Russian Kiev-4a Rangefinder, Contax Copy
The Kiev 4a is a well known Soviet (Ukrainian to be correct) ContaxII copy. This was a long running production model – with some slight changes Arsenal factory in Kiev produced it from 1958 to 1980. Kiev-4a is very similar to its predecessor – Kiev IIa, it introduced some cosmetic changes.
The lens was also modernized – the aperture dial was engraved on both sides of the lens, so the setting is visible regardless of the lens position.
The aperture dial has stop-click settings. And the name was changed from Jupiter-8 to Jupiter-8M. All these changes made the proven Contax design more convenient to use. There were two major Kiev-4a variations – the original Kiev-4a (1958 – c.1974) and the Kiev-4a type 2 (c.1974 -1980). In the Kiev-4a type 2 the Arsenal engineers finally admitted that the top speed of the shutter was seldom as fast as 1/1250, and a more realistic 1/1000 was engraved as a top speed. The last model, Kiev-4m, was in production from 1980 to mid-80’s.