Cameras

Kiev 4A

Kiev

The Kiev 4A is a Soviet-era Contax camera made by the Arsenal factory located (where else) by the city of Kiev. After the end of WWII, the Russians seized the Zeiss factories as part of the war reparations. They took the tools, dies, left over parts, and a bunch of engineers and transplanted them to Kiev. The Kiev Camera emerged out of that. So rather than being a "Contax clone" they are real Contax cameras made with real Contax parts, equipment, technicians, and schematics. As years passed, the Soviets added further "improvements" (mostly to simplify production), but to a large degree you can interchange Kiev parts into Contax I & II cameras for repair. After the War, Zeiss in West Germany did not have the equipment or dies to make new Contax II rangefinders since they were taken by the Russians, so working from scratch they came up with a totally new design in the Contax IIa which is smaller than the II series. Parts and technology are not interchangeable between the Contax II and IIa or Kiev 4 and Contax IIa.