Kiev 60 in Paklenica National Park

By Antonio Miše

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.

Paklenica National Park in Croatia - Fuji Provia 100
Paklenica National Park in Croatia – Fuji Provia 100
Paklenica National Park in Croatia - Fuji Provia 100
Paklenica National Park in Croatia – Fuji Provia 100
Paklenica National Park in Croatia - Fuji Provia 100
Paklenica National Park in Croatia – Fuji Provia 100
Paklenica National Park in Croatia – Fuji Provia 100
Paklenica National Park in Croatia – Kodak Ektar 100
Kiev 60 - Fuji Velvia 100 fields near Neretva river
Kiev 60 – Fuji Velvia 100 fields near Neretva river
Ston - Croatia Fuji Velvia 100
Ston – Croatia Fuji Velvia 100
Great wall of Ston - Croatia Fuji Velvia 100
Great wall of Ston – Croatia Fuji Velvia 100

Thank you for reading

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Comments

Gary Smith on Kiev 60 in Paklenica National Park

Comment posted: 01/02/2024

Wow! Beautiful images! Nice article on a camera that I would likely never hear about.
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Roger on Kiev 60 in Paklenica National Park

Comment posted: 01/02/2024

Lovely images, especially the waterfall and woodland shots, which are harder to do effectively than one might think.
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Scott Edwards on Kiev 60 in Paklenica National Park

Comment posted: 01/02/2024

Nice shots and article! I was gifted with a Kiev 60. Mine unfortunately has shutter drag issues at 1/500 and 1/1000 and since I like to shoot wide open, this is a challenge. Still, I've shot now five rolls now with the Volna 80 2.8 and give it a huge thumbs up. I really love the experience and results that the Kiev 60 provides!
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jim witherspoon on Kiev 60 in Paklenica National Park

Comment posted: 01/02/2024

Really beautiful photos. Such great depth of field. The Kiev name resonates with me as my first proper camera was a Kiev 35mm rangefinder at the age of 13 ( bought secondhand ). I still have it and a few other soviet cameras of the era.
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Frederik on Kiev 60 in Paklenica National Park

Comment posted: 01/02/2024

Thnk you for sharing your pictures and story. Yes, the Kiev 60 is a beautifull camera, the Russian lenses bring a special atmosphere to the pictures, while the German lenses are more sober. I had mine serviced by Arax in Kiev, the camera works better than new. They offer to add Mirror Lock Up (MLU), this feature gives you the possibility to move the mirror up prior to exposure. This is very helpfull with long exposures. Another upgrade is a brighter focussing screen.
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Ibraar Hussain on Kiev 60 in Paklenica National Park

Comment posted: 01/02/2024

Thank you for the delightful article! I’ve never used a Kiev 60. The closest I came were two Pentacon 6 cameras which both had immediate build quality issues - they certainly weren’t Kalashnikov ! Haha! More like SA80! Lovely Photos colour and rendition - and the compositions and subject matter is so pleasing Thanks !
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