Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Classic Film RangeFinders & Other Classics > FSU Former Soviet Union RF

FSU Former Soviet Union RF This forum is for the Former Soviet Union rangefinder cameras, especially the many and various Fed, Zorki, and Kiev.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

TOE stories
Old 02-24-2017   #1
Philip Whiteman
Registered User
 
Philip Whiteman's Avatar
 
Philip Whiteman is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 156
TOE stories

I have two Kiev 4s - a 1981 4M my son bought for me in Russia and a 1978 4 that came from the local camera shop, Teddington Photographic. The 4M is in lovely condition, but suffered from light leaks and overlapping frames - problems I think I have now fixed.

The 4 is of course the previous and slightly more Contax-like model, but seems to function much more smoothly than the 4M: is this, I wonder, because it is an import that came in via British company TOE who, I read, had a phalanx of technicians employed in checking/rectifying the company's stock when it came into the UK brand new? Were export models a bit more carefully assembled or specially selected? Or is it that the 4M (which actually has some neat design improvements) was simply made on even more worn-out tooling than the 4?

There must be some ex-TOE people - or relatives and friends of TOE people - out there who have a story to tell!
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-24-2017   #2
Roger Hicks
Registered User
 
Roger Hicks is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Aquitaine
Posts: 23,424
Can't help with TOE -- my catalogue is in hiding -- but if it was sold by Wallace Heaton they would have put it through their own workshops. Was it new from Teddington, i.e. do you know its previous history?

Russian friends (serious photographers) have told me that QC on export cameras was more rigorous. Then again, one (official photographer to the Supreme Soviet) ordered a case of Horizonts in order to find a good one; chose the best; and even then, warned me when he lent it to me in Moscow to shoot at least two of anything important because of the risk of banding (jerky drum traverse).

Cheers,

R.
__________________
Go to www.rogerandfrances.eu for a whole new website
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-25-2017   #3
Philip Whiteman
Registered User
 
Philip Whiteman's Avatar
 
Philip Whiteman is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 156
I have no idea of its history, Roger - it was actually sat there as window dressing, with no price tag. I only asked to look at it to compare the take-up spool clutch setting with my malfunctioning 4M. When I discovered that it was basically in good working order, Steve readily agreed to... well, a very modest price for it. The assumption that it is likely to have been a TOE import is just that.

What I do know for certain is that the '78 4 winds on remarkably smoothly, whereas the 81 4M offers all the tactile delight of a pepper grinder. Still, it works and the rangefinder is spot-on. I have a new old-stock 1988 Jupiter 12 35mm/f2.8 from Ukraine and an apparently multi-coated 1961 J9 85/2 bought from a fellow Londoner, and both of these focus perfectly at full aperture and produce delightfully crisp images. With a turret finder from Peter Loy, the whole lot came in for under 250 - lots of rangefinder fun for the money!
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-25-2017   #4
Roger Hicks
Registered User
 
Roger Hicks is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Aquitaine
Posts: 23,424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Whiteman View Post
I have no idea of its history, Roger - it was actually sat there as window dressing, with no price tag. I only asked to look at it to compare the take-up spool clutch setting with my malfunctioning 4M. When I discovered that it was basically in good working order, Steve readily agreed to... well, a very modest price for it. The assumption that it is likely to have been a TOE import is just that.

What I do know for certain is that the '78 4 winds on remarkably smoothly, whereas the 81 4M offers all the tactile delight of a pepper grinder. Still, it works and the rangefinder is spot-on. I have a new old-stock 1988 Jupiter 12 35mm/f2.8 from Ukraine and an apparently multi-coated 1961 J9 85/2 bought from a fellow Londoner, and both of these focus perfectly at full aperture and produce delightfully crisp images. With a turret finder from Peter Loy, the whole lot came in for under 250 - lots of rangefinder fun for the money!
Dear Philip,

Indeed a lot of RF fun for the money. I suspect you're dealing with initial sample variation, perhaps exacerbated by declining QC standards (though my understanding was that they were already well on the decline by the 1970s), and most certainly exacerbated by the sheer age of the cameras and the widely varying treatment they are likely to have received over the decades.

Cheers,

R.
__________________
Go to www.rogerandfrances.eu for a whole new website
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-25-2017   #5
Ko.Fe.
Me. Write ESL. Ko.
 
Ko.Fe.'s Avatar
 
Ko.Fe. is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MiltON.ONtario
Age: 51
Posts: 4,945
4M has no improvements, but more plastic. Late Kiev models are known to be faulty strait from the Arsenal factory. But export models were selected more carefully and not just for cameras.
I started with 4AM, light leaks right away. Few years later tried 4A from 1966, everything worked fine for two rolls, then shutter stripes just broke into the peaces. Now I have 1950 II and it was in service in Kiev (2016) and before Oleg was servicing it. It is most used camera I ever have. Film plate is worn out and advance ring is brassing (it is tight to advance).
I'll get rid of it as well, after figuring out why it is scratching film.
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-25-2017   #6
xayraa33
rangefinder user and fancier
 
xayraa33's Avatar
 
xayraa33 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,150
The Kiev 4M and the 4AM were more "cheesely" constructed than the earlier series.

There is a point reached of the Soviet penchant of taking periodic shortcuts for consumer goods that will make a complex designed and engineered device completely non reliable and even non functional.
__________________
My Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 02-25-2017   #7
David Hughes
Registered User
 
David Hughes's Avatar
 
David Hughes is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 6,058
Hi,

They are a lot of RF for the money and I like the way they developed, up to a point. I'm thinking about the minor improvements they made at first like the Zorki 1's cable release being normal, the CZ Tessar versions with coatings; then there was the FED 2 and later on the Zorki 6 and there's the Jupiter 3 and 8 and so on.

OK, I know the Zorki 1 was never a TOE camera...

Regards, David
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 21:15.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.