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 Are Kievs dependable?
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John Demastrie
uccmmcpo

USA
92 Posts
Posted - Dec 14 2007 :  07:42:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I originally was under the assumption that the Kievs were a notable step up from Zorki and Fed but from what I been reading the Kievs are poorly crafted with regards to workmanship and quality of materials used, especially in the later models.
If it wasn`t for the reasonable price I`d be having second thoughts with my purchase.
My 4 Zorks and Fed 2C work quite well and seem consistant and predictable. Is the Kiev going to be much different or am I reading too much into the negative remarks?
Comments from Kiev users would be appreciated.
Regards,
John

Edited by - uccmmcpo on Dec 14 2007 07:43:11 AM

Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4248 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Dec 14 2007 :  10:30:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The Contax line and the Kiev 17, 19,20 are great and solid..

the Hasselblad copies are quite craptacular unless you seriously service them before use.

I love my Kiev 6C though! It's an amazing camera... the 60TTL that I have seems not to be as good.. I'm having film sprocket issues, frames overlap a few mm, and I heard it's a common problem on those, probably on 6C as well, but mine is perfect.

The 15 and 10 I don't like because the Automatic modes fail quite often on most of those cameras I got my hands on.

The Vega line I've never used, they seem like cool toys to me, just sit and look pretty on my shelf, but mechanically seem good.

Just my subjective opinion. I'm sure you're hear a lot of opposite ones as well

Vlad.
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Michel
France
217 Posts
Posted - Dec 14 2007 :  11:35:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Peter Hennig in his article "Kiev rangefinders" quotes the assmuption of a swedish seller of russian cameras saying : "This is not a soviet camera, it is a german camera made in the soviet union."
Surely, first Kievs were very well crafted, (put aside a Contax and a Kiev 1949) and assembled with (at least partly) german parts from Zeiss, and supervision of german engineers.
But, time passing, and directives of the "Plans" being very insistent (quantity more than quality) some years of manufacturing seem to be avoided.
As far as I know…
Michel.
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John Demastrie
uccmmcpo
USA
92 Posts
Posted - Dec 14 2007 :  2:03:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey, Thanks for the comments guys. Actually I don`t want to sound like a whiner since I`ve been pretty fortunate to get all good working copies of my FSU`s so far and chances are that the Kiev I have coming will work too since it came from a reputable seller. You know how it is when you are looking forward to receiving another FSU. Kinda like rolling the dice? heh,heh,heh.

John
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4248 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Dec 14 2007 :  2:09:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It's all mostly about the seller, if you they know what to look for in each camera, you need not worry.. If you got it from Alex or Fedka.com, I haven't had a single problem with using any of those camera... there are a few more that I trust, you can check the reviews in the resources section of this site and maybe post your own experiences as well.. it's very helpful if member here share that information as well.. I know we're been pretty heavily concentrated on populating the catalog but buying cameras is also important, the more info we have on sellers here, the safer our experience will become...
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BERRY alain
mermoz37
France
814 Posts
Posted - Dec 15 2007 :  05:53:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i possess many kiev whithout problems except Kiev 35 A (never reliable cameras)
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Ernesto L´Episcopo
ernestojl
Argentina
6 Posts
Posted - Dec 17 2007 :  07:51:35 AM  Show Profile  Click to see ernestojl's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I own a ´66 Kiev 4 working allright since then. Another one (´62) failed soon after purchasing it. I´m sure there is nothing quite critical, just old and dry grease inside, so this one is waiting for some spare time to put hands on it.

As a comparison, my ´37 Contax II performs (mechanically) the same as the Kievs, as loud as them and as quiet as both russian siblings.

There are slight differences between both cameras (Kiev and Contax), due to some minor changes in mechanical parts, or assembly procedure, but if properly lubed and serviced they will perform as expected.

As a rule, the older the Kiev, the best it is, as more care was taken during assembly and probably more original german parts were used. Not to mention than for some years quality was the target, not quantity.
IMO, any Kiev 4 made before 1970 is a good example and it´s price isn´t crazy.

Cheers

Ernesto

Kiev ´62 & ´66
Z1 ´55 & Z4 ´65
Some Jupiters too...

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