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Thread: Kiev 60

  1. #1

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    Kiev 60

    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. #2
    kman627's Avatar
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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...29%40N00&s=int

  3. #3

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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. #4

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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 2F/2F; 05-30-2008 at 01:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  5. #5
    kman627's Avatar
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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. #6

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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...69321/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.
    "Lo único de lo que el mundo no se cansará nunca es de exageración." Salvador Dalí

  7. #7
    DBP
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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. #8
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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.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  9. #9

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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.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  10. #10

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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 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 mabman; 05-30-2008 at 03:25 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.

    - phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds

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