Kiev 90

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The Kiev 90 is an SLR camera for 4.5x6 cm exposures on 120 film, made briefly by the Arsenal in Kiev, Ukraine from about 1987. It is plainly derived from the Salyut/Kiev 80 series of cameras, but has a body style distinct from the earlier cameras. It has rather squarer corners, and black-painted trim instead of bright metal plating. The auctioneer's notes at Leitz Auction (see links below) describe this as 'design inspired by the Mamiya M645'.

The standard lens is a multi-coated Volna-3 80 mm f/2.8, with a bayonet mount. The camera has a focal-plane shutter, travelling vertically (i.e across the shorter dimension of the picture frame). This has electronically-timed speeds from 4 to 1/1000 seconds, plus 'B'.

Waist-level and prism finders exist for the camera, and the focusing screen is also interchangeable. Metering is in the camera (not in the prism finder, as with, for example, the Mamiya M645 cameras).[1] The film back is also interchangeable and can be changed mid-roll.

McKeown states that very few (about 2000) cameras were made, and that the camera is sadly very unreliable; the shutter in surviving examples is rarely working.[2] Notes at Leitz auction are more precise and pessimistic regarding numbers: they state that just 5 units were made in 1983, 40 in 1985, and up to 200 in 1988.


  1. The Kiev 90 at TRA's The Pentacon Six System
  2. McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). p464. In fact, McKeown says never working.


  • Kiev 90 serial no. 8300001, the first camera made and numbered in 1983, with MC Volna-3, prism and waist-level finders, film back, UV and yellow-green filters, outfit case and box, sold at the 39th Leitz Photographica Auction, in November 2021.
  • Kiev 90 serial no. 8800002, with MC Volna-3, waist-level and prism finders and two film backs, sold at the 24th Westlicht Auction, on 23 November 2013; several pictures of the camera and accessories.
  • Kiev 90 serial no.8800083, with Volna-3, WLF, two film backs, outfit case, box and instructions, sold at the 42nd Leitz Auction, in September 2023.
  • Kiev 90 Review formerly at Nathan Dayton's Communist Cameras, archived at the Internet Archive in 2018.