MF newbie - Kiev 88 purchase suggestions

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Herzeleid, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Herzeleid

    Herzeleid Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I am planning to buy a Kiev 88 kit. I found a good bargain, but I don't know much about the lenses or the system. Unfortunately the budget is a problem that is why I am buying a kiev, the set with the lenses is a good bargain.

    Kiev 88, 80/F2.8 lens, 65/F3.5 lens, 250/F3.5 lens(optional, I have not decided yet), 2 magazines. I think all the lenses are Arsat or what is the default kiev naming for the lenses. Do you have any experiences what are the adv. and disadv.?

    Thanks
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Serdar,
    I cannot comment on the 65 3.5; I do not have one. I have found the 80 2.8 Arsat to be more than totally acceptable; my 250. 3.5 is an outstanding lens. I had trouble after a time with my 80 2.8 and it required a cleaning of the lubricant to restore proper diaphram operation. Other than that, my outfit has been trouble free.
    I will say that I do not use it heavily; but that when I do use it, it works fine, every time. Hope this helps.
    BTW, why the sad-at-heart screen name? You must have lived in Germany?
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Are they P6 mount or the 88 mount? P6 would let you use the same lenses on Kiev 60 bodies or with an adaptor on various other MF bodies.

    The lenses are fine. That's the faster 250mm IIRC. I've got the slower one. From memory the fast one is huge. :surprised:

    How good of a deal? Plenty of options these days.

    The main issue is the quality of the bodies. The lenses are fine. In the "old" days they represented good value. Today everything is so much lower priced I'm not sure they are a good idea unless the deal is really good.

    Do you get a change to run a couple of rolls of film? Watch the top shutter speed. The film spacing.
     
  4. Herzeleid

    Herzeleid Member

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    Thanks John.
    I was curious about 250 lens, I agree that the 80 results are good, I found some sample pictures on the internet. Very decent results.
    I assume that 250 lens is good for portrait work. It is why I plan to buy it too.

    No, I haven't lived in Germany,I know a little German but not good enough. I pick the name from a song, from a German band Rammstein :smile:.
     
  5. Herzeleid

    Herzeleid Member

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    I don't know the mount, I will look into it. I haven't seen the 250 lens, I asked for a tele lens and he said an 250 F3.5 is available.

    Deal is around 250 us dollars. Body, 3 lens, 2 magazines. It is cheaper if I don't buy the 250.

    The bodies seemed fine to me in terms of aging and similar things, but you are right I should check the shutters. I think I can shoot a few rolls.

    Thanks for the heads up
     
  6. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    I bought one, one of the good "gone through" ones. It broke under less than heavy use. It might look like something, but it isn't. There are about 100 other cameras I'd buy first, some for less money.
     
  7. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

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    The Kiev lenses are generally pretty good. I found them to be of about the same quality as a number of other MF SLR systems.

    The body would be a bit suspect. If you can find one the 88CM is a much better camera than the 88, plus it has a Pentacon 6 mount which allows you to use a lot of nice Carl Zeiss Jena optics.

    Sandy King
     
  8. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    ******
    Aha!

    *****
    If you check the website for RuGift, you will see what the outfit and lenses sell for. Both new and used lenses are offered. Ditto for Arax. Regarding the lens mount, I would ASSuME, it being a Kiev 88, it has the older mount--that is what I have. The newer Kievs, with the mirror lock up, are in the P6 mount. You can use the older lenses on the P6 with an adapter, as Sanking says; but not the other way around. If everything works perfectly, I FEEL the price is about right. I may be wrong.
     
  9. Joe Grodis

    Joe Grodis Member

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    I wanted a Keiv 88 last year and really had a hard time finding anyone to say anything positive about it. I hear that the winding crank always feels like it just about to break. Maybe an old Hassy or Bronica ETR would be a better choice?
     
  10. JRJacobs

    JRJacobs Member

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    Serdar -

    With the cheap prices for good quality MF gear these days, you might want to consider something more robust than a Kiev.
     
  11. Herzeleid

    Herzeleid Member

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    I recall reading that Kiev's are not so robust. The problem is that the MF second hand market is almost none existing here. There is no such thing as LF here in Turkey. :smile:
    I would really like to hear your suggestion on other brands, I would look out for them too.

    Thanks
     
  12. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Depends on who you talk to; my Kiev 88 has been reliable so far with moderate care.

    If you educate yourself prior to using them, i.e., visit the Kievaholic website and so on, you'll know the "do" and "don't" actions for using the camera.

    If you don't have the time to do this, or plan on beating the hell out of the camera, then I'd say go for something more robust and expensive.

    However, at the current prices, you could have 5 backup bodies on standby for the cost of one hassy body.

    To each his own.

    (Kiev 88, Mir 45mm f3.5, Kodak Portra 400, Neg Scan -- The National Archives Gatineau Preservation Centre - Gatineau, Quebec, Canada)
     

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  13. Crono

    Crono Member

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    i considered to buy a kiev 88 also
    but the one i would only look into is the ARAX 88CM MLU
    i heard it is reliable enough, use P6 lenses and MLU
    but the kit price is >500USD

    and i found that i can get a mamiya rb67, bronica sqa, s2a or a gs-1 with half of that price...
    so you may want to think about it again
     
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  15. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    I owned a Hartblei (Modified Kiev) for a number of years. Generally reliable. I used Zeiss and Schneider lenses with it with good results. Trouble was I never fully trusted it. I finally took the plunge and replaced it with a Bronica SQ. I got

    Bronica SQB
    50,65,105,150,250mm lenses, 4 backs, polaroid back, plain prism, chimney finder for 1500 euro.
     
