I’ve been using shooting black and white on various 35mm Pentax cameras for 10 years. In recent years I began to use my 35mm cameras less often until last year. I wanted to print my negatives and began looking for a darkroom. I am fortunate that in east London there are a few facilities locally where I can book some darkroom time. I used the darkroom at PhotoChats. I love printing and the process of physically crafting an image. Having printed my negatives I began to shoot regularly on my film camera again.
My excitement reignited, I began looking for film blogs and podcasts on-line and discovered the FPP (Film Photography Podcast). I was eager to learn about different cameras, processes and techniques.
I bought the Kiev 88 TTL on eBay, an eBay success to counter my many eBay failures. When browsing for a camera on eBay it’s usually wise to look out for phrases just as: “my camera”, “excellent condition” and importantly “working” so when someone puts this in the description “DON’T KNOW ANY THING ABOUT THIS CAMERA CANT CHECK IF IT WORKS AS I DON’T HAVE A CLUE WHERE TO START” – it should have served as a warning. Usually when someone has written in Caps Lock it’s a warning sign in itself yet I was so intrigued enough by this camera (and the lens, 30mm f/3.5 Arsat), that I took a gamble and placed a bid – and won it for £ £142 (around $227us) plus £10 postage. The gamble almost didn’t pay off as the metered prism doesn’t work, which isn’t a problem, however the roll holder was jammed inside magazine housing which meant I couldn’t load film into it. I found someone that managed to fix it and it’s worked perfectly ever since. It’s a heavy indiscreet camera. The winding crank is incredibly stiff. It’s not a camera for taking quick snaps or street photography as it’s somewhat cumbersome but it did deliver some impressive results and I love the lens distortion.
Thanks for sharing your experiences, Abdul! -Michael Raso, FPP
FPPers wishing to submit blogs should contact me, Michael Raso.