Tag Archives: 88

Update on the Kiev 88

I finally used the Kiev 88 again. I bought an extra cassette too though for this excursion I didn’t use it.

I went for a local walk after work. It was a short walk, specifically to use this camera. I reread my previous post about the camera and reminded myself of the issues I had. It helped. I wound the cassette to the first shot and cocked the shutter before attaching the cassette to the body. The light was rapidly fading, but as there are only 12 shots I managed to finish in time and developed the film when I returned home.

I was getting ready to sell this camera, now I am not so sure. Oh Beastie, you are a fickle friend.

Olympus OM-101 (OM-88)

I have absolutely no idea why I bought this camera, but it was in the pile of random cameras I bought myself when returning to the UK. I think it must have been really cheap or I was persuaded by the Olympus name. It does look really clean though. And I actually do like the shape.

I left my usb lightbox in Japan and recently got a round softbox flash adapter instead. It really does get rid of annoying flash shadows.

On the photos, you can see a manual adapter is attached. This was not part of the package I originally received, but once I read about this camera I realized I needed it. Otherwise, this camera is basically a big point and shoot. Much like the OM10, it works better with the manual adapter. However, this one was hard to find. I had to find a junk camera with one still attached. Luckily for me, the seller did not list that the manual adapter 2 was attached. I saw it peaking out of the side on one of the photos and took a chance it was actually what I thought it was. Voila, I have the adapter.

The camera was originally released in 1988. It takes all OM lenses but has two of its own power focus lenses. These can be operated by a thumb dial on the back of the camera. My version came with the 50mm PF lens. I found operating it was quite awkward at first. It is natural to try to turn the lens, but on this camera, you use your thumb and that “power focuses” the lens. You do get used to it eventually and it is quite responsive to touch. You can read lots of technical details here.

Ok, so a bit more about the manual adapter. With it, you can choose full manual mode or aperture priority. There is no speed priority mode. The manual adapter also lets you see what you have set the camera too. Without it, you have absolutely no idea what the camera has chosen. There is no information in the viewfinder other than a P for program. Even in the other modes you only get arrows for over or underexposed. That really sucks!

I put a roll of Fomapan 100 in and went for a wander. I put a black and white in so I could develop it at home. It was my first time using Ilford Ilfosol 3 and it was a much quicker process that I have experienced before and…I overdeveloped the film.

Even though they are overdeveloped, it gives them a kind of dreamy, vintage look. These were taken before I got the manual adapter so they were all taken on program mode.

I actually liked using the camera. Fair enough it doesn’t look as cool as the usual OM range, but it did what it should. It took perfectly exposed photos. If you can get a cheap one, with the manual adapter, go for it.

Oh and the photos were taken around Frickley Park, which you can read about here.

Buy this camera – Olympus OM101

Please check the photos and read the text, that way you know exactly what you are buying. The amount includes postage to the UK. If you live outside the UK please contact me for postage details.

£40.00

Kiev 88

This is one of the cameras I bought in order to play with it on my return to England. I had read a lot about it online on various blogs. I read this article which called it the “Beast from the East”. At the time that I ordered it, the UK news was full of details about their own beast from the east, kismet I thought.

Due to the fact this takes 6×6 photos, there seems to be more photos of the camera here than the 12 test shots that I will add later. The article I linked to before says that you will need at least 2 backs as the loading part is complicated and you might want to do it at home rather than out and about.

I agree I wish I had two. This 1980s camera was one of the most annoying cameras I have ever had to load. Before loading the film I read the manual a couple of times, but still struggled. It didn’t seem to make much sense. The first issue I had was actually getting the cassette back in the holder, it would not go in easily. The second was that I had forgotten to wind the film to the first frame in the cassette and cock the shutter before reattaching the holder to the body. Really, I had read the manual…maybe I have to make a video to remind myself. The body’s film advance also cocks the shutter, so I had royally screwed things up.

Once I did have the film loaded, actually using the camera wasn’t that tricky. Mine had a waist level finder, not TTL, so it didn’t need batteries. I used an app on my phone for a light reading, then adjusted the aperture when the lighting changed. The next mistake I made was forgetting to take the cassette plate out. In the manual, they call this a “shutter”, anyway, with this plate inside the camera’s actual shutter is locked on my version. So you can’t waste film by forgetting to remove this, you just get confused as to why the damn thing isn’t working. Don’t start throwing the camera though as the thing could kill a cow.¬† This brilliant website has a funny review of the camera and says¬†that it “weighs a f*****g ton.” He also used the word crap a lot, but he does give a lot of technical details if you want them.

So did mine actually work? Here is my roll of Fomapan 400.

As you can see I missed the first shot on the roll completely through my bad loading skills. There are a couple of shots of the swan where I think I forgot to change the aperture and the one blank one…no idea what happened there. The ones that did come out are nice and sharp, especially the non-moving log.

I don’t know why, but there is something about this camera I love. It is big, fat, and heavy. It clunks and groans while you use it and is prone to breaking. There are many websites detailing how finding a good one is hard, but if you do it is worth it. I think I have found a fairly good one, despite my issues with loading it. I am going to use it again and maybe upload more photos here. I find it beautiful and funky. This website compares it to the Hasselblad it was originally based on, it makes for an interesting read.

Keep or sell: Keep, for now, it is waaaay too heavy to post it anywhere I would get a good return for what I paid.