Kiev 60

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by analogfotog, May 30, 2008.

  1. analogfotog

    analogfotog Member

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    I am considering the purchase of a Kiev 60 camera. I am looking for third-party information, such as how reliable are they, significant or persistent problems, availability of parts and service, quality of lenses, et cetera. I would especially like to hear about such things as the loudness of the shutter, whether users can live with a 1/30-second speed for flash syncronization and how bright is the viewfinder.

    My 49-year old Rolleiflex TLR just bit the onion, so it's time for a change. I don't need a a magazine camera, and there is no way that I'm going to lay out the $$ for a Hasselblad.
     
  2. kman627

    kman627 Member

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    I love my Kiev 60

    I've had mine for some time now and love it.

    Problems:
    Definite problem with overlapping frames. Make sure when you wind to the next frame you make a complete movement. I do this and rarely get overlapping frames

    Size can also be an issue, it's pretty big and heavy. I don't mind this, but I'm sure some do.

    Pros:
    I think the glass is excellent. I have the 30/3.5 fisheye, 80/2.8 , Kaleinar 150/2.8 and the Jupiter 36b 250mm. All the lenses are excellent. The build quality is not too good on the Kaleinar, but it's great on the others.

    I've had no problem with the slow flash sync speed.

    The lenses can be had pretty cheap too. I got the 30mm for $189, the Kaleinar for $100, and the Jupiter for $89. All very good deals.

    I bought mine from Hartblei off ebay. I recommend you NOT go with them. They are pretty corrupt from my experience.

    The viewfinder with the WLF is much brighter than my Bronica SQ. It's not as bright as I'd like it to be with the TTL metered prism, but the meter is very accurate and focusing is still easy with the prism. But definitley better with the WLF.

    All in all, I'd definitley recommend it. Image wise it's right up there with Zeiss glass in my opinion and much cheaper.

    Here's some of my stuff with the K60: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=kiev&w=45475529@N00&s=int
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    The cameras are either bullet proof or only good for target pratice. They vary. The lenses tend to be good to very good. Shutter never bothered me but then it takes a lot to bother me. Flash sync is fine for indoors but outdoors in even mild sun you'll want faster. Just think of the exposures outdoors.

    In todays market I wouldn't. If you want to use the lenses and don't mind 645 then stick the lenses on a Pentax 645 or Mamiyma 645 body. You'll get a solid body with the best part of the Kiev system. The adapters aren't too much money.

    OTOH if you can live with 645 then the Bronica 645 isn't much if any more expensive then the Kievs today. For that matter I doubt the Mayima RB or RZ are either if you shop carefully.

    It's hard for me to honestly suggest anybody buy a Kiev system today. To put that in perspecitve I was and to be honest still am fairly happy with my Kiev 6C and Kiev 60 bodies. It's just for similar money why take the risk?

    OTOH if you like tinkering then the chance to be a camera repairman is a strong advantage with the Kievs -)))
     
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    When they are good, they are good. When they are dogs, they are dogs. The problem is not any one particular issue, but an overall lack of consistency camera to camera.

    The only way to know for sure is to bite the bullet and invest in an upgraded one. There are several places that do this, but one of them seems more "legit" and practiced than the rest: http://www.kievusa.com/upgrades.html

    That is so expensive, though, and in the end, you still have a pretty cheesy camera.

    Thus, I am of the opinion that it is worthwhile to initially invest in a Pentacon Six instead. They aren't that expensive, and seems to better overall.

    Comparison of the two: http://www.pentaconsix.com/P6K60.htm

    Pentacon Six info site: http://www.pentaconsix.com/

    As for whether or not the flash synch speed is a bother, it is entirely dependent on what you are shooting. Stinks for fill flash...but definitely doable in studio or for full flash use.

    Don't expect to hand hold these cameras and get a sharp image below '250 with a normal lens, even if you are very careful. The mirror slap is pretty hearty. You will likely almost always be on sticks, I assume/recommend.

    Enter the posts from people who have hand held them at '15 with no problem. Yawn.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2008
  5. kman627

    kman627 Member

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    I won't say it can be done at 1/15, but I can do it at 1/30. The mirror doesn't slap that hard. Sorry make you yawn.
     
