Pentax 67 with 300mm f/4. What shutter vibration!

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by celasun, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. I have tried the 300mm f/4 lens (non-IF) on my Pentax 67 to see the effects, if any, of the much debated shutter vibration.
    I was cautious to use a heavy tripod (Manfrotto 475B, most likely a former Bogen) and a small but quite strong ballhead (PhotoClam). A dedicated plate was used to connect the camera base to the ballhead. Instead of a bean bag, I have used my camera bag to damp the dreaded vibration. Other than these precautions, I have not done anything systematic or scientific!
    The film was a Fuji NPS 160 (4 years past its use before date). I have treated the film as ISO 100 to compensate for its age. The aperture values were either f/5.6 or f/8. The shutter speeds were between 1/4 and 1/30 second. MLU was used in all the shots.
    Under these conditions at least, I was unable to detect any sign of vibration by examining prints and the film. However, the prints were relatively small and I did not magnify the film more than 8 times. All I can say is that the lens is perfectly usable under the above conditions.
    A sample is attached. It is a resized version of the Epson V500 scanned original image.
  2. Bulent, I use the Pentax 67II and a variety of lenses, but my favorite is the 300mm EDIF. I've been able to successfully handhold the whole rig (around 10 pounds I'd guess) and get keepers down to about 1/125th second. Not sure about the original 67, but I believe some of the hype going around regarding mirror slap may be true, but when I tested my rig using a laser pointer and mirror with several lenses I found out that the vibration is occurring after the exposure, not during.
    Happy shooting and nice crisp focus in some of the hairs.....
  3. Also, one of our PN luminaries in the area of P67 lenses is Steve Rasmussen. If you look in the member directory for some of his posts he may have done a review on the 300.
  4. I also think the vibration issue is a bit overhyped. Sure its there but I don't think that it makes much difference unless you print huge prints.
  5. Probably the main reason that your results turned out Ok was the fact that you were aware that this lens produces a shutter harmonic in the 1/4 to 1/30 second range. You prepared for this by doing what you have described above.
    Keeping the tripod low, helps and keeping the camera in a vertical framing mode helps also. Never shoot this lens on a light tripod that is fully extended or with the center post up most of the way. Knowing this lens's limitations will help in preventing any problems. This lens is sharper than most users realize but shutter vib has swayed the opinion and that has been mistaken for lousy optics. Color correction is another matter and there is a reason why Pentax went with low dispersion glass on the new 300.
  6. No problems here on the 300 EDIF at any shutter speed, even with the 1.4x converter, using a heavy tripod, no center column extension, MLU, RRS BH-55 ballhead, and dedicated RRS plate that cradles the body nicely.
  7. Thank you all my friends.
    I believe Mr. Rasmussen has summarized it all nicely.
    I have indeed prepared for preventing the said vibrations after reading the earlier comments.
    The price I paid for the lens was ridiculously low. I intend to use it for portraits and I will try the vertical framing next time. That sounds natural!

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