KIEV4 Rangefinder - Telemeter repairing

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Carlo G, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. Carlo G

    Carlo G Guest

    I have just bought a Kiev4. Unfortunately the telemeter doesn't work.
    Adjusting the distance on the lens I can feel no resistance at all, as if
    there is no tramsission from distance adjustment and telemeter regulation.
    The splitted image in the viewfinder doesn't move at all.

    I would like to discover if there is something broken (as I suppose), but I
    have no knowledge of this camera. It seems different from Zorki4, that I
    have already disassembled many times. Do you kow where to find photos,
    exploded views and/or instuctions to operate?

    Thanks, Carlo G
    Carlo G, Feb 2, 2005
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  2. Carlo G

    Carlo G Guest

    I'm not sure what you mean by "Telemeter"? The Kiev lenses are kinda
    I made a mistake using the "google" instument for translating the italian
    word "telemetro" to the english "telemeter" wich is not totally wrong but
    simply not used. The most used word and more appropriate traslation is
    "rangefinder". So... the rangefinder of my Kiev doesn't work at all when I
    turn the lenses for focusing, and I am forced to estimate with my eyes the
    distance from the camera and the subject. I perfectly know, being a
    professional cameraman, how depth of field and hyperfocal distance can be
    used to work without rangefinder help... but I would like not to turn my
    brain in a calculator everytime I have to shoot a picture (expecially from
    short distance) or loosing time looking at the DOF scale on the lens barrel.
    More than over... I have bought that camera because I love this romantic
    russian metal camera, and it is a pity not to make it working at its best.
    (By the way it is the camera where I put my hands when I was 15, and is
    shhoting with a Kiev4 camera that I started to understand the relation
    between aperture, distance focusing and shutter )

    What I mean when I say that I have no resistance when focusing is that,
    considering the mechanism of the rangefinder connected with lens focusing, I
    have the feeling that some transmission wheel has been broken or a spring
    has lost its position. Unfortunately is evident that the camera has been
    already opened and maybe repaired by unprofessional hands. From the serial
    number I might say that it could be made in 1975 and 30 years story can
    deserve even bitter sides in a camera that had the wrong owner, and at the
    same time is what this camera a bit magic.

    Can you give me more suggestions?

    Thanks for your help Thom,
    Carlo G, Feb 3, 2005
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  3. Carlo G

    Dick Guest

    Are you certain you are not covering the right rangefinder window with
    your fingers when you try to focus? The window is in the perfect
    position to be covered if you hold the camera as you normally would
    hold one and try to focus.

    Dick, Feb 3, 2005
  4. Carlo G

    Duncan Ross Guest

    Ok, firstly the lack of resistance is normal; the lens on the Kiev rotates
    freely without offering any resistance. I have seen one Kiev 4AM with the
    rangefinder so far out that it didn't appear to work - maybe yours just needs
    bringing back into line.

    Remove the front plate completely by taking out the small screws at either side
    of the viewfinder and rangefinder windows and the other screws around the
    front. Don't forget the hidden screw near the rangefinder window hidden under
    the leather where it meets the central lens tunnel.

    With the front removed the rangefinder setting screws are directly under the
    rangefinder window. If they are missing you have found your problem. I think
    the outer two are locks and the inner two are for setting but I can't remember
    the last time I had to do this! Or maybe there is only two. Er..

    The Kiev uses proper sliding prism rangefinding, much better than that
    moving-mirror Leica crap(!) so only a small side-to-side adjustment is needed
    to set the rangefinder. Lock focus to infinity, adjust until the images align
    at infinity and that's it. No need to adjust close focus etc.

    Good luck and happy Kieving!

    Duncan Ross, Feb 3, 2005
  5. Carlo G

    THOM Guest

    I'm not sure what you mean by "Telemeter"? The Kiev lenses are kinda
    odd (as are the CONTAX) in that theres a lock on infinity. The usual
    proceedure is to set the f-stop first then press the little button
    above the range finder window to unlock the focus. You can focus from
    the barrel or the wheel were the unlock button is. It is smooth and
    offers no resistance of any kind.

    THOM, Feb 3, 2005
  6. Carlo G

    Thom Guest

    a couple of things. Until you get it fixed (I love my Kievs) but want
    to keep using it you might consider the hyperfocal setting or a simple
    depth of field exercise.

