(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 enlagering 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 camera was now
designed to use 22.5mm filters, although the filters had to be attached AFTER
the f-stop was selected, since the aperture ring was covered by the filter.
The only other change was that this model opted for a rewind knob instead
of the original rewind crank. The knob is very slow to use. 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.
COPYRIGHT @ 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 by Joe McGloin. All Rights Reserved.