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The Kiev60 (Lack of love from Russia?)

The Kiev60. What is it? It is a heavy, clunky, medium format SLR from Russia, actually made in the Kiev Arsenal factory in the Ukraine. They manufactured basically military products during World War 2 and  even during the cold-war.  They also produced the professional grade photographic Kiev cameras, but civil production played only a minor role in factory output.

The Kiev60 is a 6×6 MF SLR. The basis setup includes a waist-level-finder and a Volna-3 80mm 1:2.8-22 (Pentacon Six ‘B’ mount) lens. The (cloth) shutter runs speeds from 1/2-1/1000 sec. and sync at 1/30. I bought mine a couple of years ago and upgraded the camera with a prism (which includes metering) and a sharper Carl Zeiss lens (Biometar 2.8/80 mm). Images still aren’t as sharp as you would get with a Mamiya7 or Hasseblad 500/Carl Zeiss combo. But use it with a shutterspeed above 1/500s does help.

Why should you buy it? Simple, its a honest cheap (approx. 100 euro will buy you a basic setup) way to get into medium format film photography. Despite of its huge mirror slap which makes it hard to use low shutter speeds, despite its poor build quality (lack of love from Russia), you get medium format images, with the medium format feel and tone transition. It’s also a good camera for learning the basics of photography. With its big dials for setting shutter speed and diaphragm (on the lens). If you like the camera, you can buy an upgraded version at Hartblei. They completely reassembled and sell adjusted versions of the Kiev 60. If you re like to do a bit of DIY, go to



6193293490_5087aea52f_b Photo by [Kraftsman]


14872048177_41063db99b_bPhoto by Zak_McKracken


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