My otherwise excellent ’61 Kiev 4A suffered from occasional (bad) light leaks, seemingly caused by a strong light coming from the frontside of the camera. This was something I could not ignore, considering how good the rest of the camera was, so I decided to overhaul the Kiev the hard way, i.e. dismantle it.
There’s no need to repeat the excellent overhaul/repair instructions from the “Kiev Survival Site” here, just a few additional notes and pictures:
- Within the rangefinder mechanism there is a big glass prism covered with thick layer of black paint. In my case some of the paint was chipped off from the winder/speed selector end, causing the light leaks. The paper baffles were in good shape, but I replaced them anyway.
- The most difficult part in reassembling the camera was replacing the small screw near the film advance sprocket spindle, at the bottom of the back casting. I don’t know whether this applies to all Kiev’s, but in my case the screw was long enough so there wasn’t a real need to remove it completely, just loosen it sufficiently so the back casting can be slid down and out.
- There’s some play in the top mounting holes of the shutter assembly. When reassembling the camera make sure that the speed selector assembly is concentric within the respective hole in the top casting. This did cause me some headscratching; I failed to notice that the speed selector was a bit off-centre, causing it to jam when the top plate with the shutter speed bezel was fitted.
The first test film is still in camera, I’ll post an update when I know for sure whether the repair was successful.
(Update 21.3.2016: Yay! No more light leaks!)