Pentax 67 ..need a change in camera ?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by stella_blunt, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. I have been using a pentax 67 exclusively for many years. It's great ..but I need something that is not as clunky and that dosn't need to lock up the mirror when hand held at low shutter speed for a good sharp image. Basically a lighter 6x7 camera that is not a rangfinder. Any suggestions??
    all suggestions welcome .
  2. Hi -- Your comment about not locking up the mirror for slower speeds made me think of the Pentax 645, which has very effective mirror damping... to the point there was no lockup feature offered until they added it to the latest 645NII model for "political" reasons... not necessary, but it's on the feature list, and some folks wouldn't buy it otherwise.
    I still have my first P6x7, a non-MLU body purchased used in 1976, the year the MLU feature was added to that model. Honestly I have not missed the lockup, since for hand-holding I'm always using a shutter speed above the vulnerable range, and when the camera is on tripod it's generally used at shutter speeds below the vulnerable range. I also have a later 6x7 and two P67II bodies and have never used the MLU on any of them. The 67II has improved mirror damping too, I understand. I don't know of a lighter smaller 6x7 SLR.
    I think the P67II is a great camera, that I find very comfortable to use. I do have the P645NII as well, and suggest you might consider this model as less "clunky" and with no need for MLU for any speed, hand-held or otherwise. As a bonus, your P67 lenses can be used very conveniently, with auto diaphragm and all, just not auto-focus, though of course the camera's focus confirmation works fine with these lenses too. You just need the Pentax "Adapter 645 for 67 lens".
  3. Stella, I'll second Doug's suggestion of the Pentax 645. I've only played with one just a few months ago, but was really surprised how pleasant it was to use for portraits. The mirror mechanism has an excellent dampening action. I recall various pros praising the accuracy of the meter, although the meter viewfinder indication is limited to whole stops, I think.
    But if you want 6x7 (and why not?) then what you are describing is right up the alley of the Mamiya 7II. Yes, it's a rangefinder. I, too, used the Pentax 6x7 and 67II almost exclusively for more than 10 years, and Pentax manual 35mm for 20 years before that. I've been very impressed with M7II. It seems to me that people raised on SLRs are unsure about rangefinders because they've been told and got used to the idea that viewing through the lens is the only way, or at least half the fun. Well, one pays a lot in terms of bulk, weight and vibration to get that TTL feature. With the M7II, I laughed the first time I loaded film, it was so easy. And I laughed when I propped the camera up and took a self timer shot at 1/15th sec with no tripod. How different! I think the framing is fine, and the approximate-ness of it relative to SLRs way overblown. In fact, I often had to remove the prism on the P67 to see the boundaries of the shot because the prism only provides 77% coverage. Give it a try, it'll take a little getting used to, but it may just change everything.
  4. david_henderson


    You can't have what you want. Either you change format to get a slicker slr- and the Pentax 645N s a pretty good one that handles well. Or you get a 67 rangefinder, probably the Mamiya 7 , take the benefits and put up with the inflexibilities. I'd keep the Pentax and buy a Mamiya for when the weight/need for tripod/ high visibility wasn't convenient. I don't know how you use your Pentax, but I wouldn't find complete reliance on a rangefinder acceptable for the work I do.
  5. You already own the lightest 67 slr ever made. Anything lighter and and less "clunky" is a rangefinder. If you need an slr then go with the Pentax 645 because you can at least still use your present lenses.
  6. If you do decide to get a Pentax 645, get the 645N (or 645Nii for quite a bit more). The price difference between them is small, but the 645N is much nicer to use. It has a center spot meter that I use all the time, in addition to center weighted and matrix metering. It has autofocus lenses, and when using it with manual focus lenses (which is what I do), you have focus confirmation that works pretty well if the light isn't great. If has dials rather than buttons to control it, and has exposure compensation in 1/3 stops rather than full stops. It also has auto bracketing (in 1/3 stops), gets 16 frames per roll rather than 15, and has optional data imprinting on the side of the negative (off the negative area).
    I used to have a 645, but it stopped working and I replaced it with a 645N. It is much nicer to use. I also own a Pentax67, and there is a significant difference between the size/weight/clunkiness of shooting them. The 645 lenses are generally f/2.8 or f/3.5 lenses, and the 120mm Macro lens goes to 1:1 without extensions.
  7. You might want to consider the Bronica GS-1. Leaf shutters so you'll get flash sync at all speeds and fairly light for 67.
  8. You eliminated the rangefinder genre as a choice. That pretty much makes the "thru-the-lens" systems your choice. I have to agree with the idea of P645 and I use them because the P67 lenses work well on it. I also use lenses from both systems on P35K mount SLRs. You can also use the P67 & P645 & P35 bodies on swing'n'tilt film or digital rigs - what a great idea! If you are jaded by 6x7cm, then there is Hasselblad & Rollei etc in 6x6cm. Or . . . maybe it's time to to look at rangefinders! :)
  9. Sometimes, when you don't want to compromise and move down in format size or move to a rangefinder to save weight/size, it is better to sacrifice and stay with what you have. I have lugged my camera with long lenses to get shots of Great Horned Owls and other subjects. It was a real pain, and using a 35mm or 645 would have been so much easier but I'm glad I shot these in 6x7.
    I can shoot my P67 with normal to wide lenses at 1/30 sec handheld with no lock up, so it can be done.
    You said "need a change in camera? Maybe not.
  10. "I can shoot my P67 with normal to wide lenses at 1/30 sec handheld with no lock up, so it can be done."
    Agreed, but made me think of the 55-100mm zoom... having that 1210 grams of ballast out front should help steady the storied slamming of the mirror. :)
    Considering weights, it can be noted that the 67II is slightly lighter at 1660g than the 1810g P6x7 (must be that brass chain!), and the P645NII body weighs in at 1280g. FWIW, the Fuji GW670III rangefinder comes in at 1445g with its fixed lens.
  11. Doug, I once shot my 55-100 at 1/15 sec handheld and it turned out OK. I was somewhat surprised!

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