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 No name Kiev Contax first version 1963

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nightphoto Posted - Jul 27 2008 : 9:47:04 PM

Thanks for adding the first version of this camera to the WIKI. I have re-titled the entry I made to read "Second Version" so the differences between them are more clear.

Regards, Bill

7   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
stephanvdz Posted - Mar 23 2020 : 08:18:27 AM
my 63 no name as been stolen (with the lens) (serial numbers are those of the camera presented and pictured in the wiki)
, if anyone sees them coming on the market... please contact me

stephanvdz Posted - Dec 11 2008 : 09:04:34 AM
anyway my version is really smooth working, and finished to a very high standard... including the speed dial engravings and so on... there is something different although it's really a kiev.
Could any one give me a 63 kiev to feel the difference ? ;-)

mermoz37 Posted - Dec 11 2008 : 04:43:20 AM
I already had in the hands a false "no name" Kiev provide from Boris (Arsenalfoto) which had specified with honesty that the camera was falsified:
in fact it is rather easy of seeing: the mofified parts are re-chromed with a light difference of grain on the surface which does not shine in the same way and moreover, because of the treatment of metal the creases of the pressed parts are not more completely rectilinear: they are slightly curved ( to see it ,is rather difficult but is a reality)
nightphoto Posted - Dec 10 2008 : 9:00:05 PM

I am in general agreement with Stephan about the USSR engraving of the No-Name Kievs. They are only 'fake' in that the USSR engraving was not done at Arsenal and was done by another party, as Stephan says, in East Germany, probably (although many of these USSR engraved cameras come from Canada, so maybe it was done by a retailer or distributer in that country ... but more probably in East Germany).

But, I believe there may be more to the story. Many, including myself, have noticed a definite difference between other Kievs of the same time made at Arsenal, and both versions of the No-Name Kiev. The finish on the No-Name seems to be of a better quality and there is a noticeable smoothness in the operation of the No-Name that consistant throughout the production of them. So, if they were just totally assembled and the parts all made at Arsenal, it would be expected that there would be no differences between No-Name and regular production at Arsenal.

I have always thought that it may be possible that there was some amount of work done on these cameras in East Germany, possibly using some old Contax parts (such as the top plate, front plate, and maybe other interior parts such as shutter cage assembly) that were not moved to the Soviet Union after the war. Maybe a supply of extra parts was recovered after the big move, or maybe a repair business had extra parts for the Contax.

Anyway, just an idea I have had because the of differences between the No-Names and the production Kievs. What else could explain these differences? Any ideas that would make sense?

Regards, Bill

stephanvdz Posted - Dec 10 2008 : 4:43:23 PM
it's not a false... it's a commercial trick (a period lie)...
product from USSR were under embargo in the USA market..; and the first generation of noname contaxes were a bit of a cold war commercial affair... the bodies were first send to east germany, then engraved... exported and equipped with leftover stock western lenses (production of contax IIa an IIIa was over and zeiss had seemingly some lenses to sell)... and sold in the usa for hard currency...
german origin was a trick to bypass embargo.
The second generation "noname" (the 64 batch) were sold directly without that "attrape nigaud" engraving and with jup lenses...

I know it's a funny story but my version of a 63 noname with engravings and carl zeiss sonnar 1,5 is totally kosher... there is no fake... only period lies...

east germany (and some west german businessmen) used that international "ambiguity" about customs until the end of the wall... product were "exported" to west germany, and then qualified as EC originated products... cold war but clever business...

Do remember that germany was never totally divided for custom purposes...

Michel Posted - Dec 10 2008 : 08:12:06 AM
Hi Stephan,

I have a "no name" with s/n # 64 01055 (Jupiter 8M 2/50 s/n # 64 06067)
and a "with name" (!) s/n # 64 27643.
This could mean that the "no name"s are not from a specific batch.

Concerning the "made in USSR occupied Germany", our friend Aidas says it is false…

Please see his site here :

stephanvdz Posted - Jul 28 2008 : 05:41:34 AM
it would be interesting to compare indeed, I'm pretty sure that the first version had a "quality control process" with very low tolerance (but I don't have statistical evidence)...
Do you think that the serial numbers are normal Kieve serial number or a specific batch... ?


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