Is the Kiev-60 SLR good? - Page 6
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Old 12-27-2009   #51
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Default Re: Is the Kiev-60 SLR good?

Partially agree. But I changed my Hassy for Bronica and is very glad =)
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Old 12-27-2009   #52
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Having a heated argument about this is really unnecessary and perhaps I am misunderstood as per my last post in this thread. Y'all see..I love all kinds of image making equipment; old, new good, bad. near misses and disasters. As a full time professional photographer for over 50 years, I have to look at things from a professional point of view. When I am out on a job, I can't afford any quirks or oddities in a camera. I have to know that everything is going to work because I HAVE to bring back good results no matter what. If Russian cameras of yesteryear may have had good design but poor quality control, I could take no chances and had to use gear that was/is time tested and works all the time. I have to carry spare equipment on every job as well because even the best of equipment can fail.

There were a bunch of East German cameras that were nicely designed, but again the were known for poor quality control. Nowadays some of them are back on the market and have improved. There were sharp lenses marked "Zeiss Janar" that were manufactured to good standards and used the Tessar formulas. Remember names like Practika, Practina, Exa and Exacta- theses were cool cameras, but again, many of the suffered from poor quality control durring the communist era in East Germany.

As far as Argus is concerned, they made the C-3 which was the most sold camera in the U.S-. ever! It was well built and allowed photographers on a limited budget to get into those great Kodachrome slides. They were the official camera for many boards of education for use in the schools, the Scouts and so many other organization involving young people. The C-4 was a little more "pretty" in its industrial design. Kodak had a truck load of American built cameras in the 1940s through the 1960s. There was the Medalist- made like a brick outhouse and used by the U.S. Army as a combat camera- it was a 6x6 (cm.) range-finder 620 job with the razor sharp Kodak Ektar lens. Other popular models were the Pony, Chevron and the rebound Retina which was made by Kodak Germany with the Schneider Xenar lens. The first Hasselblads had Ektar lenses! As time went on Kodak tended to slowly but surely discontinue its advance amateur and professional cameras which all gave way to point and shoot Brownie, Insatmatic and other such models.
In the end, it was disposable cameras.

There were dozens of brand name cameras and lighting manufactures in the United States- Bosly, Argus. Ansco, Graphlex, Ciro, Omega ( by Simmon Brothers), De Jour, Revere, Realist (David White Optical) 3-D cameras, Bush, Burke & James, Balda, Ascor, Hico, Strobo-Research, Kalart, Mendelshon flash, Mighty Light, Hiland and many many more.

Germany (West- in the old days) had a truckload as well; Zeiss Ikon, Contaflex, Bauer, Braun-Hobby, Ultrablitz, Voightlander, Rollei 35, Rollei-Light and many good consumer grade cameras.
In those days, German cameras and equipment, especially lenses, were considered to be the gold standard.

So what's left? In the U.S- there is less than a handful of custom made cameras, a few decent heavy duty flash units and a few accessories. In Germany- a few top-of-the-line lens manufacturers, Lica and Linhoff and a few view camera manufacturers are still around with outrageously priced but great gear.

Even the UK had a few good cameras and flash units- all that is left is Bowens Flash gear and perhaps one other- forgot the name Perhaps Clive-Courtney?

After the U.S. occupation of Japan was over the Japaneses camera industry began to emerge- it was around 1956 when their cameras and lenses were no longer considered as "junk" and cheap copy-cat products. A few patent lawsuits occurred between Yashica and Rollei but, to make a long story short, the Japaneses took over the photo/optical market and most of the aforementioned manufacturers vanished from the scene. Cheaper labor and decent products at lower prices prevailed .

Well friends, history is about to repeat itself and now many Japaneses manufacturers are outsourcing their work to our old friends in China. It is now just a matter of time before many of our favorite current makes succumb to the pressure. Manufacture of our favorite brands may vanish or bare the engraving- "Made in the People's Republic of China". If we need bombs, we can import the from out traditional friends in North Korea!

By the way- I am of Russian background- My grandparents all came from there except one Grandmother who came from Poland. I was born in the United States and I am a citizen of the U.S. and Canada. I am not a camera collector but in my long career, I have either owned, seen or had knowledge of many of the aforementioned cameras and then some. I loved them all but I stick to the ones that work- no prejudice!

My main argument, if there is any argument at all worth mentioning is that if someone wants to get into high quality traditional medium format photography. a Yashica Mat, A, or LM or a Russian product of the Soviet era is not a classic or indicative of an era of precision equipment that preformed all the time with little or no failure or compromises in quality.

If you are a hobbyist and want to have fun with old cameras. more power to you. Besides, it is the photographer who creates great photographs not the camera. I have seen great images come out of the most obscure equipment and cameras that some photographers would not be caught dead with- it's really a matter of talent and imagination. I know many Lica, Hasselblad and top-of-the lined DSLRs who blame their gear for bad results. What do they say about the inapt carpenter. There are many people who will say "he or she takes good pictures because he or she has a good camera". All I know is that a master chef can cook a gourmet meal in an old tin can but I can poison the entire neighborhood with the greatest set of cookware in the world.

I am not a big drinker but let me raise a glass of real Russian Vodka and make a toast to y'all- have a great and successful 2010. Hey- do I know my old cameras, or what? Well- when you are as old as me you will have those fond memories too.

Ed
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Old 12-28-2009   #53
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Thank You, Ed !!! Happy New Year ! Wish you best luck ! =)
Read you with real pleasure =)
BTW I have no Russian cameras, only one Helios 44M lens - I use it with adapter on my Canon =)
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Old 01-19-2010   #54
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Hello.
I purchased a Kiev60 a while ago and to be honest all the lenses are really sharp but the camera went wrong within days. As I liked the method of use much like a 35 camera I decided to go for the Arax body. This worked fine for about a year and then the problems started. The film spacing became uneven and the film does not lay flat and uneven focus happens at different points across the negative.
I have decided to forget this camera and use my Mamiyas, much better made.
Michael.
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Old 01-19-2010   #55
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Default Re: Is the Kiev-60 SLR good?

The only issue I would have with cameras like the Kiev would be lack of a leaf shutter. I recall flash sync on that beast is 1/30 sec, which can result in ambient light affecting your flash shots, like unintentional shutter dragging. Leaf shutter or in lens shutters can give a higher flash sync speed in M-F cameras. The camera has been around a long time, originally as the Pentacon 6, and the re-fitted and improved Exacta that had West German Schneider glass, but the Ukraine lenses would fit too.

These cameras do have a reputation to jam if you try to work too fast, so wind carefully..

Darrell Larose
Ottawa


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