Lens Mounts: Kiev Automat

Pekka Buttler, January 2024

To use a wikipedia term, this article is a stub (I’ll extend it with further material …)

The Kiev Automat mount is a proprietary lens mount used by the Kiev 10/15 series of Soviet-era SLR cameras. In fact, the name of the mount is not commonly established and is sometimes also referred to as the Kiev 10, Kiev 15 or Kiev 10/15 mount or Kiev bayonet. JAPB refers to it as the Kiev Automat mount, because all these lenses are characterised by them having “AUTOMAT” (ABTOMAT) featured prominently on the lens’ name ring.

Specifications of the Kiev Automat mount:

Mount type: Bayonet (lens release on body)
Flange focal distance: 44,0 mm
Film format: 36mm x 24mm (‘Full frame’)
Mount communication: One levers for aperture control (camera to lens).

Features of Kiev Automat lenses:

The Kiev 10/15 system (introduced 1965) was geared towards exposure automation. Hence, all exposure-related controls were concentrated in the camera body, including (importantly) aperture control. The Kiev Automat system was an attempt to produce a premium system, and was in many ways groundbreaking. It also featured some of the era’s most prominent Soviet optics.

Adapting Kiev Automat lenses:

There are two complications: Firstly, the Kiev Automat is a comparatively rare Soviet lens mount, so there is relatively little economic interest in developing adapters for it. Secondly, the fact that the lenses lack a ring for aperture control mean that this is something the adapter will need to enable.

Currently there are only two ways of adapting Kiev Automat lenses to mirrorless systems:

Firstly, on ebay (and similar marketplaces) you can find DIY adapters that have been made by cannibalising (hopefully) broken Kiev 10/15 cameras.

Secondly, there are templates for 3D printing a suitable adapter tube that would allow mounting Kiev Automat lenses on NEX/Sony FE, Leica M and Canon FD cameras/adapters. See Prof. Dietz’s thorough exploration of the topic here.

Identifying the Kiev Automat mount:

To be added later, sorry.

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