Contax 645 or Pentax 67II?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by jongky, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Hi there, would like to have comment about Medium Format camera.
    I'm thinking on purchasing Medium Format camera and there are 2 brands on my mind.
    Pentax 67 II and Contax 645. Format and everything is not a problem for me.
    If you were me, which one you will suggest to buy?
    My favorite is travelling and shooting landscapes.
    As I know, Contax 645 is a full electronic rather than mechanic?
  2. depends on how much you want to enlarge. the contax lenses are going to be sharper than the pentax but the extra film area of the 6x7 will more than make up for it in increased tonality and less grain if you enlarge a lot.
  3. "traveling and shooting landscapes"
    I would choose Mamiya 7II or pentax 645 if you want SLR.
  4. 6x7 is a world apart from 645 but the Pentax 67 is a heavy monster, and as Hiromu san indicated that Mamiya 7II is fabulous. I dragged 2 bodies around East Java a couple of months ago and I certainly wouldnt have wanted more weight. If the Mamiya fits your budget, its certainly worth considering.
  5. Thanks all,
    Hi Craig, It's been a long time. So you've been to my beautiful country?
    Ever heard about 'Mud tragedy in Sidoarjo?' I heard it was an interesting object for photography.
    Mamiya 7II is out of my budget, especially their bloody expensive lens.
  6. if you plain to shoot landscapes, you must choice the greater image area as possible on your slides, then betewenn the contax and pentax 67, your choice is the pentax67II whit modern lenses.

    its really a heavy camera, but not a monster if compared whit the rb67.

    I have one, and i'm very glad whit it, it can shoot spectacular landscapes, and great macro too.
    it's provably the most versatile medium format camera outside the studio.
  7. You should also consider the Bronica ETRSi, or another leaf shutter system, because you'll get flash sync at all speeds. The 645 format images are a huge improvement over 35mm (2.7x the area), the gear is reasonably priced (except for the Contax 645), and you can assemble a kit that's fairly easy to carry.

    Also take a look at the Bronica GS-1. It's pretty much the lightest 67 SLR available. I'd still go with 645, though, if I needed to carry all day.
  8. Here's a link to MF lens tests:

    The bottom line is that most manufacturers make/made excellent lenses.
  9. Like this one Jongky...

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  10. The Pentax will have a significant advantage over the Contax 645 in overall image quality. Pentax lenses are highly regard (as are Zeiss, of course), and the 6x7 format is 50% larger than the 645. On the other hand, the Contax has interchangible backs and the Pentax does not. If you've ever found yourself with the wrong film loaded at the wrong moment, you can appreciate that venerable medium format feature. Neither camera has a flash sync speed to be proud of, and neither is being manufactured any more.

    If your main interest is shooting landscapes or architecture, then the Pentax would probably get the nod. If you aren't likely to shoot closeups, then a Mamiya 7 (rangefinder) is even more portable, yet still a 6x7 format.

    If you shoot people, closeups or use the camera for travel, then the Contax 645 would be a better choice. I like the features and handling of the Contax, but I would be very nervous about its sophisticated electronics and auto focus lenses, since future repairs may be in jeopardy. Mamiya 645's have similar features and ergonomics, are still being made and have optional leaf-shutter lenses for flash sync (as does the larger RZ).

    For a strictly mechanical, general purpose camera, it's hard to beat the Hasselblad. It's rugged, syncs with flash at any speed, is easy to carry (compared to an RZ anyway), and there's an huge selection of used equipment of every kind and vintage, service and parts. Of the cameras mentioned, only the Hasselblad and Mamiya can be adapted to digital capture, which improves their long-term outlook.
  11. Hi Craig, beautifully taken shots! This was the greatest disaster for Indonesia. So far, all efforts to stop the flow have failed.
  12. I use the P67 often, but it is a load to carry. So, I occasionally carry the P645 which adapts the P67 lenses nicely. The P645N has autofocus but the downside is no digital at this time. Hasselblad gives you a wealth of choices and excellent quality and digital channels. If you are investing long-term, then the bigger system choices may be best. OTOH, if this is a short-term adventure, then it's less critical. Perhaps handling & workflow will mean more in your decision. There are very few bad choices.
  13. I would go for the Pentax 67II system. I had a 6x7 and the 35mm fisheye - which is an amazing combination. Perhaps not everyone's cup of tea for landscape, but it offers a unique perspective. I believe the 67II AE finder's metering system is similar to the P645N's - dual six zone which works very well. Also, the 67II has a brighter viewfinder IIRC. The availability of lenses for the 67II is also much, much greater than for Contax 645. Some long lenses which can be employed for landscape work too, are available for a relative bargain for the 67II.

