which lens to start for asahi pentax 6x7 according to my situation ?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by a_mans, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. Hi everybody,
    I couldn't resist to buy a Asahi Pentax 6x7 camera body....The camera is equipped with a metered pentaprism. I already have a fuji GA645WI/45mm camera and a Yashica mat 124G 80mm camera, I love them both. But I was very seduced (again) by the look and the solidity of this Pentax.. I haven't received the camera yet but I wish to buy a lens for it so I can test the system when the body arrives. I was wondering which lens is most suitable to start with according to my situation (having the fuji and the yashica). Below what it is running in my head :
    - maybe a lens that allows a completely angle of view in order to vary? I have read that the standard lens is 105mm/2.4 but i think the angle of view is not far from the yashica's one ? Or maybe the 105mm is just fine to start ?
    - which lens allows me to do something not possible with the other cameras I have ? Just to start and see if I like the camera system or not.
    - you assure, according to your experience that, I won't like the camera. In this case, I may cancel the project :) (weight is not a major problem for me, I owned I mamiya C33 with 4 lens, but don't want to accumulate lens with pentax,..), but I have read a lot of positive (and negative) feedback on this camera.
    I love all aspect of photography: portrait, landscape, close photography..
    Another question: should I really insist on the super multi coated Takumar or the super Takumar is just the same for what i will be doing? I only shoot B&W films.
    I would be grateful if you can help me to choose my first lens as I have no experience in this field and I feel, I must confess, a little bit lost and engaged..
    Thank you all,
  2. The camera is a gem, essentially a larger 35mm SLR. Given your intent to shoot "portrait, landscape, close photography", you might consider the 135mm f/4 Macro Takumar. There is an early version with fluted metal focus ring and later one with "grenade-checkered" rubber surface ring, both I believe with the same optics but perhaps different lens coatings. The 135mm on 6x7 is about like a 65mm on a 135 film camera, broadly useful IMO, and it focuses down to 1:3.2 magnification.
  3. OK you have a wide on the Fuji, a standard on the Yashica so you should grab a "longer" lens on the Pentax and carry all 3 of them. I'd suppose a swwet spot might be between 150 and 180mm (equalling 75 / 90mm on 35mm. you could of course go even longer up to 210mm and still stick to just "portrait" range of focal lengths.
    I'm too inexperienced with 6x7 to preach some "ideal & unbeatable combination" If I had to grab something here it would be 90 150 270mm on my 4x5" with rollholder.
    The 135mm macro suggested above might make a lot of sense, since I really liked taking my Pentacon six with only a 120mm out. - My Mamiya line was 135 55 (250 80).
    I suppose moderatr portrait lenses sell best in the MF SLR realm. - So I guess getting one shouldn't harm.
  4. The 2nd version of the 200mm is supposed to be an outstanding 6x7 lens. And they are cheap.
    I just bought the 45mm & 135mm. My next lens will be the 200mm.
  5. "portrait, landscape, close photography".
    The 90-180 zoom can do all three. It has come down in price in the last year and has become affordable now. It has small enough stops to do both landscape and macro work. Its 120 to 180mm range works well for portraits.
  6. Thanks to you all for orienting me in my choice.
    I see that the 135mm/f4 is a very good idea, versatile enough. I am in contact with a seller to see if he can offer an interesting price for 2 Pentax smc lenses : 135mm/f4 and 200mm/f4 (approx. 150$). What do you think about this price? I can notice that the lenses are not too expensive, what about their quality regarding sharpness etc ?
    The zoom 90-180/f5.6 is a cool idea but it is expensive for me..
  7. I think you can look forward to a a wonderfully new and different experience with the 6x7, regardless of which lens you choose. The SLR form factor and the horizontal 6x7 aspect ratio will be a change of pace of course, with the handling providing a different "feel" to shooting compared with what you have now. In addition, the camera's overall heft, the expansive view through the viewfinder, and the not-so-subtle ker-chunk! the big mirror makes as you press the shutter releasem all combine to create a truly visceral experience that you really just have to experience.
