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Kiev 30
Miniature 16 mm camera

Kiev 30 was a miniature 16 mm photo camera, introduced in 1974 by Arsenal in Kiev (Ukraine). It was the successor to the popular range of Kiev Vega cameras, the first of which was basically a copy of the Minolta 16 miniature camera. The camera can shoot 25 exposures with a frame size of 17 x 13 mm, onto a 16 mm unperforated film that is held in a film cartridge. It has an Industar 23 mm f/3.5 lens, with 5 different apertures (3.5 - 11) and 3 shutter speeds (1/30 - 1/200) [1].

The camera measures 84 x 46 x 27 mm (when closed) and weights no more than 178 grams. Before taking a picture, it has to be extracted as shown in the image on the right. This uncovers the lens and advances the film to the next frame.

The user can now use the small viewfinder at the left to point at the subject, and take a picture by pressing the square shutter release button at the right, close to the front edge of the camera. To the left of the shutter release button is the focus knob, which ranges from 50 cm to infinite. Note that short distances will cause a parallax error.
  
Extended Kiev 30 camera

Due to its small size and short focussing range, the camera is suitable for covert photography, and to some extent also for covert document photography. It is often suggested that it was used by the intelligence services of the former Soviet Union (USSR), such as the KGB. Although this is possible, it is far more likely that the KGB used other cameras, like the Ajax F-21, the Tochka-58 and the Minox range, which were also available to them at the time. In 1987, the Kiev 30 was succeeded by the short-lived (simplified) Kiev 30M, and finally in 1990 by the improved Kiev 303.

Complete package in original carton
Inside the package
Kiev 30 in leather carrying bag
Kiev 30
Extended Kiev 30 camera
Releasing the case lock
Camera fully extracted
Open Kiev 30 camera with film cartridge
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Complete package in original carton
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Inside the package
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Kiev 30 in leather carrying bag
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Kiev 30
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Extended Kiev 30 camera
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Releasing the case lock
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Camera fully extracted
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Open Kiev 30 camera with film cartridge

Specifications
  • Device
    Pocket camera
  • Purpose
    Consumer and covert photography
  • Manufacturer
    Arsenal (Kiev, Ukraine)
  • Production
    1974-1983
  • Film
    16 mm unperforated
  • Frame size
    17 x 13 mm
  • Exposures
    25
  • Lens
    Industar-M 23mm f/3.5
  • Aperture
    (5) 3.5, 4, 5.6, 8, 11
  • Shutter
    (3) 1/30, 1/60, 1/200
  • Focus
    50 cm — ∞
  • Dimensions
    84 x 46 x 27 mm (extracted: 108 x 46 x 27 mm)
  • Weight
    178 grams
References
  1. Subminiature cameras, 16 mm - Variations in Kiev Subminiature Cameras
    Website. Visited January 2019.

  2. Camerapedia Wiki
    Retrieved January 2019.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Saturday 19 January 2019. Last changed: Wednesday, 13 September 2023 - 07:28 CET.
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