The last model of Arsenal Factory’s Kiev line of Contax clones, the Kiev 4M remains a popular rangefinder camera among Soviet camera fans up to the present. Find out more about this analogue beauty in this installment of Lomopedia!
Produced by Arsenal Factory in Kiev, Ukraine between 1976 – 1987, the Kiev 4M remains a popular camera for analogue lovers and Soviet camera collectors/enthusiasts. This 35mm rangefinder camera was the last Russian copy of the Zeiss Contax III produced by Arsenal during the Soviet Era. The “M” in its name signifies that it was modified and modernized from the previous version. Upgrades include a new self-timer, hotshoe, new rewind fold-away lever, and an improved shutter speed dial that made reading and operating easier. There were 5 types and 5 sub-types made for this rangefinder camera.
Technical Specifications: (for Type 4 produced from 1979 to 1980)
- Lens: Jupiter-8M (ЮРИТЕП-8M), 53mm f/2 standard lens (or Helios-103 53mm f1.8)
- Mount: Contax bayonet mount
- Aperture: f/2 – f/22
- Focus range: 0.9m to infinity
- Filter thread: 40.5mm, 42mm slip-on
- Lens release: By a lever behind the lens
- Focusing: Match the rangefinder images, via lens ring or via a wheel in the right-front of the top plate
Locks on infinity, unlocking via a small knob just behind the focusing wheel
- Shutter: Focal plane slotted type with hinged metal curtains, vertically travelling
- Cocking knob: Also winds the film, it should be turned as far as to lock
- Speeds: 2-1/1000 +B, setting dial on the cocking knob, pull-out and turn
- Viewfinder: Coupled viewfinder / rangefinder
- Eyepiece: Large and very bright
- Exposure meter: Uncoupled high-sensitive small-size selenium photo-electric exposure meter, w/ a lid on its window
- Exposure setting: Matching needle and black diamond mark in the window, w/ 2 and 4 EV multiplier numbers; Adjusts via a complex dial knob around the re-winding lever; Shows GOST (ROCT) scale & aperture & speed scales
- Others: Hot-shoe; Flash sync. 1/25 or slower; Self- timer: Tripod socket 1/4 inch; Strap lugs
- Back cover: Removable, with the base plate, opens via the lock keys on the base plate
- Weight: 771g with Jupiter-8
- Serial no. in the hot-shoe, the first two digits show the production year
Check out the user manual for Kiev 4M and 4AM here.