Hasselblad user need help choosing a Pentax 67

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by jon_kobeck|1, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. I am interested in picking up a 67. I am currently using the Hasselblad system but want something more portable.
    The Blad 501 that I currently use is great, and I love shooting square, but its awkward to hold off the tripod I find.
    Where-as the Pentax with the wooden grip seems a little easier to use on the fly.
    Part of my concern is, I am so used to seeing in the square format will I be able to go back and forth to the 6 X 7.
    Another reason I am considering the 67 is the built in meter on the 67II.
    With the Hasselblad I do mostly environmental portrait work and one lens is almost glued to the body (the 80mm).
    I suspect that will be a similar case with the Pentax.
    And yes I have considered the Mamiya 6 but my concern is that its a rangefinder and I have no experience using
    Anyway, just throwing some thoughts out there
  2. That wouldnt be my choice for a more portable camera. I also find the prism to be a little dark, and you could inexpensively buy a metered
    prism. You would probably have a much harder time having an older, less popular camera serviced. Also, the Hasselblad grip is also
    comfortable. Just some of my thoughts.
  3. A Rolleiflex TLR is very easy to hand-hold. The later models have coupled meters, and allow for prism finders.
  4. The question seems to have a split point, its titled Pentax 67, but the 67II meter is what's sought after. There's nothing like the AE meter of the Pentax 67II, and they don't interchange with the 67. As for the square verses 6x7 format, I personally found the opposite where as I couldn't make the square work, but other Photographers readily admit, its easier for square format users to adapt to the rectangle, than from the rectangle to the square, this may not be a universal finding, but I can see this. The Pentax 67II, by the way has a built in grip, and with a 105 2.4 lens, you should adapt easily from the 80mm Hasselblad.
  5. Having used both, I'd definitely stick with the 'Blad. As Michael says, fit a grip (I really like the Hasselblad pistol grip) and a metered prism. The Pentax will be no lighter and in my opinion, is not so pleasant a machine to use.
  6. I've used both quite a bit, and owned both systems at the same time for a short period. The Pentax 67II is not more portable. With a similar complement of lenses it will weigh just a little more than a 501. I did find the Pentax more convenient to use, especially since the AE prism was excellent. Note that the Pentax is somewhat more difficult to load - it's a quirky issue that used to frustrate me when I needed to change film quickly.
    The Pentax also has a couple of zooms that perform very well.
    I would not worry too much about the square vs rectangle issue. I prefer the square, but it is always available in the 6X7 rectangle.
  7. At the risk of being charged with heresy, I suggest you check out the Bronica SQAi, a 6x6 camera. It's a bit lighter than the Hasselblad, as I recall. It has a very nice attachable grip with thumb winder, called the Speed Grip. The camera handles similarly to a 35mm SLR with it attached.
    The latest meter prism (SQ-i AE) is barely larger than the plain prism, if at all. It offers manual, AE w/exposure lock, LCD readout w/illuminator, adjustable eyepiece diopter, etc. Nice and modern.
    The PS lenses are well-respected. They aren't Zeiss, but what else is?
  8. Most of my travel work is done with the P67 off the tripod and I do fine with it. But just because it suits me, doesn't mean it suits all shooters looking for hand held/portability. It's a subjective opinion and I suggest trying one out first before making a decision.
  9. Personally, I'm not a Pentax 67 fan. That's mostly because of the godawful shutter sync though. But I like Araki, and he used to swear by the thing.
    But portable it ain't, unless you're a larger-than-average bear. If you really want portable, then suck it up and buy the Mamiya rangefinder. The Rollei with meter was a good suggestion, but frankly a 501 with a waist-level finder isn't that much larger than a Rollei, unless you're really bothered by the fact that you need to carry a separate meter.
  10. There's nothing heretical about suggesting the SQ-A over the Pentax 67. I own both and would take the Bronica for portability any day. If you want to go 6x7 the GS-1 is even better and about the same weight. I use my Pentax 67 on a tripod 90% of the time but love hand holding the Bronicas.
    You mentioned the Mamiya 6 and I would encourage you to look into it. Much more portable! I love mine and use it a lot. You could probably get by with just the standard lens and the WA lens. Both are excellent.
    But if you are happy with one lens, really want portability, and are undecided between 6x6 and 6x7, the Fuji GF670 sounds like the perfect match. It is a beauty to behold.
    Yes, rangefinders are different from SLRs and TLRs but I've found the adjustment to be rather manageable.
  11. The heresy I was referring to was suggesting an SQ Bronica as a replacement for the Hasselblad. On some forums, that will get you strung up and skinned!
  12. Yes, yes, I know. But I'm definitely a "blue collar" photography sort of guy who only got into medium format because used equipment is so cheap now days. I have lots of respect for Hasselblad, Roleiflex and Leica but doubt I'll ever be able to afford any of them. In the mean time I love the results I get with Pentax, Bronica, Mamiya, Fuji, and Yashica.
  13. While I've ragged on Bronica A LOT for not being as good as a Hassy, the fact remains that it is a good camera. I don't like it, but it's still a good camera.
    Also, I think that as far as price vs. quality, the Yashica-Mat 124G may be the best camera ever built. There were a lot of times when I wish my Yashica negs had been shot with my Hasselblad, and I finally sold my last 'Mat. But back when I had enough free time that I could shoot whatever I wanted to shoot without worrying about the final result, the 'Mat was always the camera I grabbed when I was going out the door. It's just so enjoyable to use.
    If you can deal with the rangefinder, I would argue that the Mamiya 7 (and 7II) is the only man-portable "budget" camera that rivals the quality of the German brands. But if you can't, then it seems that the wisest choice would be to buy a grip and a prism for your Hassy. Depending on the prism you pick, it should cost about the same as buying a 'Mat, Bronnie, or Pentax, and will allow you to stay in a single system. It's larger than a Pentax 67 wearing an equivalent lens, but is also a little bit lighter. I also find that the weight of the Pentax, and the position of the grip, cause more strain on my wrist than the Hassy.
  14. [Yes, yes... a double post once again...]
  15. Whether it be heresy or not: changing a Hasselblad for a Hasselblad look-a-like will not be the answer to wanting "something more portable. [that's not] awkward to hold off the tripod".

