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My Cameras

Kiev 60 TTL:

For Christmas 2020, having dabbled in film photography with my wife's cameras, I bought a Kiev 60 MF SLR with an 80mm Zeiss Jena normal lens.

The beautiful images it allowed me to capture convinced me to purchase a couple of other lovely old Zeiss Jena primes (a 50mm Flektogon and a 180mm Sonnar).

Of course, if you know the Kiev 60 camera, you'll know it's hounded by little niggles and a number of my first rolls through were affected by the mirror box not being properly flocked, causing lovely - but totally undesirable - light effects on the negatives; frame kissing, since the rollfilm in the west had a thinner backing paper than in the Soviet bloc, and the advance mechanism is based on the thickness on the takeup spool; and at one point a film got chewed up (but the upside was that I could use that as a test roll for working out how to get the frames spaced correctly without taking the beast to bits!).

This is my go-to camera - along with Fuji Pro 400H or Provia 400X film - for shooting portraits of my baby daughter as she wiggles around in her bouncer, under the baby gym, or lying in her pram outside in the sun.

Kiev 60 TTL SLR with Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 50mm f/4.0 lens


Zeiss Flektogon 50mm f/4

Zeiss Biometar 80mm f/2.8

Zeiss Sonnar 180mm f/2.8

Arsenal Mir 38-B 65mm f/3.5

Fujica GL-690

Having had a few rolls developed and seen the beauty of 6x6 format negatives, I spotted a Fujica GL-690 on eBay and purchased that. As a rangefinder, it's a little less suited to some applications that the Kiev might excel at (though I did manage to source the auto-up lens that allows you to take close ups and adjusts the rangefinder), but the lenses are tremendously sharp, and 6x9 format negatives and transparencies are a wonder to behold.

Fujica GL-690 with Fujinon S 100mm f/3.5 lens


Fujinon SW S 65mm f/5.6

Fujinon S 100mm f/3.5

Fujinon TS 150mm f/5.6

Rolleiflex 2.8E

I always wanted one of the "real" TLRs - either a Mamiya C330, Rolleiflex 2.8 or Minolta Autocord, and managed to snag a real good deal on this on eBay. It's not perfect, the shutter sticks every now and then, or decides not to cock, I've had a few messed up frames, I've had to rewind to cock the shutter... but the sheer joy of seeing the world through that bright waist-level finder is simply irreplaceable, even the WLF on the Kiev 60 doesn't compare. It's more of an icon than an everyday camera for use, but it still gets taken out on occasion.

Rolleiflex 2.8E with Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm f/2.8 lens

Olympus OM-1N

My latest acquisition and first foray into the 35mm SLR world (I was always more a rangefinder fan, but could never afford a Leica so stuck to my wife's Soviet clones which produce lovely images). I have to say, when I got it I was dumbstruck by how small, light and almost pocketable the damn thing is! It truly is a delight to carry and use, with a very intuitive set of controls around the barrel - of course, this camera has its shutter speed selector on the body side of the barrel as well, rather than on top of the camera, which having toted the Fuji GL690, came as more intuitive than the top of the body shutter speed selector on the Kiev and other SLRs.

Olympus OM-1 with G-Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 lens


Olympus G-Zuiko 50mm f/1.4

Olympus G-Zuiko 28mm f/3.5

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