View Full Version : Russian copies

11-04-2004, 13:09
I've been doing some reading on the internet lately about the Kiev (Contax copies) and Zorki (Leica copies). Due to transplanting the Zeiss factory to Kiev (guess how they named the cameras!!) at least the early Kievs seem to have been virtually as good as Contaxes themselves had been before World War II.

Does anyone out there have experience with these cameras - both Kiev and Zorki, or either one of them? At least for display purposes, they would sure be a lot less expenseive, even on e-bay or whatever, than real Contaxes or old Leicas.

Buying out-of-country on e-bay can work pretty well. I recently bought an Exakta VX1000 (about the last real classic Exakta model) from a guy in Czech Republic. It's in real decent shape, and certainly doesn't look close to 50 years old. It had been CLA'd prior to my purchasing it. It came with an f2.8 Tessar lens, and I have an older model VX with the f2 Biotar. Since both cameras have waist-level finders, now I'm sort of looking for an eye-level one (They were interchangeable.)

11-04-2004, 13:26
Both Kievs and Zorkis can be very good cameras. I have better experience with Kievs, though. Also prefer Kievs, although I miss nice and big RF/VF window of my Zorki 4. Kievs are "smoother" to operate and seem to be less prone to "Russian roulette" - i.e. you have more chances of getting a good working sample.

11-04-2004, 14:28
I did quite a bit of reading and research before going with a Kiev 4a. The cameras, even with Soviet QC, just seem to be better overall. I also purchased mine from Fedka to help with getting a good one.

It's a wonderful, beautiful and fun camera. I certainly consider it some of the best "bang for buck" out there.