HELP: is this a Kiev 2A or 4A - I want to buy?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by TheToadMen, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,997
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Location:
    Netherlands, EU
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    Hi,
    I have no knowledge of Kiev cameras so I need your help.
    This camera is offered to me as a Kiev model 2 or 2A (II or IIA).
    It comes with a 2/5cm Jupiter-8M lens.

    Here are some images from the seller:

    Kiev-4A-front.jpg Kiev-4A-front-lens.jpg Kiev-4A-bottom.jpg Kiev-4A-open.jpg Kiev-4A-top.jpg

    But looking at these sites I think it is a model 4A, because it hasn't two "stabilizing feet" beneath the bottom plate?
    http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Kiev_rangefinder

    Its serial number is #6504396. Is it correct that the first two digits are the production year, making this a 1964 model?
    I believe the model 4A was made between 1959-1980. The model IIA seems to be made between 1955 - 1959.

    Asking price is Euro 99 (about USD 130). Is this a fair price if the camera is in good working order?

    I don't really mind if it is a 2A or a 4A. They look almost the same and I only want it to shoot film with nice older rangefinder cameras.
    And I like this model, also being a copy of a Contax. A real Contax is a bit more expensive so I'm willing to settle for a Kiev.

    The seller said he didn't want to lower his price because it is an early model 2 or 2A. I don't think he is lying or cheating, but maybe just mistaken about the model. If I can show him it's a model 4A, maybe he will lower his asking price. I'm driving over tomorrow, so I will see.

    An other question: is this a good & reliable camera to shoot with? I don't expect Leica quality but don't know what russian copy models are worth the effort or not.

    Thank you for your help!!
     
  2. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  3. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,997
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Location:
    Netherlands, EU
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    Thanks!
    This site seems to confirm my findings, doesn't it?

    Like The Bruce Dickinson said in 1976: "We need more cowbell" ...

    [video=vimeo;51038971]http://vimeo.com/51038971[/video]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2013
  4. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As for whether or not they are reliable, I would say (based on a lot of experience with small mechanisms of all sorts, and a fair amount of research into these FSU thingies) "Yes, they can be" with a bunch of caveats. Let's assume it was a good camera when it left the factory in Kiev in 1965. It is now almost 49 years old, you don't know how much - or how - it's been used, when or if it's ever seen servicing. I would expect to have to give the camera a complete overhaul, removing all old lubricants and replacing them with modern synthetic lubricants, not a job for the faint of heart - or the inexperienced. I've already done the same on a Contax II and it's involved to say the least. Expect to replace the shutter tapes as well. The lens may need internal cleaning, I recently bought a screwmount J-8 from 1975 and it had the stubbornest haze I've ever seen.

    Any old camera you get will need servicing, it's standard maintenance for mechanical things. I usually buy things with this in mind, and I've yet to be dissappointed. The really really really clean Canon SIIb I bought needs a complete overhaul including new leather cover and new curtains (I knew this before I bought it), but I wouldn't have been able to afford it otherwise.
     
  5. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,610
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You can find better deals on the 4A on the auction site, i have seen many really nice ones in the 70$ range with clean optics.

    The Kiev is i decent camera if in good condition, with the range finder 'Windows' so far apart it it said that focus is more accurate than most RF's.
    Shutter speed setting is a bit strange and should only be changed with a cogged shutter. When chaning speed from a fast to a slower setting the dial is quite tough to move as there are some spring resistance to overcome.
     
  6. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,456
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    The 65xxxx indicates the year, the lens serial should be the same or one out eg 64xxxx.

    They like the Contax II or IIa are slow to wind on.

    I have a collection of them and after I refurb one it is reliable. They will snap a ribbon with a lotta use and frame spacing is not wonderful, the Contax II is the same and also needs a refurb.

    They are easy to strip but people sometimes send me one (or two) in a zip lock bag of bits. Spares are plentiful as there is a cottage industry converting their mount to a Nikon to Leica adapter.

    The 35mm, 85mm and 135mm are ok lenses and cheap. The 28mm is also good but rare, the accessory finder covers all the focal lengths and is cheap.

    The J8 needs a hood available from China.

    They did a modern design double Gauss 5cm on later models better edge IQ at /2.
     
  7. mr rusty

    mr rusty Member

    Messages:
    758
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    lancashire,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Its a 4A and €99 is expensive unless it comes with a recent CLA and guarantee, otherwise look for €30-€40 max.
     
  8. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,997
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Location:
    Netherlands, EU
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    WOW
    didn't expect this much response within 2 hours!
    Thank you all.
    I made an offer of Euro 35 earlier today, but he said he couldn't go lower than Euro 99 for it being an early model 2A.
    I wonder what he'll say tomorrow. I mailed him the websites showing it to be a model 4A.
    To be continued ...
     
  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Good luck!
     
  10. jon koss

    jon koss Subscriber

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Princelle agrees that it is a 4A on account of the speed reminder window in the rewind knob. Hope that helps!

    J
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,456
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    The date in the serial is all he needs to look at. you need to find another seller.
     
  12. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,997
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Location:
    Netherlands, EU
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    I went over today. I showed him the differences and he agreed it being a a model 4A (type 2).
    The camera body was in good condition, only one corner of the leatherette was a bid loose. There was a small dent in filter thread of the lens but nothing serious. He came down to 40 Euro ($52).
    I would have bought it but I didn't trust the shutter. It worked fine on the fast speeds, but I couldn't get if to fire slower than 1/25 s. I did wind before setting the shutter speed. Maybe we did something wrong, maybe it was malfunctioning. The rangefinder worked, but was a bit yellow.

    So I decided not to buy this camera and look for an other one. I did like the look and feel of this camera. So I definitely want one. Maybe one will show up on this forum? There are several offered on Ebay (with case) for about 40 euro within Europe, so I can await my chances for an other 4A with a 35 and 50 mm lens and a case. And maybe I can trade one for an other camera/lens or some darkroom stuff or ...
    I would like a real Contax II as well, but that might be a bit more expensive...

    Thank you all for your quick help in this matter!! APUG is a great community.
     
  13. mr rusty

    mr rusty Member

    Messages:
    758
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    lancashire,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  14. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,997
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Location:
    Netherlands, EU
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    Excellent site indeed, thanks.
    I've been reading all evening about Contax II and the Kiev successors.
    The more I read the more I want one.
    It's on my watch list now.
     
  15. T42

    T42 Member

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi Guys.

    Where does one get suitable shutter ribbon for a Kiev/Contax RF? I had read someplace that the supply out of Arsenal dried up a few years ago.
     
  16. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,456
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
  17. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  18. abrosig

    abrosig Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Shooter:
    Holga
    One thing I've found on my Kiev (and maybe it's just me), it's difficult to tell when I've reached the end of a roll and I've stripped the sprocket holes on many. I find myself having to pay particular attention to the film counter, because the normal tension of the advance wheel is tight anyway and seems to have enough torque to rip right through the film. Just something to keep in mind.
     
  19. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,997
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Location:
    Netherlands, EU
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
    Ouch,
    Thanks for the warning.

     
  20. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,456
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    peterloy has a contaxIII body

    http://www.peterloy.com/stock-list.php