Kiev 60 is a medium format SLR film system camera manufactured by Arsenal Factory, in Kiev, Ukraine, former USSR. It was produced between 1984-99. Киев (or the transliteration Kiev) is the how the capital of Ukraine is referred to in Russian.

The Kiev 60 is inspired by the Pentacon Six. While sometimes considered to be a Soviet Union copy of the Pentacon Six, this is not strictly accurate. The Kiev 60 has been substantially re-designed. The cameras share the same basic design principles and lens bayonet, but nothing else. One of the greatest features of the Kiev 60 is its compatibility with many of the Pentacon Six lenses.

The Kiev 60, like many Soviet cameras has a mixed reputation, largely due to perceived and real quality control issues in Soviet factories. However, the cost of the Kiev 60 and its Pentacon Six lens compatibility make it a value-oriented camera for amateur photographers interested in medium format photography.

Unlike the Kiev 88 and other medium format SLR cameras, the Kiev 60 shares a similar basic design with many 35mm SLRs. Additionally, when operated with a prism viewfinder the feel of operation is also very similar. However, because the Kiev 60 is a medium format camera, it's form factor is noticeably larger than most 35mm SLRs.

The company Arax has upgraded Kiev 60 cameras from the beginning of the 2000s decade.

There are 3 types and 4 subtypes of Kiev-60 TTL [1] [2] [3] [4]


  • Film: 120 roll, picture size 6x6 cm
  • Lens: Arsenal Volna-3 MC (ВОЛНА), 80mm f/2.8, automatic diaphragm, interchangeable
    • Mount: Kiev Type C, breech-lock, (same with Pentacon Six),
    • Filter thread 62mm,
    • Aperture: f/2.8 - f/22,
    • Focus range: 0.6-10m +inf
  • Lens release: Via turning the ring on front of the lens mount
  • Focusing: Fresnel matte screen w/ central microprism collar around the split image rangefinder, ring on the lens
  • Focusing is possible only when shutter cocked, thus mirror goes down and diaphragm sets to full aperture
  • DOF lever: Two, on the lens and on the right of the lens mount (work when the shutter cocked),
  • Shutter: Curtain-type cloth focal plane shutter, setting: dial on the left of the top plate, horizontal travel, speeds: 2-1/1000 +B
  • Shutter release: On the right front side of the body, obliquely positioned, w/ cable release screw
  • Shutter cocking lever: Also winds the film, on the right of the top plate,
  • Frame counter: Auto-reset, additive type, minute window display beside the cocking lever, after auto-resetting the letter H (Cyrillic) instead of usual S letter appears in the display
  • Mirror: Not instant return, the shutter must be cocked for down position (Some variations offered withmirror lockup feature)
  • Viewfinder: Eye-level SLR pentaprism finder, interchangeable with waist level finder
    • Releasing: Two symmetrical silver knobs on both side of the prism, left one locks
  • Exposure meter: Full aperture TTL CdS, cell in prism, metering zone is the oval shaped, central part of the viewfinder field, (full aperture metering depends on the shutter cocking)
  • ASA range: 9-1000, setting: on the complex calculator dials knob on the prism finder
    • Exposure meter on switch: Right side of the prism finder, auto turns-off after 15 seconds
  • Metering: Two red LED light in the viewfinder, for correct exposure they must be seen in the same time by turning the calculator dials, over exposure: only right hand one is on, left hand one under exposure
    • Exposure setting: Cock the shutter first, set the ASA number on the calculator dial, set the aperture ring of the dial to the actual lens aperture, then turn the outer speeds ring of dial till the two red LEDs appear simultaneously in the finder, then set camera's speed dial to the aligned speed with your aperture on the calculator
  • Others: Cold-shoe on the special arm screwed to the front of the body;PC sync socket, X- sync. 1/30; Film speed memory dial; Strap buttons; Tripod socket: old type 3/8inch, w/ an adapteur screw for modern 1/4'inch
  • Film loading: The beginning index arrow of the film paper must be aligned to the red index mark over the film way, close the cover and then make three blank shots so the counter shows 1. Some unadjusted models of the Kiev 60 will have frame spacing issues because of the difference in gauges of the paper backing between old Soviet films and modern Western films. There are ways around this such as adding a 10cm additional paper leader to the front of the film before loading; and if you are careful, you can get 13 frames for the price of 12 with precise alignment of the start mark to an arbitrary point (you need to experiment to find this).[5]
  • Engravings on the back of the top plate: Arsenal logo and serial no. the first two digits show the manufacturing year
  • Battery: 4.5v, (eg. 3x LR44/PX675/RM675), for metering only
    • Battery chamber: left backside of the prism
  • Body: Metal; Weight: 1.95 kg. w/ 80mm lens

Notes and references[]

  1. According to Alaxander Komarov in Fotoua. You can also find serial numbers for dating of the cameras in this site. There is another former USSR cameras classification and info by Aidas Pikiotas in SovietCams
  2. There are useful books about cameras of former USSR and have classifications also.
  3. Pages from the the book of former USSR cameras by Suglob, Shaternik, Kochergin
  4. Discussion about classifications in the books of Princelle and Suglob, Shaternik, Kochergin in USSR Photo Forum
  5. According to Michael Elliott in his review of the Kiev 60.


In English

  • Princelle, Jean Loup - Made In USSR - The Authentic Guide To Russian And Soviet Cameras, Le Reve Edition, 2004 (ISBN 2952252106 (ISBN13: 9782952252102) Paperback

In Russian


Praktisix and Pentacon Six lens mount
Germany | Ukraine
Exakta 66 | Pentacon Six | Praktisix | Kiev 6C | Kiev 60 | Kiev 88СМ | Arax