Film: 120 / medium format
Format/Frame: 6 x 9 or 6 x 6 cm (with mask)
I have a small collection of German folding cameras, and I really wanted the post-war Zeiss 6×9 Super Ikonta with a rangefinder. They are uber-expensive. The Moskva-5, a 6×9/6×6 folder made by KMZ, came up online at a good price and looked in good shape, so I decided to play Russian roulette.—Howard Sandler, via Kosmo Foto
Check out Howard Sandler’s full review HERE.
My Insights on the KMZ Moskva 5
I would be amiss if I were to write about any folding camera without mentioning Jurgen Kreckel—a.k.a. “Certo6.com.”
The origins of my attraction/interest in folding cameras is lost on me today, but I know it found me sometime after 2001, upon the completion of my one and only sabbatical. That said, I do recall obtaining my first folding camera—the Moskva 5—from a dodgy seller in Ukraine.
Before the purchase, I was made aware of the inherent light leaks that eventually find their way into the original and dated fabric bellows of such camera architecture, and as a result, it would likely need replacing if one required a fully functional and reliable camera.
So when the Moskva 5 finally arrived and I made a general inspection of it, I knew it would require a deep CLA if it were to be fully operational. And so, in researching camera repair for a Russian folding camera, one person stood out from all the rest when it came to anything to do with folding cameras—and that was Mr. Kreckel.
Although the Certo Six CLA cost more than the camera itself, what I received back from the folding camera guru was nothing short of a brand new camera even if it didn’t have the cosmetics of a brand new camera.
It’s hard not to fall in love with the Moskva 5 (or any folding camera) attributed to the compact size they become in their folded state. Who can’t appreciate having a medium format camera that can fit in a coat pocket or take up very little space in a camera bag or daypack, all the while producing a scrumptious 6 x 9 cm image on film?
The Moskva 5 is also a member of the small group of folding cameras with an integrated/coupled rangefinder system, which means as you focus using the rangefinder, the lens focus moves in unison with the rangefinder. In an uncoupled rangefinder system, one manually transfers the rangefinder information to the lens once the established distance is known via the rangefinder.
In short, I love each and everyone of my folding cameras, but the Moskva 5 will always be special because it was my first folding camera. And, we all remember our “first.”