Kiev-19  –  Vintage Camera

Kiev-19 (three quarters, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)

Kiev-19 (three quarters, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)

Kiev-19 (three quarters, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)

Kiev-19 (three quarters, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)

Kiev-19 (front view, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)

Kiev-19 (front view, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)

Kiev-19 (rear view)

Kiev-19 (rear view)

Kiev-19 (top view, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)

Kiev-19 (top view, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)

Kiev-19 (bottom view, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)

Kiev-19 (bottom view, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)

Kiev-19 (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Kiev-19 (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Kiev-19 (three quarters, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)Kiev-19 (three quarters, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)Kiev-19 (front view, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)Kiev-19 (rear view)Kiev-19 (top view, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)Kiev-19 (bottom view, with Helios-81H MC 50mm f/2 lens)Kiev-19 (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Kiev-19 Specifications

Manufacturer: Zavod Arsenal
  (Завод Арсенал)
   
Country of Origin: Soviet Union
  (modern day Ukraine)
   
Made in: Kiev, USSR
  (modern day Ukraine)
   
Introduced: 1985
   
Camera Type: Single Lens Reflex
   
Lens Mount: Nikon F-Mount
   
Format: 135 Film
   
Dimensions (cm): 9.6 x 14.4 x 5.3 (body only)
  9.6 x 14.4 x 8.5 (with lens)

Kiev-19 Review

The Kiev-19 is a 35mm SLR produced by the Arsenal Factory, one of the oldest and most famous industrial factories in the former Soviet Union as well as modern day Ukraine. After developing their own lens system and producing several SLR models like the Kiev-10 Automat, Arsenal decided to drop it in favor of the Nikon F-mount when they produced the Kiev-17, the direct predecessor of the 19.

As far as manual SLRs go, the Kiev-19 is pretty typical both in design and function. The front of the camera is dominated by the Soviet-made lens (although you could use any F-mount lens). A depth of field preview switch is located at nine o’clock on the mount while the lens release button is located at four. Just above the lens release button is a small shutter speed knob with speeds ranging from 1/2-500 seconds and Bulb. Directly above the shutter speed selector on the top plate is the film rewind knob surrounded by a film speed indicator which can be manually adjusted by depressing the adjacent tiny silver button. On the side of the pentaprism is a flash sync socket and a hot shoe on the very top. On the other side of the viewfinder is a threaded shutter button, a frame counter, and the film advance lever. On the bottom is a film rewind release button, a standard tripod socket, and the battery compartment for the 19’s cadmium sulfide light meter.

I won’t lie, I bought the Kiev-19 because I was fascinated by the presence of a Nikon mount and also because I read that the Soviet-made F-mount lenses are quite good. I’ve mounted the Helios-81H on my Nikons as well as on my Sony mirrorless camera via a F-mount to E-mount adapter and it works flawlessly.

Want one for yourself? Find your very own Kiev-19 on eBay.

References:

“Kiev-19,” Camerapedia, http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Kiev-19

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