Let me introduce my latest purchase: a beautiful and very silent Soviet camera, the Kiev 4 (AM version).
Here’s my usual review of a Russian rangefinder that has marked the history. The Kiev 4.
Built in the 50 factories of Arsenal Kiev, Ukraine, these beautiful metal cameras are considered the copy of the most expensive Contax (more or less like the FED and Zorki, Leica considered imitations of). But Kiev are far more than copies. They are closely related with the Contax. At the end of the Second World War, the Russians took as compensation for war, the Zeiss factory in Dresden and moved to Kiev, Arsenal the factories, where the first cameras were produced, continuing what Zeiss Ikon started.
The Kiev 4 Am in my possession, was produced especially in the ’80s and the main differences from the Kiev 4 are the absence of a selenium cell, reducing the shutter speed to 1/1000 and the spool winding drive.
It may be accompanied by a Jupiter-8m lens 50mm f: 2 or a Helios 103 f: 1.8, pitch bayonet, which then allows the use of more expensive Contax lenses.
The trigger mechanism is really quiet and then allows you to take photos of people and animals in peace. The lens (in my case the Jupiter 8M) is very bright and gives nice colors.
A little hard knob winding of the roller which is also the same time. I prefer in this case the Zorki 4m with its loading lever rapid.
When it arrived, I did not lose time and looked for a film to load in it. The choice fell on Lomography Redscale XR 50 – 200 which I pulled at, like, 50 ISO. You know, as a test roll might be better to use a normal color negative in order to test the colors, but I wanted to be daring.
I shot an entire roll in a nice sunny day in my city in the company of two of my dear friends. Unfortunately, however, taken by the heat, I was not informed of how to rewind the film once it is finished. And then, I made a nice damage. Improvising a rewind, I inevitably broke the film. So I had to put everything in a dark room (which was actually not so dark) and I had to rewind it all by hand…but… the results were wonderful all the same. Even if the photos came burnt, I liked them to death!
REWINDING TO THE ROLLER: Just turn the release lever on the left of the back and place it at the yellow dot. You’re done!
Later, I tried a Lomography X-Pro Slide 200, a beautiful slide film that, if cross-processed, gives very nice yellowish tones (especially if slightly underexposed). Also in this case, the pictures were satisfying!
Here are some pictures:
Now, some technical features:
MODEL: KIEV 4 AM
LENS: Jupiter 8M 50 mm f: 2
SHUTTER SPEEDS: B from 1sec to 1/1000
FLASH: hotshoe (you can use the flash lomography)
IMPORTANT: Never change shutter speeds without first arming the shutter!
Truly a beautiful camera among other things a little lighter than the Fed and Zorki, surely, it’s worth trying!