  16. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Serdar, Your choice may be end up this way: a Kiev 88 or no MF at all because of the special conditions of the market where you are. Regarding the film wind feeling always like it is going to break: I added a rapid wind crank purchased from ARAX and it feels no differently to me than winding the Yashicamat.
     
  17. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    The 88cm is the one to get, if you have a choice. Many things have been improved on this last/current model. Improved film magazines, P-6 lens mount, improved shutter release button placement, etc. The P-6 lens mount allows a vast choice of lenses, from Zeiss/Jena, Schneider, Arsenal. I have the 88cm and it is a fine camera. In fact I have 2, in addition to a Kiev 60. The Kiev 88cm film magazine is (in my opinion) better designed than the Hasselblad film magazine (which it resembles). I didn't say better built, just better designed. I have a few Kiev "new" model film magazines that have been modified for my Hasselblads and they work great.
     
  18. Herzeleid

    Herzeleid Member

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    It seems so. Well, at least there are 2 bodies. I can try them both and pick the one feels ok. It is going to be a starter kit after all.
     
  19. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I bought mine to see if I liked the "feel" of a Hasselblad-shaped camera before making the plunge for an expensive Hasselblad. I like the feel. And I still have not bought the Hasselblad.

    And the Kiev 88 can always be traded in with ARAX, or rebuilt to CM standards by him. So even though this is a starter kit for you, you will continue to have options.
     
  20. Herzeleid

    Herzeleid Member

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    Ukraine is closer to my country than I thought. Shipping costs are so cheap. ARAX option is good, I checked their web pages for upgrades and repairs. I am going to try the camera tomorrow.
     
  21. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    If you buy from Arax you will find that they adjust the film magazines to the specific bodies. This ensures the best fit. If you subsquently want to buy more magazines you will have to return the body to Arax to have them adjusted in the same way. This is not widely publicised on their web site. When I was considering replacing some defective Kiev backs I asked them about this and they confirmed that I would have to send the body. I would buy as many backs as you can afford. Also I would buy the old type backs in preference to the NT backs. IMO the old style backs are simpler and less prone to breakage.
     
  22. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Also I would buy the old type backs in preference to the NT backs. IMO the old style backs are simpler and less prone to breakage.[/QUOTE]


    ******
    Thanks, Adam, for that information. I would have ASS u ME d the opposite. I am glad I know.
     
  23. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    John

    My observation about the old style backs came about because I had two NT backs break. One had the door latch fail and the other failed to lock at the start of the film. Both in quite a short time.
     
  24. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    *******
    A case of "the don't make 'em like they used to."

    Luckily, OS backs are aplenty on the auction site.

    BTW, the only back which gives me trouble (aside from mine-own-achin-from- arthritis) is an OS 645 back. The framing is not quite as I would like. I find, however, that making sure the film is tight when I first load it, the problem is minimized.
     
  25. Herzeleid

    Herzeleid Member

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    First, thanks everyone for your help. Your experiences really helped a lot for me. In short, I decided not to buy Kiev 88.
    I went to check the cameras today but the guy did not show up for 2 hours then I give up waiting. :smile: But I looked at the models and the lenses, they were standing in the show. I had the chance to check a few more dealers and ask a camera repairman. His thought was also important because if something happened to the camera he would be the one to see it first and he is the best in mechanical cameras here. He said he is not going to touch Kiev88 if it had problems. He said he uses arsat lenses with adapters on other MF bodies he owns a Kiev60 but no 88. I've checked the results of jupiter-36 on the net, they are good but the lens is too big for me and the min. focusing distance is limiting for portrait. 65mm mir-38 is simply a poor lens and that lefts me with only 80mm and a questionable Kiev88 body (It is not CM btw). From this perspective it did not look as good bargain to me anymore.
    Luckily, in another shop I found a brand new Kiev60, and a Pentacon 6. I didn't ask the Pentacon 6's price viewfinder was too dark for me and its parts are and hard to find here. Kiev 60 was in perfect condition but 5 times the price of a second hand. It is same as buying an Arax 60 from Ukraine. I checked Mamiya RB67, I don't like them very much I don't know why(lovely shutter sound btw). I found a recent online ad for pentax 6x7 with 45,105 and 135 lenses in good condition. Having tried Kiev60 and Pentacon6, I think the feel of Pentax 6x7 is very similar to them. It is slightly more expensive but I think in terms of body and optics more reliable. Unless I find a Kiev60 system for really cheap, I think I will go with Pentax 6x7 system.
    I would still like to hear your suggestions of course. And thanks again for your help. Sorry for long post :smile:
     
  26. mikebarger

    mikebarger Member

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    I think you are making a very good decision concerning the Kiev.

    Good luck on your search.

    Mike