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

Hello, and a Kiev 4 vs 4am Question
Old 05-09-2019   #1
Glen851
Registered User
 
Glen851's Avatar
 
Glen851 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Western NC
Posts: 20
Hello, and a Kiev 4 vs 4am Question

Hi all, I joined the forum not long ago, and have since gotten hooked on FSU rangefinder cameras. I started with a nice FED 1, then FED 5V, both in excellent overhauled condition. Next came a FED 2, later model, hands down the best of these 3.

Now I picked up a Kiev 4am early 80s model. The shutter works crisply and accurately on 1k to 1/10, but intermittently on 1/5 + 1/2, each defaults to a 1/25-30ish speed sans clockwork sounds. Also, B sometimes fires with the clockwork, and sometimes without, weird??
Any ideas on a remedy? All in all quite usable.

Anyway, I am looking at a Kiev 4a circa 1972, and it seems most of my reseach shows that these are of a somewhat higher quality than later 4am models. Truth or fiction? Again, assuming proper working condition.

Thanks, and I really enjoy the forum.
Glen
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-09-2019   #2
nzeeman
Registered User
 
nzeeman's Avatar
 
nzeeman is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: belgrade
Age: 39
Posts: 1,196
well yes general consensus is that earlier the model the better camera... i have all generations and really 1951 is most silent and smooth...
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-09-2019   #3
wolves3012
Registered User
 
wolves3012's Avatar
 
wolves3012 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Wolverhampton, UK
Age: 62
Posts: 2,812
General opinion seems to be that the older the model, the better made most FSU cameras were. Unfortunately, there are rogues and outliers that will defy the generality. All you can really say is it's *likely* to be better, there is no guarantee. Also, remember that all of these cameras are quite old and were, originally, relatively cheap. As such, most owners aren't likely to have lavished them with servicing. Working condition and servicing are major factors.
__________________
Zorki: 1e (x2), 2C, 3M, 4, 4K, 5, 6
FED: NKVD, 1g, 2e
Kiev 4, 4A
Leica IIIC
Yashica Minister III
Zenith C, Zenit C, Zenit E
Minolta XG-M, XD-5
Nikon P50
Panasonic Lumix G2, 14-42 Kit lens + 45-150mm

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-09-2019   #4
Ko.Fe.
Kostya Fedot
 
Ko.Fe.'s Avatar
 
Ko.Fe. is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MiltON.ONtario
Posts: 7,195
My first was am. Everything worked after fixing light leaks.
Four crapped out on second film. Shutter ribbon broke in the middle.
Two was working but it was after two recent services.
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-09-2019   #5
pvita
Registered User
 
pvita is offline
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Leoben, Austria
Age: 41
Posts: 7
Glen, no matter what quality Kievs had, expect that after 30 and more years their mechanics will need some service. I can only recommend Mr. Oleg (https://okvintagecamera.com/) who provides service to Kievs.

I can just share my short story. I bought Kiev on eBay in Germany declared as working for €50,-. It had damaged shutter however. Contacted Oleg whos service would be around €100,-. Send the camera back to eBay seller and bought “new” serviced Kiev by Oleg for €50,-. I can imagine many had similar experience.

Edit: Regarding quality, most refer to following article: http://www3.telus.net/public/rpnchbck/zconrfKiev.htm

Last edited by pvita : 05-09-2019 at 21:20. Reason: Added link
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-10-2019   #6
David Hughes
David Hughes
 
David Hughes's Avatar
 
David Hughes is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7,412
I wonder about these posts; I own 2 or 3 cameras that I know about because I've had them for decades and others have, no doubt, similar experience of one or two. Being mine they've been, more or less, kept working with checks and repairs and so on. So despite their age the mechanism is in place, adjusted and properly lubricated. In other words as new...

I've other elderly cameras that I've bought on ebay, checked and then sent off to the experts and they are now as new...

But not everyone does this, especially if the camera is only a "young" one; as in 20 or 30 years old.

So that might just explain why old ones are seen as good and newer ones seen as not so good.

The trouble is you've no way of knowing the camera's history when you buy it and the rumours start and so on. And these forums make it pretty obvious that people buy cameras from all over the place and expect them to be perfect out of the bashed, battered and torn box.

Anyway, that's just my tuppence worth; it applies to Leicas and Contaxes as well as to FEDs and Kievs..

Regards, David
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-10-2019   #7
pvita
Registered User
 
pvita is offline
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Leoben, Austria
Age: 41
Posts: 7
I do have limited historical experience with that experiment called "real socialism" from former Czechoslovakia, so I can well follow the claim that older cameras can be expected to have higher build quality as younger ones.

The quality of products in real socialism declined over time in the absence of any market competition and quality control. People at late 80th went to work to sit it out and ideally to not to stir any attention to them. If you were pushing something aka showing initiative, you were often clasped over fingers.

Westerners can sadly relate to a similar issue over the concept of planned obsolescence. How many products suddenly died, as the declared warranty runs out? Especially nowadays...

