Lomopedia: Kiev 88

2014-04-21 2

Hailed as the best known of all Kiev cameras, the Kiev 88 originated from improvements of the Salyut line of medium format cameras manufactured by Arsenal in Ukraine. Find out more about this inexpensive yet capable medium format shooter in this installment of Lomopedia!

Derived from the Salyut system of medium format cameras from the late 1950s, the Kiev 88 was the improved version that followed the Kiev 80 model made from 1975 to 1980. The Kiev 80 was said to be the export type of the Salyut-S (sometimes called Salyut-C as its name appears as Салют-С in Cyrillic), and with the addition of a hot shoe for electronic flashes, it became Kiev 88.

As it’s a near identical Soviet clone of the Hasselblad 1600 F, this medium format SLR camera is sometimes jokingly called a Hasselbladski. It also has a screw type lens mount similar to that of the original Hasselblad mount, but compatibility of the two cameras isn’t certain. While film backs of Kievs and Hasselblads are not compatible because of the difference in gear mechanisms, the Kiev 88 viewfinders can be used with the Hasselblad 1600f and 1000F, as well as current Hasselblad V-system models.

Around 1999, the Kiev 88 lens mount was updated to accommodate most Pentacon Six mount lenses, and to indicate this improvement, it was called Kiev 88CM.

Because Kiev 88 and Kiev 88CM cameras are inexpensive, they have become popular alternatives for medium format photographers and enthusiasts.

Photo via Wikipedia

Technical Specifications/Features:

  • Die-cast aluminum alloy camera body
  • Tough, scratch and scuff-resistant black vinyl covering
  • Polished chrome trim to protect exposed metal surfaces
  • Exclusive 90º twist-lock bayonet lens mount
  • Twin 3/8-inch threaded sockets for tripod and pistol grip use
  • Hot shoe with synchronous center contact for accessories
  • Laterally-reversed, 53 × 53mm upright ground glass display
  • High-intensity Fresnel lens to illuminate matte viewing screen
  • Extra-bright 14mm center spot with horizontal split-image rangefinder and surrounding microprism ring
  • Etched hairline grid markings to facilitate accurate image alignment.
  • Interchangeable eye-level pentaprism viewfinders with and without built-in full aperture TTL exposure metering
  • Two fast, ultra-sensitive cadmium sulfide cells (TTL finder)
  • Center-weighted averaging measurement with LED readout (TTL finder)
  • Laterally-correct, 53 × 53mm upright ground glass display (TTL and prism finder)
  • 45º sighting angle (TTL and prism finder)
  • 3X eyepiece magnification (TTL and prism finder)
  • Recess to accommodate individual correction lenses. (TTL and prism finder)
  • Precision, stainless steel or cloth curtain focal plane shutter with horizontal traverse for consistent lens-to-lens exposure
  • Ten programmed speeds from 1/2 to 1/1000 second, plus Bulb
  • FP-X electronic flash sync with open curtain from 1/2 to 1/30 second
  • Standard PC tip socket for flash cord
  • Interlock to prevent triggering shutter before dark slide is withdrawn
  • Flag to indicate signal status of shutter wind.
Credits: artichekt, earlybird, ck_berlin & frauspatzi

All information for this article were sourced from Kiev 88 on Camerapedia, Salyut-S on Camerapedia, Kiev (brand) on Wikipedia, and Kiev USA.

written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-04-21 #gear #medium-format #120 #review #kiev #kiev-88 #slr-camera #salyut-c #lomopedia #salyut-s


  1. ihave2pillows
    ihave2pillows ·

    I found one in St Petersburg, but I couldn't communicate with the shopkeeper... ToT

  2. montagu
    montagu ·

    My Kiev 88 I found in a thrift store in Switzerland including a wooden pistol grip, prism viewfinder a leather bag and an awesome metal lens hood for 15.- SFr., best deal I ever had on a camera in my life so far:)

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