I have a FSU (Former Soviet Union) Kiev III which is similar to the prewar Contax III. My Kiev was made in the Soviet Union from tools and dies taken from the German factories after WWI as reparations and is solidly built. What I enjoy about this camera is 1) the extremely quiet shutter and 2) it's Sonnar clone Jupiter 8 lens. What I don't like is the squinty and dim viewfinder. When compared to my Leica IIIc and M3, it comes up short in that aspect. My IIIc is smaller and lighter than the Kiev and the viewfinder (though not combined as in the Contax or Kiev) is somewhat larger and brighter. The Kiev is a fun camera to use but is not without it's peculiarities. If you get the opportunity, buy that Contax IIIa provided it's in good condition, otherwise, pay a lot less and buy the Kiev (I bought mine for $50 or so). After using it for a while, and if you still enjoy it, spring for the big bucks and get that Contax.