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Camera Kiev-Vega review

Kiev-Vega is a miniature folding camera for 16 mm film. Some time ago I already examined a similar camera - Kiev-30. Vega is its predecessor and generally the first model in the line.
The Kiev-Vega family and subsequent similar models are the smallest Soviet serial devices.

With a similar concept, one can recall, perhaps, the Cosmik-117 from LOMO, which appeared later, was a device of a higher level and was not mass-produced.

The prototype for the creation of the Kiev-Vega was the Minolta-16 apparatus. The similarity, even in the smallest detail, is obvious. Photo from
Once again I want to draw your attention to the persistence with which Arsenal promoted its photographic brand "Kiev". All cameras produced by Arsenal were called Kiev - for narrow film, for medium format, for 16 mm, rangefinder, SLR - everything.

The only exception I know is the Salyut apparatus. The modification of which, however, also received the name Kiev-88.

In this case, everything is the same. We have developed a completely new class of devices. Why not give a new name? For example, just Vega? What's bad?

As a result, the device was named Kiev-Vega. And then they refused from "Vega". The models Kiev-30, Kiev-30M and Kiev-303 appeared.


The first issues of Kiev-Vega in 1960 had a characteristic cut on the top panel of the outer casing for access to the release button. And the word "Vega" was applied to the front panel, not the top.

Such options are rare.

In the review, the second, more common modification Kiev-Vega appeared very quickly, also in 1960-61.

In 1961, the device was significantly modified, and the model Kiev-Vega 2 was released.

The second Vega received the ability to focus instead of fixed focus, increased cassette capacity and an exposure calculator. Photo from

There are modifications Vega and Vega-2, differing in inscriptions made in Russian, Ukrainian, and also in Latin.

In the review, a slightly shabby copy of Kiev-Vega numbered 105752.

Camera Kiev-Vega
The Kiev-Vega camera was produced at the Kiev Arsenal in 1960-62.

Fixed lens Industar-M 3.5 / 23, focused at hyperfocal distance. With an aperture of, for example, f5.6, the width of the RIP was declared from 2.8 meters to infinity.

The diaphragm is double-lobed and forms square holes. Aperture limit - f11.
Curtain shutter with horizontal movement of metal shutters. Located in front of the lens.

The shutter has a constant slit, the shutter speed is regulated by changing the shutter speed.

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

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

The device is designed for a 16-mm perforated non-perforated film 45 cm long. The film holds 20 frames with a format of 10 × 14 mm.

The film is loaded into a cassette in which there are both supply and receive coils without the possibility of their disconnection.

Rewind is not provided.

The weight of my copy without the lens is 160 grams.

Control elements:

Kiev-Vega is really a very small device. Vega's body is entirely made of light metal. The surface is nicely textured.

There are two windows in the front. Smaller for the lens, larger for the viewfinder.
The lens window is covered with a light filter, it is removable. The device comes with 3 light filters: neutral (as a rule, it is worn), yellow and red.

Have you often seen in the days of black and white films that you shoot with filters? No, the fact that filters are useful, I understand, I even have an article on this, but have you specifically seen use cases often?

I have never seen it.

However, Arsenal supplied Vega with a set of light filters. Very commendable and revealing.

On the rear left is the viewfinder peephole. It is not covered with glass. Just a rectangular hole.

All controls are on the right side. These are two toggle wheels. The near one switches the aperture, and the far one switches the shutter speed.
If the device is folded, the release button is hidden inside, under the outer casing of the case.

The top right panel also has a wired sync pin jack. By the way, it is also a pleasant excess for such a miniature device.

Self-resetting frame counter - bottom.
Vega needs to be spread out to take a photo. 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 extended, the right inner part extends slightly less than halfway and locks in this position.

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

Multiple photographing occurs as a series of additions - expansions.

When the shutter is cocked, the apparatus can be folded. But then, when unfolding, there will be a broaching of an unexposed frame.

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 it is impossible to understand or remember in any other way whether the bolt is released. If the shutter is cocked, it is better not to fold the device without an obvious need, so as not to transfer wasted film.
When unfolded, a square shutter button becomes available on top and an overview opens through the viewfinder.

The release button travel is very short and soft enough.

You do not need to focus the device.

To charge Vega with a film, you need to press on the small metal tab on the bottom surface and pull the halves of the case to the sides, just as when unfolding. However, in this case, the cover is completely removed and detached.

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

Attitude towards the camera.

Kiev-Vega is a pretty device and quite pleasant to use. Everything is done efficiently and optimally for a camera of this class.

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