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Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by blockend, Apr 10, 2017.
I have Kiev IIIA (1958), Kiev 4A (1967) and Kiev 5 (1972). No dragging problem. ;/)
Mine's a '78 Kiev 4. The Jupiter 12 number is N (Cyrillic) 7606460. Not sure what year that denotes.
The first two numbers of the SN of Soviet photographic equipment denote the year of manufacture, so your J-12 was made on 1976, which makes sense.
One other difficulty with this camera is the removable take up spool. The original must have been lost, because the previous owner cut a slot in a standard plastic 35mm cassette spool. The problem is there's nothing to stop the film leader slipping back out the slot when I wind on, and it's often a case of "third time lucky" (or 4th or 5th!) which isn't efficient or quick.
The question is are Kiev spools worth purchasing because they have a retention method for holding the film in place, or is there a better bodge with a regular spool? It's come to the point where I carry masking tape to connect film to spool which is a bit silly.
The Kiev spool has two slots, I feed the film through and fold the end over by about 3mm then tuck the fold into the second slot. Very secure, I can't pull it out with the rewind knob. You can carry a second roll of film pre-threaded into a spare spool for quick reloading.
The more I use these the more I like them, I have 35, 50, and 85mm Soviet lenses plus a 13.5 cm Nikkor in Contax mount and the Zeiss Sonnar from my Contax.
The flash synch on these works very well if properly adjusted, so the Kievs do a great job at anything I will ever want to do with an RF camera.
Thanks, it sounds like it's worth getting the real thing.
my original metal spool for Kiev 4A (1967)
my (original ???) plastic (or metal) spool with spring for Kiev IIIA (1958)
and Kiev 5 (1971)
Both are doing their job well
Thanks, I will keep a look out for both.
You'll need to master the Contax grip!
I had a Kiev 4 and really liked it and the Jupiter lens.
However I've a gammy finger which I can't fully bend and struggled with arching my finger to reach the shutter release button so sold it on. I fiddled around making contraptions from shutter release cable fittings, but gave up in the end.
Shame as I really liked that camera.
The upper spool is the original, the lower spool, I don't know if that's original but later, or what. I have both, the lower one requires cutting the film leader with a central tab; maybe it's from a cartridge?? My 4a came with one of each.
A number of sources say forget the focus wheel and use the lens to focus, like any other camera. With rangefinder windows that far apart some care is needed not to block the view, the upside is the Kiev has the most accurate rangefinder I've used. Can't say I've given the shutter position any thought, it seems instinctive enough, but I might try a soft button to lift it out of the film advance "cup". The only thing I miss is a frame for the Jupiter 12, but that's asking a lot for a 1930s camera.
If you are using lens barrel to focus on Kiev RF, you will quickly discover what lens focus lock gets in the way.
Frame for J-12 called "BИ-35" and the only tricky part is to find one which meant for Keiv (different placement of hot-shoe mount), but on practice any external VF with 35 frames will do.
Yes, that's what I read too, but not when using heavy lenses.
Ooooooooooooops, sorry wrong way around, focus wheel for small lens, barrel for big lens.
I thought it was exactly with heavy (non-normal) lenses that you *weren't* supposed to use the focus wheel, because the resistance can damage the mechanism?
It's not the mechanism I worry about, it's the skin on my finger! Pretty much anything except the internal mount lenses are going to be used turning the lens barrel, not the focus wheel.
The long base of the rangefinder is indeed extremely accurate. In a lot of ways the Contax/Kiev design was well ahead of Leica in the thirties. Combined viewfinder/rangefinder, much easier film loading, a single shutter speed dial, bayonet mount superb Zeiss glass (to be copied by the USSR). While the Contax IIa was a nice improvement after the war the M3 blew it out of the water. Those early Kievs are solid as a brick.
The Contax manual suggested pressing the shutter release with the joint of the first finger, i.e. place the tip on the edge of the advance knob and the inner fold of the joint atop the release this gives more control and a smoother release.
With practice the "Contax grip" becomes very comfortable and convenient. There's a pretty nice, bright finder for the 35mm. Kind of an ugly plastic thing but it works great.
Yes to the wheel with the 35, that is if the lube in the lens mount is fresh. Definitely no with the 85 and 135.
There have been quite a few films through my Kiev, and I never noticed the bayonet lock when focusing via the lens. You mention it, and I hit the lock immediately!
The curse of the Kiev's lock!
If skin is in concern, it might be the lube of the focus helicoid in the camera. If cleaned from FSU gunk and lubed with fresh import grease it is very smooth. It is where Contax/Kiev RF experience will begin for real.
With a 50mm, the focus wheel is great. A heavy 85mm or 135mm is a different story.