Kiev 88

I borrowed this Kiev 88 from Gwen, a friend and fellow photographer at work. I’ve been looking for a 6×6 camera with a waist level finder, I sold my Yashica a few years ago, funnily enough to Gwen.

I’d been looking at the Kievs, Pentacons, Kowas, Bronicas and even Hasselblads, the latter being way out of my price range.

This Kiev 88 seems in pretty good condition but its one big clunky lump of a camera. The shutter is one loud slap and winding the film on sounds painful. I’d heard the Bronica S2A was very loud, if its louder than the Kiev then it must be deafening. So I’ll cross that off the list of possibles.

I couldn’t wait so I shot a quick roll of Ilford Delta 400 this evening and processed it. All seems to be working okay. Some overexposure but I’d put that down to not having a light meter. I used an app on my phone that was close enough, actually the overexposed frames are from slow shutter speed shots so maybe theres a sluggish issue.

These are hand held f4 – f8 and between 1/3 and 1/60th second.

I’ll put through another roll of Ilford and a roll of Portra before I return it.

One limitation I hadn’t counted on, is that I sold my large format enlarger a couple of years ago, thinking I’ll never go back to film. The thing is I really enjoyed just shooting this test roll and contact printing it by just turning on/off the darkroom white light in place of the enlarger. I fancy printing some enlargements now so will have to have a look for a cheap 6×6 enlarger.

Its surprising what you find in a cupboard when your not actually looking for something. Found my old Gossen lightmeter and the battery still works. The results were very similar to the phone app, within a third of a stop.

I’ve also replaced the darkroom safelamps. I had been using the 13w red spiral CFL but they are £10 each so I replaced them with much cheaper (£2.50) 15w Sign Lamp bulbs. These are amber and much brighter for wet plates work. I should have fitted them before printing the above contact sheet as I’m not 100% sure they are safe for silver gelatine paper. I’ll find out tomorrow.

120 film from Analogue Wonderland, good prices and quick delivery.

EDIT : turns out the smaller red and amber bulbs fog silver gelatine paper, thats a shame, I will keep them at hand for wetplate students for better visibility.