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 Stuck rangefinder on Kiev 4A
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Chris
Prometheus_Spearmint

Lithuania
5 Posts
Posted - Jul 07 2020 :  12:24:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello everyone!

I recently became interested in analog photography. After doing quite a bit of research I decided to borrow a '59 Kiev 4A from my father to try out my photography skills. After a short course on the camera's operation I snapped a few pictures from a moderate distance, then close up - at the lens' smallest 0,9m range. Then when I tried to take a picture at range again I noticed that when trying to focus, the image in the small rangefinder rectangle of the viewfinder doesn't seem to be moving. It only only moves very slightly at 0,9m-0,95m focus, then it stops moving. I tried to be as gentle with the camera as possible since it is quite old (and maybe fragile), but it seems something malfunctioned.

My question is is there a way I could fix this myself or do I have to find a repair shop?

If I manage to get it fixed I might share my first ever pictures taken on film here Any assistance would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

jed
France
382 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 07 2020 :  1:11:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit jed's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello and welcome Chris !

Your camera is a valuable one. The issue with the rangefinder is not a big problem but you'll need to disassemble the camera to clean the parts pictured below. Try to play many times with the focusing mount, maybe it will help. If not, take a (good) screwdriver :)




http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/772020_DSCF8034.JPG

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Chris
Prometheus_Spearmint
Lithuania
5 Posts
Posted - Jul 07 2020 :  1:24:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Is there a way to reset the film back to its current position after I put it back in? I have taken only 5 shots out of 36, and film is quite expensive these days My guess would be to put it back in and take the same 5 pictures with the lens covered and then one more just to be sure that i won't get double exposure on the pictures that I have already taken.
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SteveA
United Kingdom
108 Posts
Posted - Jul 07 2020 :  3:18:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Chris, yes that will work - one extra frame will make sure of no double exposure.
http://tunnel13.com/blog/1937-zeiss-ikon-contax-ii-cla/ shows how to get the top cover off the Kiev/Contax and to remove the shutter mechanism. It is likely that the long thin finger which meets that lever in Jeds photo is stuck - you may be lucky and be able to get a needle down between the shutter mechanism and gently free it off. If not then you will need to remove the shutter mechanism from the camera. IMPORTANT: wind the shutter self-timer on before removing the mechanism to make sure the shutter mechanism engages properly with it when you put the mechanism back into the body.

Cheers,

Steve
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Chris
Prometheus_Spearmint
Lithuania
5 Posts
Posted - Jul 08 2020 :  06:09:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello again,

I visited a camera repair shop today. They offered to fix it for 35 euros and it would take 1.5 MONTHS!!!? The price is okay, but I never thought that demand would be this high! I guess I will try to (carefully) take it apart by following the guides on Kiev Survival Site and the link provided by Steve, I have experience disassembling and reassembling computers, how much different could a 60 year old Soviet camera be?

Edited by - Prometheus_Spearmint on Jul 08 2020 06:58:10 AM
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Chris
Prometheus_Spearmint
Lithuania
5 Posts
Posted - Jul 08 2020 :  12:19:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I tried taking the camera apart but ran into a problem. There was a drop of what my best guess is soldering metal stuck to the winding knob, which might indicate the camera was disassembled before, the screws were also rusted to all hell. I managed to gently loosen two of them, but the last one proved to be too powerful. I hope there is a way to get through it. I tried to put some paper/rubber between the screw and the screwdriver, but to no avail. If I attempt to force it more I'm afraid I'll completely strip the screw head, then I'll definitely be in trouble.
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jed
France
382 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 08 2020 :  2:44:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit jed's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello,

First, give you Kiev a good quality screwdriver not a cheap one. Try A little WD40 it will free up the srew.
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SteveA
United Kingdom
108 Posts
Posted - Jul 08 2020 :  2:46:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Chris it sounds to me like it has been subjected to a damp atmosphere, which along with the acids in the grease used in these cameras has caused some corrosion and screws to seize. I wonder if someone pushed a bit of solder into a stripped thread in the hopes the screw would catch on it.

If you get a hot soldering iron and apply it to the head of the seized screw so it gets nice and hot, you may be able to expand the screw and break the corrosion in the thread - worth a try as is a drop of penetrating oil on a paintbrush.

Steve
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Mael
Mael
France
16 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 09 2020 :  06:23:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mael's Homepage  Reply with Quote
http://www3.telus.net/public/rpnchbck/index.html

All you need to know for making your camera great again ! ^^
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Floppydog
3 Posts
Posted - Jul 09 2020 :  06:37:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Many thanks for the tip will have a look and hope that all goes well it will be nice to get going as a 3M was my first real camera
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Chris
Prometheus_Spearmint
Lithuania
5 Posts
Posted - Jul 09 2020 :  4:54:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Progress report: I managed to get to the rangefinder mechanism thanks to some WD-40. Thank you for the tip! The rangefinder mechanism is now fully functional! But sadly I have encountered another problem - It seems that at some point during the repair I moved the base of the winding knob and when I screw it back on it winds all the way up to "B", and only moves down to 5 when trying to change the timing. I also tried to play around with the timing, now it's all over the place. Now if I want to set the desired timing I have to twist the knob to the timing I need, shoot then wind it again to the same spot. It doesn't stop automatically like it used to.
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SteveA
United Kingdom
108 Posts
Posted - Jul 11 2020 :  02:32:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sounds like you have accidentally disturbed the little coiled spring which operates a lever that fits into a cutout in the shutter winding mechanism. If this spring is disturbed you will get this problem. Remove the top cover and you will see it right by the edge of the camera - it goes from a little post across to the lever. When you wind the shutter this lever engages into the cutout in the brass disc and stops the winder once the shutter is wound. When you press the shutter to release, it springs away from the cutout so you can wind on again.

Steve
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SteveA
United Kingdom
108 Posts
Posted - Jul 11 2020 :  02:34:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
.. In fact you can see the spring in this image: http://www3.telus.net/public/rpnchbck/the%20ba3.jpg
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