A nice, inexpensive 6x6cm camera
Nope, not a Hasselblad

A nice, inexpensive 6x6cm camera

Nope, not a Hasselblad

Back in 2000, I felt the need to get back into the darkroom. I was still shooting film – but I wanted something bigger than 35mm. I was introduced to the Kiev cameras.

Beth - Agfa-25 studio shoot

My first one was a basic model, the Kiev 88. No hand crank, basic Hasse-style A100 film backs. It had some issues, like a copper focal-plain shutter and reflective interior. Once I stopped all the light leaks and reworked the interior, the images were startling sharp and vivid. I mean, with Agfa-25 film in my studio, I got very good images.

I’ve had occasion to use a real Hassie, never owned one. This is very similar, except in one important way.

Where the Hasselblad has a shutter in the lens, the Kiev is a focal-plane shutter. The Hasselblad can sync with a strobe outside at any shutter speed (thus controlling ambiant light in the shot*) the Kiev 88 can only sync at 1/30th.

This beast is HEAVY. Be prepared to use a tripod while shooting. Especially compared to a DSLR.

Thing is – I haven’t really done a lot of photography with this Kiev for a while. That’s gotta change here real soon!

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