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Thread: Kiev camera

  1. #1

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    Hallo to all,

    How ever this may look silly to you, it is reasonable to me. My question is, what do you think about purcashing new Kiev 88CM camera kit(and some other accessories - one or two lens first of all). I read quite good rewievs about that camera(consider all , and as I live in quite poor country(my monthly income is about 500$) I have(for me atleast) quite good price. Does anyone know something more about that camera. Please, do not recommend me secondhand Mamiyas, or like, I know that, but for some other reasons for me it is easier to buy Kiev...

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    Given your purchase requirements I think you could have a lot of fun with the Kiev. Before you actually buy it make sure you find the sites that detail all the things you should do when checking a Kiev out and how to keep it running. From what I have heard the glass is pretty good on them.

    Good luck and I hope we can see of the the results.
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  3. #3

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    Do a google search and you will find several dedicated Kiev sites. I was curious about the camera and found that for the price it is a pretty good camera. It needs a little more care in operating and handling then much more expensive cameras. As Eric pointed out, these sites will have details about care and feeding of a Kiev and all kinds of technical information.

    Good luck and let us know about the camera and what you decide.


    Jim Chinn

  4. #4
    Aggie's Avatar
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    estralita a member here has one. She gets great pictures using it. She knows all the little quirks and problems. PM her and see what she has to say about it. Also her pictures are in the gallery if you do a search. BTW she likes hers

  5. #5
    Dimitri's Avatar
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    I got a Kiev a few years ago. The kit contained two backs, two lenses pentaprism, extension tubes and pistol grip. It is am original russian model , not the Hartblei refurbished one.

    I was lucky that the metering prism was spot on (a very rare occasion), however the interior of the body is not black and you do get some internal flare. Also the one I have has the copper shutter and not the cloth one. Do not get one with a cloth shutter. Since the mirror falls into viewing position only when the shutter is cocked, you can damage the shutter if you accidentaly point the camera at the sun for an extended period. (there are too many reports of burn holes on cloth shutters)

    All in all is a very good (if somewhat heavy) camera and the lenses are very good. Internal flare seems to be a problem sometimes (but some DIY can fix that easily).

    One thing that you have to be extra careful about is the operation of the camera. If you change shutter speeds before cocking the shutter you can damage the mechanism and then repair costs can be more than what the camera is worth.

    If you intend to buy one I suggets spend the extra cash and buy a Hartblei one. They refurbish and paint the interior as well as calibrate the metering prism before selling them.
    Too many Chiefs not enough Indians.....

  6. #6

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    Before buying a Kiev go to

    www.kievaholics.com

    And check out the kiev report forum. It is a nice bunch of folks and very willing to help out. And they love their FSU cameras

    I am assuming you are not in the US. If not then contact Arax photo. www.araxphoto.com at this time their cameras are getting really good reviews for reliability, moreso than any seller in the states. They might be a little more expensive but the warranty and service are definately worth it not to mention the likelyhood of getting a working kiev. Buying used can be scary though I have been very lucky.

    My kievs are my only SLR MF system and I have been more than impressed with the very inexpensive glass.

    Good luck and definately stop by the kiev report forum.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  7. #7
    Adrian Twiss's Avatar
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    I have had some dealings with Mike Fourman and can say that I found him an honest and reliable dealer. He can be a little difficult to contact sometimes because he travels a lot on business.

    With regard to the Kiev camera I own a Hartblei upgraded model which is compatible with Hasselblad backs. I have further upgraded it with a Hasselblad Acute Matte focussing screen. One of the nice things about these cameras is that because of the Pentacon Six mount they will accept a wide range of Zeiss Jena and Schneider lenses. These are very good lenses. The number of sources for buying modified Kiev cameras is increasing. Not only do you have Kiev Camera but also a company called Arax (website www.arax.com) They provide a similar service to Hartblei but refuse to make the cameras compatible with Hasselblad backs. It is their opinion that the engineering required to do this stresses the transport mechanism to an unacceptable extent, although I have had no problems.

    For research purposes you should visit the Kievaholic website as previously mentioned plus www.delphiforums.com and search for a forum called the Kiev Report. Also www.photo.net there is a special Kiev section in the Medium Format Digest.

    Feel free to drop me a private message if you have any other questions.

  8. #8
    Adrian Twiss's Avatar
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    My link to Arax posted in my reply was incorrect.

    The correct link is www.araxfoto.com

  9. #9

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    Thank you all for replies.

    I have decided to go to new model (Kiev 88CM, not Kiev 88). Reason is I have friend who has Kiev 88 model, bought in Kiev, when he visited USSR. Talking with him, we decided that old model is not worth of buying. Only what I must decide is would I buy Kiew 88CM or Hartblei or Arax version.

    I was in contact with Mike Fourman, he was wery kind and fast in answers. He gave me good price, and was kind enough to say he would wait untill I got money(as I said my monthly income is such that it is problem). So, I would like to deal with such kind person, but as I am in Europe(Balkan), maybe buying from Arax would be easier.

    Thank you all, and if you have some additional information, please be welcome to tell me.

    Best regards,

    Haris

  10. #10

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    I have no money, so I can't follow my own advice, but...

    ...rather than a Kiev, I would be looking for a used MF camera from a reputable manufacturer, if it was me. Those Kievs are cheap compared to a brand new, more mainstream make, but they cost as much as many used systems. I've done a lot of research on Kiev's, and, while they have many enthusiastic followers who are happy with them, they all seem to enjoy tinkering with them all the the time. The lenses are much more affordable though.

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