In this article we will tell you about all the Soviet 6×6 cameras that came out in the Soviet era and are now available on the market.
Since a huge number of soviet 6×6 cameras were created in the USSR, we will not stop our attention on each of them, but simply tell you about those that, in our opinion, are the best.
Most of the 6×6 cameras were clones of German cameras. Many of them, despite the fact that they were made on the territory of the USSR, have a very good build quality.
We advise you to pay your attention to the 6×6 soviet cameras produced at the following factories:
LOMO 6×6 Cameras
The most famous medium format 6×6 cameras produced at the LOMO plant were the Lubitel cameras, as well as the Komsomolets camera, which preceded the Lubitel cameras and was a clone of the German Voigtlander Brillant camera.
The Komsomolets camera was an exact clone of the German Brilliant camera. The camera was made of bakelite and was intended for beginner photographers. The camera did not stand out for any outstanding advantages, and in our time there is little point in looking for these cameras in the secondary market if you are not an avid collector of Soviet photographic equipment.
Moreover, the market of Soviet photographic equipment is now overflowing with Lubitel TLR cameras, which to this day can be found in very good quality and are superior to Komsomolets in all respects.
Lubitel cameras were equipped with a Triplet T-22 f4.5/75 lens, which was created on the basis of the Cookie Triplet optical scheme, and produces very atmospheric vintage photos, especially when using low-speed film with a wide dynamic range.
There are many versions of the Lubitel camera, but we recommend that you look for the Lubitel-166U as it is the latest in the series and probably the best preserved. In addition, Lubitel-166U can create not only 6×6 photos but also 6×4.5 photos.
KMZ 6×6 Cameras
The KMZ plant also produced a lot of cameras that could take photos in 6×6 format. The main ones were Moskva cameras, which could take photos in 6×9 and 6×6 formats, in addition, there were Iskra cameras, which were essentially more advanced cameras than Moskva, but could only take photos in 6×6 format.
Moskva cameras are clones of German Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta cameras. Despite the fact that these medium format film cameras were assembled in the USSR, they have a fairly good build quality.
Moskva cameras are equipped with Industar lenses, which are clones of the Zeiss Tessar lens. The combination of this type of lens with a 6×6 or even more so 6×9 format gives a very sharp image, good detail and a large number of tonal transitions.
Iskra cameras are the most advanced folding medium format cameras in the USSR, and one of the most advanced in the world. Iskra cameras have a very sharp Industar-58 lens, very good comfortable ergonomics and the best viewfinder among Soviet rangefinder cameras.
Nowadays, Iskra cameras are available on the secondary market, but when buying, pay special attention to the condition of the bellows and the frame counter, as it is very often broken, and it is almost impossible to repair them.
Arsenal 6×6 Cameras
The Arsenal plant produced SLR medium-format cameras of a fairly high class. There were only two versions of such cameras. The first are cameras cloned from Hasselblad, and the second are 6×6 cameras cloned from Pentacon Six.
Salut and Kiev-88
Salut and Kiev-88 cameras differ little from each other, and are almost exact clones of Hasselblad. Of course, with these Soviet medium format cameras you will not get the same quality photos as with the Hasselblad, but these cameras at the same time do not cost as much as the Hasselblad.
Salut and Kiev-88 cameras are very comfortable, very well assembled and give truly outstanding quality photos, while costing very little money.
Kiev-6C and Kiev-60
Kiev-6C and Kiev-60 cameras differ from each other only in that the Kiev-60 has a shutter button located under the right hand. These cameras also have a very good build quality and are able to impress you with very high quality photos.
Nowadays it is very easy to find these cameras at an affordable price and in good quality. When buying, pay attention to whether the frame advance works correctly, because the main problem with these cameras is uneven intervals between frames.
As you already understood, quite a few film cameras were created in the USSR that were capable of taking photos in 6×6 format, and you have a fairly wide choice when buying such cameras.
If you are looking for a medium format Soviet TLR camera, then it will be one of the cameras from the Lubitel line. If you want a medium format folding camera, then you should opt for either the Moskva or the Iskra camera. If you are looking for a medium format SLR camera that was made in the USSR, then medium format Kievs will be exactly what you are looking for.