pentax 67 reliability

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by willie_ju, Aug 16, 1998.

  1. After a year of research and rentals, I had finally decided on the Pentax 67. I think it meets my needs best. Today, a friend tells me that the P67 is more prone to break down than other medium format cameras. How seriously should I take him? Thank you for your input.
     
  2. I wouldn't even think twice about your friend's comment on the P67. I've never owned one, but supposed unreliability would not factor into my reasons for choosing or rejecting the big Pentax. In this forum, I believe I've seen more complaints about broken 'Blads than most any other brand, but I wouldn't turn down a Hasselblad on grounds of unreliability. I would feel comfortable with anything but a Kiev, a Kowa, or an old Bronica.

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    So long as you know the P67 mirror tends to shake the camera during exposure unless you bolt the things down tightly on a very solid tripod, and it otherwise meets your needs, then go for it.

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    Mel
     
  3. I have owned a P67 for about a year and 1/2, so I can not personally tell you about my experience with longitevity of my camera. However, a buddy who use to shoot a lot of weddings told me his held up for nearly 20 years before the film advance broke beyond economic repair. From my reading around this and other forums, the film winding mechanism may be the weak spot if there is one for this great camera. I try to remember to advance the film slowly to assure accurate framing and to not stress this system too much.

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    Some of this negative background may come from the fact that people get the P67 confused with some similar cameras (Pentacon, Exacta, and Norita to name a few) that were not as well built 6x6 cameras. The fact that its still a steady seller after 30+ years on the market, indicates something.

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    Or it may be Blad snobbery!
     
  4. Opinions are like....well, you get the idea. Do not, under any circumstance, make any kind of blanket conclusion based on a single anecdote. If you search the archives of this site and others, such as photo.com, you will find someone pouring damnation onto every make or model of camera ever made. Personally, I've not had so much as a ghost of a problem with mine, nor heard of anyone that has.
     
  5. I'm a professional photographer specializing in portraiture for magazines, television, and music clients, and I used the Pentax 6x7 system for years without a single breakdown. Mine endured many miles of travel and thousands of rolls of film. Also, the newer version lenses are unbeatable for the price.

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    I have also used Hasselblads quite a bit, and I can tell you that is a high maintenance camera, and not nearly as rugged as the Pentax.
     
  6. I work in a studio which photographs Cars on location. Several years ago we switched to Pentex because of reliability. Believe me with the rates we command, price is no object, we just got tired of fixing Swedish stuff and needed really tough cameras.
     
  7. I've had one for years with absolutely no trouble at all. Its built like a tank!
    Does your friend have a Pentax 67: has he even held one?
    It seems as though all the people who knock them are those who have never actually used them.
    If you've decided to get one after a year of research then go for it!!!
    (After all, its you who will be using it - not your friend).

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    Clive
     
  8. I'll second the thought that the newer lenses are outstanding. All three of my lenses 55,105 and 200 are outstanding. The 55mm F4 is tack sharp from f4 to f22!!(Sorry guys, I still can't believe that this lens is as good as it is)
     
  9. I concur with the statements above in which the poster basically mentions that Pentax 67 is "built like a tank." I have owned Pentax 67 TTL for almost 20 years. I started with the 55 and 150mm lenses and macro extension tubes. Later, I added the 35, 300, 400 and 2x extender. Then, got the 45, 75 shift, 120 soft focus , 105 lenses, and the bellows [truely built like a TANK!]. All of the equipment is fantastic, easy to use and takes georgeous slides/negs. I sold the 400mm lens a few years ago because I just didn't use it much and prefer the 300 because it is much lighter and you had to have a tripod with you when using the 400mm, and I didn't want to have to drag the tripod around with me constantly. In fact, I've rarely used the tripod and am mystifyed by the comments I've seen others make concerning the mirror slap. I shoot at 1/8, 1/15 and 1/30 quite a bit by leaning against a support. You'd be susrprised how good the shots come out.
    From all the complaints I've heard about Hasselblad jams, or "Dead On Arrival" , the Pentax 67 is exempt by comparison.
    I challange anyone to rent a P67, take some Velvia slides and make a 16x20 full frame enlargement, then rent a Hasselblad and make a similar enlargement. Or, do a 16x16 or 20x20 square print. Compare them. Show them to friends and family and ask their opinions. Then, ask yourself "Is it worth spending all that extra money on the Hasselblad?"
    Then, re-review the postings by Hasselblad owners, x-Hasselblad owners, and Pentax 67 owners, which will now help you make a better decision because now you have some experience and proof of the results of each piece of equipment. You'll be better able to identify the postings that exaggerate points that aren't that important..
     
  10. Well, today I went out and bought the big Pentax with a 55mm and a 105mm. The camera is a beautiful piece of work. It feels hefty and solid. Thanks to all who replied to my query.
     
  11. The introduction of the 67II will probably mean a glut of 67's on the used market, therebye lowering prices(on used ones). This effect will probably be subtle since many people will probably keep their old 67's even after buying the new ones. Or at least, this is what I'm hoping since I'd like a bargain on an old 67.

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    Also, Pentax says they're keeping the old 645 and 67 in the line, but they may change their tune in a few months. Nikon said they were going to keep the F4 in the line right when the F5 was introduced, but they dropped it a few months later.

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    With both cameras and computers, being a generation behind is a good(and cheap) place to be.
     