    For a first lens, there are several reasons why I would suggest starting with the standard 105mm/2.4. For one, they are reasonably priced yet generally very highly regarded for their sharpness, bokeh, and all around excellent image quality. All three versions share the same optical formula, so there is less of an issue here about earlier or later editions of the lens. As for field of view, it's true you already have experience with a "normal" lens, but you may find that the 6x7 aspect ratio presents different compositional opportunities than what you are used to. So I think starting with the standard lens still makes sense in this case. Best of all, the 105/2.4 is one of the fastest medium format lenses made (fastest in the Pentax 6x7 lineup), enabling mind-blowingly narrow depth of field. Even if you're not into that per-se, you will still appreciate the brighter image this lens provides in the viewfinder since the 6x7's viewfinder screen can seem a little dim when using some of the slower lenses.
    Finally, the 105 is one of those lenses with Thorium elements that tends to take on a bit of a yellow cast with age. But since you work exclusively with B&W film, you may find as others have that this can actually be advantageous since it essentially functions as a built in yellow filter.
    Good luck!
  8. For a good list of all the Pentax 6x7 lenses, complete with specifications and the different versions made, you might want check out www dot antiquecameras dot net/pentax6x7lenses.html (sorry for the fragmented link but Photo.net doesn't allow direct linking to the site).
    As for opinions about these lenses, one of the best resources I have found is the review pages on the Pentax forums website, here.
  9. The 135 is a sharp lens but I would go with the newer 200mm (Pentax) not the older Takumar. There was a substantial design change with the newer one. FYI, only the 105 Super Takumar had Thorium glass but the newer versions went with a different high index glass that was not radioactive.
  10. i think the 105mm 2.4 renders a look even for portraiture that is specific and unmatched.
  11. Thank you guys,
    Slight modification occurs : I finally went for the pentax 67 (1989) version, not the asahi one (1969) at almost the same price.
    I couldn't obtain an interesting offer "asahi body+ 105mm/f 2.4" so I went for SMC takumar 135mm/f4 macro and 200mm/f4 lenses, I saw some interesting results with these lenses on the net. As a start, I think it is pretty cool, I will see for the 105mm/f 2.4 later on.
    Again, thank you
  12. Congratulations on your P67, this will be very nice to use. For your NEXT lens ;-) you might consider a 75 or 90mm.
  13. Thanks Doug for your encouragement as I don't know the P67 system at all and I feel scary :) but after hearing the shutter sound in some videos on the I can imagine a little bit the visceral experience that Jeff has talked about :):) I have mentioned here that I don't want to accumulate lenses but obviously I fell in the trap :):)
    I have one question : It seems I have read somewhere that by removing the metered finder of the P67, one can focus directly on the focus screen (like with a waist finder) without adding additional accessory is this true ?
  14. You can do that but it is a small area (compared to a 4x5) and you will still need a loupe to see what is going on in the frame. The folding focusing hood does something like this.
  15. Hi again!
    I need your help. I just received the P67. Beautiful beast, I love it. However, I may have some issues regarding the wind lever. I can fire the beast even if there is no film inside it...according to the manual there is too methods to do that. So, I have the impression that something is abnormal with the machine. Shutter speed is OK, B is OK MLU, TTL measuring is ok but there is issue about wind lever, strange..
    1- When I open the back of the camera, the wind lever becomes loose ---> ok. When I close it, it becomes hard and i can cook the lever and fire the shutter without inserting anything or turning the exposure counter dial as described in the manual...
    I feel that the shutter mechanism is not disengaged without film, as designed by Pentax and described in the user manual.
    2- I tried to put a roll film (without the film, just the back paper to simulate a film), I turn the lever till I align with the 120 index. I close the body : I can't advance to the frame one at once, I should fire the shutter after each complete revolution of the wind lever, I had to do it 3 times to arrive to number 1 on the counter. When 10 exposures are made, the mechanism does not become loose to wind at once the film and unload it from the camera, I should continue cooking and firing again and again till I am sure my film is now safe. Is that normal ?
    3- I tired to change 120 to 220 by turning the exposure counter control dial, same issue but sometimes, the wind lever becomes loose when coming back to the 120 setting (camera with its back closed). I open the back, the wind lever remains loose, I close and it remains loose, ok you will say it is disengaged, I open again and apply the method described in the manual to operate the shutter without a film (by turning and maintaining the exposure counter and closing the back) and when the back is closed, the wind lever stays loose and can't cook the shutter.
    Do you think I have to return it to the seller or something is going wrong with me ?
    Thank you guys,
  16. updated news:
    I did a roll film today despite the issues described before to see if the separation between frames is correct and if the camera is usable. I obtained 8 correct frames on a roll film, distance between frame is irregular, the camera ate 2 frames...I will get in touch with the seller to ship it back to him.

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