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Kiev IV

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2021

The Kiev rangefinder cameras were developed after WW II in the Arsenal factory in Kiev (Ukraine). Soviet forces had "relocated" equipment and personnel from the Zeiss Ikon factories in Germany. In Kiev Zeiss Ikon's Contax production line was set up again and quickly started production under the Kiev brand name. Early models are said to have been made from original Zeiss Ikon stock the Soviets had taken with them. There are reports of models with the original Contax nameplate behind the new Kiev shield.One of the excellent things about this Kiev is its long rangefinder base: 9 cm. This allows for very accurate focusing. For example, when you are focusing for a tightly composed portrait, you see a clear difference when the nose or the eyes are in perfect focus. Combined with the clear depth-of-field scale on the lens, this allows isolation of the subject from the background. Furthermore, the viewfinder and rangefinder are combined in one large bright window so you do not have to look through two windows for focusing and framing. Leica did not combine the two until the Leica M3 in 1954.