How many of you love your Kiev?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Steve Mack, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. Steve Mack

    Steve Mack Member

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    I got a Kiev 4am from fedka.com a while back, and it's now my go-to rangefinder camera. I'm not sure exactly what the appeal of it is, besides the marvelous camera and (admittedly) quirky focusing mechanism. It takes wonderful pictures, I have a ball toting it around in its "ever-ready" case, and just taking my time looking for something to shoot. It does really well with Tri-X; haven't tried any other films yet.

    Anyone else like 'em?

    Let's hear it for Kievs!

    With best regards,

    Stephen
     
  2. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    I loved my Kiev when I still had it.
    What I loved less were the Zeiss-Ikon/Contax ergonomics...
    (and the then unavailability of a remotely affordable 21mm)

    The Soviet copies / adaptations of classic Zeiss designs show just what great lenses Zeiss was turning out in the early 1930's.
     
  3. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Me.
     
  4. daveandiputra

    daveandiputra Member

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    Chalk me up for Kiev lovin'! haven't really handle any other interchangeable rangefinder though, other than a loaner M8, still prefer the kiev handling and styling.
     
  5. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Now that I've (mostly) worked around my 4a's frame spacing issue, I think I'll be using it more. A recent test roll was a lot of fun to shoot, although I need to work on my "Contax grip".

    I do have a 135mm lens for it - if I could only find the viewfinder that came with it :sad:
     
  6. photoncatcher

    photoncatcher Member

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    Let's see. Quirky focusing, check. Strange ergonomics, check. Do I love it (and all my FSUs), check. The Kiev is probably one of the quiriest FSUs that I've used, but the results are wonderful. When I first got mine, I put a roll of PXP in, and went to a local cemetary to run a test roll. I ended up with about 12 "keepers" from that roll. If you can't afford a classic Contax, or a Leica, ( I can't) then look into one of the FSU rangefinder cameras. Now I just need to find a good wide angle lens for my Kiev.
     
  7. stevebrot

    stevebrot Member

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    I got my Kiev 4A (v1) back its CLA this last week and finally got around to loading some film in it yesterday. It took me three attempts on the film load and I plan on shooting a little with it tomorrow...assuming we get a break in the weather.

    Strangely, when doing my final film load attempt, I noticed that the film does not line up evenly with the outside set of guide rails. It rides up on the lower rail. Is this to be expected?


    Steve
     
  8. T42

    T42 Member

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    Hello Steve.

    I think you may find this of interest:
    http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/kievspool.jpg

    I made that spool just after my K4a arrived in October of 2001. Works great, and it took that wobbly, crooked loading problem away altogether. Spool is not so eager to fall out while loading either.

    Love the K4a. Quirky and Wierd in some ways. Fantastic rangefinder for focusing. Great pictures. Built like a battle tank. I just like using it.

    Since I wear glasses, I use a Voigtlander Kontur finder with it to offset the limitations of that wee little peephole excuse for a viewfinder window on the K4a:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2010
  9. stevebrot

    stevebrot Member

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    Henry...Thanks for the link. I found a couple of other references for similar approaches and plan on using the modified spool for my next roll. The Kontur finder is pretty cool too. The only problem is finding one at a reasonable price :smile: I have the Jupiter-12 35/2.8, but have not been using it for lack of a finder.


    Steve
     
  10. Craig Swensson

    Craig Swensson Member

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    Love..no:tongue:

    Like...yes

    Add to the above quirks irregular frame spacing, but i can live with all these small issues. The Kiev4 feels like it will just keep going...but i know it may not:sad:
    regards
     
  11. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    When I handle FED, I wish it was a Leica. The Kiev 4 is far enough away from the Leica that it stands on its own.

    I like the images I get out of it. The ergonomics are okay with me. I do wish it was slightly smaller though - and that speeds 1/50th and slower worked. If I keep shooting it, the camera will likely go in for a CLA at some point as other than the speed issue, it is a pleasure to use.

    Its interesting. The Leica feels like a street camera - agile, subtle, etc while the Kiev 4 feels like more of a slower paced precision machine. Not sure why exactly, perhaps the focusing wheel?
     
  12. daveandiputra

    daveandiputra Member

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    you can try building a finder from 35mm compact, i can't tell about the quality (haven't use a real one) but it's cheap and accurate.
    I'll try to post some picture and links (i think you can find some instruction on zorkikat fed survival site)
     
  13. Steve Mack

    Steve Mack Member

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    You can also built a do-it-yourself viewfinder from a trashed disposable camera; refer to Zorkikat for the details, and the finder is free!:D

    With best regards,

    Stephen
     
  14. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Hi

    Zeiss did a 28mm to 138mm finder preWWII the FSU copies it and the origonal or copy are pretty good, about the same $ as a Kiev lens for the copy.

    It is almost usable with glasses.

    Noel
     
  15. tessar

    tessar Subscriber

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    I like my 4a just fine after I got the usual light leaks fixed. Good lenses, great rangefinder, and I like the focus wheel, easy to handle when using the Contax grip.
     
  16. Dan Grisez

    Dan Grisez Member

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    I love my Kiev 4A. I love the weight, the way it looks, and the *shunck* sound of the shutter.