    I've shot with mostly my Mamiya RZ67 and my Hasselblad before I got my Pentax 67II. The camera is a monster and it's the heaviest
    between the three. But MAN, DO I LOVE THIS CAMERA! I have both the 105mm and the 45mm and both lenses are SHARP. The
    105 has REALLY beautiful bokeh. It's to die for. The 45mm is tack sharp. Many say it's sharper than the Hasselblad 45mm. I
    personally haven't done any testing and don't plan on doing one but from the rolls of film I got back from a trip to Humboldt, CA, I have
    to agree that this lens performs beautifully. One big plus is you could pick up a Pentax 67II kit for cheap...low end $1100 to $1500 on
    the high end in mint condition. Also, the meter prism works perfectly. One draw back is loading film. It's the hardest of the three. So
    far I've ran about 30 rolls through my camera and I'm still having a hard time loading film quickly. If you're doing landscape, you
    definitely would want the bigger neg. I highly recommend the Pentax. Great camera with awesome lenses to choose from at a killer
    price used.
  15. Jongky, I shoot what you describe as your interests; travel and landscapes. I use the Asahi Pentax 6x7 that was made in the late 80's. I use three of them so I don't need film backs but I only carry two bodies when out in the field. The 67II is an excellent camera but you may be able to do well with the older versions. The Pentax 67 designation followed the Asahi (and Honeywell) and started in 1990. It is very similar to the Asahi. I like all versions and would not think of using a 645 from any manufacturer for my travel and landscape work.

    Don't be convinced that the Pentax 67 lenses are inferior to those on the Contax. There are 30 optically different lenses for the Pentax and there are at least 8 that compete with any lens in Medium Format. The 55mm Pentax f/4, 75mm f/4.5 Takumar, the 400mm Takumar, the 300mm ED are some examples. The are tests of most P67 lenses in the P67 part of this forum.
  16. Thank you all for the great input!
    I'm focusing on 67 II now.
  17. Hi there, any SMC Pentax 67/ 55-100mm F4.5 Zoom user here? Please share your experience.
    I know the prime will have sharper and brighter result but I dont want to carry lots of lens when I go travelling.
  18. Hi, Jongky. The Pentax 67 zooms are huge and take 90 something filters. Their main advantage is that they stop down to a smaller aperture. I have a question for you to consider. Do you like using a tripod? Do you have any problems carrying a tripod where ever you go? I have a Pentax 67II and six lenses and I could not live without it! I had it out shooting fall colors and the sunset for the most of the day and I use it on a tripod 100% of the time. I use the mirror lock up for every shot. I’ve tried hand holding and I just can’t shoot at f22 and not waste film. For me and my favorite subjects, I only take it off f22 once or twice a year. Sure there are many who will say they hand hold the 67 all the time but not me. You see I have adapted to make a tripod a part of me. I carry one on my trials motorcycle, on my BMW 650, on my bicycle, and on all my backpacks. In the car is even easier. My main tripod is a Gitzo G340 with an Arca ball head and Really Right Stuff Arca mount. Now if you are thinking at most I would use a tripod 40% of the time, I would suggest a Pentax 645N. If you almost never want to use a tripod, I would suggest the Fuji GA645ZI and shoot Fuji 400X and your favorite 400 speed B&W film. I have four number one favorite cameras, the 67II, the 645N, the ZI, and an Ebony 4x5. The 645N and the Fuji ZI are as stunning as 67II, just fewer square mms. One more thing, I started the 67II with the 55mm and the 200mm lenses because they shared the same 77mm filter size. Now I most commonly carry and shoot the 75mm 2.8 and the 165mm. I shoot all the rest when I am playing from the car. Hope this helps. Regards, TD
  19. Hi, Tim. Thanks for your advised.
    Yes, I'm sure I will carrying my tripod most of the time for serious photography.
    I just got 67II from eBay tonight and cant wait to see her arrival.
  20. Jongky; the 55-100 zoom is as sharp as the primes and in some cases sharper. It is a recent desgn and sharp wide open. I have had one since they were first imtroduced. Yes it is a heavy lens but not as heavy as the 55, 75 and 105mm combined. That f/32 stop is useful in landscape work. I have used it in travel, both handheld and on tripod. I suggest putting hyperfocal marks on the lens for the major focal lengths and common f-stops.
  21. Hi Jongky, compare the prices for a used Pentax 67, and for the Contax 645 AF, and make your decision! Both cameras are excellent, and, finally you're making the pictures.


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