Kiev 88

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The Kiev 88 is the most well-known of the Kiev cameras. Produced by the Arsenal factory in Ukraine, the Kiev 88 is very similar to the Salyut-S (Kiev 80), but has a hot shoe. The Salyut-S was in turn an updated version of the Salyut, the first model of which was a copy of the Hasselblad 1600 F.

The Kiev 88 is best known as an inexpensive entry-level medium format SLR, modeled after the Hasselblad 500 series of cameras. Unlike the Hasselblad 500s, though, the Kiev 88 and its derivatives used focal plane shutters and thus lenses were not interchangeable between the Kiev and Hasselblad cameras. Other accessories such as viewfinders were directly interchangeable. Quality control is generally understood to be rather poor on these cameras.

Versions reconditioned by third-party companies such as Arax, Hartblei, Brenner B.I.G., Wiese Fototechnik, and KievUSA intended to resolve or reduce many of the quality control issues associated with the cameras as built by the factory. These companies also added improvements to the camera such as improved winders, mirror lock-up mechanisms, and compatibility with Hasselblad film backs. Most of these companies also offered Pentacon Six mount conversions of the Kiev 88 long before this mount was offered by the factory, which vastly extended the range of available lenses that could be used with the camera.

Other companies offered the Kiev 88 re-badged with their own label, without any changes to the underlying camera. One such company was Cambridge Camera Exchange in NYC, which offered a Kiev 88 package under the name Cambron Pro Six.

The standard lens is a Volna-3 80 mm f/2.8 (later renamed Arsat B or Arsat C in the later years of production). There are some high-quality lenses available for Kiev-88 cameras at low prices, including the Arsat 30mm f/3.5 fisheye lens, available for around $200, whose nearest rival bears a price tag closer to $6000.

The Kiev 88 originally used a screw thread but was later modified to take the Pentacon Six mount. This version is called the Kiev 88СМ.

The camera was sold with a metering prism as the Kiev 88 TTL.

External links

Praktisix and Pentacon Six lens mount
Germany | Ukraine
Exakta 66 | Pentacon Six | Praktisix | Kiev 6C | Kiev 60 | Kiev 88СМ | Arax