  6. DannL

    DannL Member

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    I've had mine for about a year, and I'm just now starting to enjoy it. I was lucky to get a good one. No framing issues. MFD 1995, from an estate sale. I find the prism to be comfortably bright. I find the waist level finder to be "not fun". To carry it requires (for me) two small bags. One for the body and another for two lenses, extension macro rings, meter, etc. I tried carrying 3 lenses once with the body and extras in a backpack. I'll never do that again. I read somewhere that the shutter sound was similar to a toaster. I must agree . . . maybe a small two-slice toaster.

    Here is a negative, scanned, inverted and tweaked from about a week ago. I used a tripod and the ARSAT C 80mm lens. 1/8th @ F/22 if I recall . This is how I evaluate for a potential print, so please forgive.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7487667@N06/2519669321/sizes/o/

    I don't use flash for anything, so I can't help in that department. If I had to do it all over, would I buy this camera again? . . . . tick . . . tock . . . tick . . . tock . . . Sure! Why not. I got a good deal.
    :D
     
  7. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I've enjoyed having mine, but upgraded to a ARAX built 88CM a few years back, so I have been considering selling it. The viewfinder is nice and bright, and the shutter is no louder than I expect from a MF SLR. I've never used the meter, so can't comment on it. The only problem I have had has been frame spacing, which is slightly off. I solve that by putting a little tape on the spool.

    It can be a bit intimidating to look at and pick up. A friend saw it and my Pentax 110 at the same time and dubbed them Dr. Evil and Mini-me. I have enjoyed paraphrasing Crocodile Dundee when I have the 250/3.5 on and see someone with 35mm or digital, "That's not a camera - THIS is a camera."
     
  8. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I have a Kiev 80 which I use occasionally, No real issues, yet. The interchangeable backs come in handy, the lens(es) are just fine, especially for the price. I had to have the blades of the 80 Arsat cleaned--oil had migrated and they were hanging up. I bought body, 80, a couple of backs, metered prism and also a WL finder, hood, filters, etc. for 350 bucks US some years back. I bought a rapid wind crank which just slips over the wind/shutter knob from ARAX, and a 645 back of fleaBay. Picked up a Soviet-made WA, and a current Ukrainian 250.It's kind of fun to use. But I rely on my Pentax 6x7 when I really need to feel comfortable shooting where I cannot afford a let down. Still, as I have said, my "Hasselbladski" has yet to fail in any way: even the 80 would stop down to f/8 every time when it was hanging up and it only cost me 40 bucks to have cleaned out and relubed. Still, I use MF so little I really should divest myself of one or both of the outfits.
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    OK...I consider '250 to be the '60 of medium format SLRs. Even at '60 on small format, you don't get the sharpest of the sharp...just acceptably sharp. I am sure that under certain circumstances, peops can hold slower...just like with 35. But, the faster the better, and definiteley something to consider if you think you can always consider '60 to be your handholdable speed.
     
  10. mabman

    mabman Member

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    I bought a used Arax-60 MLU (upgraded Kiev-60) a short time ago. Buyer beware, I guess - the seller said it worked just fine, but a test roll revealed it has the dreaded frame-spacing issue (progessively increasing overlapping - and yes, I was winding the lever slowly all the way).

    I've just sent it to ARAX in Kiev to fix it thoroughly. I did have some difficulty getting the lens off due to a screw on the lens base - hopefully I can get it back on when my camera comes back to me :smile: Mine came with a Vega 120mm lens - although my test roll was botched, what was visible looked quite nice.

    Although it does have serious mirror slap, I think it's mitigated by the overall heft of the camera (but admittedly I haven't shot an awful lot with mine yet - but the shots I know were at 1/60 at least were OK for me). And, of course, mine has MLU if necessary.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2008
  11. mabman

    mabman Member

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    When I was researching which one to purchase, a lot of comments on various sites indicate that the Pentacon 6 is even more prone to frame-spacing issues than the Kiev-60 and is more finicky about film loading. YMMV, of course.
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The problems with the Pentacon six (and the Kiev) usually come from improper loading and/or advancing, not from it simply being a crummily-quality-controlled camera like the Kiev. Some have problems, but they are few and far between compared to the Kiev. Read the link. I agree entirely with the author.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2008
  13. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    I have owned and used a Pentacon six for over ten years. If you load the film corrrectly (see the Pentacon web page) you get 13 evenly spaced shots on a roll of 120 with never an overlap.
     
