Futile but fun
This afternoon I went out to finish the roll of film in my newly acquired Kiev.
I have no idea how well the camera is functioning, so I decided to record the details of each photo as I took it. First I would choose a location and then out would come my GF1 with a similar length of lens to take an exposure reading. Put the GF1 back in the bag and set the aperture on the Kiev and change the shutter speed after first ensuring that the shutter had been cocked. Point the camera and move the focusing wheel till the two rangefinder images were aligned and then take the shot. Put the camera back in the bag and bring out a notepad and pen to record the details. Long-winded but rather relaxing and fun. Having the GF1 with me enabled me to capture a couple of shots of the Kiev on its outing.
Took me almost two hours to accumulate thirty shots. Still not at the end of the film, but enough for a test so I started the long job of rewinding the film into the canister. The long job took a few seconds, it was pretty clear that the film had not been advancing and all my effort and notes were for nothing. Paid the camera shop fifty baht to expose it, just in case, and all I got back was a ruined film with a torn up socket where it had caught in the mechanism. Wank.
Back home after my futile outing and was immediately cheered up by the sight of box waiting for me. No doubt where it had come from:
And no doubt what was inside it:
It is, of course, a fine example of the Kiev 4. Even better condition than my Kiev 4A, probably because it is ten years younger (1970 model). Came in a brown leather case, which was a bonus. To be honest, I was initially only looking for the lens that is on the camera, a Helios 103 so I could use it on the Kiev 4A. But the lens goes for $25 and up on eBay; and this camera and lens and case was a wallet shattering $61; irresistible.
The 4 differs from the 4A only in as much as it has a light meter; the bump on top of the body. The meter works via a selenium cell, there are no batteries involved. Selenium cells tend to die over time and few cameras have a working meter. This one does, but when I pointed it at a white building lit by the afternoon sun, it gave me a reading suggesting I was shooting in a coal mine lit by a candle. Some work required which I will embark upon at a later date.
The top of the camera showing the meter indicator window and the more complex dial on the right which provides the suggested exposure settings. Obey them at your peril:
Selenium cells degrade when exposed to light, so there is a little door to open when you want to use the meter; cute:
Not such a pretty design as the first acquisition; but as everything seemed to be workings smoothly, I stuck a film in which does seem to be advancing and I will try another round of test shots tomorrow. And if they don’t work, there is another box on the way to cheer me up.
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