-16 16mm F2, 27.46mm
35SJ-20 20mm F2, 30.04mm

And there is an interesting 35SJ 2000, 2000MM F10, 1886.4mm, weighs 35kg!

Changchun made a 30X zoom lens, 25-750mm F3.5-22, only weighs 5.5 kgs.

Happy new year to you!




I had a Krasnogorsk 16mm movie camera once, but later sold it. IIRC. it has a M42 mount so that I assume it has the same registration as those Zenits. The zoom lens that comes with the camera has a rear element that was much closer to the frame window when it is mounted on the camera. But many M42 lenses could be used for this camera.





Some rare Seagull 203 folders

Here are images of a black Seagull 203-1 and a Taihu 203 folder. Both are very uncommon variations of Seagull 203 model cameras.




Here is an image of a new Chinese missile tracking device. I think the main lens is very impressive. My lens was removed from such an equipment of older design, and looks much smaller than the main lens in the image. I think they can sell such lenses to astronomers fans.




There's a Red Flag 20 with a 50/1.4 up on ebay for the modest price of $13,000.
of course, it is being sold by Arsenal so that price might be just a tiny tiny bit higher than another seller's asking price






Details of the synchro contact in Shanghai 58-2





Here are some images of Chinese process and LF lenses. I found them on a Chinese site. I think the 1000mm F9 lens is interesting(black one). And a Chinese aerial camera mounted on a J-6 fighter plane( improved version of a Soviet Mig 19).





Now, a famous Kiev 88 MF slr is mounted on this huge missile tracking lens with an adaptor. Look how small the Kiev 88 is compared to the lens. The black lens in front it is a MTO 1100 F10.5 mirror lens, also looks very tiny.

I saw a similar lens currently offered on the *bay that covers at least 6x7CM format, and weighs ONLY 165 pounds. It is a nice 1300mm F4 optic.

BTW, those who collect red cameras is called "red carpet" collectors in China, and the title is only given to those who at least have some Red Army or PLA items



I heard that Zeiss custom made a 1700mm F4 lens for a rich Arab. I guess a tripod should also be made for it? That will be a suitable one for this? Or I may need an even stronger one?  


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