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Kiev No Name

   

Still a lot of secrecies around this charismatic and rare camera. The No-name Kiev occurs in two variations indeed. The first variation comes with genuine Zeiss Sonnar 2/50 lens. "USSR OCCUPIED GERMANY" engraved on the rear of the camera top. The second variation comes with no lens and engravings at all. Some collectors claim this camera was apparently produced at Jena during the years of 1963-1964, but it's definitely not.

My special thanks to well-known Contax/Kiev expert Peter Hennig (Stockholm, Sweden) for his kind permission to quote an article "The No-Name Kiev". In order to find the truth, Mr. Hennig dismantled the No-Name Kiev and compared it with standard Kiev-4A (the same year issue). After close examination he found that nothing in the No-Name camera differs from the equivalent items in the standard Kiev-4A from 1963. So the following conclusions were made by him:

   x The No-Name camera is a Kiev-4A from 1963.
   x It was made and assembled in Kiev, Ukraine, and
   x The engraving "USSR OCCUPIED GERMANY" is false.

The last conclusion was made while an expert found these engravings to be very different from all other engraving on the camera. The text appears to have been written by hand, probably by an electrical engraving pen. The area shows heavy cleaning marks made after the engraving. It seems obvious that this engraving was not a part of the original design.

The reason for the false engraving "USSR OCCUPIED GERMANY" is still unknown. Perhaps someone bought a quantity of these cheap No-names in order to hype the concept.../  


   

Produced: 1963-1964
Name: No Name Kiev
Producer: Zavod Arsenal
Frame size: 24x36
Lens: Carl Zeiss Sonnar  2/50 (s/n 1890688).
Shutter: 1/2s, 1/5s, 1/10s, 1/25s, 1/50s, 1/125s, 1/250s, 1/500s, 1/1250s + B.

Quantity: appr. 5.000 units.
                                                   

Camera opposite from Ilya Stolyar (USA) collection.     

 

Kiev No Name  #6308122.

 

   

The No Name Kiev can be identified only by a prefix numbers before the serial number engraved in the accessory shoe. As it was mentioned before, the prefix shows ”63“ (1963) or “64“ (1964). Since the vast majority of these cameras are found in the USA, it is believed that they were made specially for export to the US.

 

Kiev No Name  #6308122 rear view.