    Nor, would i say, will the Pentax be. Or a Bronica GS.
  16. x


    In the past I carried a P67 around and I wouldn't recommend it as a highly portable camera as it is so heavy and slow to focus accurately. My recommendation is a Fuji GW690 rangefinder. Light, relatively compact and excellent quality. With the 90mm lens you'll get a slightly wider view than 80mm on the Blad. It doesn't have a built in meter - just buy an old hand held one.
  17. Once again, when the weight of Pentax 67s is issued in the debate, there is confusion between the 67, and the 67II. The 67II weighs 2.7 lbs, that is as light as any Medium format camera. Just sayn.
  18. You say well, Don.<br>But it's 5.3 lbs once you add on the prism and a lens. That's more than, say, a motorized Hasselblad EL(...) model, loaded with batteries, with lens (though without prism. Not needed with the square format).<br>;-)
  19. True, and furthermore a 501CM weighs in at 1.3 lbs, body only, and with focusing hood, 80mm lens, and A12 back, its at, 3.25 lbs. Certainly Hasselblad pulls off the weight war, as Victor would have wanted it, if there is one, or should have been one, but I just have to keep in order that there is constant confusion over the weight differential between the P67, and P67II big time, no pun intended.
  20. As long as we agree, then, that the P67II is not "as light as any Medium format camera". Most (not just HB) weigh quite a bit less.
    Just sayin'. ;-)
  21. Yes, and particularly the P67 lenses don't help, but, correction the 2.7 lbs of the 67II includes the prism.
  22. There must be two different P 67 II versions then. ;-)
    According to the manual, it's 1.66 kg /58.6 oz including AE prism, excluding batteries. That's as good as 3.7 lbs, a full pound more.
    But anyway, it's not "as light as [etc.]".
  23. Q.G. I stand corrected, it is 3.65 lbs with AE finder for the 67II.
  24. Q.G.,
    My recommendation of the SQAi had to do with the original complaint that the Hasselblad is awkward to hold off the tripod. The Bronica will be little different in handling without the Speed Grip, and with the shutter speed selector on the body, could be more awkward to some.
    With the Speed Grip the handling is greatly changed, with the right hand doing more supporting and steadying.
    As to portability, the Bronica is slightly lighter, but no medium format 6x6 SLR is going to be much lighter than the Hasselblad. If portability relates also to bulk, the Bronica will be similar, though the newest meter prism is commendably compact, being about the same size as the plain eye-level or 45 degree finder.
  25. Regarding the question of square and rectangle, I go back and forth because I get tired of both. My square is a Rolleiflex and I fall in love with it's perspective and the square for long periods of time and then I need get away from the square. My 6x7 is a Pentax 67 and the lens I most often use is the later version 55mm. I also love this camera and it's perspective and the rectangle. To say it is heavy is relative or comparative. The 55mm lens is not heavy and the camera with lens might be considered heavy but I don't notice it is. I can walk with it all day long and hand hold it just fine. What gets heavy is if I load a bag up with all 6 of my P67 lenses. Back ache time. But I figured out I am a one lens guy anyway.
    The difference between square and rectangle for me is that a square is too center oriented. The corners and the center pull together to make it hard to have side to side "movement" so the compositions for me become static and still like a circle with square corners. The rectangle more easily allows off center compositions with a feeling of side to side movement... or top to bottom.
    At least that is how it is for me.
  26. Just to complicate things Q.G. ... the prism might not be unnecessary on the square format after all. I'm six feet tall, and even if I'm wearing shoes with a heel I still have trouble taking portraits of anyone over about 5'9", or 5'6" in stilettos, without looking slightly up their nose.
    But I also wear fairly small glasses, which means that I can't use the WLF out of the corner of my eye. If I did not wear glasses, or if I wore bigger ones, I might be able to use the WLF on taller subjects. But as it is, I keep a prism in my bag for photographing tall people, and frequently use the prism when walking around town, in case I bump into any tall people and want to take their picture.
  27. Indeed, Zack.
    But at least you don't need it to make using a camera flipped over onto its side possible.

