Kiev 60 w/ 80mm & 65mm

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by inlinejohn, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. inlinejohn

    inlinejohn TPF Noob!

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    My son is graduating high school and will go on to Photography school to get his BFA - Photography. He has very good digital and film cameras (Nikon D90 & Nikon F3HP), but has asked for a Kiev 60 for a gift. He's experimented with MF with a cheapy camera, but would like something like the Kiev as his next step into the MF world.

    I've found them on ebay (new - refurbished) for $240 + shipping. This is with MLU button. This price includes 80mm lens.

    I've also found a MC MIR-38 (65mm) lens for about $200.

    Are these good prices and would you recommend this camera or steer us away from it?

    Thanks
    New To Forum
     
  2. Stosh

    Stosh TPF Noob!

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    I played around with both the Pentacon Six and Kiev 60. They are the same 6x6 format with nearly identical operation. Many years ago when pros started going digital I scooped up a few of both. I mostly used them for astrophotography, but I did other stuff too. I generally preferred the Kiev bodies, but the Pentacon lenses seemed better. I say "seemed" because it was difficult to tell the difference when dealing with film. Both would be available on eBay like you mentioned.

    While I will agree that manual cameras are great for forcing someone to learn the foundations of photography like focusing, metering, depth of field (and preview), etc, now that I'm older and have a little more money I would NEVER go back. I do appreciate what I've learned from them, but even more I appreciate what today's digital cameras can do. I've since sold all my medium format gear.

    Keep in mind film is getting harder and harder to find. When you run out of your stock, you're done until you can find more, usually online. Developing is getting harder and harder to find, especially medium format, so you'll probably have to send that away too unless you're lucky enough to live near some pro lab that still caters to film.

    Today's full frame 35mm digital bodies have more resolution than 6x6 film and more ISO capability. I would dare say that a high resolution prime focus lens on a good crop body would also compete very closely with 6x6 film.

    But by far the biggest reason I can think of to discourage you from doing it is the instant gratification provided by digital. I can't think of a better way to see the results of your settings immediately. When I was learning with the manual film cameras, it would be so long between when I took the picture when I looked at the print that it was difficult to remember what I did. Now the camera records all the setting right with the image. Plus it costs nothing to develop the pics. Of course printing costs the same, but why print? No reason to waste money on that.

    Without knowing your situation, my suggestion would be to buy a DSLR and turn the dial to full manual. Then buy some prime focus lenses (not zooms) and flip the switch also to manual. If you go this route, you would need to get the camera altered by installing some kind of a focusing screen more suited to manual focusing. With this scenario when you finally decided to upgrade, you wouldn't have to start from scratch. You start by buying one better lens. Then another. Then a better body or flash. In the mean time you're still shooting and never miss a beat. Good luck!
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Stosh... aren't we missing the point though.. the BFA graduate asked for a Kiev 60 and already has a DSLR and FSLR. He's also a BFA in photography so I would assume he knows what he is doing... thus a reason behind it his request. Some just really like film... for some reason or another. (I am still dabbling with film)

    Not specifically information towards the Kiev but my experience with soviet era cameras is that consistent quality was difficult to achieve and find. Thus you can buy two exact copies of the same camera and see quality differences between the two...

    For Medium format SLR something similar to a 6x6, my personal preference would be a Pentax 6x7 with mirror lockup. Its not a square negative though. Another would be an old Hassy but they are still pricey.

    Either case... the negatives from a good quality MF camera are absolutely stunning.. I'd still say better than the latest DSLRs.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Stosh.. My apologies.. brain fart... hahaha... I misread the post that his son is going to study BFA - photography.

    hahah lol. I should call it a night.


    But... we don't know... perhaps there's a particular reason for his choice/request since he already has DSLR and FSLR.
     
  5. Stosh

    Stosh TPF Noob!

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    Well I gotta admit I completely missed the part about having the good DSLR and SLR the first time I read it! Maybe I need to call it a night too.

    I agree, the Russian stuff was inconsistent. One of my bodies even had a light leak.

    As far as whether or not these are "good" - well in my opinion they're crap compared to a good modern digital setup, but it sounds like he wants it for different reasons. I even tried to give those old large lenses a fair trial by making an adapter to use them on my DSLR. You had to stop them down pretty hard to get good images. I do remember one of them being pretty decent - I think it was the Pentacon 180mm f/2.8, but it was a tank! My friends used to joke with me that the 6x6 SLR bodies looked like circus props lol! It's still one of the cheapest ways to get into medium format film if that's what you want.
     
  6. inlinejohn

    inlinejohn TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for both of your great input and time spent. I think I need to ask my son what his purpose will be w the MF camera and how he thinks it will add to what he already has and how it will allow him to do things he can't with his current setup. We both have Nikon D90 and many lenses to chose from, so I want to make sure he doesn't regret the commitment to the Kiev other than a cool/retro thing to have :) Although we just bought a Nikon F3HP film in amazing shape we are BOTH very stoked about using it....even with the above mentioned "downfalls" of film/cost. $300 bucks for a pro film camera seemed like a good deal.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What's wrong with wanting a Kiev? Film is still great and gives the warm fuzzes in an analog sort of way.

    I have never owned a Kiev but have heard that they could be finicky. There was at one time someone out there that went through them and tightened them up so to speak and that those were pretty good cameras.

    Aside from the instant cachet an incoming freshman would have walking around with a funky old Russian 6X6, you might ask if a Mamiya 645 or RB67 might do the trick. The Mamiyas are tank tough and easily found. If he knows who Annie Leibowitz is, tell him that she used to shoot with the RB67 on most of her Rolling Stone work.

    You should be able to pick up an RB, a couple of film backs, a wide angel, normal and short tele for 5 bills.

    Congrats to you both on the graduation!

    mike
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just because I'm bored... here's my Pentax 6x7

    [​IMG]

    Also.... I actually ended up having more use out of the pentax 645. Why? because shooting with it was practically no different than any other 35mm SPR of that time... with a bigger negative to boot. For field use (handheld on the move), I found the 645 a good compromise between body/lenses size and negative size.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would rather have a Bronica SQ-A outfit for about the same price, or less, as a Kiev 6x6. More lenses are available for the Bronica, at better prices, and the things were made in Japan to higher standards than the Russian Kievs. Since Bronica is now out of business, the value has gone down, and digital has lowered the price of medium format stuff quite a bit over the last 5 or 6 years. Case in point: in late 2008, I bought a Bronica SQ-A with waist-level finder, 80mm f/2.8 Zensanon S, 50mm F/3.5 Zenzanon Pro Series lens, and a 12-shot film back with insert, in late-1990's As New condition from a local camera store. For the two-lens outfit I payed $299. Three hundred bucks...I had other Bronica stuff dating to the early 1990's,so I simply could not pass up a body,back,finder, wide-angle lens, and normal for three Benjamins and a buck back in change...no light leaks, electronically timed Seiko shutters in each lens, 6x6, 645, and 35mm panoramic back options, and "modern" modular engineering on a body design that dates to the early 1980's without much need for any improvements engineering-wise.
     
  10. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    LOL Now look at what you've done.
     
  11. inlinejohn

    inlinejohn TPF Noob!

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    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  12. inlinejohn

    inlinejohn TPF Noob!

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