The Kiev Salyut/Zenith 80/Kiev 80/Kiev 88

Can the Novoflex Bellows for the Hasselblad 1600F and 1000F be used with these cameras?

Novoflex bellows on a Hasselblad 1000F camera
Photograph courtesy of Martin Grahl of Novoflex

The original Hasselblad was launched in 1949, and the camera was given the revised name “Hasselblad 1600F” in 1953, when the Hasselblad 1000F was launched.  (See Nordin, 1998, p. 17.)  Hasselblad ceased the production of the 1600F and the 1000F in 1957 when they launched the Hasselblad 500C, which abandoned the focal-plane shutter of the previous two cameras and used instead lenses that had a shutter built into them.

However, 1957 was the year that the Arsenal factory in Kiev launched its “clone” of the Hasselblad 1600F and 1000F, the “Salyut”.  This originally had a top speed that was claimed to be 1/1500 sec, although, like Hasselblad, they discovered that accurately achieving such a high speed was difficult, and so the top speed was reduced to a nominal 1/1000 sec.

With fairly minor modifications, this camera evolved to become the Kiev 80 and then the Kiev 88.  In some markets there were various other brand names, such as “Zenith 80” in the U.K. in the 1970s
(see Spillman, 1971, pp 72-73) and “Revue 6×6”, then “Revue-80” for cameras marketed by Foto-Quelle in Germany (the Revue-80 from 1971, see Princelle, 2004, p. 222).  It would appear that the Kiev 88 may still have been in production at the beginning of the 21st century.  Or it may just be that unsold stock manufactured before the collapse of the Soviet Union, or shortly after then, was still being sold.

I state elsewhere (here) that to the best of my knowledge, no bellows were manufactured for these Soviet-era clones of the original focal plane Hasseblad cameras.  However, Novoflex manufactured bellows for the Hasselblad 1600F and 1000F, and it may be that these bellows can be mounted on the Arsenal cameras named on this page.

In fact, writing to me in July 2020, Martin Grahl of Novoflex told me, “Since the early Hasselblad 1000F/1600F and the Kiev 88 share the same mount, it's quite likely, that this camera can be attached to the Novoflex-made bellows for the Hasselblad 1000F.”

I am grateful to Martin for the picture above and for most of the pictures and further information on this that I reproduce below.

Martin reports:

“These bellows have no rear bayonet, which would otherwise have prevented the photographer from removing the camera afterward. You'll notice that the camera's bayonet release knob almost fouls the rear standard. Thus Novoflex came up with this rather unusual solution of mounting a camera to a bellows.

“You'll notice a tongue-like prolongation of the rear standard, that attaches directly to the camera. The camera is being slid onto an aluminum ring on the rear standard and is secured from underneath by 2 screws.”

The original Novoflex drawing below shows this more clearly.


A Hasselblad 1000F with the Novoflex bellows designed for it
Photograph courtesy of Martin Grahl of Novoflex

Drawing to the left courtesy of Martin Grahl of Novoflex

This photograph of the underside makes the assembly easy to understand.

Martin tells us, “These bellows were available for only a year in 1953.”

Martin continues:
Since the early Hasselblad 1000F/1600 and the ... Kiev 88 share the same mount, it's quite likely, that this camera can be attached to the Novoflex-made bellows for the Hasselblad 1000F. I've yet to find out if this really works, and if the thread distance between the 2 tripod threads on the camera's base is the same.

Photograph courtesy of Martin Grahl of Novoflex

The second version of the Novoflex bellows for Hasselblad

Martin tells us what happened next:

“The long-lasting collaboration between Hasselblad and Novoflex began in 1954. From that point on, Novoflex bellows for Hasselblad cameras were available through Hasselblad only, carrying the Hasselblad-logo, as well as a Karl Müller, Memmingen marking.”  (Karl Müller was the founder of Novoflex, and Memmingen is the town where Novoflex was and still is located.)

When Hasselblad decided, to have its bellows made by Novoflex, it also slightly redesigned the bellows, by moving the camera to the other side and atop the bellows rods. This also meant it had to extend the camera mount to enable photographers to detach the camera. Naturally, this does increase the minimum bellows extension.”

To the right we show a Novoflex drawing of the period, showing the new design detail.

In his book “Hasselblad Compendium Revised” of 2011, Richard Nordin shows (on p. 70) a good view of the rear of the first Novoflox bellows, as well as a picture of the revised bellows that connected to the camera in the standard way via a mounting screw thread as used on the lenses.

The first bellows manufactured by Novoflex for use with the Hasselblad 1600F and 1000F cameras.  It is clear that there is no screw mount or bayonet mount on the section that is inserted into the throat of the camera.

My thanks to Richard Nordin for supplying higher-resolution copies of these two photographs and the one below and for his permission to reproduce them here.

In the revised version (shown here with the slide-copying attachment), the new tube at the back of the bellows can be seen.

Drawing courtesy of Martin Grahl of Novoflex

In both of his books, Nordin also shows the newer bellows on a Hasselblad 1000F.  Here we show the picture that appears in his Revised edition of 2011.

The newer design of the Novoflex bellows for the Hasselblad 1000F.  Here it is easy to see that the lens release button on the front of the camera body is now easily accessible, because of the tube section at the back of the bellows.

Picture received from Richard Nordin, 2020.

Bibliography for this page

Nordin, Richard, “Hasselblad System Compendium”, Small Dole, West Sussex: Hove Books, 1998
Nordin, Richard, “Hasselblad Compendium Revised”, North Saanich, BC, Canada: Cloak Hill Communication, 2011
Princelle, Jean Loup, “The Authentic Guide to Russian and Soviet Cameras, Second Edition”, Ondreville sur Essonne, France: LE REVE EDITION, 2004
Spillman, Ronald, “Discover Rewarding Photography: The Manual of Russian Equipment”, London: Technical & Optical Equipment (London) Ltd, 1971

To return to the section on close-up photography with the Kiev B.i.G., click below.
Kiev B.i.G. Close-up

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© TRA July 2020 Minor changes October 2020