Getting a gear on eBay is hit-and-miss. But even then it should not be a surprise that mechanical parts suffer wear and need service. No matter how old they are. Many eBayers claim that gear has CLA done, but often you will find they did it in good faith themselves without proper expertise and equipment.

Here we speak about the camera, but what about the quality of optics? How many people check the centralization and alignment of the glass and similar? What if the guy who sold me the eBay lens cleaned it itself and did more damage to it in the process without even knowing?

I guess there is a psychological barrier how much are people ready to invest. For example, I sent my Jupiter-8M from eBay (15,-) to service yesterday. I expect it will cost a few times more like the lens itself. Ask yourself, how much would you be ready to pay for it? 50,-? 100,-?
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-10-2019   #8
Glen851
Registered User
 
Glen851's Avatar
 
Glen851 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Western NC
Posts: 20
Thanks, everyone, for the input and responses.
All my FSU camera purchases have been made through deaalers with thousands of transactions and 100% positive ebay ratings. Still, I realize stuff happens. This Kiev was a recent purchase along with the FED 2. I had read somewhere that the Kiev 4am had some similar shutter problems (on someone's camera anyway) but I thought I would take a chance on the camera as the seller seemed reputable, and I paid a price which appeared to be in line with quality examples. Still...ya never know!
__________________
FED 1g,
FED 2c Grn body
FED 5v
Kiev 4a
Zorki 1-1950
Zorki 4-1958
Voigtlander Vito B
Konica Auto S2
Zeiss 521/16
Kodak Duo 620
Nikon Ftn
Olympus Om1
Fujica ST801
Fuji X-Pro 1 (2)
Leica D-Lux 109
Panasonic LF-1

Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at Change!
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-16-2019   #9
Glen851
Registered User
 
Glen851's Avatar
 
Glen851 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Western NC
Posts: 20
Just an update: I contacted the seller regarding the shutter speed problems and he issued a refund. I emailed him the USPS shipping alternatives which were $37 - $67! He replied, and told me to just keep the camera. So....naturally, after playing with the machine a bit more the shutter completely crapped out!
At least I didn't waste my time and the expense of shooting a good roll of film.
I think I am sticking with my FED 2s! Love those little guys.
__________________
FED 1g,
FED 2c Grn body
FED 5v
Kiev 4a
Zorki 1-1950
Zorki 4-1958
Voigtlander Vito B
Konica Auto S2
Zeiss 521/16
Kodak Duo 620
Nikon Ftn
Olympus Om1
Fujica ST801
Fuji X-Pro 1 (2)
Leica D-Lux 109
Panasonic LF-1

Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at Change!
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-17-2019   #10
David Hughes
David Hughes
 
David Hughes's Avatar
 
David Hughes is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7,412
Hi,


Don't scrap the Kiev but send it to Oleg* and get it sorted out. That way you'll get a good Kiev for a very low price...


Regards, David




*http://okvintagecamera.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-17-2019   #11
Brambling
Registered User
 
Brambling is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Ukraine, Kharkov
Posts: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvita View Post
I do ...
A good the text, agree with his thoughts remains ready.
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-17-2019   #12
Glen851
Registered User
 
Glen851's Avatar
 
Glen851 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Western NC
Posts: 20
I'm not sure what I will do with the "dead" Kiev 4am. I'm waiting for delivery of a 1972 model 4a. Again, purchased from a reputable dealer in Ukraine. He actually sent a video of the camera in operation, after I purchased it, so I'm looking forward to another experience.
__________________
FED 1g,
FED 2c Grn body
FED 5v
Kiev 4a
Zorki 1-1950
Zorki 4-1958
Voigtlander Vito B
Konica Auto S2
Zeiss 521/16
Kodak Duo 620
Nikon Ftn
Olympus Om1
Fujica ST801
Fuji X-Pro 1 (2)
Leica D-Lux 109
Panasonic LF-1

Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at Change!
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-17-2019   #13
David Hughes
David Hughes
 
David Hughes's Avatar
 
David Hughes is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7,412
On the other hand, I have sold a few dead cameras on ebay as "Useless" and find that a bidding war is often started.


Either way you decide, I'll wish you luck.


Regards, David
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-17-2019   #14
Glen851
Registered User
 
Glen851's Avatar
 
Glen851 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Western NC
Posts: 20
I hear ya, David! I've been checking out who's watching and what's selling on Ebay. The Helios lens seems like it would sell.
After checking the Kiev Survival Site, I'm tempted to try to figure out the problem. The big question is, do I want the aggravation?
__________________
FED 1g,
FED 2c Grn body
FED 5v
Kiev 4a
Zorki 1-1950
Zorki 4-1958
Voigtlander Vito B
Konica Auto S2
Zeiss 521/16
Kodak Duo 620
Nikon Ftn
Olympus Om1
Fujica ST801
Fuji X-Pro 1 (2)
Leica D-Lux 109
Panasonic LF-1

Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at Change!
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-17-2019   #15
Huss
Registered User
 
Huss is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 7,508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen851 View Post
I'm not sure what I will do with the "dead" Kiev 4am. I'm waiting for delivery of a 1972 model 4a. Again, purchased from a reputable dealer in Ukraine. He actually sent a video of the camera in operation, after I purchased it, so I'm looking forward to another experience.
Was it yuriy.perfect on ebay?
I bought my pretty Kiev 4am from him, and he too made a video of it showing it works. Unfortunately that video did not reveal the light leaks...

