Lens problem help

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by jon_shumpert|2, May 28, 2018.

  1. I recently bought a Kiev 4a no name rangefinfder with zeiss 50mm f1.5 lens. I looked over the camera and lens while in the antiques store and they seemed fine. I didn't have any film to use, so I put the camera on a shelf for a few weeks. Yesterday I was getting ready to load some film when I noticed this weird discoloration. It is not on the front or rear surface of the lens, but inside. My first thought was damage to a lens coating, but I now wonder if there is a possibility of oil between the elements. Has anyone here encountered a similar problem? I hope it is something that can be repaired. The camera seems to work well at all but the slower shutter speeds, and the glass looks good other than the color issue. Thanks for any help

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  2. Before you go the lens repair route, you may wish to compare the repair to the cost of a Nikon 50 F1.4 in Contax mount. I've had good results with the Nikon lens mounted on my "no name" Kiev.
  3. AJG


    Someone probably put oil in between those elements to hide the separation before the camera got to the antique shop--as you have discovered, it isn't a permanent fix. The repair won't be cheap, and a Nikkor or earlier post war Zeiss Jena lens that didn't use early epoxy cement between elements would almost certainly be cheaper. If you don't need f/1.5, Jupiter f/2 lenses can be had easily for $30 on eBay and they can be quite good, if not the equal of a Sonnar f/1.5.
  4. Thanks for the quick responses. I will start looking for another lens.
  5. The damage was probably there- depends on the lighting to see it. The synthetic cement used in later Zeiss 50/1.5's did not do too well over the years. Chances are that you can use the lens with a shade. I had a Canon 135/3.5 do this, used index matching fluid from an oil immersion microscope lens to correct it, 15 years ago, Still works.

    The Nikkor 5cm F1.4 is built to a different standard than the Contax, and will front-focus. A Jupiter-3 or Jupiter-8 in Contax mount will not cost as much.
  6. Brian is correct, close up the focusing helix in the Kiev body does not match the actual distance on the lens itself due to the thread pitch difference in the Nikon lens focusing helix. However at moderate distances, not close ups, using 400 ASA Tri-X film thereby avoiding f1.4, I continue to have good results at f2 and stopped down further. The lens flares, so a hood really helps. The alternative, cost effective choices if you can get a good example, are either of the Jupiter lenses. There is a comprehensive Ken Rockwell internet review of the 50 Nikon f1.4 rangefinder lens that presents the good and bad points for the lens. Good luck with your KIev.
  7. Get a Helios-103 (53mm f/1.8) for Kiev mount - they cost $20-$30, and in my view a tad better than the Jupiter-8 lenses for the same cost.

    (What is "no name" about a Kiev? The brandname is "Kiev", so it has a name....)

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