Film Fridays: Loving and hating the Kiev 60 TTL – a quirky Soviet medium format knockoff
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Film Fridays: Loving and hating the Kiev 60 TTL – a quirky Soviet medium format knockoff

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Photos: Michael Elliott / 35mmc

In this week’s Film Friday, photographer Michael Elliot describes his love/hate relationship with the mechanically quirky Kiev 60 TTL, a Soviet-era medium format evolution/knockoff of the East German Pentacon Six. Manufactured in Ukraine from 1984 to 1999, it shoots 6x6cm images and features swappable viewfinders, an unpredictable film advance mechanism, a mirror box prone to heavy flare and one of the loudest SLR mirrors known to humankind.

This clunker of an SLR is as unwieldy to handle as it looks; Michael aptly describes it as a ‘Soviet tank of a camera’. But despite his many frustrations, the Kiev 60 TTL is the camera that made him fall in love with medium format photography, and that’s priceless. Moreover, it’s a camera he still enjoys shooting with, even if it wouldn’t be his first choice to lug around for an entire day – it weighs 1.5 kg / 3.3 lb without a lens.

Click the link below for Michael’s full review of the camera, including comically detailed accounts of its ‘quirks’, as well advice for anyone crazy enough to pick one up.


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