And like you my Fed 2 is perfect! Love it. The Kiev may grow on me though but as a straight shooting camera the Fed just works great w/o dealing w/ such things as infinity focus lock nonsense, blocking the RF window using the serated wheel etc.
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-18-2019   #16
David Hughes
David Hughes
 
David Hughes's Avatar
 
David Hughes is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7,412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen851 View Post
I hear ya, David! I've been checking out who's watching and what's selling on Ebay. The Helios lens seems like it would sell.
After checking the Kiev Survival Site, I'm tempted to try to figure out the problem. The big question is, do I want the aggravation?

Hi,

You don't want the aggravation, honest.

I think people go for duds because they can play with them and find out things (like how cack handed they are and how they need the right tools) and you can get a lot of useful parts and still sell them on. I've had good lenses, spools and lots of little screws off of duds and sold them on. (And those little screws seem to be worth their weight in gold or platinum to go by other/new price lists.)

Anyway, I'll cross my fingers for you and add that going down the Contax path after owning and enjoying a Kiev or two can really make you tear your hair out.

Regards, David

PS And yes the FED 2's are brilliant and only equalled by the Zorki-6 imo. The FED and Zorki 1's are fun but those two are just great cameras with no frills.

Last edited by David Hughes : 05-18-2019 at 00:56. Reason: Finger trouble...
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-18-2019   #17
Glen851
Registered User
 
Glen851's Avatar
 
Glen851 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Western NC
Posts: 20
Huss, it was yuriy.perfect. I am aware that there may be light leaks on the Kiev. I've replaced the light seals and mirror pads on all my SLRs and other cameras, but I'm bracing myself for those potential challenges a Kiev 4 can present!

David, you're right about needing the right tools, physical AND mental! Being retired, I do have the time to fiddle with these things. And yes, whenever I pick up the FED 2 (and the OM-1 or Nikon F) I wonder what the hell I'm doing with all those other cameras!

Glen
__________________
FED 1g,
FED 2c Grn body
FED 5v
Kiev 4a
Zorki 1-1950
Zorki 4-1958
Voigtlander Vito B
Konica Auto S2
Zeiss 521/16
Kodak Duo 620
Nikon Ftn
Olympus Om1
Fujica ST801
Fuji X-Pro 1 (2)
Leica D-Lux 109
Panasonic LF-1

Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at Change!
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-18-2019   #18
David Hughes
David Hughes
 
David Hughes's Avatar
 
David Hughes is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7,412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen851 View Post
...David, you're right about needing the right tools, physical AND mental! Being retired, I do have the time to fiddle with these things. And yes, whenever I pick up the FED 2 (and the OM-1 or Nikon F) I wonder what the hell I'm doing with all those other cameras!

Glen

Hi,

I couldn't agree more; I wonder when people talk about character because - as I see it - a camera body and lens should be neutral and not get in the way of the photo making.

OTOH, it is fun to play with them but I wouldn't want to use them all the time. Usually I put a film in the fun ones and my interest fades about 3/4 of the way through the roll and then I have to keep reminding myself it's got a film in it. Not so with the OM's, their rivals and so on.

Regards, David
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-22-2019   #19
pvita
Registered User
 
pvita is offline
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Leoben, Austria
Age: 41
Posts: 7
Speaking about Kievs 4...

I like wide-angle lenses and have the itch to get something wider as Jupiter-12 (2.8/35). Orion-15 for Kiev is hard to find; I think there is a single piece on eBay worldwide at the moment. Thus I wonder if it would make sense to look for lenses like Tessar 8/28 from Topogon 4/25 from Jena, or lenses as Biogon 4.5/21 from Oberkochen. I know they are all rare, and prices will fluctuate a lot. But it makes a list of glass to look for longer.

Does anyone have experience with Contax RF lenses by Zeiss, either from East or West, mounted on Kiev 4?
  Reply With Quote

Old 05-22-2019   #20
Glen851
Registered User
 
Glen851's Avatar
 
Glen851 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Western NC
Posts: 20
Hi ,pvita. I don't have any experience with wide angle lenses for the Kiev. I suggest that you post this question as a new topic. You'll get more responses from better qualified users than I. I do know that without an auxiliary viewfinder your framing accuracy will be hit or miss.
__________________
FED 1g,
FED 2c Grn body
FED 5v
Kiev 4a
Zorki 1-1950
Zorki 4-1958
Voigtlander Vito B
Konica Auto S2
Zeiss 521/16
Kodak Duo 620
Nikon Ftn
Olympus Om1
Fujica ST801
Fuji X-Pro 1 (2)
Leica D-Lux 109
Panasonic LF-1

Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at Change!

Last edited by Glen851 : 05-22-2019 at 04:27. Reason: Mistype
  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 03:58.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, 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.