Back to the U.S.S.R.

After finishing work I drove to Gent where I had an appointment with P. whom sold me the Kiev 6C. There is an issue with the exposure where curtain 1 and 2 are out of sync. At 1/1000 this gives a negative that is noticeable over-exposed on the right side of the negative. With slower speeds is goes away and disappears at 1/60″ when curtain 1 passes the frame completely before curtain 2 starts the same traject.

We talked for a while and P. told me some more private things and later on, while driving back home, I was thinking I would love to spend an evening in his company. Something tells me we have a lot in common.

P. opened the Kiev 6C while explaining what he did and then showed me the two little wheels that steer the two curtains. Yes, I would like to learn more as I find it important not only to drive old cars but be able to at least find a solution for simple problems. That is part of the fun.

Then P. said he thought it was almost okay. It is indeed a hell of a job adjusting a shutter passing at 1/1000″ just using your eyes.

He put everything back together and told me he was convinced I would be able to adjust the curtain speed if necessary.

“I have something for you,” he said. “You’ll like it and it would be fun if you would write about it on your blog. I do not think there is much literature about it and certainly not in the English language.”
I felt honoured and, of course, very curious.

He left the room and shortly after came back with a rather strange looking camera and two lenses.

This is a Kiev-10 P. told me and if I am not mistaken on of the rare really original designs and not a copy. The camera looks a little space but don’t forget, the USSR where in there first space adventures with Gagarin. Futurism was everywhere.

I’m lending you this camera, P. continued, and take your time. Play with it, test it and write about it.

I did not know what to say as I was given multiple opportunities. First of all trust and then I would have to do research, test and play, think about how to compare and with what.  Write about it.

The camera felt so natural in my hands and I understood its functions and options immediately as if I had always used this camera.
The Kiev-10  (Киев-10 Автомат) is a very innovative and strange looking camera. It has has a build-in light meter and an automatic aperture system. It does not use a battery at all so it is fully manual. It has also a metallic fan shutter going up to 1/1000″ and uses micro crystals for focusing. I had never seen or heard about a fan shutter.

I was given a very special camera and more important I was given an opportunity and I am very pleased and honoured.

Back home I threw a film in the Kiev 6C and made some shots. The problem is almost gone but the camera needs a little more tweaking. About 10% of the negative is overexposed compared to 50% before. I know what to do and how.

I am learning so many new things.
Thank you, P.

Kiev 10 with 37mm f2.8 lens
Kiev 10 with 37mm f2.8 lens




  1. Stephan I wished I lived near to you as I would love to meet this guy, he is worthy of the term friend. I suspect you will develop a strong friendship with him. As for the camera wow, I have never seen anything like it certainly not from that region. I can’t wait to see some results from this kit.


    • Hi Martin, he has a huge collection of Russian cameras and yes, there might be some friendship starting here 🙂 I could not believe my eyes when I saw this camera.


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