    The choice between square or rectangular, D, should, i think, not be one between one camera or another. You can crop any other aspect ratio to any other aspect ratio.
    So would switching to 6x7 from 6x6 indeed offer a solution to the portability/handholdability issue (which it does not, if you'd ask me), you could still compose and create square images. Though not as convenient (you'd have to mask the viewfinder) and you would be throwing away film.

    Composition, or rather the subject/scene you want to capture, often demands a different final aspect ratio than the one of the camera it is captured with. So often, the aspect ratio the camera happens to offer should not be given too much influence on how the final image turns out.
    But there is 'merit' in composing a scene within a given frame also.
    'Bottom line' is that the scene, or the image we envisioned and trying to create, should be in the lead anytime we feel uncomfortable with what the camera's aspect ratio would dictate.
  28. That is all logical Q.G. but for me (and I think many are like me) using a camera and making photographs is not logical or linear or pre determined, it is a matter of responding to what is in my view finder. I have something of a relationship with my viewfinder. I would have to mask off my square finder to see rectangles. Irritating to me for various reasons. I like switching cameras. I like both my cameras and I never crop.
  29. Well, this topic has gone around quite a bit, making for some interesting discussions. But if we take it back to the OP, there are three factors cited.
    1. Wants something more portable than the 501 system.
    2. Wants something less awkward to hold off the tripod
    3. Likes the idea of a built in meter
    One concern is making the switch from square to rectangle viewing frame
    And he adds the comment that he does almost all his shooting with one lens; an 80mm
    Finally he is concerned about rangefinders because of lack of experience with them.
    So... it seems that most everyone agrees that a Pentax 67 and probably any Bronica SLR won't be significantly more portable than the 501. And others have pointed out that the addition of a grip to the Blad will make it more holdable off the tripod.
    So many folks will just suggest staying with what he has. That may be a good option. But the whole reason for this thread is because he wants a change.
    And I just don't know how you can answer without going down the rangefinder road. Personally I think the Fuji GF670 is the almost perfect answer. Extremely portable and easy to hold (although it does take some getting used to), has a very accurate and usable built in meter, offers both 6x6 and 6x7 without the hassle of carrying and changing film backs, it has an 80mm lens (or you can get the WA version) and the optics are second to none! If the OP would at least try it out and address his concerns about unfamiliarity with rangefinders, I think he would find the GF670 to be an ideal solution!
  30. To your point, Jim, the OP did mention environmental portraiture use off tripod which is, or can be a slow process of shooting, so the GF-670 wouldn't get in the way, and is certainly light. Great camera, wouldn't we all like to get our hands on one. The viewfinder does crop to 85% of the image if that's important enough to the OP.
  31. The guidelines do crop some but being a rangefinder, you can see well beyond the lines so while you don't know exactly where the image will be cut, you can see everything that will be captured and more.
    I love this camera and was happy to sell my RB 67 Pro SD, Voigtlander Bessa-R and Fuji Klasse in order to finance it, even though all three were very nice cameras!
  32. Not so logical, i think, D. More a matter of having a relationship, more with what's in front of the camera than with the viewfinder of the camera.
    I know how easy it is to get drawn in by what the viewfinder shows, rather than see where in what you can see through that thing is the image you are after. Fall prey to it myself once and again, catching myself composing to the frame the camera provides. A matter of relaxing, getting convenient, too much, i think.

