The Kiev Kronicles -- Part 3
The Ups And The Downs
This month we close the book
on our three part Kiev camera series. If you read Parts 1 and 2, you
know that Kiev cameras are made in the Arsenal Factory in Ukraine in
the former Soviet Union. Rough-edged cameras reminiscent of old Hasselblad
and Pentacon cameras, they nevertheless offer the least expensive means
of getting involved in medium format photography.
Running outdated film through
the cameras revealed the build quality of the respective outfits. The
stock Kiev 88s were really difficult to handle. It's not bad enough
that they make that famous walnut crunching sound as the film is advanced,
but the round film wind knob is nearly impossible to turn unless your
hands are warm, dry, and strong. These cameras may be inexpensive, but
they're a handful to shoot with. On the other side of the coin,
the Kiev 60 operates quite smoothly. Film advance is simple via the plastic
tipped film wind-lever. Its 220° advance throw is a lot, but not unmanageable.
The same can be said for Exakta and Pentacon cameras, but the heavy-duty
rubber finish on the Exakta makes it really easy to hold, and it looks
quite excellent as well.
Cambridge Camera Exchange,
Kiev Camera (Mikhail Fourman)
Russian Camera Exchange
Russian Plaza (Gennady Kaplan)
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