Most of my friends and acquaintances know about this blog and my love of cameras, how could they not? I always have a camera with me and I talk about cameras all the time. A few people have started to lend me their cameras to add to the blog or have asked me about their camera. This camera falls into the former category. Someone I knew gave me two cameras to try. The Kiev 35A and another I will write about later.
This camera was boxed, with the original Russian manual, and taken care of. Unfortunately, it is not the sturdiest of cameras, so it was still in a bit of a state.
I added the brown tape to try and hold the batteries in place, but there was already some silver tape there that had lost its stickiness. If you have been following this blog for any length of time you know I love old Russian cameras. They are rough and temperamental, but fun to work with. This one was produced between 1985-1991 and based on the Minox 35EL. You pull the front cover down and the lens pops out. That is where you find the battery compartment too. This one’s battery cover had a thread issue and would not stay on, hence the tape. I have read this camera needs a PX27 5.6V battery, but when I opened this version I saw two 3V batteries that were dead. I put in four LR44 and hoped for the best. You can read some technical details here. You can set the aperture and distance on the lens barrel and the meter works out the speed. The meter did seem to work if I keep pressing the cover with my finger. I then put my eye behind the lens the check the shutter was firing….it kind of was…sometimes. Then other times it would open and slooooooowly close. There was obviously an issue. Also, it was very tricky to even cock the shutter. After reading all the terrible reviews, I decided not to try a film in it. The decision was due to the expense of film and the camera’s obvious issues.
Keep or sell….returned to owner – but would I try to get another, working one – No it felt very plasticky and seemed a lot like the LC-A, but not as cool OR the Makinon with no flash. It just has too many bad reviews of light leaks, and I hate those.