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Kiev 4M – 35mm - Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist
abmann
abmann
Kiev 4M – 35mm



Kiev 4M – 35mm, originally uploaded by ABMann.

Russian Spy! I captured it whilst it lurked on my stoop.

Seven years after the launch of the Leica 1 at the Leipzig Fair, Carl Zeiss announced the first Contax, a 35mm camera with a coupled rangefinder. 1932 also saw the launch of the Leica II featuring a rangefinder.

The Contax was larger, heavier and more expensive than the Leica, but great resolving power and high contrast of the 5cm Tessar, later 5cm Sonnar and majority of the different focal length objectives produced for the system in the 1930s and 40s found favour with many professionals. The camera was manufactured in Dresden with lenses produced at Jena.

At the end of WWII, the Soviet Red Army liberated the Dresden factory and trucked – under the war reparations scheme – the dies and machinery used to make the Zeiss camera to the Kiyev Zavod Arsenal in the Ukraine. By 1947, a modified Contax II camera was in production with a new name; Kiev-2.

This is the Kiev 4M.

I am quite pleased with the overall quality of this camera, purchased on eBay while sick and in a slightly drunk euphoria. It is solid, heavy and not remotely worn. The shutter sounds great though slow on faster than 1/125. I don’t think it’ll be too bad but we’ll see what bright-light photos look like.

Also, the lens is a touch loose in the mount such that when focusing to .9m, the whole lens turns off center. Not so good but functional or easily replaced with a better-quality lens – perhaps a Zeiss Contax 35mm one. The 50mm included in the kit is incredibly solid and well fitting, which is nice.

Included in the purchased kit:
- Black Kiev 4M Camera Body
- Normal Lens – Helios-103 1.8/53mm
- Kiev Leather Ever-ready Camera Case
- Wide Angle Lens – Jupiter-12 2.8/35mm in case
- Clear Filter
- Polarizer Filter for Rangefinder camera in case
- Square Lens Hood
- Universal Turret Viewfinder in case
- Small Flash – Electronica FE-26 with hot shoe and PC sync connector
- Hot Shoe Adapter with tripod mount and PC sync connector
- Small table tripod for Flash
- Two PC to PC sync cables
- Original clamp type camera pod with ballhead and corkscrew adapter in case
- Manual for the camera in Russian and English translation from internet.
- Camera Bag

Good deal for what I paid.


Kiev 4M

Kiev 4M

Yes. I loaded film in it already.

20 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
tyskkvinna From: tyskkvinna Date: January 5th, 2011 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
omg. envyyyyyy
abmann From: abmann Date: January 5th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
There are tons of Kiev's on eBay. :) But now I must collect the line. So.. race ya!?

Or are you envying my quick-n'-dirty lightbox? Or the universal turret? I've been wanting one of them for a while...

tyskkvinna From: tyskkvinna Date: January 5th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I desperately want to go ebay hunting but I am super-broke this month. MUST NOT SHOPPPPPPPPPP
abmann From: abmann Date: January 5th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee. Yeah, don't drink and search. That's what got me.
zesty_pinto From: zesty_pinto Date: January 5th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
All right, one question: what is the revolver barrel supposed to be?

Should I also expect to see you buying the old Zeiss Ikon pieces as well? I have some that are M42, but it wouldn't surprise me if there's some that work for that type of Contax mount, if it does use that specifically. Can't go wrong with 11+ blades in your glass.
abmann From: abmann Date: January 5th, 2011 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's a universal rangefinder. Remember that RF cameras don't focus through the lens. RF camera rangefinders are always 50mm so if you use a non-50mm lens, what you compose in the focus window won't be what the lens actually captures. The turret has has a lens for most common focal lengths available to range finger cameras.

In this case, I'm good for 12, 35, 50, 85, 100 and 135mm lenses which are the most common lenses available.

It is also just cool to look at.

I don't expect to be buying any Contax cameras until I win the lottery!
zesty_pinto From: zesty_pinto Date: January 5th, 2011 04:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
A pity it's not five years ago when most of the good Ikon pieces could be had for a twenty or so a pop. It's scary how some of the obscure lenses are starting to regain value these days.

In the meantime, I'll have to keep my fingers crossed that I encounter an influx of unwanted Leica-R lenses so I can Leitax it.
world_rim_walke From: world_rim_walke Date: January 5th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hee.

Your camera has a turret.
abmann From: abmann Date: January 5th, 2011 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hee.

NUH-UH!
world_rim_walke From: world_rim_walke Date: January 5th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hee.

Uh huh!
zesty_pinto From: zesty_pinto Date: January 5th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hee.

He won't admit it because he's already jury-rigged a speed loader into it, I bet.
zesty_pinto From: zesty_pinto Date: January 5th, 2011 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
DUMB. I meant the Jena models, not Ikon. It would only be appropriate that 80 year old optical formulas that went to the USSR grace equally old cameras like that.
abmann From: abmann Date: January 5th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, no. I don't intend to collect the German cameras outside of eventually the Leica models - see lottery comment above. They don't hold the same mystique for me as the reparation/knock-off versions do.

That said, I will not look a gift-Leica in the mouth. :)
alyska From: alyska Date: January 5th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, oddly enough, I was taken by an Ernemann folding camera whose lens came from Dresden when we were at an antique mall in Ohio on Sunday. Sadly, I could not afford to get it (though it was a steal!)

It was an Ernemann Heag XI, from about 1918. I'm having a bitch of a time finding information on it, as it wasn't the Tropen model made out of teak wood (if only,) but instead a black leather model.
abmann From: abmann Date: January 5th, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
That teak one is rather lovely. What is it about bellows cameras that you like so much?

Have you ever seen any Graphlex around? I swear no one is giving them up.
alyska From: alyska Date: January 5th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Simple, mechanical, and it gave me something to stick with to limit my collecting (finding bellows without light leaks has proven somewhat difficult, and I require all of the cameras I collect to be functional.)

I've found one or two graphlex about, but they're rare, and most were through other photogs I know -- they're still on the spendy end of things for my tastes, though I'd love to get my hands on one.

I'd really love a rollei at some point, but I should probably start shooting with my duaflex some more first.
abmann From: abmann Date: January 5th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have never seen you with your bellows cameras! You should rock a roll this weekend.
alyska From: alyska Date: January 5th, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I need to locate some 120 film first, and then re-rolling it onto 620 spools. (Yes, this mostly requires just getting out and doing so, I know..)

Silly Kodak, and discontinuing their proprietary film sizes..
abmann From: abmann Date: January 5th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I believe you can get them pre-rolled at Pop Deluxe or Urban Outfitters on State now because of some new Lomo product that takes the 620 spool. Think: you should probably verify.
zesty_pinto From: zesty_pinto Date: January 6th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Semi offtopic here, but wanted to know if you knew about this too:

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