My new Kiev 4 and its shutter

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Erik Petersson, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    I just bought something lovely - a Kiev 4. The rangefinder is so clear, focusing is so easy, and the Jupiter 8 lens looks so promising.

    However, the shutter is a bit stiff and not at all quiet, while I had expected it to be very smooth, at least as smooth as my FED 3. I have to exert quite some pressure on the shutter in order to release it, so it will not be possible to hold the camera steady on long shuttertimes. For me, this is a problem.

    Maybe it has just not been exercised in a long time and will get better. But if not, do you think I could fix this myself? Because how could one own such a camera and not use it?

    regards
    Erik
     
  2. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Fixing those old cloth shutters would be a very tricky.
    Maybe a bit of exercise would help.
     
  3. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    The shutter is made of metal and travels vertically, it is not cloth. But it is probably still tricky.
     
  4. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    The shutter release should not be stiff, at least it's the case on my 4a (yes, which I am shamelessly plugging now because I'm selling it!).

    Are the shutter speed reasonably accurate? Is the winding/cocking knob hard to advance too?
     
  5. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    Accurate as far as I can judge. But I have not run a film through it yet. Winding/cocking works but is cranking, like old cogwheels.

    Is your Kiev quiet?
     
  6. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Yes, mine is pretty quiet. The first Kiev I had was an early 4, and the stiff film advance felt like old cogwheels grinding against each other. Eventually, the advance jammed.

    It was quite a surprise to feel the much smoother advance on my 4a. Before, I used to have chapped fingers after an afternoon of shooting. With this particular 4a, in contrast, there is no effort needed.

    I read that home-repaired Kiev tend to be over-tensioned, and turning the right screws can result in a buttery smooth camera. Note also that bad lubrication can contribute to things being stiffer: a cheap lube will degrade and leave residues.

    But now I found a Contax IIa, so the Kiev, as good as it is, must go...
     
  7. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    I do not dare to take the camera apart to clean it. Cleaning will have to wait until I get to spend time in Moscow again. But turning a screw or too might be doable. Will search the internet.

    I would consider acquiring your camera had I not just bought this one. 35 mm lens even!
     
  8. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Well, we could maybe talk business via PM?
     
  9. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    I will PM you :smile:
     
  10. zenrhino

    zenrhino Member

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    I love my 4A. The shutter is so quiet, all I hear is a metallic "thwip." Add to it the 50mm sonnar clone lens and it's easily one of my favorite cameras.
     
  11. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    I will sing a Russian lullaby for mine. Maybe it will soften up if I can get it to remember its childhood days.
     
  12. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I have a Contax 11 that was made in the 1930s that the Kiev is a copy of, my dad gave to me as a teenager, and have often thought that the vertical running slatted metal focal plane shutter with a mximum speed of 1250/sec was light years ahead of the Leica of those days, not to mention the longer based rangefinder and the bayonet fitting lenses when the Leica ones were still 39mm screw thread .
     
  13. mabman

    mabman Member

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    I have a 4a as well, and I like the way it handles. However, mine has some frame-spacing issues, which I understand is fairly common and possibly fixable with an adjustment of the screw and/or lubrication of the gears under the take-up spool "fork". I have the J-8 and J-11, and along the way I've also picked up the Soviet clone of the Zeiss "turret" viewfinder, so I can now go for the whole "faux Zeiss" look :tongue:

    (yes, yes, not really a "fake" and all that history business, but "faux Zeiss" just sounds cooler :smile: )
     
  14. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Send it to Eddy Smolov in Brooklyn. He does good work, specializing in European mechanical cameras, and the prices are very reasonable. I've sent a Pentacon 6 and three FEDs to him over time, and his work is excellent. I'm planning to send him a Kiev 4 in January.

    His name and contact info are around here somewhere if you use the search, or you can just try Google. Be forewarned, if you talk to him on the phone his European accent is still pretty thick. But if you spend much time in Moscow you clearly won't be bothered by that.

    MB
     
  15. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    Dear MB,
    Moscow is actually closer for me than Brooklyn, so I would probably rather send the camera to Oleg Khalavin outside Moscow. I bought a FED 3 from him, that seems to be in good order.

    Anyway, thanks for the tip!

    /Erik Petersson
     
  16. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Ow! Sorry! Can we say "ethnocentrism" here? (Of course everyone is just like me and must live in the US.)

    Please overlook my stupidity this time.

    MB
     
  17. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    No problem, I will take it as compliment on my English skills!

    best regards
    Erik
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I'm constantly surprised Eric how good the English skills are of our members who don't have it as their first language, I couldn't even make myself understood in another language.
     
  19. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    Thanks. We watch television in English (with subtitles) here. It exposes us to English from our first years, and is to my mind a very effective way to spread a second language in a society.
     
  20. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Satellite television systems and American and British television programming may have done more to spread English as a universal language than any other thing I can think of.
     
  21. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    With risk of going slightly off-topic: as a kid I watched Bonanza, Cosby Show, Alf etc and it was a great language school. Now I am sorry that some of the excellent Russian films and tv-series's are not aired in Sweden. Isn't that what public service should do?

    Anyway, my Kiev and I will take a walk on Kungsgatan street in Stockholm now. I might upload something if it works out, but on the other hand my pictures are just _never_ good enough to my mind...
     
  22. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Hi

    Two points

    1. The frame spacing is a problem in Contax II (III) and all the Kievs.

    The simplest fix is a drip of fine (sewing machine ) oil into the gap between the screw (concerntric with the forks) and the wind on forks. Hold the camera upside down and let the oil penetrate for a few minutes. Then with the camera wound on, so the fork drive is locked, rotate the forks by finger and thumb to distribute the oil.

    If that does not reduce the friction try some Zippo fluid followed up be a drip of fine oil.

    There is a slipping clutch mechanism under the screw it needs to be slippy, not too hard to turn...

    But even with the clutch slippy the frames will be uneven, you only need to worry if you get film tears.

    2. If the release is stiff try three drips of file oil down the outside of the release button, leave 30 minutes try dry firing.

    Otherwise if either of these remains - buy watch makers screw drivers, deep tray, double sided sticky tape, magnet, grease, Zippo, nail lacquer, mouse mat and free weekends

    http://www3.telus.net/public/rpnchbck/

    It is real hard... the grease is for the end of the screw driver, the screws will stick to the end of the screw driver, if the driver has some grease, it is like a third hand

    Noel

    P.S. dont take a lens apart... yet
     
  23. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    Thanks,

    this is why I love APUG, and you too Noel! This will be my little christmas project - with the goal of getting nice pictures of my nieces on slow shutter speeds. The link also seems very useful.

    happy holidays!
    Erik