Anyone deal with Kiev Camera (kievcamera.com)?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dianna, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. dianna

    dianna Member

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    I bought a Kiev 88 kit from them on Ebay on October 5 and still haven't received it. Initially they said they'd ship it on October 9. They haven't replied to my e-mails (I sent a couple of them asking when I can expect the camera, tracking number, etc). When I tried calling their number to ask about the camera today, someone answered and hung up without saying anything (I tried calling twice and got the same result). Are they just slow about shipping or is there more to it than that? I'd appreciate feedback from anyone who has dealt with them in the past. I did some limited research before buying the camera and didn't come across anything negative. They look legitimate as far as I can tell.

    Thanks,
    Dianna
     
  2. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Hrm odd, that site usually gets good recomendations, and usually best to buy a keiv from an authorized ( and within the united states if thats where you are ) dealer. http://www.kievcamera.com/

    It seems to be the main store that http://www.kievaholic.com/ recomends.

    I know they're legitimate but make sure you got the domain correct, theres another site with a slightly different spelling on Kiev that I know is a spam site. Also I was not aware that kievcamera.com had an ebay outlet, try contacting the main site itself with verification to the ebay account seller ID.
     
  3. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Yes, once many years ago. There were no problems. I wonder if you somehow got caught with a lack of inventory. It seems those Kiev88 cameras have become somewhat popular due to their price. Keep in mind that their inventory comes from across the globe. This doesn't excuse them from getting back to you though.
     
  4. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Keiv used to be regarded as being a 'budget' camera, but not given the alternatives becoming much cheaper, and the demand due to it's popularity, driving prices higher, a kiev isnt exactly as good a deal as it once was when you can get a hasselblad for about the same price, or a mamiya for far cheaper.
     
  5. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Well I guess that's true. The choice between a brand new 88 and a good used RB or RZ would have to go to the Mamiya.
     
  6. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Buying a Kiev seems to be like buying a Yugo - dealer prep is everything. I got one from a US dealer that had been extensively modified (mount, shutter) and tweaked. It almost works. (I still have problems with the backs.) The kit came with an instruction manual from the dealer that mostly said "Don't even think about touching the shutter speed controls unless the shutter is cocked!" I think this may be one of the world's worst cameras, but it takes some of the world's best lenses, and the lenses are generally cheap.
    In spite of its problems, I am able to use it and get some value from it.
     
  7. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    My experience with them isn't positive. I bought a Kiev spot prism from them this summer on eBay, but I wasn't happy with it, and returned it. See this tread:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=30078&highlight=kiev+prism

    I sent them an e-mail, after waiting a month for some kind of response, asking if they had received the prism I returned. They responded that they had indeed received the prism, and that they didn't find any faults, and that they actually had sold it to another customer!

    I was pretty amazed by this, and demanded an immediate refund, but I've heard no word from them since.

    Trond
     
  8. dianna

    dianna Member

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    My husband was finally able to get them on the phone. They told him they might have a camera to send me on Friday this week. He asked for a refund and they refunded my money 10 minutes later (whew!)

    Main reason I'd like to have a Kiev is because the lenses are so cheap and because I like square format best... I've heard both good and bad experiences about the quality.

     
  9. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Dianna,

    Have you looked at some of the alternatives available, I owned a couple of kievs, they were okay, but I had several of the older bronicas and the quality of even a used camera was better and the glass for the bronica cameras is great quality glass, in this market, I am pretty sure you could pick something up in the used market and get some lenses to go with it for about the same money you would spend on a new kiev and probably have a better camera to boot.

    Good luck in your search.

    Dave
     
  10. Mark_S

    Mark_S Member

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    What lens mount do the Kievs use? Can I get Kiev lenses to fit on my 500CM?
     
  11. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Kiev's use P6 lens mounts. You'd have major problems fitting P6 lenses to a leaf shutter camera. Work fine on something like a Pentax 645 or the Mamiya 645 but they have focal plane shutters.
     
  12. robat

    robat Member

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    I would recommend dealing with Arax (www.araxfoto.com) if you want to get Kiev gear. The guy running this business is very friendly and I have only good experiences with them. And they are happy to ship everywhere in the world, my order of a new NT magazine took one week (Ukraine -> Germany).
    I think an improved Kiev from Arax (sold under their own name) is a good entry to MF, and you can use the nice and very cheap Carl Zeiss Jena lenses.
     
  13. robat

    robat Member

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    Nick, there are two types of Kiev mounts. The Kiev 88 CM for example uses P6 (aka C-mount), a plain 88 like mine uses B-mount.
     
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  15. pyrometol

    pyrometol Member

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    I have an Arax (a rebuilt and improved Kiev 88) That uses the Pentacon bayonet fitting which lets me use Zeiss lenses at a very cheap price. If you look in the AP advert for Nicholasand under pentacon+Russian they usually have half a dozen or more lenses for sale at very reasonable prices. pyrometol
     
  16. Bromo33333

    Bromo33333 Member

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    Nope. You have a in-lens shutter, the Kiev based cameras don't and uise a focal plane shutter. Too bad because the glass isn't very expensive and reputed to be pretty decent if you get one that was built well...

