The Camera Site

"Arsenal" , "Vega" , Kiev Ukraine



Kiev 30

Kiev 30 cameras were produced by the "Vega" factory since 1975 till 1987.
Frame size is 13x17mm, suitable film is a non perforated 16mm film.
Lens : Industar-M. F3,5/23mm
Shutter: speeds from 1/30; 1/60;1/200sec.


The winding mechanism of the Kiev 30 is similar to most of the modern subminiature cameras. When you advance a film by strengthening the camera the shutter will be cocked at the same time. Nice and easy.
Kiev 30 has a same problem as all the subminiature cameras. Taking a picture goes without a hitch but where to get film and how to develop it, that´s a problem.




Kiev 4

Kiev 4 was manufactured by Arsenal (Ukraine) between years 1957-87. Four models were available, the 4 and 4M with a built in exposure meter. Actually there was also a Kiev 5 but it differs a lot of these more or less Contax clones. Camera was supplied with the superb Jupiter-8m 50mm F2 lens. It has a focal plane shutter B - 1/2s 1/5s 1/10s 1/25s 1/50s 1/125s and 1/1250s (from 1977 maximum speed 1/1000s).This camera is Kiev 4. The easiest way to identify the camera is the exposure meter on the body. It is smaller than the meter on the earlier model Kiev 3. Kiev 4a is similar to Kiev 4 but it has no exposure meter.

Because of the same lens mount as Contax rangefinders the lenses can be interchanged. Kiev cameras went through a few minor modifications to become the Kiev III and eventually Kiev 4. Production of these cameras was ceased in the late 1980s.

Kiev 4A


Kiev 4A

Both cameras are are more or less a copy of a pre war Contax. They even shares the same weakness, a somewhat unreliable shutter mechanism.

Kiev 4 is heavy as the more featured cameras used to be. This feature is useful when you try to avoid a camera shake. Also if you want to cast it away it flies further because of minor relative air resistance. Just try to cast a ping-pong ball. This is a model without the exposure meter. The shutter is the same
1/2, 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000 of a second and "B".
Standard lens was 52mm f/2 Jupiter-8 ( later Jupiter 8M) Body dimensions for 4a: 150mm x 79mm x 45mm, Weight: 560g

More accurate and detailed information about Kiev an other FSU cameras:

Nathan Dayton / Communist cameras

Keith Berry / Kiev 4

©2005 Reijo Lauro