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Rangefinder madness


Perth, AU
652 posts

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Laika Basic Member
Sat 10-May-03 08:45 AM

Recently I have been struck down with recurring urge I get to find my perfect everyday shooter…. A lot of thinking over the years has narrowed the field to something a bit smaller than a SLR, not too expensive, manual controls or at least aperture priority with exposure compensation, normal to wide angle prime lens f2.8 or faster, solid build, lack of flash or a no flash switch that cant reset to flash on, 35mm.

Cost has kept the Leica/Contax/Nikon rangefinders out of reach. The Ricoh GR1 and Nikon 35Ti models come very close but still are a little pricey. Recently I came across a Russian Leica copy in a book, I’d heard about them years ago but hadn’t really looked into them until now. Well it’s been a few weeks of digging around on the net and ebay and few days ago a box in brown paper arrived from the Ukraine containing the Kiev 4AM shown below. While the overall finish and operation feel is not going to please someone who uses the real thing it feels tough and functional to me. I got the first test roll back from the lab yesterday and I’m more than happy with the results. Even the shots with the lens wide open and at 1/25th hand held came out a lot better than I expected. Well I must say I’m hooked, I’ve got a Zorki 1 (Leica II clone) and FED 2 (based on Leica) and little hand meter in the mail as well.

I’m still not sure if I’ve found my everyday shooter yet, I guess time will tell. With a cash outlay about what I could have bought another used Nikon 50mm lens I think I’m going have a lot of fun (that’s for all 3 of them!) doing the HCB thing for awhile

I’ll post a couple of pics when I get a chance.

My Kiev 4AM with 53mm/f1.8 (Contax copy)


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