I may be wrong, but I think the Hasselblad prices are reasonable when compared to Arax. I recently bought a 501C that looked like new, came with a warranty, and performs perfectly for about $1,000. I know this is about two times more than the Arax, but I think it is also two times more a camera. I would stretch my budget.
I have a Kiev 88 CM, bought new on ebay. Works fine, prism needed calibration but I did that myself. Also got a Sonnar 180/2.8 and a Flektogon 50/4.
All in all (ebay.de prices and I have overpaid for the Sonnar):
Camera (new) 300 EUR (with 80mm/2.8, TTL&Spot prism, WLF and 2 backs)
Sonnar 180 200 EUR
Flektogon 50/4 155 EUR (includes an 86mm B&W Linear polarizer)
Around 700 including shipping for all of my MF needs (for now). I also intend to get a 30mm fisheye, and they go for around 200.
Now the bad parts: I was spoiled with 1/125 flash sync on 135, the Kiev only does 1/30; Some slight banding at 1/1000, so I can't use the sonnar at 2,8 if there's too much sun. Strap needed fixing, done it myself with a pair of pliers (the textie part would slip out of the metal part, also the metal part would come off the camera)
Yes, they do exist, however, as others also have indicated, I am not sure that I want to truly label them as a "copy" of the Hasselblad. At the same time, I will agree that there are some "remarkable similarities" in the overall appearance and the inner working parts of both cameras, when you compare the earlier Hasselblad 1600F/1000F and the Kiev Salyut, although they are not truly "identical." Then there is the contention by the Russians that both of the cameras are actually copies of a camera found in a downed German aircraft near the end of World War II. Hmmm, is this another example of the Russians "saving on engineering costs" back in the 1950s? It has been observed that no similar camera was found in any of the aircraft downed on the Western Front. The later versions of the Kiev-88 and the Kiev-88CM are not at all similar to the Hasselblad 500CM or other models, although the viewfinders will interchange between the brands. I have received some really funny looks from Hasselblad owners when they see a genuine Hasselblad viewfinder on one of the Kiev-88 or Kiev88CM cameras.
Having had mine run through a CLA by a former Kiev Arsenal camera guy (Stanislav) in New York ( www.mechanicalcamera.com ), I am actually happy with my Kiev-88 and Kiev-88CM. And, as also stated by others, the cost of the lenses in both Pentacon-Six and Salyut-b or Salyut-V Screw Mount is much more affordable than trying to purchase Carl Zeiss glass with a Hasselblad mount. For what I am doing, mine are fine. If I were doing commercial photography for a national publication or advertiser, I would probably continue to save for a while longer and go to the Hasselblad for that kind of work. Besides, the client normally likes to see that you are using tools that he recognizes as being of a "quality" nature. It is not easy to assess some of the emotional factors involved in getting a contract or a job, but that does seem to be one of those things for photographers.
Enjoy; Ralph, Latte Land, Washington
Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington
When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."
Absolutely. The brand name is KIEV.
Originally Posted by EASmithV
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato