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Kiev 4M

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by steveandthedogs, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    I've just bought a 4M 1982 with the Helios 103 for £25, it is in beautiful cosmetic condition, the shutter is a bit lazy at slow speeds.

    Question: anyone think it may be worth getting it serviced [Ed Trzoska?] or just use as is and risk it collapsing into a heap of little metal bits?

    As an aside, I'm getting worried, starting to like Soviet rangefinders. Is there a cure?

    peterba likes this.
  2. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Buying a Leica rangefinder instead might be a cure, but at a price.
    ascu75 and steveandthedogs like this.
  3. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    Use it - and get it fixed when it fails.
  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I suspect work on the shutter could cost many times what you paid for it...
    Equally, shutters that are a bit "sticky" can improve with use, so try it.

    I rather like quite a few of the Soviet rangefinders. I think my FED 2 has the purest rangefinder experience of all cameras I've used - no meter, no slow speeds, but a decent rangefinder, a nice enough lens, and a workable viewfinder. I'm also very fond ot the Zorki 4k.
    Phiggys and steveandthedogs like this.
  5. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Rights, general opinion seems to be use until...

    Thank you, gentlemen, will do.

    Nick - know what you mean about the Fed 2. Got one with a dead shutter tape, will get around to stripping it one day. Or buy another when I wreck it even more.

  6. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Don't ask me, Steve. I bought a Zorki 4k about ten years ago - for the J-8 that was attached. My firm intention was to sell/give away the Zorki, and keep the lens. Needless to say, I still have both. :oops:
    Phiggys and steveandthedogs like this.
  7. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    I have a lot of Russian cameras ( well Ukrainian actually ) and almost all of mine work just fine .
    Well , you can't expect 100% !
    I've been on holiday this week and took along my medium format Kiev 88 ( the Hasselbladski ), so hopefully all should be well after I replaced the light seals in the film backs .
    Word of warning ; ALWAYS wind the shutter on to the next frame before adjusting the shutter speed . OR the camera might DIE !!!!!!!!!!! maybe even explode ...........
  8. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    I briefly owned a FED rangefinder - I paid very little for it, as the shutter wind didn't work. Setting the rewind to "advance" fixed that. I adjusted the rangefinder, shot a short test film, and sold it.

    My first real camera was a Zenit 3m. I have a working one of those, as well as various Zenit Bs and Es, some of which work.
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  9. ascu75

    ascu75 Well-Known Member

    I must say that would be my route. There are so many on ebay you can buy several and still be in pocket over a Lieca I am strugglling to find a Olymppuus 35 SP at a reasonable price, f they get much moore expensive the Lieca willl look like a cheaper option
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  10. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I like the Kiev rangefinders. The older they are the closer to the original Contaxes.
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  11. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    Indeed. I have a rather large collection, including about forty from 1948-1952. The trouble is the original Contax shutter is so complicated as " liberated ' parts dried up and former Zeiss technicians were shipped off to the Gulags things just declined.

    Here are some of them.

    [​IMG]by Brian Tompkins, on Flickr
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  12. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member


    BTW, do you have a copy of this? I had a copy, when I had my old Zenit 3m, but it went missing years ago. May check out the used listings and see about replacing it. For old time's sake...
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  13. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    Yes I do. I used to have a very close connection with Hove Photo.

    But in fact it isn't very good on the earlier cameras. Basically because so little information is available. The Soviet authorities were/are so very secretive.
    ascu75 likes this.
  14. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    why so many ?
  15. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    I do like the way the Leicalike (I'm assuming so as it's in with all the Kievs) in the top row sticks out because it's black and brass instead of nickel/chrome and black.
  16. ascu75

    ascu75 Well-Known Member

    one on eBay 4.99 free post,
  17. ascu75

    ascu75 Well-Known Member

    Hmm that is the question many collectors get asked. o_O X Don
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  18. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    Because I collect " in depth" For instance with the earlier cameras there are four different styles of engraving. The camera nameplates show the name "KIEV", with older cameras using "КИЕВ" (in Russian language) or "КИЇВ" (in Ukrainian language)[1] in Cyrillic. The latter being rather rare and a two fingers up to the Ukrainians Soviet masters. It caused all sorts of problems. I have identified eight different types of numbering etc etc.....

    And if you think that's a bit anal you should see my stamp collection ;)

    But don't get me started, I could write a book on early Kievs. The whole story behind this camera is fascinating.
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  19. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    What do you think the lock-down time is for? Get on and do it!

    If it's not too expensive, I may even buy a copy...
    neilt3 likes this.
  20. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    I once wondered why anyone collected, but thanks to collectors, after all that is what museums are, we have a history.

    Oh, I collect first day covers, Astronomy :) :)

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