Shopping for a Kiev

There are quite a few places where you can buy Kiev cameras. One of the most popular places to shop for Kievs these days is eBay. There are usually a bunch of the different Kiev cameras for sale, new(?) or used, at any given time.

However, the recommendation that you will often hear from many Kievaholics is that you would be better off buying a Kiev camera from one of the more reputable dealers who offer you an exchange or warranty period. Links to these businesses can be found in the Links section of this site.

Something important to remember is that Kiev Camera basically offers an exchange warranty on their cameras. If you get a bad one, you'll have to send it back and they'll send you a completely different one. The new one may have a whole new set of problems for you to have fun with. Kiev USA and Hartblei do offer one-year repair warranties on their cameras.

Buying a used Kiev camera can be a risky proposition, especially if you are not given an inspection, exchange or refund period. Buying a camera "AS IS" should be avoided whenever possible.

You have to remember than many of these cameras come with problems right from the assembly line. That gets compounded with the fact that these are not foolproof cameras and many people have inadvertently damaged their own cameras by not following the instructions properly or not heeding the advice in the Kiev Do's and Don't's section. You never know what the previous owner might have done to the camera before you get it.

Lenses, on the other hand, can be a bit safer to buy as used equipment. But again, it's still a good idea to buy from a reputable dealer who will let you exchange or return the lens if you are not happy with it.

There are a few eBay sellers who many of us Kievaholics do trust to provide good quality mechandise. Some of these sellers are located in eastern Europe and thus have greater access to our beloved Kiev gear. Shipping is generally a little slower from these sellers, but it is not their fault - it's more a matter of the postal system.

Basically, if you are shopping for Kiev equipment on eBay, it pays to first research the going rate on the item you are interested in. This can be done by searching both current AND completed items.

If you find something you like and are thinking about placing a bid, AND if the seller has a LOT of feedback on record, you might research that particular seller on the Kiev Report Forums. Chances are that one of us has bought something from that seller and may have posted some words of wisdom in the message archive.

If, however, the seller has very little feedback on record, you may be on your own and just have to use your best judgment/intuition on whether or not you can trust him/her to send you something that you'll be happy with (should you win the auction).

Personally, I've bought most of my Kiev cameras and lenses through eBay or from regular Kiev dealers who put items up for sale on eBay. I've generally been very happy with what I've received.

But, I have received three items which were not up to my expectations. One was quickly replaced by the seller... and I just fixed the other two myself. I wouldn't dare take apart a multi-thousand dollar German, Swedish, or Japanese camera or lens... but I am willing to experiment and learn with my Kievs. To me, that's actually part of the fun of going with a Kiev.

Happy shopping!


Last update: January 19, 2002
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