Kiev 4 and expired film

Sheerness, England. 2022

Kiev ~ Киев

This Soviet rangefinder belonged to my late father. It’s kept in a display cabinet along with other old cameras and being a rangefinder of Contax design I thought it was about time I tried this camera out.

In his final years he had started purchasing a few old cameras, models I think he always wanted but couldn’t afford at the time. He had this Kiev 4 serviced by Newton Ellis in Liverpool about eighteen months before his death and I don’t think he ever got the chance to use this camera. From what I have found out about the Kiev 4 camera, these cameras of various models where made between 1949 to 1987 and the first two digits of the on the serial number are supposed to denote the year of manufacture, so this camera was made in 1975 in the Arsenal factory in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Having never used this type of rangefinder, I downloaded a copy of the manual from Butkus.org I found this camera takes it bit of getting use too. Seems to be all working although I don’t think the selenium cell in the exposure meter is working quite as it should, so was relying on my late Grandfathers newly serviced 1950’s Weston Master III meter for exposure.

I’m down to the last three 35mm films from my fathers film stock, two of which are these Jessop diamond 100 colour print dated 2002. I’m not keen on using expired colour film knowing the colour will deteriorate over time but these two films along with a Fujifilm Sensia 100 he had kept in the freezer, so I thought I’d take a chance with them.

The ‘Contax grip

The camera comes with a Jupiter-8M 50mm lens which has the Contax rangefinder mount and is focused via a finger wheel on the top of the camera. Focusing I found somewhat strange at first but you get use it after a while. I found pictures online of how this camera should held, one finger above the rangefinder window, two below the window and remembering not to get your finger in the way of the rangefinder window, which I manage more than once when I couldn’t see the focusing patch through the viewfinder. Another issue I found was remembering to hold the lens when changing aperture unless the lens is on infinity lock. If you don’t, you’ll move the focusing and have to start again!

I do not wear glasses anymore for photography but the viewfinder on this camera particularly difficult to compose images. There’s no frame lines and the viewfinder is quite small as with all these Soviet era cameras. I found I had press my face against the camera body to see the full frame, think I’ve been spoilt by using a Leica viewfinder!

Here’s some results for my efforts.

All film images taken in Sheerness, England on the Kiev-4, with it’s ЮРИТЕП-8 50mm lens with expired Jessop diamond 100 colour print film. For a 20 year old colour print film it seems to of survived quite well being kept all these years in the freezer and doesn’t appear to have lost much of it’s colour.

Edit: One point I didn’t mention, I noticed this version of the Jupiter 8 lens I feel is sharper and has better contrast than the younger Jupiter 8 lens I have mounted on my Zorki 4K.


Picture taken of the Киев-4 where with the Leica M-P (Typ-240) and the Voigtländer Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 II VM lens.

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Standing silhouettes

Isle of Sheppey, England. 2022

Nikon FE, Nikkor 35mm f/2.8 Ai on Ilford HP5+ with a yellow filter.

Deluge

Sheerness, England. 2022

Leica M6, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH taken on Fomapan 100 classic film with a B&W Yellow filter.

Erect and the limp

Sorry, tongue in cheek title. Anyway the Leica M6 is back!

Leica M6, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH taken on Fomapan 100 classic film with a B&W Yellow filter.

Out & about with the M6

First roll with my new/old Leica M6 circa 1986 model.

Also new to me, I used Rodinal film developer for the first time processing these negatives. I’ve only ever used D76 or the equivalent ID11 developer.

For these pictures I solely used the Summicron 35mm ASPH lens and I shot two rolls of Fomapan Classic 100 film and rated it an ISO 800. The jury still out on the focusing tab, I’m 50-50 about using it and I mostly zone focused the lens on this photo walk. But by the end of the day I forgot the lens even had a tab and I have to admit with the smaller E39 size lenses the focusing tab used for precise focus does work well. Maybe I was a little too quick to dismiss it first time round and will get use to the tab in time. Glad I purchased the black chrome 1959 design of the Summilux which doesn’t have a tab unlike it’s modern sibling and really I think is totally unnecessary for a lens of that size.

