The Contax, though, has a fascinating history after WWII, which saw entire production lines, machinery and experts from the original Zeiss Ikon factory in Dresden taken by the Russians to the former military arsenal in Kiev, Ukraine (then Soviet Union) as war reparations.
The cameras made by Arsenal Kiev are, in fact, neither Russian plagiarisms nor low-quality camera, as is the reputation of many Soviet cameras, but much more "a German camera built in the Soviet Union". Although quality standards and craftmanship levels decreased steadily along the Kiev's extremely long production run (1949-1984), this Kiev 4 exemplar from 1962 seems to work smoothly after more than fifty years. The lens, a Jupiter-8M is a fine copy of the legendary Carl Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f/2 from the original Contax.
I acquired this camera because Kievs still have a moderate price tag and my morals prevented me from paying the ridiculously high prices that a Contax can reach. In fact, I got a pretty good deal on this camera, considering its condition.
Let me introduce you to my first rangefinder system camera :)
My Kiev 4 flickr set
|Type||rangefinder system camera|
|Lens||Arsenal Jupiter-8M 50mm f/2.0 (No. 6222704, 1962)|
|Lens||KMZ Jupiter-12 35mm f/2.8 (No. 5911210, 1959)|
|Lens||LZOS Jupiter-9 85mm f/2.0 (No. 6303583, 1963)|
|Shutter||Contax, 1/2 - 1/1250 + B|
|Film type||35mm 24x36|