    You can consile yourself with some Zeiss glass (used)! :smile:
     
  17. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    Yeah -- I nearly had to threaten to open a can of whupass on them. The woman who answered knew just enough english (and I didn't know any Russian) to tell me the Kiev88s were coming in a shipment on Friday. We'd heard that same story before. I said "I just want to get this straight. You sold something you didn't have?" (chattering in the background -- handed the phone off to someone else)

    "May I help you?"
    "Yes, I ordered a Kiev88 on 5 October, you told me it would ship on 9 October, and now it's 23 October and you're telling me it will ship in several more days? I just want to verify that you sold something you didn't have"
    well.. I got a long story from him, about half of which I understood because of the speed of delivery, but it seems that several of the cameras he previously sold were returned for replacement, and they used the camera we bought as a replacement and were either expecting a camera we could have in a shipment that kept getting delayed, or the shipments they were getting didn't have kiev88s in them.

    At any rate, he offered a refund and we got it via paypal in about 10-15 minutes.

    I personally wouldn't do business with them again. It sounds like they just had a tough break, but I think it was a poor business choice to use new "spoken-for" stock to replace a returned camera.

    Now, Dianna and I both decided to buy "commie cameras" at the same time, but I decided on a Pentacon Six. Can't wait to get my hands on it. It's been just under a week since I got notification that it was sent by dvdtechcameras.com in Kiev. Once I get it, I'll be hankering for a Sonnar, a Flektogon, and one of the means I haven't decided on yet of making the viewfinder brighter.

    This experience with the Kiev, though, leaves me wondering something I've been wondering a lot lately. Since we're growing more and more fond of older and older gear. Where does one learn basic camera repair? I found Ed Romney who will sell you a textbook, a toolkit and some supplements for specific cameras, but surely there's got to be more. Isn't there a workshop somewhere that will get me started breaking down lenses and non-electronic cameras and acquiring at least enough skills to CLA and perform simple repairs or parts replacement on them?

    Yours in non-intentional-offtopicness,

    -KwM-
     
  18. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I was considering this same question some time ago, and acquired all the manuals and instructions for a Nikon F from Tomosy, Romney, Nat Camera, and others. Now I can remove the covers of a Nikon F for a thorough exterior cosmetic cleaning, and perhaps a cursory inspection for major damage, but that’s about it. A GOOD camera tech has spent years acquiring the necessary experience, and a good shop has specialized equipment beyond the reach of the part time amateur. There are techs specializing in a particular camera, and by research and recommendations on forums such as this one, we can identify those gifted persons. So, much as I would like to do it myself, for the best results I will send all my repairs out.
     
  19. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Hardly a fair evaluation of this camera in my opinion. I have owned an 88 for 3 months and love it. You have to be very careful how you load the magazines or you will have spacing issues, other than that, my camera has performed flawlessly.

    I don't understand people who buy a VW and then complain it isn't a Rolls Royce...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2006
  20. dianna

    dianna Member

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    I've also heard from other Kiev owners that they like the camera. There's a photographer in Austin or thereabouts, Ann Texter, who has done some beautiful work with her Kiev 88. Here's her Kiev examples:

    http://anntexter.com/portfolios/index.php?action=gallery&gallery=Kiev 88CM

    Dianna

     
  21. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Maybe you should look at Hartblei cameras.
     
  22. mark

    mark Member

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    All of the square images in my gallery were taken with an 88. I have had no problem at all with my camera and have used it for 3 years.
     
  23. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Keiv cameras are like those old mustangs that need a lot of work. They can work great provided you put the effort into it to know every little tempermental problems it has, and to watch for them. Not something you can just abuse.

    But I think the topic swayed a bit from gripes with the retailer, to gripes with the camera, and should be noted that no camera is a shitty camera unless you make it one, but we often don't have control over the retailer and its good to hear some feedbacks from guinea pigs, I mean consumers.
     
  24. robat

    robat Member

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    Oh, its nice to see Ann to be mentioned here. I follow her work on flickr and admire her skills very much.

    I use my Kiev for over a year now, its a 1994 model and besides some internal flocking and a CLA by the guy who sold it to me there wasnt any work necessary so far. Maybe Ill buy a Bronica or a Hasselblad one day, but no other brand can give me that much fun for that little money.
     
  25. dianna

    dianna Member

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    They're sort of pricey (same price as a used Bronica SQ setup from KEH)... the kit I was going to buy from Kievcamera was $250 for the body, 2 backs, lens, prism, and w/l.

    I have a nice Yashicamat but I find it awkward to handle. With small hand-held cameras (and that's what I'm looking for), I like the focus control on the lens barrel.

     
  26. mark

    mark Member

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    If you want to shoot handheld, the 88 is a bit awkward. You might think about the K60. Sure, it looks like it was beat with the ugly stick but it has less problems than the 88. Those who shoot with both like the 60 as a hand held camera. I don't own a 60 because I like switching film backs. I also don't shoot handheld very often with it.