First of all, please excuse the title of this post. I thought it was funny.
I’ve had my Kiev 60 for a few months now. It is an awesome camera. Fully manual classic 35mm style medium format SLR. It’s a tank! Heavy and sturdy. You could kill a bear with this thing. This camera uses the same lens mount as the German Pentacon Six – the P6 mount. This means you have access to a lot of awesome lenses from Zeiss, Schneider and the native, Ukranian Arsat. I put the camera through a test, shooting a slide film, Fujifilm Provia 100F. Slide film are notorious for having lousy exposure latitude. This means that the exposure should be more or less spot on to get a nice image. So this was really a perfect test of shutter speeds. Mostly the fast ones though. Other than the Provia, I also shot a Kodak Portra 160 and a Kodak Ektar 100. All these images were shot with a Zeiss Sonnar 180mm f/2.8. A beast of a lens – tack sharp and a pleasant bokeh.
The camera itself is pretty cool to shoot. It’s heavy, so probably not the best vacation walk around camera. The shutter gives a nice clunk, but it doesn’t feel like the mirror creates too much camera shake. The TTL prism is awesome. Very bright and easy to focus and frame through. The lightmeter in the prism sucks though. I just pulled the batteries out of mine and use the camera with a handheld meter or by using the Sunny 16 guidelines.
The kit lens for this bad boy is an Arsat Volna-3 80mm f/2.8. A classic Soviet medium format lens. It is actually quite sharp – supposedly even sharper than the equivalent Zeiss version.
I shot a single roll of Fomapan 200 with this one. I developed it in Caffenol – and it went horribly wrong. However, a good modern scanner and some proper software saved it. I think the Volna-3 looks good – very good even.
The last lens I have for the Kiev 60 is the Zeiss Flektogon 50mm F/4. I have shot with it, but have not developed the films yet. Supposedly it is not the sharpest of the sharpest, but should be good enough.
The camera does have a frame spacing issue. At least mine does. It is an easy fix, a screw needs to be adjusted. I just haven’t had the time to sit down to fix it. The spacing seems to differ from film stock to film stock. The Provia had overlapping frames, by about 5 mm. The Kodak films seem to have fine, but a little narrow spacing and the Fomapan has spacing which more or less does not exist – no spacing and no overlap either. From guides online, I believe that this camera is extremely easy to adjust in different ways.
I love it!