Good morning, AFrank;

The consensus seems to be to keep the Yashica 124G, and wait for a while before getting a Kiev-88 or Kiev-88CM. Actually, I agree with that recommendation.

No, I do not have the Yashica 124G, but I do have something very similar; the Minolta Autocord. And then there are the Kiev cameras. Yes, I do have a Kiev-88, Kiev-88CM, Kiev-6C, and the ARAX-60 or an ARAX modified Kiev-60, and there are 16mm and 35mm Kiev cameras also.

Yes, I do like my Kiev cameras, but I must also agree that they may need work to get them to perform in the way that I like now, with the exception of the ARAX-60 which demonstrated that the Kiev cameras really can work in a very civilized manner when they first arrive.

By the way, the Minolta Autocord does have a sensitivity also; the swinging lever for focusing the lens. Be gentle with it. If it binds, do not force it; you will break it (empirical knowledge here). So, the Kiev cameras are not the only cameras out there with known quirks. But the Minolta Autocord is so much lighter than my Kiev 6 x 6 cameras.

You are in Germany. ARAX Foto ( ) in Kiev, Ukraine is not very far away. Gevorg Vartanyan and his crew can take care of any of the problems that people have mentioned about the shortcomings of the Kiev cameras as they came out of Zavod Kyiv or the Kiev Arsenal.

I must also admit that the Kiev-88 and Kiev-88CM can have problems with frame spacing and with light leaks with the magazines. You learn to load the film carefully using the standard recommended process with the right take-up spool; that really helps with the frame spacing. I also admit that I still fit a lady's wide black elastic hair tie around the joint between the back of the Kiev-88 and the film magazine. It does help to keep out extraneous light and improves the number of enjoyable photographs from the camera and magazine combination. And, any other Kiev owner you encounter will know that you are an experienced Kiev-88 user.

Would I prefer to have the Kiev over a Hasselblad or Bronica? Well, no, not really. However, I will say that the Kiev cameras are a lot more fun to use, and the results you get from the FSU lenses really are very good, and I can say that I have all of my Kiev kit for less than what one Carl Zeiss lens for the Hasselblad can cost. And then there are the really wonderful expressions you can see on the face of a Hasselblad owner when he sees a Hasselblad viewfinder on top of a Kiev body.