Kiev 88

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by yashica92, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. yashica92

    yashica92 Member

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    Someone experience with the Kiev 88 ? it's worth to spend money hav it ?
     
  2. fretlessdavis

    fretlessdavis Member

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    I've used one of the Kiev rangefinders, and have spoken with someone who uses a Kiev 60. The general consensus is to buy from Hartblei. Make sure it's one CLA'd and tested. Quality control is spotty, but they can be nice cameras.

    What's your goal? Inexpensive way into MF? Using the fabulous Zeiss 180mm f/2.8 Sonnar?

    Depending on what you're doing, I'd recommend going with a more reputable brand and used. Bronica ETRS gear is dirt cheap, and generally very reliable (I now have about $300 invested, and have a 50, 75, 150, 2x teleconverter, prism, body, 2 120 backs, and a 220 back). If you want squares, the Bronica SQ stuff is cheap, too. If you even want Hasselblad, I noticed that KEH has 500ELM's with the 9v adapters and waist levels for $200 in excellent condition. You could easily get a basic 500ELM kit together for about the same price as what the new and tested Kiev 88's are going for.
     
  3. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    In a word: No.

    More words? -- the Kiev 88 is a cheap copy of a camera -- the Hasselblad 1000-- that the Hasselblad folks quit making because they couldn't get it to work dependably. The Kiev 88 was made during the Soviet era when quality at Soviet factories was job 2, or maybe even 3, and numbers out the door were job 1. There's a very good reason Soviet shoppers tried to buy items made on wednesday -- you had the greatest chance that the people making them were sober and not hung over either from the past weekend's parties or from anticipating the coming weekend's parties.

    If you nose around you'll find lots of folks who say the Kiev 88 is a great camera "BUT," and that "but" is big -- you can't change the shutter speed before winding the film or something awful happens; you want to find one that was upgraded with new parts (sometimes Hassy parts), the interior parts are not hidden from light reflections properly but there are post-production fixes for that, the light seals on the film holders leak but there are ways to fix that, and on and on.

    In short, the Kiev 88 out of the box is crap. People who love them -- these people exist -- are the kind of folks who love overcoming adversity. I shoot pinhole for the same reason, but at least I don't have to worry about my pinhole camera falling apart in my hands.

    I have some actual experience. I bought a Kiev 88 outfit brand new and had it quit working three times in the space of two months, each time racking up frequent flier miles back to the seller. The third trip was one-way. It was the only time I'd ever had a brand new camera apparently self-destruct in my hands while simply sitting and working the shutter.

    Prices for Hasselblads have come down a lot in recent years. Find one of those and spend the extra bux for something dependable. You will not regret it.
     
  4. arealitystudios

    arealitystudios Member

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    Buy one if and only if you can get it really cheap.

    I own one and I'll confess I love it to death, but at the same time I also know what it is and what it isn't. What it isn't is a dependable camera that I would ever take anywhere I absolutely had to get an image right the first time. What it is at times is a fun toy that can produce that rough Russian look which I do like at times, especially when combined with an older emulsion like Foma or expired Plus-X.

    Mine jams up all the time and the f-stops are very difficult to adjust. It's a spotty performer at best. Every single time it has broken I've been able to fix it myself but the day will come I'm sure when that isn't possible.
     
  5. yashica92

    yashica92 Member

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    Thx all opinion , actually i shot RB67 , but it was a heavy beast for street photographic not so convinient , so im looking for other MF SLR ,and i saw so many negative feedback from Kiev 88
     
  6. fretlessdavis

    fretlessdavis Member

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    If you like the look of the Russian lenses, the Pentacon Six is only a tad more, and definitely more reliable. The mounts are the same.

    If you liked the RB67, their 645s are light and compact... good for street shooting.

    A tip for MF street, though, in my experience, is to use the waistlevel. My ETRS draws a lot of attention when held up to my eye, especially when loaded up. With the waistlevel, it seems like many people don't even realize I'm taking photos.
     
  7. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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    Depending on if the Kiev is an 88 or 88CM. The 88CM has the same Pentacon 6 mount that the Pentacon and Kiev 60/6c do.
     
  8. MattKrull

    MattKrull Subscriber

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    +1 on the ETR-S. I got a full ETR-Si kit (2 lens) for $400 on KEH last year. I was then lucky enough to pick up another ETR-S with a different lens for $100 locally. It works very well, is pleasant to use, and without the ae prism or grip is surprisingly light. Like fretlessdavid, I'd suggest getting a WLF for street. See if you can get it included in the kit, as they cost a lot ($100) on their own.

    I just got a Fed 3, and I'm very grateful my MF experience was not mirred with the frustration I'm having with my FSU rf.
     
  9. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    Look over on Rangefinderforum -- there is for sale there a very complete Arsat 88 set for a great price. The Arsat is a Kiev 88CM that has had a thorough going over, and so should be very reliable. I would not hesitate to use one of the Kiev 88s that has been "de-bugged." And the CM version gives you access to some excellent lenses, whether Soviet era or Carl Zeiss (both of which are in the set that's for sale).
     
  10. fretlessdavis

    fretlessdavis Member

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    Looks like at current prices on KEH, you could get yourself a body, WLF,2 120 backs, 75mm, 150mm, and 50mm all for about $350.

    I think the ETRS system is about the best value for $$$ in photography right now.
     
  11. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    I don´t have any actual experience with Kiev cameras but in my view, the prime reason to use them would be access to the great Zeiss Jena lenses, especially 180/2,8 and 120/2,8, 300/4. They have the finest bokeh I have ever seen in MF. But as some already said, that is only possible with modified versions like the 88CM.
     
