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Kiev 88

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by KierFX, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    After thinking that buying a Mamiya 645 1000S was a good idea, and now knowing its not, I am now considering a Kiev 88. The Kiev 88 looks very appealing, being essentially a clone of a Hasselblad, hence the name "Hasselbladski"

    I like the 6x6 format of it, and research tells me that the quality control of the Kiev cameras was bad. However, if you do manage to get a good one then they're worth it. It seems hard to buy them from the UK and buying them from Russia or Ukraine seems much cheaper so that's how i'd buy it.

    Biggest problem seems to be mirror slap, but some third party companys allow you to send it away for a fee and they'll fit a mirror lock up switch. Is this my best, cheap, option for moving to medium format?

  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    No. A Mamiya M645 would be infinitely better.
    PhotoEcosse likes this.
  3. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    I want something with a bigger format, i.e 6x6 or 6x7.
  4. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Or...and here's a thought...I was given a Bronica ETRSi by Hairy Dave the sales bloke at work last year and I've never taken it out of its bag - I've already got one that I use complete with all the trimmings.

    It's got an eye-level finder that I think is metered (that I've never looked at so don't know whether it's working but it's probably fine and should just need a battery), a 120 (6x6) back with darkslide, a 75mm f2,8 lens and a 150mm f3.5. No waist-level finder but the shutters seem to be working fine and all the kit looks to be in good condition.

    If you can wait until after Christmas (so that I can sort everything through the courier service at work) you can have it for free.

    Cheers, Jeff
  5. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    Wow Jeff! I don't know what to say! Thats so kind of you, thank you so much. I'll pm you in a second. The community on AP is the greatest around, thanks you jeff!.
  6. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Unless you shoot square images, there's no advantage in 6x6 over 645, as you crop anyway.
    6x7 is more expensive and a lot heavier.

    Jeff's offer is certainly the best option. :)
    PhotoEcosse and Roger Hicks like this.
  7. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The advantage comes when cropping to a portrait format, try using a waist level finder on a 645 in a vertical format!
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I have. ;) I use a prism finder with 645 for precisely that reason. In fact this is the very point I made in the last thread. ;)
  9. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    Oh I see, 6x6 does look appealing though due to the 1;1 ratio.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  10. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Square can be very nice but I'd definitely stay away from the Kiev. The Soviet medium format cameras have a reputation for unreliability which is not wrong. The Bronica SQ-A comes up at reasonable prices and is a decent piece of kit. The Pentacon Six can also be very nice and is generally quite cheap. Insist on being able to put a film through first, though. Their one weak point is the film transport, which can go wrong if abused. Yashicamats and Minolta Autocards are good and relatively cheap if you can live with one lens (well two actually :) ) and they're a lot quieter than any of the SLRs. Even very old Rolleiflexes can take impressive pictures and you can sometimes find a bargain.
  11. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    That's a brilliant offer from Jeff. An incentive to really get some good technique going with B&W so that if you want square pics you crop down from 645 format! Advantage of Jeff's generosity is that the Bronnie will take interchangeable magazines so when you come to do C41 you can swap between B&W & colour just like that!
  12. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    I have done, nimbus, and it ain't easy, especially handheld. I have done it on a tripod, too, a bit easier but still not great. However, for sneaky street photography , if that's your bag, it would be worth persevering! Cheers, Oly
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Kieran,

    Seize Jeff's generous offer!


  14. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Just for everybody's information, Kieran has accepted my offer and I'm arranging to have the kit with him at some point next week.

    Cheers, Jeff
    neilt3, Roger Hicks and Geren like this.
  15. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    It's very kind of you to pass on the camera to Kieran , and it's a very nice camera to use .

    I have the Bronica ETRSi ( and ETRS) as well as the Kiev 88 that the OP was asking about .
    One thing though , the ETRSi isn't a 6x6 format , it's 6x4.5 .

    Kieran does specify that he wants the square 6x6 format in his reply to other 6x4.5 suggestions .
    Unless he really needs the larger negative of the 6x6 format , cropping the 6x4.5 negative to 4.5x4.5 works fine .

    Bronica did sell a medium format 6x6 SLR called the SQ and the later SQai .
    More information can be found here ; http://www.myphotoweb.com/Zenza_bronica_camera/zenza_en/index.htm

    @ Kieran , use the Bronica ETRSi for a while before deciding if you really do need/want a 6x6 camera .

    If 6x6 with interchangeable lenses is what is really wanted , and your on a budget , consider one of the Mamiya TLR's .
    Have a look here ; http://www.photographersgarden.com/mamiya-c330/

    If you do go down the route of getting a Kiev 88 , a couple of things to be aware of .
    The light seals on the film back are almost certain to be duff , allowing light leaks from that side .
    I have six backs and all leaked from the same point .
    Luckily it's an easy and cheap fix , and an improvement on design from the original Kiev ones .
    Here an ebay link to the replacement seal for £13 . (You could also get one from Hasselblad , but pay about £50 IIRC ).
    Another point is that the shutter and mirror return is automatic , you have to wind on to the next frame for this to happen .
    If you fail to do this and continue to walk around without a lens cap on you'll get light making it through the shutter curtain ruining you negative .
    It took a few minutes before i worked out what the issue was , as this had only appeared on a few negatives .
    This is what that looks like , the image is cropped to remove the light leak from the darkslide (GRRRR!) ;
    [​IMG]Angel by Neil Taylor, on Flickr

    If you want a "new " updated Kiev 88 , two firms can supply these .
    They essentially rebuild the Kiev cameras , check them over and build them to a good standard .
    Another thing they do is to replace the foil shutter with a cloth one .
    These cameras are sold as the Kiev 88CM , note the "CM" . earlier cameras had a bayonet lens mount , later cameras , theses modified cameras and the Kiev 6C ( a bit like a 35mm SLR on steroids !) all have a breach lock lens mount .
    Take this into account before buying lenses should you buy one .

    I'm thinking of getting one of these new cameras next year with MLU from this firm ;

    Another firm doing these modifications is this one ;

    For more information on the Kiev 88 have a look at these websites ;
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  16. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    A 6x4.5 film back is also available for the Kiev 88 , I have one but I need to dismantle it to find out whats wrong with it .
    Apart from the typical light leak from the darkslide ( caused by being stored for 30 years with the darkslide still inserted ) it's leaving scratches on the negative .
    Not sure they had heard of quality control at the old arsenal factory in Kiev .
    It was bought new in box , so i suspect it is being caused by a bad finish to the paint inside it .

    This is one taken with it , some of the scratches I've cloned out , but I liked how the picture looked so didn't do too much work on it , has the feel of an old postcard to it .
    [​IMG]Llynnon Mill by Neil Taylor, on Flickr

    If you do go for a Kiev 88 , I really would recommend buying from ARAX with a guarantee .
    There again , if you really do want 6x6 with interchangeable lens on a budget , I would really suggest the Mamiya TLR is the way to go .
  17. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    All excellent points from Neil - and the Bronica is indeed a 6x4.5. I plead temporary insanity.

    Kieran has now taken delivery of the Bronica and a couple of lenses so he has the opportunity to give medium format a try for a minimum amount of outlay.

    I've got a soft spot for TLRs myself, having used an old Yashica to do a series of postcards for the Royal Armouries in Leeds many years ago.

    Cheers, Jeff
  18. KierFX

    KierFX Well-Known Member

    I've shot a roll of Hp5 already which I plan to develop in the new year and will post the results from the bronica

    thaks again


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