‘Close up’
Tenterden High Street.

Do you think he forgot his reading glasses?

I’ve been pleasantly surprised how responsive the meter is on the M6 and it matched my Weston Euromaster lightmeter readings everytime. Despite the poor light, the LED’s in the viewfinder are clear, easy to use and very bright, if anything I found it easier than the Leica M-P (Typ 240) display, not bad for a 35 year old camera!

So this is Tenterden in Kent, England on cold, overcast December day, very soft light.


While walking along his gentlemen suddenly leaned in front of me talking on his mobile phone looking down the service road to the supermarket. Oh well, might as well take his picture now! Other side of the street, girl on the right was staring into space for ages, while the woman on her left, I think she was writing her memoirs.

Stop!

Gentleman in the middle of the image amused me, thought I was some sort of local litter enforcement, I was wearing flat cap, navy blue top, trousers, black body warmer along with my Domke F-5 bag and camera, hmm?! …think he might of dropped something he shouldn’t have.


Few pictures from the Sheerness, England.

I was amused by the local butcher was wearing a rubber turkey on his head for Christmas, taking a shot through the display window, relying the cameras meter for the exposure. On the right, a mother enjoying some phone time with her young son. I took the shot through the Cafe window, where we were having lunch at the time and guessed the exposure on this occasion by an extra stop.

Cyclist Dismount

Cyclists, you’ve got to love them!


All in all I’m very pleased with the results, what else did I expect with a Leica Meßsucher.

Well at £2400 British pounds or $3200 for just camera body you could say it’s an expensive tool or toy. Really with this camera other than different frame lines and a built in meter, is no different to my old Leica M4-2. While the Leica M3 was a lovely old camera with a fantastic built qualities, I personally found the viewfinder on the M3 much darker than my old M4-2 0.72x and the new M-P 0.68x viewfinders which both give a great view outside their frame lines too.

With prices of used Leica film cameras still climbing, I think I have made a good investment overall.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Gymnastic decorating

Gymnastic decorating

While visiting Headcorn village yesterday, on the drive in my wife pointed out this young lady painting the front of this old grade two listed building. I believe it was an old Inn but now houses a couple of small businesses, one of which I think is a ladies hair salon. I managed to get an informal portrait of her on what was a very hot day for us all in the south of England. To be honest I’m surprised the paint wasn’t drying out before she could apply it with the brush!

‘Painting by numbers’ – Headcorn, England.

Both images taken with Leica M-P (Typ-240) Summicron 50mm f/2.

September 2021.



Eastern Patterns

Sheerness, England – February 2021

Morning after Storm Darcy, aka ‘The Beast from East 2’ a cold front eastern Europe and Russia. I’m going start a new club called the ‘Frozen Leica Society’ because oh boy was I so cold my hands started to hurt in the -7°c wind chill …We English are not use to this sort of thing you know!

Anyway I shot this picture purely because of the pattern of the snow fall along the seawall. Later on, further along the front in the distance you can see the waters edge looks very white and as it turned out the sea was starting to freeze.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Fomapan 100 Classic film at an ISO of 800

Picnic in the Rain

Sheerness, England – January 2021

Last years Cygnets now matured having a paddle in rain at Bartons Point Coastal Park, which now is always empty except for the occasional dog walker and a fool walking around with his Leica.

Sadly, the Boat House Café is now another victim of the continued lockdown and I’d be surprised if it ever opens again. Shows how much it had rained, these birds swimming around what normally grass.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Fomapan 100 Classic film at an ISO of 800

Unshipping the wheels

Now I know what it means!

No seriously, ‘unshipping’ means to load, unload a ship or the sailors progressed rapidly with the task of unshipping the packages and caged animals. “Unshipping the wheels” meanings Larboard battery, unship your rear wheels from the cannons to raise the angle of fire.

Think in this case it’s not to get an angle of attack, more like to prevent theft of boat and trailer from the sailing club yard.

Taken last March, on my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Ilford HP5 plus film.