  12. I was surprised to read the note from someone hiding behind the
    anonymity of "bad timing", which I found gratuitously offensive.
    As others have observed, if the Mk1 Pentax is a good camera which
    serves William Ju well, good luck to him. At the same time, it will be
    nice if the introduction of a Mk2 brings down the price of the original.
    Here in England especially, we suffer from rip-off pricing structures,
    with the P67body selling for around 1000 UKP. And yeah, it would be
    even nicer if Pentax could fix the serious shutter vibration which
    I find such a disincentive to using the 67 even more than I do - for
    landscapes it's no big deal to fiddle around hanging my camera bag across
    the pentaprism, but it would be good to be able to use this camera for
    reportage & editorial work without such odd stratagems, which slow
    everything down and make your human subjects give you some funny looks.
    Not all of us can afford a Mamiya 6 or 7 outfit as well as the Pentax,
    and it would be preferable to use one outfit for everything. In
    particular I want to take my Pentax to the US next year (thanks to those
    who replied so helpfully re. the Badlands etc) but I'm not looking
    forward to all that extra help the Pentax requires just to get over its
    chronic vibration tendencies.
    BTW a camera repairer I've used before said he can do a thorough repair
    job on my P67's dodgy shutter/MLU/interlock for significantly less
    than I was quoted by Pentax UK.
     
  13. Congratulations on your new purchase William!
     
  14. Thank you. The P67's limitations didn't bother me (low flash sync, non-switchable backs). And it has some nice qualities unusual on other systems (supertough build, high top shutter speed, low price). My initial impressions with the P67 are very good, but my friend was obviously (and loudly) displeased that I didn't follow his advice. Until I showed him an 11x14 print made with the 55mm. All in all, a satisfying camera. I expect to keep it for a very long time. Thanks again to all who offered advice.
     
  15. Well, that chap who hides behind the bogus email address not only has no class, but has absolutely no guts as well............

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    The current 67 and even the older models are fine and reliable cameras, William. The 67 lenses. are excellent e.g., If you like the last SI Swimsuit issue, note that those pictures were supposedly made with the Pentax 67.

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    Just my opinion: With regards to the 67II, I think Pentax missed out on one big improvement they could have made (if the released specs are accurate that is), and that is a much faster flash sync - something at least 1/125th would have been really excellent and would perhaps tilt med-format users to liking the camera even more. It's still the dinky 1/30th of old.

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    I am not sure what the technical difficulties would be to obtain a faster flash sync with a big 6x7 focal plane shutter, but I suppose they can get it done if they try. It would have been a terrific improvement to what is already a nice camera that most 35mm users would have no problems getting used to. (I am still getting used to a big and heavy RZ67)

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    My 2 cents worth.
     
  16. i've gotten the official brochure by Penatx for te 67 II. The x-sync is still 1/30. no doubts. I was unpleasantly surprised that Pentax has not put more effort in vibration reduction of shutter/mirror and have not increased the x-sync shutterspeed to the suggested 1/125.
    I wonder how many people have suggested this to Pentax over the past years. It seems that the users are not important anymore.
     
  17. The problem with raising the flash sync speed from 1/30s to 1/125s is that the trailing shutter would have to close far, far faster than it currently does. Notice that the 35mm cameras which offer 1/125s sync have a maximum shutter speed of about 1/4000s. Since the Pentax shutter is traveling the long way (7cm) the max shutter speed would probably have to be about 1/16000s.

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    Face it, guys, the 67 is never going to have a fast shutter sync.

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    One solution (without using LS lenses) would be to have a flash which produces light over the entire time that the shutters are moving. Another would be to add a leaf shutter like a filter. I would guess that a leaf shutter which could cover an 82mm surface (so it wouldn't cause vignetting) would probably have a maximum speed of 1/250s.

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    Remember, if all the light that's going to expose the film is from the flash, your pictures will show no movement. The specs in my manual say that the Vivtar 285 produces a maximum flash duration of 1/1000s. The only time that 1/30s is a bummer is when you're using fill flash and the camera is hand held. Otherwise, ignore it.
     
  18. Brian, i agree with your answer almost :
    I cannot imagine that the Pentax technician are not able to change the x-sync speed. It must simply have been the reason of the costs!
    If they changed it, the price of the body would end up at around $5000,-, based on the anual sales and expectations, instead of the current price. My estimation is that the 67 II will cost us$3250, including the 2.4 105mm and the new TTL prism( based on prices in the Netherlands)Between $500 and $750 more as the previous model..
     
  19. Milco, the maximum flash sync speed is a matter of practical physics. Compare the smaller 35mm focal plane shutters. Most with a cloth curtain that travels horizontally have a max sync speed of 1/60, maybe 1/90 on one or two. Years ago, Copal broke that barrier with a lighter metal shutter that travels vertically (only 66% of the horizontal distance). That allowed syncing at 1/125, then 1/250, and I believe, 1/400 now, in some current, high-ticket 35mm cameras.

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    I don't know of any 6x7 cameras with a vertical FP shutter (with a potential speed gain of only 1/7, why bother?) And I don't think Copal or anyone else has yet come out with a metal shutter, vertical or otherwise, for a 6x7. Even if they did, and could reliably and reasonably economically match the scaled travel speed of a vertical 35mm-format metal shutter that syncs at 1/250, the comparison would be 24mm vertical to 70mm horizontal, a factor of 24/70, or 0.34. That yields a comparative sync speed of about 1/85, and that only theoretically, and not even accounting for the area increase of the area of each shutter blade.

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    Desirable? Sure. Affordable? No way.

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    The title of this thread is "Pentax 67 reliability," and I am as guilty as anyone of deviating from that, perhaps even in my first response to William Ju.

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    That said, I feel this thread is getting just a bit long in the tooth, off the intended track, (yes, the P67 is reliable!) and we should wrap it up soon and let it die. In its current incarnation, it's still interesting, but I now feel that I'm helping provide instructions on how to build a clock, when it seems the originator only wanted to know the time. I don't need to provide the last word, but aren't we about finished now?

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    Mel Brown
     

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