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

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Kiev, reccomend me one?
Old 05-13-2014   #1
B-9
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Kiev, reccomend me one?

I've just posted a wanted ad earlier this afternoon for a Kiev II.
While I was at it, I've been Browsing eBay for a decent deal.

So come my first questions,
Are there any particularly reccomended sellers?
What's a good price (assuming as is) for a model II/IIa?
Do many of these cameras suffer from improper frame spacing?

From my searching I've found that model designations are pretty loose, as it seems many have been assembled or repaired from various parts from different cameras over time.

Ide really like a camera with the classic 1st style rewind knob, but I wouldn't mind having a PC socket either. Any notable difference in construction/quality in the later models?

Or you can just brag about how nice your camera is, and I'll just keep drooling
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Old 05-13-2014   #2
tunalegs
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Here is my personal experience: I would not pay money for one of these cameras without inspecting it in person and shooting a test roll. They're not worth anything unless they are in your hands and working.
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Old 05-13-2014   #3
Austintatious
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Fedka has a couple on his store website. He is a good seller. Takes returns if you are not happy.
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Old 06-01-2014   #4
samsnch
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Quote:
Are there any particularly reccomended sellers?
I'd go for Fedka, even though I haven't bought either of my Kievs from him. Good seller, accepts returns, and also tests and CLAs the cameras. Personally, I'll recommend Vlad from Soviet Camera Store as that's where I bought my 4A, which curiously uses the old-style Kiev II self-timer lever even if it was made in '82. But as what tunalegs said, better get one that you have tested and inspected in person.

Quote:
What's a good price (assuming as is) for a model II/IIa?
Prices vary depending on the quality or if it has been CLA'd. I can't give a number but usually it varies from $30 to $200.

Quote:
Do many of these cameras suffer from improper frame spacing?
The Kievs that I both have (a 4AM and 4A) did suffer from frame spacing issues, but for some reason they were gone after shooting with them everyday. I'd say mileage may vary with this one.

Quote:
Any notable difference in construction/quality in the later models?
Between the two Kievs, there is no significant difference in build quality. They both feel solid and tank-like. But I'm curious to as why the 4AM feels lighter than the 4A.
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Old 06-02-2014   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
Here is my personal experience: I would not pay money for one of these cameras without inspecting it in person and shooting a test roll. They're not worth anything unless they are in your hands and working.
Here is my personal experience: paid 16 pounds,e bay purchase, works fine , always has, some inconsistency in frame spacing. Fun camera to use.
So there you have two anecdotes. Both worthless.
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Old 06-02-2014   #6
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As per the above suggestions, either buy one you can try out and possibly return or has some sort of warranty OR buy it cheaply and accept you may need to buy more than one to get one that works properly.

Like all old cameras, condition and any warranty are worth more worry than which exact model to go for. Saying that, it's generally believed that older is better (subject to condition etc, as above) since they were better made. Meterless models are considered more attractive and the meter often doesn't work or is wildly inaccurate on those that have one.

I have only 2 Kievs, a 4 that was my father's and has never been serviced and a 4A bought as a "random" Ebay purchase. The meter doesn't work on the 4 but it is otherwise working just fine, although I don't use it much. The 4A has had some lubrication work on the winder gear-train. Neither of them has more than very minor frame-spacing variation.

Frame-spacing can vary on Kievs, it's a known issue but it can usually be fixed fairly easily.
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