Kiev Range Finder Cameas


Kiev 4A "NO NAME" some mention must be given to the Kiev 4A "NO NAME" camera. Made from a Kiev 4A Type 1 it has no marking as to manufacturer. Made for only one year 1962 but marked 1963 year of production. It had a Jupiter lens but the front lens ring read Zeiss Sonnar. I do believe only 2000 were made so, a real "NO NAME" would be a good and expensive find.

So here it is true or not I do not know. There are several stories about this camera and why it was made this way again I cannot tell you which one is true. I do know this the USSR and USA were on the brink of a Nuclear War. The USA will call this time "The Missiles Of October" but to the world it would be "The Cuban Missile Crises" A country still need to try to keep commerce alive. So, to test the market and see if Russian products would sell on an open European market this camera was produced. It is just one of the stories; a great deal of tension was in the air at this time, the USA needed Europe and Europe needed the USA. The USSR was not any different; a country needs commerce to stay alive.

Kiev 4m will be the last Russian Contax, as life and time changes so do cameras. The last true Russian Contax will be the Kiev 4m, "m" meaning the camera was modified from the privious version.

Kiev 4m adds a new selftimer, hot shoe to replace the older accessory shoe in the meter housing, a new rewind fold away lever to replace again the older style rewind knob and last and best an easier to read and operate shutter speed dail.As in the past models two vresions were produced.

Kiev 4am all the same features but did not have an exposure meter.

Kiev 4m, Kiev 4am last will appearing with newer camera backs. Back is flat and has no rivets covered by the leatherett.

Kiev 5 the last effort and a very fine one is the Kiev 5. Whether in order as a last efferet to save the range finder camera or a whole new camera is conceived just as a part of the normal evolution the Kiev camera we will never know.

Kiev 5 offered the consumer a larger brighter range finder with secondary window in center of SCLM, single stroke film advance, larger SCLM is part of the top plate, new Helios 50mm F2 and allthis in a new updated body. All in all it is a fine camera all metal so yes a little heavy!

The 1960 were bring new changes to the world, the jet airliner was making the world smaller and smaller. The newspaper and radio were now being put into your living room via TV not yesterdays news but happing now. Consumer were asking for more demanding more... this even in the USSR.

They wanted to see what the lens saw and camera manufacter need to give it to them. Kievs' SLR the Kiev Automat 10 First came out in 1962-63. It was a well accepted and started the slow decline of range finder camera. Cost would be the only hindrance and that was closing more rapid than most would expect.

Till the production of the Kiev 5 starts none of the Kiev RF cameras were dedigned for electronic flash. They will sync. at 1/25th or 1/30th of a sec. depending on the model.

Note none of the early Kiev cameras had been designed for Electronic Flash. The flash only worked because at ~1/40 of a second or slower the Focal Plain Curtin would stay open long enough to expose a frame of film.



Kiev Production Dates Range Finder Cameras

Kiev-1947 1948 1949(Kiev 1):All were the same camera copies of the contax II but were prototypes not for sale to the public. The 1949 was set for production and became the kiev 2.

Kiev-2 : 1949-1955 - Exactly like the original Contax II, unsynchronised
Kiev-2A: 1956-1958 - As Kiev 2 but with added flash synchronisation. New face plate egraved Latin under Cyrillic.
Kiev-3 Type 1, Kiev 3 Type 2 (New face plate egraved Latin under Cyrillic):1952-1955 - With meter, exactly like the original Contax III
Kiev-3A .....1956-1958 - As Kiev 3 but with added flash synchronisation
Kiev-4 Type 1, Type 2 (Updated self timer)1957-1979 - As 3A but lower meter & controls, small rewind knob
Kiev-4A Type 1, Type 2 (Updated self timer) 1956-1980 - As 2A but with film speed reminder dial
Kiev-4AM .....1980-1987 - As 4A but of more modern appearance
Kiev-4M .....1977-1987 - As 4 but of more modern appearance
Kiev-5 .....1968-1973 - A new camera ment more to save the the rangefinder to act as a transition from the randefinder to the SLR that were being introduced. The body was inlarged an the exposure meter was styled into the top plate. A new film advance lever replaced the film knob but shutter speeds remained the same and in the lever. The shutter is the same as the Kiev 4m.


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