life . Portrait . street

Madison, WI


Fontana Giusti


Kiev 88 with 80mm 1:2.8 lens

This camera is a perfectly imperfect Kiev88 kit. It takes 6×6 square images, on medium format (120) film.

It comes with:

  • the body (of course)
  • 80mm 1:2.8 lens + lens cap + UV filter
  • lens hood
  • two film backs – one that kind of works and one that doesn’t
  • waist level viewfinder + TTL prism light meter (which I never used, so I don’t know if it works)
  • camera strap – original
  • camera case – original

I bought this camera two years ago straight from Ukraine on ebay, they claimed it was fully functional and CLAd, and that was clearly an exaggeration, but the country went on war and I leaned into the many quirks of this heavy, but also beautiful machine. I used it a lot, it’s the camera that introduced me to the world of medium format photography, until I found cameras that I used more, and since then it’s been collecting dust and that feels wrong.

They call it the Hasselbladski, but fair warning: if you’re looking for a pretend Hasselblad that works just the same, move on and keep looking, this camera is not it.

However, if you’re open to creative dialogues with your camera, keep reading, this could be for you.

This camera has personality, and charm like nothing else. It will decide when and how much it wants to advance the film, but not always. Sometimes, just like any regular artist, it just wants to shoot normal pictures and you’ll get 12 squares, no questions asked. Let it surprize you, and it will reward you with beautifully unexpected results.

It also has significant light leaks, and I recommend taping it up even if you’re into the look. I never did, I don’t know why, but I can assure you that the leaks come from the sides of the film holder, and that’s an easy black tape fix.

It comes with two film backs, but one of those never worked – I labeled it with a big NO taped on it, so you don’t try too hard, it will not go. If you want two backs, you’ll have to either figure out how to repair it (I would not bother, though), or buy a new back, which seems like the most reasonable option.

The lens is magical, if you can focus it, but also if you – like me – have no feeling for that. It produces images with a softness that’s absolutely magical. It’s in great condition, there’s a bit of dust on the outside, mostly from sitting around, but it has no mold and no balsam separation.

I’ll add a few sample images for illustrative purposes. I’ve done intentional and unintentional multiple exposures with it, in-studio strobe work, long exposures, street portraiture, kids’ portraiture, self-portraits, etc. It can do so much, if you accept it’s imperfections as features…

Free pickup in Madison – $20 shipping to the US – no international shipping.


Out of stock

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