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Camera Kyiv-Vega-2 review

Today we will return to the topic of miniature folding cameras Kyiv. Specifically, consider Kyiv-Vega-2.

Vega-2 is a development of the design of the Kyiv-Vega camera, which has been produced at the Kiev Arsenal since 1959. I have a review of the first Vega.

Vega was produced until 1962. By this time, Vega-2 had been in production for 2 years.

Folding cameras for 16 mm film could hardly be considered a flagship branch.

Recall, however, that around the same years, a new high-level camera Narciss (1961-1965) appeared at KMZ, which was also designed for 16 mm film.

According to Narcissus, I have an interesting article and there I present a hypothesis about the logic of the appearance of this apparatus.

In general, in the early 60s, the use of miniature frames 13x17 14x21 mm was seen by the leadership of the photographic industry as promising.

By the mid-60s, interest in such a "crop" had cooled down. The Vega line was discontinued in 1964. Narcissus was closed a year later.

True, already in the mid-70s, the Vega concept was continued in a new line - Kyiv-30 and its modifications. I also have an overview of Kyiv-30. Recommend.

But, back to Vega-2.

During the upgrade, the device received several very significant improvements:
- Cassette with increased capacity. On the Vega-2, you can take 30 shots, while on the previous "simple" Vega - only 20.
— The lens is in focus. Vega is a fixed-focus device.
- A convenient exposure calculator appeared on the case. No electronics, everything by eye according to weather symbols. But it is also very useful and convenient.

Plus, the design of the end part of the retractable body has been changed. It's more of a cosmetic. Although the ergonomics have improved.

The production volumes of Vega-2 are unknown to me. It feels like they were released significantly less than the first Vega. The device is not rare, but there are noticeably fewer offers than the first model.

Even rarer early devices in this design.

Or export. Photo from I have never seen any offers. True, I can not say that I was looking for a lot.

Today in the review is a copy of Kyiv-Vega-2 in good condition with the number 27738. We will consider it.

But first I would like to thank everyone who helps the project to develop. You can also subscribe to the Boosty platform and provide some easy but very important support right now. Join now!

Camera Kyiv-Vega-2

The Kyiv-Vega-2 camera was produced at the Kiev Arsenal in 1961-64. The volume of production is unknown to me.

The device is designed for 16 mm perforated or non-perforated film and forms 10x14 mm frames. There are 30 frames on film.

The film is loaded into a cassette that contains both the feed and take-up spools without the possibility of separating them.

Rewind is not provided.

Included with the device was a disc for adapting the spiral of a standard photo tank for 16 mm film, as well as an insert frame into a photo enlarger.

Fixed lens Industar-M 3.5 / 23. It needs to be focused, MDF - 0.5 meters.

For such a crumb, the lens is fast enough - f3.5.

The diaphragm is two-bladed, forms square holes. The aperture limit is f11.

Curtain shutter, with horizontal movement of metal shutters. Located in front of the lens.

The shutter has a constant gap, the shutter speed is controlled by changing the speed of the shutters.

Three shutter speeds are available - 1/30, 1/60 and 1/200.

The device is equipped with a socket for a wired sync contact (there is no bracket). Synchronization is possible at all three shutter speeds.

The weight of my copy without a lens is 190 grams.


Kyiv-Vega-2 has the same aluminum main body as the first Vega. The only thing is that the end of the pulled-out part turned black and acquired a more ergonomic shape with notches.

Here I want to make such a reservation. Aluminum is a soft metal. Vega, that the first, that the second were completed with a stupid soft case made of leatherette. Very tight and with a metal zipper. This lightning solo scratches the old panel of the device.

The same applies to the carabiner on the strap. This carabiner also leaves marks on the body when stuffing the device into the case. As a result, the device, although it was carefully stored, but the appearance is spoiled.

There are two windows in the front. Smaller for the lens, bigger for the viewfinder.

The lens window is covered with a light filter, it is removable. The device comes with 3 light filters: neutral (it is usually worn), yellow and red.

I think that the equipment of the camera with light filters is another argument in favor of the very serious attitude of the enterprise to the concept of a “cropped” frame in the 60s. Still, in these years, filters are no longer a necessity.

Rear left eye viewfinder. It is not covered with glass. Just a rectangular hole.

On the right side are all the controls. These are two toggle switches. Near - switches apertures, and far - shutter speeds.

When the camera is folded, the shutter release button and focus wheel are hidden inside, under the outer casing of the case.

There is also a wired sync contact jack on the top panel on the right. Also, by the way, a pleasant excess for such a miniature device.

Self-resetting frame counter - bottom.

To take a picture, Vega needs to be decomposed. We take the left and right parts of the body and pull them in different directions.

The left side of the body is a hollow casing. When folded, it is pushed onto the main body of the device. When moving apart, the right inner part extends a little less than half and is fixed in this position.

At the moment of extension, the frame is drawn and the shutter is cocked.

Multiple photographing occurs as a series of additions - expansions, alternating by pressing the shutter button.

Today is yours or mine? -Nastya, 38, not married
With the shutter cocked, the device can be folded. But then, when unfolding, an unexposed frame will be drawn.

In the unfolded state, with the shutter cocked, a red dot is visible through the lens window. When the shutter is released, it is not.

This is a useful solution because otherwise it is impossible to understand or remember whether the shutter is released. If the shutter is cocked, it is better not to fold the camera unless clearly necessary, so as not to transfer the film to waste. But the unfolded device will not enter the case.

When unfolded, the square shutter button and focus wheel become accessible from above. In addition, only in the unfolded state does the view through the viewfinder open.

The trigger stroke is very short and soft enough.

The focus wheel is small and not very ergonomic. Distances marked: 0.5; one; 2; 5 (red dot) and infinity. Intermediate positions are allowed.

The instructions contain a table with the calculation of the depth of field for all options for apertures and distances.

If you set the aperture to f11 and the distance of 5 m (on the red dot), the entire space from 1.6 m to infinity will be sharp.

Yes, crop is more favorable for shooting on the HFR.

There is also a circular exposure calculator on the top panel. It consists of two spinning discs, each with a small leash. In the center is a big arrow.

By rotating the inner disk, you need to set the sensitivity of the film loaded into the camera opposite the central arrow. At the same time, the aperture scale will shift at the same time.

Next, by turning the external disk, you need to select one of the weather symbols:
- bright sun, beach;
- sunny;
- the sun behind the cloud;
- cloudy;
- Mainly cloudy.

The arrow pointer is located on the disc itself.

At the same time, the exposure scale will shift at the same time.

As a result, in front of the calculator - shutter speed and aperture opposite each other - these are exposure couples.

To load Vega-2 with a film, you need to press a small metal tab on the bottom surface and pull the body halves to the sides, just as when unfolding. However, in this case, the casing will be completely removed and separated.

Further, in the right main part on the upper side, you need to open the cover and under it there will be a special, double film cassette.

attitude towards the camera.

It is interesting that folding cameras were in great demand in the USSR, although they were inferior in functionality even to most school cameras.

Veg of both types was released a little, most likely, but the circulation of Kyiv-30 amounted to 1 million copies! They've been sold out!

Probably, for some, a folding camera was something like a camera in a cell phone in the 2005s. Image quality is below average, but always at hand.

However, most, I think, bought these folding beds simply because of some kind of spy romance. Just click and show to friends. Let them envy.

I suppose that not so many shots have reached the real press.

Although it is really nice to turn Vega-2 in your hands!

That's all for me. Good luck!

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