Kiev 4 - You Can't Go Wrong With It


If you want a rangefinder camera with lots of features like bulb mode, high speed shooting and accurate focusing, you need a Kiev.

I bought my Kiev 4 two months ago. I’ve been shooting in black & white for years but I wanted some really old look effect for a trip to Warsaw. The thing is that my SLR cameras are pretty good for sharp and contrasted images, but this time I wanted a specific noise and low-contrast. You know, that 30’s movie thing. Of course, I’m not rich and I don’t even dare saying words like Voigtländer or Hasselblad.

So I bought a Kiev, a pack of Rollei Retro 100, a Jupiter-12 lens and started shooting.

Ok, this is a big and heavy camera and you have to shoot with the “contax hold” (with your middle finger in the focusing wheel), so probably you can find something more practical for your everyday camera. But if you are planning a trip to a city like Chicago, Warsaw or Berlin where this old look fits perfectly, you can’t go wrong with a Kiev.

The focusing is really accurate (with its 9cm rangefinder base) and the shutter surprisingly quiet. You can shoot from B, 1/2 to 1/1000 and the viewfinder and rangefinder are in the same window.

Check out the images to see the results. The lens was a really good choice. You don’t need a Jupiter-12 with a Kiev – the 50 f1.8 is really great for general purpose, but think about getting one for this kind of city photos or landscapes. I paid 40$ for mine. The photos are pretty sharp and clear with a nice unfocused vignette and, of course, the beautiful noise of Rollei Retro film.

I’m really happy with my Kiev. it’s amazing that you can get such a good camera at this price.

9cm rangefinder base
Viewfinder and rangefinder together
Contax mount

It weighs a lot, I mean it.
low contrast (but this can be a PRO either)

written by kekoponte on 2009-10-09 in #reviews #rangefinder #kiev-4


  1. zark
    zark ·

    really stunning gallery

  2. deeseeohecks
    deeseeohecks ·

    #7 = mmmm

  3. dogma
    dogma ·

    Great camera, great gallery!

  4. stouf
    stouf ·

    All great shots ! Congrats !

  5. vikotelo
    vikotelo ·

    Oh I just recently shot my first roll of film with a Kiev (luckily my dad had one) and I'm in love! I put in a normal fuji 200 and I was surpised how sharp and contrasted the photos came.

  6. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    True, a fantastic camera! And a stunning gallery (n°!!)

  7. babo
    babo ·

    I was thinking about getting one of these for my collection... Did anyone ever tell you how evil you are? You look just like the devil himself (or herself :P ) tempting me with all those beautifull pictures... Now I have to get a Kiev for myself! My bank account can`t handle the strain!!

    Loved the gallery ;)

  8. kekoponte
    kekoponte ·

    Thanks everybody! Actually these images are directly from the lab and they sharpen the images too much, the noise is horrible.

    I'm scanning this negatives at home these days and the results are much better.

  9. panelomo
    panelomo ·

    love russian cameras!

  10. phantomphoenixphotos
    phantomphoenixphotos ·

    The first photo is so good. I could almost smell the place (although I haven't been there.)

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