This camera is still relevant today, amateur photographers who want to get acquainted with the medium format are not diminishing and from year to year there are more and more of them. As a rule, this acquaintance begins with the most affordable options, such as cameras in Kiev.
- SLR film camera.
- Film type 120 or 220.
- Bayonet - "B" Pentacon SIX.
- TTL metering with LED indication not paired with the camera.
- Focal plane shutter, 1000-500-250-125-60-30-15-8-4-2 and "B".
- Prismatic TTL viewfinder - 70.1%.
- Mine viewfinder - 78%.
- Standard lens - Vega-12B.
Ergonomics and design:
A large, heavy apparatus does not fit in the hand. Undoubtedly Kiev-6S has everything you need, but not in its usual place. A huge number of complaints related to ease of use caused the release button, you can press it only with your left hand and not with your right, as is customary.
The camera has two interchangeable viewfinders, a prismatic and a shaft one. They are held on the camera with latches on the sides. The shutter speed selector is located to the left of the photographer, it will not cause any special problems. Quite a wide range of shutter speeds, from 1000 to ½ sec including "B" freehand exposure, provides a reliable focal plane shutter
To install the film, you need to turn both locks and pull the left one towards you, after which the back cover will open. When the cover is opened, the frame counter goes to zero. Often the frame counter does not work, the reason for this is a worn or deformed tab located in the opening of the rear cover.
Viewfinder for Kiev-6S:
As mentioned above, there are two of them, a mine and a prism. The prism viewfinder is divided into two subtypes, the first without TTL metering, and the second with TTL metering, which makes it darker accordingly. The latter factor turned out to be important, and many "pros" preferred either a mine or a prism without TTL. Another important factor is the area of the displayed image in the viewfinder, the prismatic viewfinder gave out only 70% of the frame area. The prism with the TTL metering function is not connected with the camera, it does not receive data on the set shutter speed, you yourself have to catch the shutter speed value with the "twist" in the viewfinder when metering the exposure. The TTL meter is powered by three modern but expensive PX 625 elements.
It would seem that the viewfinder is a ghost of the past, but no. A very interesting thing, although not familiar at first glance, an unusable plastic part with glass and metal elements. In fact, this is a very convenient multifunctional viewfinder, it displays no more than a prism, but still 78% of the frame area and is noticeably brighter.
The mine viewfinder is convenient in that you do not need to look into it with your eye point-blank to the pupil, you can hold the camera at belly level and look into the mine. In fact, this is a feature of studios, where it is more convenient for the photographer to hold the camera at a level significantly lower than the head. On the other hand, this viewfinder can be transformed in such a way that the shooting was carried out at eye level, an extreme case, but still nice.
Bayonet and stock lens:
The bayonet connection, like the whole idea, migrated from the medium-format Pentacon SIX camera, at Arsenal it was given a different name - "B". Bayonet "B" is essentially a union nut. A lens is installed in the connector and clamped with a large nut ring.
The stock Vega-12B 2.8 / 90 lens is very good in terms of optical quality. Produces a fairly sharp and contrasting picture from aperture 4. At 2.8 - a slight soft effect. The diaphragm is six-blade, without blackening. The optical scheme is made of high-quality optical glass with a single-layer coating.
Kiev-6C with or without TTL metering is quite a good tool. In favor of this camera can be attributed a low "starting" price and a good fleet of interesting quality optics. If you are an enthusiast, then getting the experience with a medium format camera is worth it. It is very interesting!