    Lets say you are using Tri-X at 400 in bright sun. Set the exposure
    at 1/500 and the F at say 11-16. Then take the infinity mark and put
    it at between 11 and 16 (thats about at the 2 O'clock position on the
    Helios-103) and everything between 2 meters and infinity will be in

    next is a question. Can you see the little secondary image in the
    view finder. I know this sounds dumb but it could be covered by you
    hand (The small window) or theres something inside thats blocking it
    or does the little image stay in one place?

    Thom, Feb 5, 2005
  7. Carlo G

    CarloG Guest

    Thanks for suggestion... but the solution is not so easy. I know how a
    rangefinder works and I know why there are two windows :)

    I have found the problem and fixed it following the instruction found
    in this NG. I had to open the camera (seven screws only).

    Ciao, Carlo
    CarloG, Feb 6, 2005
  8. Carlo G

    CarloG Guest

    Dear Dunx

    You were right: The way to open the camera was the right one (it takes
    three minutes), and finally I found four screws. They seem screw to
    fix, not for regulation or to calibrate the rangefinder.

    In any case, when I wos working at that screws I heard a little "tac"
    and then the second image started to move during focusing. May be some
    sticky lubrificant had blocked the movement of prism. I also felt tha,
    even with no resistance, as you said, I had the impression that while
    focusing, another mechanism (rangefinder) was working, It is not a
    real resistence, but belive me, when it doesn't work you feel the
    focusing "too free", and even the sound is a bit differet.


    the second curtain of the shutter is a bit slow when I use slow
    shutter speed (1/10, B...) Do you know where to open the camera and
    where put a bit of special oil (and eventually to clean up from the
    old one?)

    Thank Carlo
    CarloG, Feb 6, 2005
  9. Carlo G

    CarloG Guest

    You are really kind, but you know what? I have fixed the

    The Hyperfocal technique that you suggest for me works perfectly ( and
    it is a pity that too many photographers do not knot it very well) but
    has a limit... is the worst thing you can do when you like selective
    focus (as I do)

    Thanks in any case for help

    Ciao, Carlo
    CarloG, Feb 6, 2005
  10. Ouch! That is becoming a bit ambitious (ambizioso)!!!

    My own suggestion is to use 1-2 drops of lighter fluid (benzina per
    accendini) in the right places instead of oil.

    But before doing anything, post your question here:
    There are many comptent people there who can give you good advice.

    Buona fortuna!!!
    Chris Loffredo, Feb 6, 2005
  11. Carlo G

    Peter Irwin Guest

    Unlike most focal plane shutters for miniature cameras, the
    Kiev/Contax shutter changes speed by adjusting both the
    curtain spacing and the speed at which the curtains move.
    It is normal for the shutter to move slowly on the slow speeds.

    Check the exposure. 1/10 of a second at f/16 should give the
    same exposure as 1/125 of a second at f/4.5. If it does than
    nothing is wrong.

    Peter Irwin, Feb 6, 2005
  12. Carlo G

    CarloG Guest

    The problem is when you use slow shutter speed (longer than 1/50)
    because in that case the second curtain starts to move after the first
    as just arrived. In this situation the second curtain starts after a
    mechanism of delay (for example when you shoot at 1/2 SEC).
    In this case I do not need to test the shutter because I can estimate
    with my eyes that the curtain is too slow and needs to be cleaned.
    What I am asking is:
    Is there any person who knows where to open the camera and where (the
    exatct point) where to put my drop of solvent?

    Thanks Carlo
    CarloG, Feb 9, 2005
  13. Carlo G

    CarloG Guest

    Thans for suggestion. Now I have opened a new discussion there too...
    I am sure to find the right information. Thanks gain, Carlo

    Mille grazie!!! Ho messo un post nel sito che hai indicato, e sono
    sicuro di trovare l'informazione che cerco. Grazie ancora, Carlo
    CarloG, Feb 9, 2005
  14. Carlo G

    CarloG Guest

    My keyboard doesn't work very well today or, may be I am going too fast... Sorry for mistakes
    CarloG, Feb 9, 2005
  15. Figurati..
    ; )

    I tried my own Kiev at 1/2 sec.:
    The shutters work properly (No. 1 is fully open before No. 2 starts to
    close). They also move at the same (slow) speed. I clearly hear the
    sound of the delaying gears.

    With the back off your camera and looking from the back: The sound
    clearly comes from the bottom right. That would be the place to put a
    drop of lighter fluid. How to get there is a different question (I don't
    want to start taking my camera apart!)
    Hopefully you'll get a good answer from the Classic Camera Repair Forum,
    otherwise try taking out the 4 screws which hold the film guides in place...
    Chris Loffredo, Feb 9, 2005
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