    But be that as it may, i think that when you find yourself trapped between wanting one format because you like it, wanting a camera having another 'native' format for other pressing reasons, a way out is offered by remembering that the aspect ratio the camera happens to offer is not a command. It's not imperative to see and create images that 'fill' that particular format.
    A compromise, sure. You will be wasting film. And may need to mask the viewfinder if you find it's too compelling. But it can work.
  33. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Mamiya 7 or 7II. Light yet durable, fabulous lenses if not a lot of them and a beautiful and bright rangefinder. I've found the meter to be quite good and it takes wonderful pictures.
  34. Barry, the Mamiya 7 (and other rangefinders) have already been given a mention. ;-)

    Perhaps the solution, given that other MF SLRs will not be more handholdable than the camera the OP is looking to replace.
  35. If the OP could get past the rangefinder issue, then my vote would be for a Mamiya 6. As I noted above, I've owned all of them. The Mamiya 6 has all of the needed credentials: lighter; 6X6; built-in meter. Not to mention spectacular lenses. The 50mm is the best I've ever owned or used. Great for environmental portraiture, as well.
  36. I got rid of a Pentax 67 and switched to Hasselblad because I wanted something more portable. If I wanted something more portable than that, I might try a Pentax 645. It has a meter. Not 6 x 6 though.
    My 67 would hang up in mid-cycle and I would lose the picture whenever the battery died. And it died a lot.
    Oh wait: more portable than a Hasselblad? I use a Leica for that.
  37. Sounds like your P67 was broken. I'd take a Hasselblad in place of that too!!!
    As for the Leica, definitely portable, but this OP wants portability without stepping down to small format.
  38. Interesting thread. Having much experience w/ Hassy, Pentax 67 and Bronica SQ; I'm not sure exactly what the OP is going to accomplish by switching. At risk of pissing off some, I found the 67 system to be a rather amateurish and inconsistent system. The body was pretty good ergonomically, but the weight distribution and mirror slap mad the thing a non-starter for me. As well, the lenses are hit or miss: some good, some OK, and a few that are just poor performers.
    Call me a prima dona, but reloading film every 10 shots is simply barbaric, for lack of a more suitable word. And finally, in as much as I (used to) like printing from 6x7 negatives, I love shooting the 6x6 format. Love means never having to rotate the camera.
    I like the SQ (or SQ-A/B) system, but I can't really see any advantages over a perfectly good 'blad system. The SQ stuff might be a little lighter and a little less expensive to replace in case of an accident, but otherwise why change? Either system will require a good grip for off-tripod use.
    Depending on a the age of your H-system, it can probably use a digital back system. The SQ-system can reportedly use digital backs designed for the Hassy V-system via an adapter plate from Silvestri or Kapture Group, but IMO this sounds like a bit of a kludge solution. Maybe not. Mamiya 6? I tried it once, but it wasn't for me. Great design and a good system, but the physical size, limited lens selection and lack of accommodation for close-up shots made it not my top choice for field work. Being an old Leica guy, I do like the rangefinder system but prefer TTL viewing for critical landscape work.
    Good luck!
  39. Horse-
    "At risk of pissing off some, I found the 67 system to be a rather amateurish..."
    Really? Do ya think?

