Kiev 4a loading

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by james_lai, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. I just received my Kiev 4a today, and the film loading has me
    puzzled. The removeable take-up spool has a slot with a spring clip
    inside, however the slot does not extend to the bottom lip of the
    spool. I can't figure out how to insert the film leader into the
    slot without trimming off about a centimeter (approx. 0.4 inches) of
    the lower edge of the leader. The online instruction manuals are of
    no help on this particular issue.

    Am I missing something or is there a better way?

    By the way, the take-up spool is a flimsy plastic piece, so poorly
    made that the pressure of the spring clip inside has already caused
    the plastic to bulge outwards.
  2. Oh dear... I just opened up mine to see if I could help, but I apparently just used a spool from an old roll of film and cut the film to make it fit. I actually had film in the camera too :( I gues I should have checked. I know on my fed s you have to cut the film to get it to work right, but I didnt think that was the case with the kievs. I have a contax film spool that I just pulled out of a contaflex, which would be the same they used with the kievs. It seems likely that the film spool you have isn't original, as the end of the film fits right in this one. You can probably pick up a contaflex for part for 10.00 off ebay if you dont feel like carrying scissors around; or someone on this site might even have a correct film spool they can give you. If I come across another one I'd give it to you. -Peter
  3. You can always use a regular Kodak spool and tape the film to the spool. I actually did this one time when I switched cameras at the last moment before a business trip and forgot to see if it had a film spool.

    I unrolled a spare roll of Ektachrome and stored it inside the film cannister (not the opaque one obviously). Then I got some tape from the receptionist and taped the film leader to the spool. Worked fine.
  4. I ended giving up and trimming the leader. I don't use to load cameras 'in the field' but I had to do that once. Those tiny swiss pocket knivew are priceless for this, and it's not much of a trouble once you get used to. You only need someone for the 'can you hold me the camera back for a moment please?' part :)
  5. Sounds like you don't have the correct spool, a common problem. With my Kievs I found the easiest thing to do is to forgo the spool entirely, and use another film canister instead. This way you don't have to bother rewinding, you just wind from one canister to another.
  6. Thanks everyone for the responses.

    Peter and Bruce, I believe you're correct that I have the wrong spool. This spool has a KMZ logo (a trapezoid with a bent arrow through it, see Do real Kiev spools have an Arsenal logo?

    Anyways, I am unfortunately back in the market for another Kiev. I had noticed a small dent in one corner of the base, but upon closer examination it is apparent that this camera had been dropped hard enough deform the body casting. The entire rewind end of the body is actually bent inwards slightly. This camera was supposed to be in "excellent" condition from a seller with a 650+ feedback rating. Oh well, just another overly optimistic description on the big auction site I guess.
  7. I just cut a slot into a used kodak spool as Mike Elek's site shows. The spacing on my first and only roll was OK, but spaced wider at the beginning than the end. Hope to shoot some more film soon with it.

    Sorry to hear about the dent but they are pretty well built. Are you certain that the damage is causing issues with the camera? I would worry that the rangefinder optics might have come loose from their mounts. The outer rangefinder was barely holding on in my 1960. If you're feeling brave, you can have a look at Mike's prewar Contax rebuild. I'd be happy to help you as others here have helped me with mine.
  8. Hi Mike, I agree, the Kievs are very well built. The finish is so-so (as you well know!), but the fit of the parts is much better than on my FED 2 (the only other FSU rangefinder I have for reference).

    Despite the dent, the RF and all the mechanics seemed to be working okay on this Kiev. My concern with this body is that it may be susceptible to light leaks. At the location of the dent, there is a bit of a gap between the body and the bottom, and because the body is a bit out of alignment, there seems to be some play with the back. Not only that, but for a camera that was supposed to have been CLA'd, it was really dirty. So back to the Ukraine it goes.

    I just picked up another 4a on the auction site, this one from 1968. I looked for a '60 like yours, but there aren't any available right now (yes, I know, I have no patience). As long as it works for now, I'm not too concerned about the quality control. At some point I'll take the thing apart and rebuild it. I've seen Mike Elek's web pages on his Contax rebuild, and I hope you'll post your Kiev rebuild too -- I'll need all the help I can get!
  9. Got mine back together tonight. Will post a presentation next week when I get back from my business trip.
  10. To answer your question, James, I have no idea what the correct spool looks like. I have two Kievs, a 4am that has a fixed spool, and a 3, that came with what looks like a spool from an agfa cassette. It works, but the cassette to cassette technique is just so much easier and quicker, that I have never really used it, or felt the need to try and find the right spool.
  11. - you may find some help on the
    Russian camera forum. There has been some discussion of Mike Kovacs
    comment on the wide spacing recently. I don't recall any particular
    conclusions. Since it is wide spacing and not overlapping frames, most
    people seemed willing to live with it. My Kiev 4a gives both normal and wide
    spacing on the same roll. Lenses are excellent I think.
  12. Hello James,
    the KIEV IVa loading is not like a puzzel.
    first step:
    puhs the shutter realese, press down, and turn the red point to the red point, so the rewind and shutter realese is out of order.second step: Take the film in the spool and return the red point in first position.
    Take the shutter realese and look for perfect winding, close the camera and pull the rewind knob a littel bit, take the picture counter from start position and make two pictures. The rewind knob must turn around and the film winding is ok, include the picture counter standing on picture 1.
    By the way the original KIEV IVa spool have not a Logo, only letters "KIEB", but AGFA or KODAK spools worked too.
    I think the best for KIEV rangefinder cameras are metal canister spools for work with selfloading films, or work with no rewind, or change very quickly from black and white film to color.


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