The 88cm still has it's problems.

Mike is a nice guy but his return policy is a bit odd. Instead of repairing the cameras sent back to him he swaps them out for a different camera. Not a problem with a camera that has a good track record. no 88 model has this. So you might get a camera that has a bad meter then you send it back and this time get a camera that has a bad shutter, or something else. There are folks who have had to send back three and four cameras. Depending where you are, shipping gets really expensive.

Hartblei is a mess right now no one is quite sure who or where they are. The hartblei web site is not THE hartblei. it gets real confusing. If you decide to get one and are patient I would go to the Kiev Report and read the comments about the company. I have a hartblei and would not trade it but it was hell getting it into my hands.

Arax repairs any returns not swapping them out, they are reliable and supposedly no camera leaves their hands without a complete check. You get the negatives that were run through your camera. Arax is a rebuilder, they buy stock and soup them up nicely. They also do what no one else does which is rebuild the backs. Those on the Kiev Report have narrowed many of the problems the camera has to poor back design.

Good luck with your choice but think alot about who you are getting the camera from. You may get a great one with no problems but then again you might get one that is completely unusable. Once this happens who you bought from becomes the difference between happiness and heartache.

I do not feel anyone should tread into the Kiev waters without a complete understanding of what they could be getting into. Once you are in the water with a reliable camera it is quite fun.