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Kiev 16U & 16UE camera dismantle and re-assembly website

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So I was lucky enough to get hold of a few of these interesting 16mm cameras.  Built between the late 60's and mid 80's (?) they seemed quite interesting to read about.  Of the cameras I bought only one was working, very loudly and with fluctuating speeds.  Taking them apart I considered the build quality to be pretty good, easy to get to everything, seemingly basic design but well executed I think.  I immersed the clockwork gears in a sonic cleaner, which did an amazing job.  Then a light lubricate and reassembly, and I was quite surprised to hear it literally "purr"

I added the photos and process to my website, hopefully if future film enthusiasts find such a camera they can easily find some information on it.



Cheers, Gareth


s-l1600 (1).jpg

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Posted (edited)

I bought one in excellent condition a few weeks ago. The viewfinder is surprisingly nice. I'll have to 3D print a bottom sleeve to round the corners a bit, as they dig into my hand, when i try to cradle the rather heavy camera, and focus the lens.



Edited by David Sekanina
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Thanks for the feedback Frank,  I have enjoyed working on the Kiev.  Also, David, there are pistol grips available occasionally on ebay... I bought one recently as you are right, the Kiev is very hard to hold for hand held shooting.


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  • 3 weeks later...


I recently took apart another Kiev 16U, this one was very noisy.  I recorded the racket it made before, and recorded it again after, the difference is quite stark.  Almost 10Db quieter.  One should also remember that by strapping the smart phone to the tripod leg would add a few Db as well from vibration... but I simply wanted to see the difference before service and after.  With lenses inserted and testing from 5 feet away, I reckon the 16U would be acceptably quiet for most shooting needs.



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