  12. fretlessdavis

    fretlessdavis Member

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    Or the Pentacon Six! Not the most reliable, or the easiest to handle, but a long ways ahead of the Kiev MF cameras... especially the 6c/60.
     
  13. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    Douple-plus yes on using a TLR -- yashica or rollei -- for street shooting. Every time you put a camera up to your eye to shoot you scream to all around "PICTURE BEING TAKEN!!!"

    with a waist-level tlr people tend to not even know it is a camera, let alone that they've just had their picture taken. They are also a LOT quieter than any slr, hassy or kiev, and especially more than a kiev -- their mirror/shutter (when it works) is extremely loud.
     
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  15. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    another option for street shooting Medium Format street shooting is a rangefinder -- find urself a Super Ikonta A or B. Very compact and VERY quiet.
     
  16. fretlessdavis

    fretlessdavis Member

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    Heh. I wish I could afford a Rollei, or was brave enough to get that close. With a longer lens on an SLR, you at least have a head start when running when they do realize what's going on :wink:

    EDIT:

    +1 on the old folder/rangefinder. Agfa Isolettes are a ton of fun and cheap... With limited speeds, stopping down and guessing distance is usually enough.

    I've always loved the Fuji GA645zi for what it is, too... and so many people assume it's an ancient point and shoot camera, and nothing serious.
     
  17. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    I suggest you get a Mamiya 1000s with an 80mm lens. Far cheaper and better than the KIEV stuff and way better.
     
  18. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    The Pentax 645 with a 55mm lens can be had for about $350 on KEH. Almost certainly more reliable than the Kiev. You can also adapt the Pentacon Six lenses to the Pentax 645 mount if you really must use those lenses.
     
  19. alexfoto

    alexfoto Member

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    -Here in my country in 90' people from USSR sale many of them very cheep and i buy and try all of them.
    -Well the lens for the money is fine and for b&w EXCELLENCE..
    -BUT i don't try ANY SINGLE body that work ok... All have problem with the shutter, the speed is not right, and even i try with a friend who is technician in camera, we can't make any single one to work without a problem...
    -Don't buy, is a waste of money and time, except for the lens, if you buy a adapter for Mamyia 645 is perffect for b&w, (my best tonality in my b&w pictures is with this combo...).
     
  20. yashica92

    yashica92 Member

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    Thx again to all , seems many camera are brought from KEH , it's reliable and accurate description for it's items ?
     
  21. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Always the hatred for the kievs... sigh.

    A lot of people on a lot of different forums that I've read seem to have been burned from buying them new mail-order from ads in the back of photo magazines in the 90s and hold grudges for the next 20 years.
    The Hassy 1000 and 1600 may have not lasted very long, but they had very fragile corrugated shutters. Kievs have nice light-tight cloth.
    Credit where credit's due, the Ukranians didn't just copy cameras, in a lot of cases they made them better. I had a Pentacon6 for a while before getting a Kiev60, and the Kiev is a cut above, feels a lot more solid. The P6 (strangely enough) feels more 'Japanese' in its construction.

    I've had my K88CM for about a year or two now, and no troubles.

    Having to wind the shutter before changing speeds or it jams? That scared me a bit when I first read it, but once I started using it I realised, "so freakin what?".
    Why would you want to change shutter speed before you can even see anything in the viewfinder? (winding shutter makes the mirror return too).

    In about 20-30 rolls I've put through that beast (with 2 NT backs and 4 older ones) I've had 1 roll in an older back that didn't have very good frame spacing, but then I knew I hadn't loaded it the best to begin with.

    Just don't pay too much, and don't expect too much. For $100 it won't be the best camera in the world, but I still reach for it more often than my M645AF. I haven't tried the Hassy prism but the Kiev TTL/Spot prism is great to use and a lot of people agree on google. It only takes a small screwdriver and 5 mins to calibrate.
    Get the 88CM and an MC Biometar for another $100, practically the same as a Planar without the pricetag.
     
  22. yashica92

    yashica92 Member

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    it's it's tht really cheap for Kiev 88? Only $100 ? E--bay selling $400++
     
  23. piu58

    piu58 Member

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    > I had a Pentacon6 for a while before getting a Kiev60, and the Kiev is a cut above, feels a lot more solid.

    I had some P6 bodies but I sold them all and stayed with a Kiev 60 body. The P6 looks more nice, but the K60 has a brighter larger groundglass and works fine even if it is cold outside. In the cold the P6 tned to longish times.
     
  24. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    I see two sellers have recently sold them for $130-150, mashunyak2012 and leo250177, for a body, back, no lens or finder. Never heard of either of them so I can't vouch for them. I can definitely vouch for grizzly33bear (she doesn't appear to have anything up atm) and cupog (an ex-collector I think). A TTL/Spot finder is another $60, or a WLF for $20, from the same places.
    These are the "new" prices. Wait around and eventually you'll find one for $100, or a full kit with a lens and finder for maybe $200, $150 if you're lucky.

    Just thought I'd go over my records, I paid US$105 for body, wlf, and NT back in Dec 2012, then $59 for a ttl/spot finder and $26 for another NT back a week later.
    Latest was I (finally) got an MC biometar for €46, been after one for years (already had the vega, the volna, the arsat, and the zebra biometar, gonna sell a few of these now I've got my MC biometar).
     
  25. Bob Marvin

    Bob Marvin Member

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    I've never owned a Kiev 88, but I've had an Arax 60 (Arax's improved version of the Kiev 60) for about 10 years and it's been quite reliable. I bought it to replace, and use the lenses from, my Pentacon 6 TL which was anything but reliable. IMO the Arax/Kiev 60 is much better. From everything I've read the Kiev 88, even in it's Arax version, has far more that can go wrong with it.
     
  26. yashica92

    yashica92 Member

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    The Arax 88 worth to own it ?