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  1. #1
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    HELP: is this a Kiev 2A or 4A - I want to buy?

    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:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    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!!
    "Have fun and catch that light beam!"
    Bert from Holland
    my blog: http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl
    my Linkedin pinhole group: http://tinyurl.com/pinholegroup


    * I'm an analogue enthusiast, trying not to fall into the digital abyss.
    * My favorite cameras: Hasselblad SWC, Leica SL, Leica M7, Russian FKD 18x24, Bronica SQ-B and RF645, Rolleiflex T2, Nikon F4s, Agfa Clack and my pinhole cameras

  2. #2

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    Here, I'm still on the toe of the learning curve regarding these - http://www.sovietcams.com/index.php?-1887505578

    Seems that I'm not the only one with the FSU camera disease.

  3. #3
    TheToadMen's Avatar
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    Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    Here, I'm still on the toe of the learning curve regarding these - http://www.sovietcams.com/index.php?-1887505578
    This site seems to confirm my findings, doesn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    Seems that I'm not the only one with the FSU camera disease.
    Like The Bruce Dickinson said in 1976: "We need more cowbell" ...

    Last edited by TheToadMen; 12-12-2013 at 03:16 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    "Have fun and catch that light beam!"
    Bert from Holland
    my blog: http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl
    my Linkedin pinhole group: http://tinyurl.com/pinholegroup


    * I'm an analogue enthusiast, trying not to fall into the digital abyss.
    * My favorite cameras: Hasselblad SWC, Leica SL, Leica M7, Russian FKD 18x24, Bronica SQ-B and RF645, Rolleiflex T2, Nikon F4s, Agfa Clack and my pinhole cameras

  4. #4

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    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. #5
    JLP
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    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.
    _______________
    Jan Pedersen
    http://janlpedersen.com

  6. #6

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    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. #7
    mr rusty's Avatar
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    Its a 4A and €99 is expensive unless it comes with a recent CLA and guarantee, otherwise look for €30-€40 max.

  8. #8
    TheToadMen's Avatar
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    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 ...
    "Have fun and catch that light beam!"
    Bert from Holland
    my blog: http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl
    my Linkedin pinhole group: http://tinyurl.com/pinholegroup


    * I'm an analogue enthusiast, trying not to fall into the digital abyss.
    * My favorite cameras: Hasselblad SWC, Leica SL, Leica M7, Russian FKD 18x24, Bronica SQ-B and RF645, Rolleiflex T2, Nikon F4s, Agfa Clack and my pinhole cameras

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheToadMen View Post
    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 ...
    Good luck!

  10. #10

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    Princelle agrees that it is a 4A on account of the speed reminder window in the rewind knob. Hope that helps!

    J
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Kiev-4A-top.jpg  

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