The Kiev 6c is a Russian medium format camera that can be used as a weapon if needed. For real, look at the size of this brick compared to a 35mm nikon,
The camera is as heavy as it looks, and that isn’t a bad thing as that weight seems to help reduce vibration when you take a shot. Its a single reflex mirror but the mirror doesn’t return until you advance the film. This also reduces vibration as well. Unlike rangefinders or TLRs, with it’s whisper shutter ‘click’ the Kiev sounds like an assault riffle. When you press the trigger, which is on the left side for some reason, everyone knows your took a shot.
I’ve had mine for about 3 years, it’s a pentacon 6 copy and takes all p6 mount lenses. Carl Zeiss has some great glass for this mount and I do have a 180mm sonnar that is an amazing lens, but for the most part I use my 90 mm Russian Vega 12b lens and love the images it renders. This photograph was taken with expired portra film and developed with a Tetenal C-41 Press Kit.
One issue this camera is famous for is it can easily overlap your shots slightly and doesn’t leave gaps. This has something to do with how film has changed and isn’t as thick or something. I never worried about it at first because mine was fine, then one day it began overlapping. I started looking at simple fixes and found a few online. Something about adding a piece of tape to the roll, or something…I can’t recall but because the overlap was so minor and it actually give me an extra shot per roll , I decided to just live with it. Until last year when at a camera swap I found a Pentacon 6 for dirt cheap. Since then I haven’t used the kiev and the Pentacon works great without any issues. I took these shots with it a couple of weeks ago. The film was expired shanghai gp3 120 b&w film and was developed with rodinal using a 50 to 1 mix for 17 minutes.
All in all, I was happy with the Kiev. Its a great camera and I am sure I could easily fix the gap issue but the Pentacon works great so why bother. If your interested in medium format photography and don’t want to take a second mortgage out on your home to buy a camera, the Kiev may be for you.
I decided to post one more picture of our local veterinarian with his wife and dog , just to show it’s not all railway tracks, but I forgot about the background.
At least we are off the tracks :).