  14. Kino

    Kino Member

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    I have had a Kiev 88 for over 3 years and, as it is stated over and over again, if you follow the actual directions to load the mags (yes I know this is a Kiev 60 thread), you get proper spacing.

    The Kiev Camera body is worth having for the 30mm fisheye alone, however, this lens can also be had in other custom mounts if you look hard enough.
     
  15. weasel

    weasel Member

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    I currently have a k60, an arax 60, a pentacon 6ttl and three zeiss lenses.
    It all started with a very cheap and funky k60 that I messed around with until I got it working. Then came the zeiss lenses. Then came a brand new looking pentacon 6 ttl. After putting maybe three rolls through the pentacon, the film counter broke, and I have not been able to find anyone to repair it.
    So, along came the arax.
    My take on these is that the k60 is a good robust design that can be poorly executed. Watch out for light leaking shutter curtains. Film spacing may need to be adjusted. The arax is nicer, plus has mirror lock.
    The pentacons are much more refined. Loaded properly, film spacing was not an issue for me. Evidently the film counters break easily, and my experience is that they can be tough to get repaired. Keep in mind these puppies are old now, and likely to need repairs. That alone would steer me towards an arax.
    The zeiss lenses are wonderful; the 180 and 55 make a great mf kit.
    If interested, pm me. I would sell the outfit to you for a very reasonable amount, as I just never use it anymore.
     
  16. pschauss

    pschauss Member

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    I have a Kiev 6C, a Pentacon 6, and a Rolleicord Va. The Keiv 6C has given me good results, but it lacks the solid feel of the Pentacon and the Rolleicord. When I got the camera, the film advance lever was loose, almost falling off. Once I figured out how to get at the screw which held it on, it was a simple repair. I solved the frame overlap by setting it for 220 film. The film counter on my Pentacon quits after six frames. Other than that it works well.

    I tend to use my Rolleicord, recently CLAed by Krimar Photo, considerably more than I use the other two because it is smaller and lighter. You don't say what the problem with your Rolleiflex is, but you might find it more economical, in the long run, to have it repaired.
     
  17. razocaine_07

    razocaine_07 Member

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    ive always seen them as marmite...you either love them or hate them. I dont like them because of the size and weight of them.
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    "I solved the frame overlap by setting it for 220 film."

    I did not know that Kiev 60/6C have 220 capability. I was always told they were 120 only.
     
  19. mabman

    mabman Member

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    The 6C can do both, but the 60 that replaces it only does 120.
     
  20. zgauthier

    zgauthier Member

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    I totally love my 6C. It came in the mail just a few weeks ago; we've had good times since then. It definitely isn't pretty, or particularly well put together. But I paid $50 for a working body and prism with intentions to make it a sort of project camera. It seems fairly simply assembled, you don't need complex tools to really open the thing up. Since its arrival, I've replaced all the light seals, mirror damper, fixed the loose prism finder, stop-down pin actuator thingy, and frame counter. As for reliability. Mine has worked without a hitch so far, but that's just mine. From the russian signatures on the inside of the baseplate, it looks like it's been CLAd a few times.

    Here's a picture I took of it last night.
    http://zack.loseby.net/images/kievomega.jpg
     
  21. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    I have a couple of 6C's that I've had a lot of fun playing with, but considering the rapidly falling cost of more reliable cameras like the Bronica SQ-A, you should take a look around before settling on the Kiev.

    Nathan
     
  22. mark

    mark Member

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    Just remember that the vodka flowed freely in the QC department. I have an 80 that I am super happy with. I have gotten lucky and all of my lenses are very very good. But, I have heard stories.

    I agree with those who say to look for a reliable camera and get adapters for the body. Bodies, of other systems, are falling in price, the price of the glass is still MUCH MUCH higher than the kiev lenses.
     
  23. jmxphoto

    jmxphoto Member

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    Having owned a Kiev 60, I'd say don't bother with it. You can get a Bronica SQ-A kit for around $200 which is a much better system. Or if you're looking for something more "off the beaten path" look into a koni Omega setup. Really, the Kiev 60's are almost like disposable MF SLRs. The build quality is bad and the glass is "meh".