If Kalashnikov Ever Made Camera, then that would be Kiev 60. Definitely. But I love it, it’s large, shutter really kicks with that satisfying sound, gives you feeling that photo was taken… and maybe overlapped with previous frame. Sure yes they have some flaws but my two Kiev 60 cameras were amazing. I sold them both two years ago – and now I’m planning to buy a Kiev 60 again. Why? Keep reading.
You can find this cameras cheap, and you can use all sorts of Pentacon P6 mount lenses on it which are amazing, especially CZ “Zebra” series. The Kiev 60 has very few controls – just load the 120 film and shoot, you can even squeeze in few extra exposures on the film. A TTL prism can be mounted and you can use it like buffed up SLR instead of with a waist level finder. You can find batteries for prism/lightmeter on ebay or any hardware store too.
The Kiev 60 is durable camera. The shutter is focal plane with 1/1000 fastest speed and “B” as slowest. Originally Volna or Vega 90mm lenses were included with the camera. Just like camera lenses are simple, easy to repair fully manual. The optics are great too – especially the Volna. If you plan to buy Kiev look for Volna lens.
I spent great deal of time with my Kiev 60. My most notably shoot was in Paklenica National Park at Velebit mountain Croatia in late autumn. I used two lenses – previously mentioned, the Volna 90mm f2.8 and and CZ “Zebra” 50mm f4.
The film I used was Fuji Provia 100 and Kodak Ektar 100. A tripod was used for shooting because the Kiev 60 is heavy camera and I wanted crisp images at f16. When planning to shoot with this camera you should prepare yourself for a bicep workout.
If you think about it, what do you really need to start creating images? A camera is, as they say, just a lightproof box. This “Kalashnikov” offers simplicity, and a unique experience of creating images. The clunky shutter sound is sooo satisfying, every time it hits you know that an image has been created.
If you want to try medium format photography – give the Kiev 60 a chance. They are fantastic cameras – I had two – sold them – now I want to buy this camera again.
Check the photos below – the are all created with this soviet era camera.
Thank you for reading
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