Originally posted by Murph:
I would like one of those 6x6 SLRs, but how are the optics? I am somewhat of a lens snob, preferring German optics, if I can get them over Japanese.
I haven't used one of those 6x6 SLR myself. I'm still happy with what I get from 35mm. But from what I've read Russian optics are nothing to complain about. I use a Jupiter 8(a Sonnar copy) on my Kiev rangefinder, and I'm very happy with the results. Their lenses are usually based on German designs. What you do have worry about is the mechanical reliability of the cameras, due to spotty quality control. You said you like to use small apertures anyway, so I doubt you'll notice any difference between Russian and German lens (or Japanese for that matter), beside fit and finish of course.
Kiev 60 cost about $100 on ebay, but many of those might have mechanical problems. Kiev 88 is a copy of an old Hasselbald with focal plane shutter. KievUSA sells them for about $400 IRC with warranty. A good source I've heard several good reviews about is [url="http://"http://www.arax-photo.com"]http://www.arax-photo.com[/url] , they take stock Kievs, calibrate and upgrade them to a higher standard. [Edited by whyhow (02 Sep 2004).]