Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/10/10

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Subject: Re: Shutterbug
From: "Charles E. Love, Jr." <>
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 09:52:57 -0400 (EDT)

Sorry about the "Russian" reference--though we all did talk about "Russian"
cameras in the days of the Soviet Union.  I don't think you've refuted me on
the substance, though.  Surely the Kiev items would rank at the absolute
bottom if you took all current MF interchangeable lens equipment and rank
ordered it on lens quality and reliability.  Don't forget, the variability
in quality you mention certainly counts in such a ranking.  The only
advantage I can see is price.--Charlie

At 10:14 PM 10/9/96 -0400, you wrote:
>At 05:22 PM 10/9/96 -0400, Charles E Love, Jr, wrote:
>>Still, Bob seems to me to be fairly undiscriminating--he LOVES Russian
>stuff, and
>>even at its best those Kievs are surely (relative to what else is available
>>in medium format) bad products.
>Well, Mr Love, there has NEVER been a Russian Kiev camera -- they're
>Ukrainian.  Second, the cameras are not all that awful, they're merely quite
>uneven in quality control and the bad ones are QUITE bad, though the good
>ones are, equally, quite good.  Third, the Kiev MF cameras have lenses which
>are clones of either Zeiss Oberkochen or of Zeiss Jena glass -- superlative
>lenses.  Fourth, the entry price on these systems is rather low:  you can
>buy an '88, two backs, and a couple of lenses with the meter-prism for what
>you pay for a fair middlin' old Rolleiflex.
>I shoot Hassie and Rollei and a Super Ikonta in MF:  but I have had a bunch
>of Kiev cameras and would be still, if I hadn't swapped my last one even for
>a Hassie.  I DID keep the meter prism:  works to within a sixth-stop, by the
>way.  Nice stuff.
>  FAX:  +540/343-7315
>Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!
Charles E. Love, Jr.
517 Warren Place
Ithaca, New York