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 Issues with Kiev 6C Medium Format Camera
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avery miller

1 Posts
Posted - Nov 09 2020 :  2:16:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello! First time poster, I really appreciate anyone who can point me in the right direction. I've been having a tough time tracking down anyone who knows much about the 6C, so any input would be much appreciated.
A couple months ago, I purchased a Kiev 6C (also known as the 6S) camera from Russia.
The camera is in really good condition, sans one issue; photos taken with the camera often overlap, which I understand is a common issue. One possible cause is apparently down to not winding up the shutter properly, but I have tried winding it in several different ways without any difference.
I eventually came across a guide called the "Kiev 60 Kalibration" that instructs how to open up the camera and adjust a frame spacing screw. While this guide is for the 60 and not the 6c, I was surprised to see that this frame spacing screw does exist inside my camera (I found a Russian 6C repair manual online and it doesn't have any mention of this screw, which I thought was interesting.)
After adjusting this screw several times, I found that there was no difference of spacing between frames-- each exposure overlaps by about 0.7cm. I'm hoping I'm doing something wrong, because I assume if this adjustment screw isn't working there must be something greater wrong with the camera.
I'd really appreciate some thoughts on where to proceed with this. I'm a college student on a tight budget, so sending the camera to Russia for repairs is out of my grasp. (Camera repair shops that work on Kiev cameras seem pretty far and few between in the US, but if you know of any please feel free to share.) I've considered listing the camera on eBay or something and trying to just cut my losses, but I'm trying to look into all my options before doing something like that. I have access to 3D printers, so I've actually considered attempting to change the camera's frame size to ~6 by ~4, which I'm thinking would allow enough room for frames to not overlap, but that is obviously not an ideal solution :) (especially if it's a spring related issue that is going to get worse over time)
Any idea what would cause this issue? Any help or input would be much appreciated!

Edited by - averymiller on Nov 09 2020 2:16:38 PM
Michael Perkins
United Kingdom
29 Posts
Posted - Nov 09 2020 :  4:07:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, what you describe is a very common problem with these cameras. I have a 6C and a 60 and both have slight frame overlap issues - though nothing compared to my Praktisix which overlaps the frames by 3cm if you're not careful with the wind on!
That's interesting what you say about the adjustment screw. I didn't know about that, and I'll have to have a play with it on mine.
One question: do you find the end of the roll doesn't overlap? As the spool winds on more film, the diameter increases and the space between frames increases too. As a result, I've seen people recommend starting the spool a bit further on than the alignment arrows, so a bit more film is wound on at the first frame. I can't help feeling that's going to be a tiny effect, though. What I wonder, and haven't tried, is making the spool a bit thicker to begin with. For example, save a bit of backing paper from a previous spool, and tape this on as an extension to the backing paper on your current roll. So you'll wind on a bit more paper at the beginning, increasing the diameter of the spool, before the film starts. It might be enough.
Others on here are much more knowledgeable than me, so may have better solutions.
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Vladislav Kern
4247 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Nov 10 2020 :  10:53:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Avery,

Hmmm.. all I can think of - are you shooting 220 or 120? And is your 220/120 switch in correct position?

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Milo Schekkerman
195 Posts
Posted - Nov 17 2020 :  12:22:54 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Valkir1987's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
The 'film thickness compensation mechanism', probably needs to be cleaned, lubricated and readjusted. Even if you set it to 120 film. The films originally used where a little thicker and gave bigger spacing as a result.

When more frames are transported, the size (diameter) of the take up spool increases. The Kiev 6c and 60 are made in such way a part of the frame counter is connected to the transport. When the number of frames increase, the transporting movement is decreased.

A roll of Shanghai GP3 for example will give a wider spacing than a roll of Fuji Superia.
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154 Posts
Posted - Nov 18 2020 :  1:57:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
to compensate, you can just add 2 turns of paper around the spool first (from an old film) and then tape your new roll to these 2 turns...

www.a7camera.com www.120folder.com www.instantphoto.eu www.135compact.com www.oddcameras.com
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United Kingdom
129 Posts
Posted - Nov 20 2020 :  05:00:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you have an old film, you can check if the spacing is better by exposing each frame on 'B' and drawing around the edge of the film frame with a pencil from the inside of the camera (lens removed). When you unreel the film you will be able to see the pencil squares and the gap. Saves wasting a film :-) You can rub the pencil marks off and start again if you need to.

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18 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Dec 22 2020 :  04:07:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mael's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You need to get the Kiev 6C service manual, first.


Then you need to remove, clean, strengthen the inside springs of the following part : Page 28, fig 35, item 12 , detailed internal view fig 36, (springs are item 4) and put back together the whole winding mechanism.

This is a ratchet that becomes slippery with time and oil getting everywhere. This ratchet acts for transporting the film while winding, and when the winding lever gets back, it is rotating freely.

This is a long process because you need to understand first how the transport mechanism works, then get access to it and resynchronize all of the gears.

If this ratchet does not work properly, the frame spacing adjustment screw usually described over the internet will not work at all. Some even say the camera is not reparable but this is only because they do not know what they're talking about.

Edited by - Mael on Dec 22 2020 04:10:10 AM
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