  40. Jon,
    summing up I gather you want a camera that:
    1) is more portable than a 'blad
    2) with a light meter
    3) you can use without carrying a tripod.
    I didn't use the 67II, but I had at the same time (and often used to shot shoulder to shoulder) a Pentax 6x7 (replaced after a bit with a 67), an Hasselblad 500c/m with the Planar practically "glued" on and a Fuji GS645 - the folding kind.
    Based on my experience I'd say forget the Pentax 6x7 or 67 (not sure about the 67II); they are fine cameras, but heavy, and the Pentax glass for the 67 system is really really good, just not Zeiss good IMHO - I had 45mm, 75 Tak, 105 and the 165/2.8 plus the 2x. More, you'll fight all the time against shutter induced vibrations due the gigantic curtains.
    I heard very high praises of the Mamiya 6 ad 7, but I never had the chance to try one. But I know for a fact that a Fuji GS645 it's an hell of a camera, with an even more hell of a lens.
    Yes, it's a rangefinder, but that makes it really easy to focus even in bad light, and has a pretty accurate meter. If you look at my portfolio you will see that I've had more keepers with the Fuji alone than with all the other cameras I had/have combined. Want to know why? Because it weights nothing and folded enters in a large pocket, so it was almost always with me.
    And don't get fooled by the apparently small-ish format (4.5x6cm); thanks to its amazing lens and the zero vibrations its negatives were actually most of the time - read: almost always - sharper than the ones I got with the Pentax! I was able to shoot with it even in available darkness with Leica-like shutter times.
  41. I loved my GS645 too, but when I had the opportunity to trade it and some others in for the GF670 I did so without hesitation and have never looked back. The size really isn't that much different between the 645 and the 670. My guess is that if you like the GS you'll absolutely love the GF, but that's just me.
  42. Well, OP....I don't know where you went, but if you really are a Hasselblad user needing help choosing a Pentax 67, forget it. Get a Pentax 67II.
  43. The size really isn't that much different between the 645 and the 670.​
    Jim, my GS645 was the older one, with the folding bellows. So I was able to bring it around in a pocket.
    I guess if you can do the same with the GF670 we're talking about really large pockets :)
  44. "Well, OP....I don't know where you went, but if you really are a Hasselblad user needing help choosing a Pentax 67, forget it. Get a Pentax 67II."

    Don't know why we are running repeats now, but seeing that we are: don't.

    A Pentax 67 II may be the better choice, if the choice is between a Pentax 67 and a Pentax 67 II.

    It isn't.
    Neither P67 or P67II is the answer to your question, for all the reasons already mentioned.
  45. Gianluca, yes I know which camera you have. I owned one until about 6 months ago. Here is an article (sorry it's in Japanese) talking about the similarities of the GS645 and the GF670. If you look at the photos you'll see that they really are not all that different in size.
  46. Jim, my bad.
    When you talked about the GF670 I was thinking at the old GW670! Now I understand because you made the change and never looked back...
  47. "Hasselblad user need help choosing a Pentax 67"

    The OP wants a Pentax 67, right? The 67II is the better choice. Actually very simple.
  48. Okay folks, unless the OP chimes in further, let's not chase further down this rabbit hole.
    Your Moderator
  49. Oh sorry, this thread is on fire I see!
    Well, I believe the real reason I am thinking is because I am getting tired of having to carry a meter. I
    miss AP. But maybe thats not good enough reason to change systems. Perhaps I should try one of
    those Hassy finders with the built in meter? Although I understand they are heavy
  50. I am getting tired of having to carry a meter​
    Jon, if you have a smartphone have you tried PocketLightMeter? It is a FREE iPhone app, but I'm pretty sure there is a version for Android too (I'm not affiliated with this guys in every way, I just like their app a lot).
    It works like a charm, you can also calibrate it, and it doubles even as a spot meter! And I'm pretty sure you will have your phone with you every way… For me it replaced the old Sekonic, YMMV
    If you want you may check my old review here:

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