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Kiev 60 Medium Format

3.41/5 (39 Reviews)


Product Description

The Kiev 60 medium format camera -- in either 6x6 or 6x4.5 versions -- looks and handles like a large 35mm camera but gives you a negative that is about three times the size.
  • Shutter speeds: 1/2 to 1/1000 sec plus Bulb
  • Flash synch: 1/30 sec
  • Available with mirror lock-up
  • Optional TTL metering prism


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    Reviews 1 - 5 (39 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by NickTrop a Intermediate

    Date Reviewed: August 24, 2005

    Strengths:    1. Unbelievably affordable, high quality lenses in every imaginable focal length.
    2. One of the few MF's that's an SLR.
    3. Camera body is very inexpensive for MF.
    4. A TON of fun
    5. Excellent results but you MUST flock the camera and you MUST tape over the dof lever on the 80mm Volna that comes with the camera. It's not brain surgery.


    Weaknesses:    1. Reputation for being unreliable (mine works fine... metering accurate, frame spacing worked itself out, takes standard batteries... not issues at all.)
    2. You need to flock the camera and cover the 80mm Volna's DOF preview lever with black electrical tape due to a design flaw that causes a light leak when focused close in.
    3. Frame spacing might mean your camera needs a break in period like mine did. Also be careful how you load the film.
    4. Make NO assumption!!! READ THE MANUAL!!! Espcially regarding how to use the uncoupled meter, and how to load the beast.
    5. Brace yourself, it's a rather "LARGE" beast, which "gets noticed" espcially if you're using one of the larger lenses. Folks will ask you, "what newspaper you work for". Handles well though once you get used to it.


    Bottom Line:   
    This is an outstanding, addictive "little" (heh) camera for the serious hobbiest on a budget who wants a medium format system. While others might argue that you can find more reliable camera bodies in MF on the used market - and yes, that's true, you simply will NOT find the wide range of extremely affordable, readily available, very high quality lenses in medium format anywhere near the price range of the Pentagon 6 mount lenses available for this camera. $200-ish for a (minty used) renound portrait lens, the 180mm Zeiss Jena Sonnar? You must see the beautiful bokeh of this lens. The out of focus regions look like a watercolor painting, the subject is in sharp focus wide open at 2.8. It's a remarkable lens, deserving of its reputation. Again - $200 bucks(!) Then there's the magnificent F4 50mm Zeiss Flektogon, a fantastic, sharp wide angle lens, as good if not better than the western Zeiss Distagon at a fraction of its cost; mine cost $150 on eBay in minty condition. Then there's the way too much geeky fun Russian Arsat 30mm fisheye. Price paid? $141 used in pristine condition from Ardorama.

    Bottom like is this is a FUN, addictive camera, that takes outstanding pictures, a perfect "hobbiest" camera for lovers of film photography.

    I had NONE of the quality issues that others have reported with this camera. Well - almost. The first few rolls I shot, some of the frames overlapped slightly. Problem went away after two or three rolls. Guess the camera needed a breaking in period?

    I say, if your a hobbiest who loves film, go for it - especially if you develop (or want to develop) your own black and white negatives and make your own prints. (This camera has yet to see a roll of color film...)

    You can take a chance and get one sight unseen on eBay, like me, or spend a little more and get one from the domestic resellers or Arax who CLA, Q/A them, do some upgrades and offer a warranty for about $150 more than the Ukranian eBay sellers.

    I love mine, and since purchasing it my digital has seen very little work. Beware, though, you will find yourself with a Pentagon 6 "lens" addiction in very short order.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

    Price Paid:    $125.00

    Purchased At:   eBay

    Similar Products Used:   Agfa Ventura 66 MF folder

    My ancient, trusty, all manual "K-mart Special" Consina-built Vivitar S3000 35mm SLR.


    Type of photography:   Fine Art


    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by kiev60slr a Professional

    Date Reviewed: April 17, 2005

    Strengths:    Best bang for the buck award goes to the kiev 60 !! amazing quility pictures for a reasonable price.

    Weaknesses:    Sadly ..its the sellers that I think let this fine camera down ..followed secondly by long storage times and infrequent use ..see review box...

    Bottom Line:   
    The Kiev 60 is a great camera , within limits.
    Firstly , If you are more familiar with the all auto computerised 35mm SLR's on the market today and dont know the basics of operation of a fully manual camera of course you will have a huge learning curve to tackle.
    If on the other hand you know how to read light meters and select suitable speeds and apertures manually ,,then there should not be any huge operational suprises for you with the Kiev 60.
    The biggest disadvantage to this camera as opposed to say a Hassy is its non interchangable film backs and its slow sync speed.
    The sync speed is the fastest speed that allows flash operation.
    This is not anything to worry about for night shots but will be of concern if you wish to use flash fill in bright daylight.
    Saying this one has to remember that the sync speed is appropriate for a medium format camera with a large focal plane shutter camera of ANY brand.
    Thats about it as far as downsides of use is concerned.
    Downside of supply is another thing all together.!!
    Many of these cameras are sold essentially sight unseen on eBay and as there is no real fraud protection , sellers CAN and DO get away with anything.
    For instance one LARGE seller gets old silver Kiev60's , paints them black and sells them as ¨NEW¨.
    Another seller says ¨NEW¨ but realy they are about 2001 production dates even though they are genuine black models this time.
    Kiev 60s are not made NEW any more and have not been for at least 2 or 3 years.(maybe more)
    Many of these so called new ones have actually been in storage since production and while this might seems OK ,,the grease and oils inside dont like it.
    This causes many of the frame overlapping and lock ups that people complain about with Kiev cameras.
    The mechanism inside is actually of a quite sound design , but even the best machine wont work for long with lubricants that have gone bad.
    It actually would be better to get an older used camera that has been regularly excesized than one thats been sitting in a warehouse for 15 years.
    I must stress this point again ,,simply put , MOST problems in Kiev 60's come from long term storage with NO use than from bad design or construction.
    (note: you should not need to CLA a brand new camera)
    If you get a nice working example it will last for MANY years.
    My pictures have been truly outstanding with Zeiss lenses and quality films.
    I found that inner flare was present though , so I developed a flocking kit to stop this.
    Others flare kits I have seen for sale were not good enough.
    My flare kits are now available for sale from my web page http://www.geocities.com/kiev60slr/ .
    Also on my page is lots of DIY help and tips.
    I show ways to test and/or use the camera with easy to follow pictures and simple text so that even an absolute beginner can know what to do.
    My comments are shown with photographic proof from thorough testing and is not from a repetition of hearsay that is so common on internet chat groups that never offer PROOF , only talk.
    --
    So in summary , If you can get a Kiev 60 that is in good condition you should have a very postive experience with it.
    It is solidly built and should provide huge value for money.
    I recomend it 100% :-D

