Chaika II

(1967) It's the same camera body as the original but a 39mm thread was added to the lens.  But don't assume that because the camera now has interchangeable lenses with a Leica thread that you can slap any Leica screw-mount lens on this camera.  This is NOT the case.  The shutter on the Chaika II is very close to the lens mount, so that any Leica-thread lens with a protruding rear lens element can damage the shutter.  Another reason for the interchangeable lens was to put the 28mm camera lens on an enlarger!  So when you buy this camera, you automatically end up with an enlarging lens suitable to the half-frame format.  Talk about design genius.   But the lens mount was not the only change in the camera.  Several other, minor changes were made.  The rectangular shutter release and separate cable release connection was replaced with the typical, combined, round release/connection configuration.  Also, a plastic tip was added to the film advance lever which was too small on the original model.  The lens now had the advantage of a built-in depth-of-field scale, as well and closer focusing to 2.5 feet.  The lens was now designed to use 22.5mm filters.  The only other change was that this model opted for a rewind dial instead of the original rewind crank.  The rewind dial is very slow to use and has a rotating film reminder plate -- just to confuse people.  Shutter speeds of B, 1/30 - 1/250. Apertures from f2.8 to f16.  The camera was available in several colors, such as black, grey, red, brown and green.  Over 1,000,000 cameras were manufactured so they should be easy to obtain, especially in Russia.

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