The Kiev 60 (written KNEB in Cyrillic) is a relatively inexpensive medium format camera made in Kiev, Ukraine, hence the name. It has been made there for about 40 years - one can identify the older ones by the little CCCP logo on the front of the camera. The Kiev 60 is very close to the Pentax 67, except that the Kiev makes negatives that are 6 x 6 cm and the Pentax makes negatives that are 6 x 7 cm. The Kiev 60 can use lenses manufactured for Pentacon, Exacta 66, and Kiev 88 cameras.
The Kiev 60 looks very similar to a very big 35mm. single lens reflex camera. Unlike most 35 mm SLR cameras, it is built like a tank. The camera, with standard lens, weighs about 6 pounds.
The features of the Kiev 60 are similar to those of many Japanese and German cameras of the same style:
In addition to the lenses made by Carl Zeiss, Pentacon, and Exacta, which are currently out of production, there are also many quality lenses still in production for the Kiev 60:
Other really good lenses for the Kiev 60 that are out of production but still relatively easy to find used are:
The Kiev is a decent, though not great medium format camera for the money. You may find it more useful if you already have a Nikon or Pentax camera which you intend to keep using, as adapters are available to use Kiev 60 lenses on those cameras. Some people may find the location of the shutter speed dial problematic, as it is on the opposite side from most 35mm cameras. The location of the shutter button may also be problematic, as it is on the front of the camera, on the side where one might normally place one's left hand. The light meter is non-coupled, meaning that, though it meters the light through the viewing lens, once you have figured out the proper exposure, you still have to adjust the camera to that exposure. The batteries for the light meter are extremely hard to find, so be sure to get a few with the camera. If you know of a source for the batteries, please, please tell me.
My opinion, as the owner of a Kiev 60: If you are going to buy one, either get it someplace where it is really cheap (like Ismalosky Park in Moscow) or pay the much higher price charged by one of the importers that actually looks at the cameras and repairs the problems that may exist with them, like KievUSA (www.kievusa.com). I spent $210 on my Kiev from a few vendors at Ismalosky Park. For that I got a Kiev 60 with a TTL metering prism, an Carl Zeiss Flektogon 50mm f4, a Vega 90mm f2.8, a Carl Zeiss Sonnar 180 f2.8, and an adapter so that I can use the lenses on my Pentax Spotmatic. I feel I got a decent deal, however the prism does not quite latch on firmly, so one must make sure that it is properly in place - otherwise, the focus will be off. Also, the diaphram on the 180 f2.8 will no longer stop down. I am not sure if this is because of something that I have done or because I got a bad lens. I am happy with my purchase - I expected a decent camera for the money, and I recieved the same. The adapter so that I can use the lenses on my Pentax was well worth the money - it reduces the number of lenses I need to have, and the optics are really great on the Pentax, as the 35mm camera only uses the center part of the lens, where the image is sharpest. Those expecting a camera of comparable quality to those costing thousansds of dollars will be let down. For the money, though, it is a good buy. Evaluate the camera carefully, they will have some flaws, make sure that the flaws considered in the price.