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   21+ years

    Price Paid:    $400.00

    Purchased At:   various

    Similar Products Used:   various other medium format cameras and prety well most other popular 35mm slr's

    Type of photography:   Outdoor


    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Greg0284 a Expert

    Date Reviewed: August 13, 2004

    Strengths:    Works well, inexpensive, sharp lens.

    Weaknesses:    Large and heavy. Also, the ground glass does not show the full frame. But most photographers who have been around awhile are used to this.

    Bottom Line:   
    I bought a Hartblei-modified Kiev 60 MLU from Michael Fourman on a whim. Normally I shoot with a Leica M6 and a Canon D60, but I thought it might be fun to shoot landscapes with roll film. To my surprise the K60 has quickly become my favorite camera. I have had none of the problems other users have reported. The frames are spaced accurately, the shutter speeds are correct, there are no light leaks, and the Arsat 80/2.8 that comes with the camera is extremely sharp. Mirror bounce on handheld exposures over 1/125 does not seem to be a problem. In any event, the mirror lock-up feature eliminates bounce altogether when the camera is used on a tripod. (In fact, you can use the mirror lock-up button without a tripod if you can hold the camera very, very still, and if your subject is not moving!) Even though the K60 weighs a ton, I'm anxious to take it on my next wilderness trip.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   21+ years

    Price Paid:    $250.00

    Purchased At:   Kiev Camera

    Similar Products Used:   None, so I can't tell you how it compares with a Pentax 67.

    Type of photography:   Outdoor


    Overall Rating:3
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Gatsby1923 a Intermediate

    Date Reviewed: June 13, 2004

    Strengths:    Cost: It's Cheap
    Optics: They are great. the Russians took the Zeiss Factory home with them after ww2
    ease of use: if you ever used a manual 35mm SLR you can handle this camera.


    Weaknesses:    Heavey, mirror slap can be an issue for some, GOSH is a wierd way to mesure film spead, even though I love this camera it wouldn't trust it to shoot a wedding or any thing like that.

    Bottom Line:   
    Well I baught this camera used from some one who baught it from Kiev Camera. The camera needed a little tweeking but any one with a little bit of mechanical knowledge can do it. All it needed was a little extra film spacing. I find that MOST not all people who hate these cameras either complain about things they should know about it before they but it, buy from a random russian guy on ebay, or just have a lemon. It's not a Hassy don't expect it to act like one

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

    Price Paid:    $125.00

    Purchased At:   Ebay

    Similar Products Used:   I have no other wierd Russian Cameras

    Type of photography:   Fine Art


    Overall Rating:1
    Value Rating:1
    Submitted by avole a Intermediate

    Date Reviewed: June 14, 2003

    Strengths:    Good handling, build and adequate metering.

    Weaknesses:    Mirror slap prevents sharp negs

    Bottom Line:   
    This is not the camera for the serious amateur wanting to move up from 35mm. Basically, unless you have something done about the mirror slap mentioned in other reviews, sharp pictures are hard to come by.

    Using a range of lenses, and with a Nikon and my Kiev 35 as comparison, I ran a couple of films through the camera. I used a tripod throughout. Apertures/speed were standardised, except with the little 35A because it's not possible.

    The results? The Nikon had far better sharpness and contrast than the Kiev 60, but then so did the 35A. Not only that, it didn't matter which lens I put on the 60, the negatives were uniformly unsharp. There was no way you could blow them up to 10x8, the quality simply wasn't there.

    Intrigued, I set the Kiev up at home in the studio, and, using a manfrotto tripod costing way more than the camera, ran through every variant of shutter speed/aperture and lens. I came up with the obvious. Unless you use the fastest possible shutter speed, that mirror slap sets up vibrations which kill any chance of a nice, sharp neg. Note that I thought the handling was good throughout, the metering, if you must use it, not bad and had no problems with overlapping frames

    So, unless you buy an (expensive) re-engineered model, don't touch this camera. You will be far better off buying a used Mamiya 645 or TLR. Even the humble Lubitel isn't that far off in terms of picture quality.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

    Price Paid:    $125.00

    Purchased At:   Ukraine

    Similar Products Used:   Mamiya 645, Seagull, Lubitel

    Type of photography:   People



    Reviews 1 - 5 (39 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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