Ucranian Contax copies

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by yomismo, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. yomismo

    yomismo Member

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    I have read in some other posts that some of you have tried that Ucranian Contax II and III copies, and I would like to receive some advice about what model to buy.

    The thing is that a friend is going to start a course of photography and after much time hearing him talking about the Contax II the group have decided to give him "something that looks like a Contax II" (well, the original idea was to buy a real one but can't afford that prices). I have seen that the main problem with this cameras is the quality control, because basically everyone who knows about this cameras have a different oppinion.

    So, please, can you tell me what is the best of this cameras we can purchase for less than 90€?

    Thank you
     
  2. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    I think the best advice would be to buy from a reliable dealer that backs up their merchandise and to make sure to read the manual thoroughly before and while using it until the user knows it well.
    I have used both of the Kiev copies of the Contax II (Kiev 4a) and III (Kiev 4) and they both worked well, the only difference being the simple and accurate enough meter on the 4. Both the 50 and 53mm standard lenses are very sharp and contrasty.
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Good advice IMO, Vic.

    I can recommend Fedka (Yuri Boguslavsky) as a good source of Ukrainian cameras and information.

    http://www.fedka.com/catalog/default.php?cPath=32&osCsid=be64e7ca316ef8f1db34a495d8f1daf0
     
  4. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Fedka is reliable, as is Oleg Khalyavin (www.okvintagecamera.com) and Vikentiy Trofimov (www.sovietcamera.com.ua).

    90 Euros is around the minimum for a reliable one with a default lens (which should be fine) - I originally thought you had UK Pounds listed, which would have been more than enough. I just bought a Kiev 4a from a photo.net member, and it will be on it's way shortly, so I haven't used one as yet, but I have used a couple of Soviet LTM cameras (Leica-ish clones), and enjoy them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2007
  5. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    The Ukrainian Kiev 35mm rangefinder cameras are not "technically" copies of the Contax cameras, as the whole production line and technicians making the pre-WW2 Contax cameras was moved from occupied East Germany to Kiev after the war and production was resumed, and thru the lifespan of this line of cameras, certain things were changed, but in actuality the Kiev 35mm rangefinder cameras were an extension of the original pre-WW2 Contax rangefinder cameras. The Post-WW2 Contax rangefinder cameras made in Germany were completely redesigned, but have some superficial resemblence, and accept the same lensmount as the pre-WW2 Contax rangefinder cameras.
     
  6. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    If I were you I would try to find the earlier versions from the mid-fities. Like the Kiev II or III or IIa or IIIa. They are exact copies of the Contax II and III and are generally very well made. I have a kiev IIa myself, and it is a wonderful tool. I bought it from the ebay seller cupog (cupog collectible cameras), and this seller is highly recommended. He does a cla to all the cameras he sells. He doesn't always have kievs, but his prices when he does are very reasonable.
    Good luck with the hunt!
    Mads
     
  7. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    Actually I just looked at what he has at the moment. He has a cla'd contax III for 99 pounds (five days to auction end, no bids). And Three kiev fours. All has been through a cla. Worth checking out!
    Best Regards
    Mads
     
  8. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The Contax III is a big camera. The meter makes it seem very tall. Make sure you hold one and see if it feels right in your hands.
     
  9. yomismo

    yomismo Member

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    Thank you all, guys. I've been checking the web for the earliest Kievs and I think I am in the good way. I have looked to all the sellers you mentioned, with special attention to the one Mads has recommended. Now the only whing i need is to wait and, by the way, to save some €/$.

    Thank you again!
    Unai