Kiev88 Review and Samples

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Kiev88 , First impressions 

This is my first thoghts regarding Kiev88. I must admit , I’m not a big fan of Soviet cameras, as they’re pretty much unreliable. This being said, my expectations were as low as possible, but I said to myself to give it a try.

It looks like Hasselblad , but it's not
It looks like Hasselblad , but it’s not

When I first laid my hand on it, it kind of feelt kind of  familiar, as I’ve been shooting with hasselblads in the past. Being a hasselblad copy, it kind of feels similar, and different in the same time. For example, the shutter speeds are placed on the film advance wheel, wich is far better than on the lens.

Time Values on Film Advance Wheel - Kiev88
Time Values on Film Advance Wheel – Kiev88

The focus ring is well placed far away from the body, so you can have a better grip. The aperture values and time values are not linked together, unlike most of the hasselblads.

Kiev 88 - Sovie Medium Format SLR
Kiev 88 – Sovie Medium Format SLR

Shutter speeds vs Flash Sync

As I’ve already explained in my Hasselblad 2000Fc/M review, there are two types of shutters you’ll find in medium format cameras. In this case, the Kiev 88 has a focal plane shutter, so it can go as far as 1/1000 maxim shutter speeds, unlike the other leaf shutter, wich are limited to a maximum 1/500.

Front View - Kiev 88 Camera
Front View – Kiev 88 Camera

This allows us to open the aperture a little bit more, and we all love that shallow depth of field. Unfortunately focal plane shutters has it’s limitations,  in this case the flash sync. If you really need your flash sync to go as far as your shutter speed you should consider a camera with leaf shutter. Otherwise you can enjoy faster shutter speeds you can find in this kiew 88 or other focal plane shutters.

Kiev88 lenses

If i had to choose what kind of glass to use, well I wish I could have the Zeiss sharpness, contrast, and color accuracy, mixed with that specific soviet swirly bokeh. So when I first put my hands on this camera this is all I had in mind.

Kiev 88 TTL - Volna 80mm 2.8 Lens and TTL Viewfinder
Kiev 88 TTL – Volna 80mm 2.8 Lens and TTL Viewfinder

Don’t get me wrong, the optics are ok, sharp enough wide open, but you can not compare this with German or Japanese optics. The contrast is kind of poor but it gets a little better as you stop it down. So, you can use it wide open for bokeh , or you can close it down for extra sharpness, it’s up to you.

Volna 80mm 2.8 Lens
Volna 80mm 2.8 Lens

Medium format modular camera

As I’ve mentioned before in my Mamiya Rz67 review, modular cameras has some huge advantages.

Kiev 88 Medium Format SLR Camera with Waist Level Finder and TTL Viewfinder Top View
Kiev 88 Medium Format SLR Camera with Waist Level Finder and TTL Viewfinder Top View
Film Magazine - Kiev 88
Film Magazine – Kiev 88
Dark Slide Insert - Kiev 88 Camera
Dark Slide Insert – Kiev 88 Camera

You can change the film back before the end of it, you can change the viewfinder, as extra accessories and so on. But the best news about this camera is that it comes for a decent price. This is the only soviet medium format modular camera you can find, and the price you pay for it is just ridiculous.

Why you should not buy this Kiev88

Well maybe because 6×6 format square format is not the best option for you, or maybe you can afford a hasselblad. Or maybe a SLR  it’s to much for you, you can find smaller and lighter rangefinders. Or maybe you want a reliable camera made with increased quality check. Maybe you want sharper glass?

Why you should buy it

Well the first thing that comes in my mind is the price. If you really want that hasselblad format but you can’t afford it, you can find this for 200 dollars or even less if you’re lucky enough. Make sure it’s in a good condition, as you can find a lot of faulty  cameras on the market. Or maybe the swirly bokeh is all you dream about. Maybe you want more lenses without selling a kidney for it. Anyways, this is a great deal if you find it in good shape, otherwise you rather not buy it.

More Kiev 88 Photos

Kiev 88 Camera Bag
Kiev 88 Camera Bag
Camera Bag - Kiev 88
Camera Bag – Kiev 88
Kiev 88 TTL Side View
Kiev 88 TTL Side View
Medium Format Kiev 88 with waist Level Finder
Medium Format Kiev 88 with waist Level Finder
Kiev 88 with WLF Side View
Kiev 88 with WLF Side View
Front View - Kiev 88 - WLF
Front View – Kiev 88 – WLF
Kiev88 SLR Medium Format Camera Body
Kiev88 SLR Medium Format Camera Body
Another Side View Kiev 88
Another Side View Kiev 88
Kiev 88 TTL Viewfinder - Top View
Kiev 88 TTL Viewfinder – Top View
Kiew 88 TTl Right Side View
Right Side View – Kiew 88 TTl
Kiev88 Shutter
Kiev 88 Shutter

 

Kiev88 Sample Images – Kodak  Tmax 400

Kiev88 Sample Images
Kiev88 Sample Images

 

Nude girl - tmax 400 sample
Nude girl – tmax 400 sample – kiev 88
kiev 88 - 80mm 2.8 sample
kiev 88 – 80mm 2.8 sample
tmax 400 - medium format 6x6 sample
Kodak tmax 400 – medium format 6×6 sample
tmax 400 in Kodak d76 sample
tmax 400 in Kodak d76 sample

 

Kiev88 Sample Images – Ilford Delta 400

Ilford delta 400 sample - Kiev Medium Format
Ilford delta 400 sample – Kiev Medium Format

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