Pentax 645 vs. Pentax 67

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by spoolman, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. spoolman

    spoolman Subscriber

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    I con;t know if this subject has been discussed here before but I would like to know if there is a preference for either amongst APUGers and why?. I currently have a Pentax 645 kit but I find that I'm not using it very much these days and was looking at the 67. I've rented the 67 many years ago and found it to be a tank of a camera BUT I found it very convenient to use especially having only one battery to worry about. Is the battery for the 67 readily available ?.

    All opinions are welcome.

    Doug:smile:
     
  2. gkardmw

    gkardmw Subscriber

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    I have both so I can say a few things. I would say they both are more studio cameras than on location cameras, but they work there as well if you don't mind the size and weight. I just recently bought the 645 - it can be used "out of the studio" much more easily. The 67 is much more bulky. It isn't the weight so much for me as the size of everything. Not to say that the weight of the 67 isn't substantial when you carry around a few lenses with it - if you just carry say the body with a lens and a second lens, it isn't bad at all to carry around. The grip on the 645 really makes it easy to handle in comparison. They both have nice lenses as you know. I have an adapter that allows me to use the 67 lenses on the 645 body so I only know the 75mm 645 lens which seems very fine to me. As to batteries, the 67 takes an easy to obtain 544. I imagine others will chime in about the relative merits of 645 v 67 film size. I like them both for some reason and think I will use the 645 more in the field per se.

    What is your opinion of the lenses that you have for the 645? I think I might like to add at least a wide or maybe a tele? :tongue: Are there any accessories for the 645 that you think are essential?
     
  3. CGW

    CGW Member

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    First, LR44 6v batteries are widely available(e.g, Shoppers and Staples carry them along with some Loblaws). Next comes what you're planning on shooting. 645 SLRs like the Pentax/Mamiya/Bronica are very portable and great all-round MF system cameras. I loved the Pentax 67 I had for studio work but not for much of anything else. It wasn't so much size and bulk that soured me as the lack of film backs and the awkward weight shift on a tripod between portrait/landscape orientation. I'm OK with lugging around a Mamiya RB67 Pro S since it gets around these problems.
     
  4. spoolman

    spoolman Subscriber

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    Pentax 645 vs Pentax 67

    gkardmw I have the 75 mm prime lens along with the 45 mm wide angle and the 200 mm telephoto and a right angle finder. I use the 645 for field use. I shoot trains, buses, streetcars and subways. I bought all of this along with 120 and 220 inserts from a professional camera store here in T.O. that has since gone out of business. I guess the sales guy saw me coming and figured I would buy just about anything he put in front of me. He was sort of right. I'm just trying to basically cut down on the number of batteries (quantity) rather than different types. Now that I think about it, the one feature that the 645 has that I find useful is the diopter correction in the eyepiece. I'm very satisfied with the quality of the lenses. Thanks to you and CGW for helping me decide. I'll stick with the 645 and I'll stock up on the AA batteries that power the motor drive.

    Doug:smile:
     
  5. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I have the Mamiya 645 Pro so bear in mind I'm not personally familiar with using these cameras. The Mamiya and Pentax look to be similar size in photos but I don't think I've ever seen the Pentax IRL, so maybe someone can chime in about how they compare in size and weight.

    BUT, that said my Mamiya 645 is about the biggest, heaviest camera I'd want to carry around for (relatively) casual use hand held. I expected to have it large replace 35mm but it hasn't. It comes closer now that I have three lenses, but it still makes a considerably bigger, heavier kit than two of my 35mm bodies and two zooms, and on a par with the 35mm kit packed with three bodies, two zooms and a prime. It's a really good camera and I do enjoy using it, but I wouldn't want to carry anything bigger and heavier unless I was going for the purpose of photography and planning to take my tripod and in that case I'd probably take the 4x5.

    Of course I DO have interchangeable film backs on my 645. If I didn't, I'm pretty sure I would have already sold it and bought a system that had them as otherwise I prefer taking my much smaller and much lighter Yashicamat, even if I am stuck with just the fixed lens. But since that's no an option with either of the Pentaxes I take it that's not particularly important to the OP.
     
  6. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    By the standards of some photogs I am not an extensive user of my 645N in terms of films per month but I have found the 645N to be very economical on batteries and these days in the U.K. at least packs of AA batteries are relatively cheap.

    It is hardly the best camera for high speed sports such as motorcycle racing compared to say a Nikon F5 but for most uses the 645N is a very manageable camera with a wide OP-Tech strap and unless you want to do very large prints the negs are big enough.

    Yes I know that the 645 and 645N are different cameras but hopefully not in terms of ease of use, batteries etc so my experience should be relevant.

    pentaxuser
     
  7. gkardmw

    gkardmw Subscriber

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    CGW - Yeah, flipping the 67 into portrait orientation is no fun.

    Spoolman - I bet that right angle finder is a nice addition - I will have to keep an eye open for one.

    I think like CGW that the 645 is more versatile, but I still enjoy the 67 in spite of its minor shortcomings. Can't beat that 105f2.4 lens for 3D effect. And I am still learning about the 645 capabilities (or my capabilities with it).

    Dave
     
  8. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    I am a person with small hands and have always had some challenges wrangling large cameras. Over time, I have overcome those challenges with a lot of in-field use e.g. the EOS1N was a daunting prospect all those years ago but now I wrap around it like a glove. The Pentax 67, however, is an entirely different kettle of beans, and big beans at that. I envisaged having a modicum of difficulty, but over time, that difficulty in handling the sheer size and weight has not diminished: it is something you have to keep at it. It's a bloody nuisance to tilt the 67 on its side (portrait) — it just seems to me that it wasn't designed for it! A few novel finders are availabe for the 67: chimney, waist-level, TTL and non-TTL, but other accessories are much more difficult to come across e.g. dioptric correction lenses (rumour has it that diop. lenses for the 645 also fit the 67 /6x7). The battery is believed to last around 10 to 15,000 exposures (obviously less than that with MUP for each exposure). At the end of the day, the image quality and ease of use is what I take it out and bring it back for.
     
  9. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    I've had both the 67 and 645.I still have the 645,I didn't keep the 67 for too long.You've got to have the wooden handle if you're going to shoot portrait style shots and even at that it's like being at the gym.I don't think I'll ever get rid of my 645's.Just my opinion,the 67 is too cumbersome.
     
  10. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Much of what's in my gallery here was shot on a P645N. I have no problem hauling it around in the woods and can shoot it handheld with the 75mm. I haven't used a 67, but I doubt handholding would be an option for me - I have average sized hands for a woman, but am a bit lacking in arm strength. That said, I'd probably just use the tripod more and be happier with the bigger negs in the darkroom.
     
  11. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    I should have mentioned in my post I don't freeshand my 67: everything is shot from the tripod because the film is either Velvia 50 or 100F and lenses are f4 with polarisers and much of my work is in rainforests where lighting is very low.
     
  12. spoolman

    spoolman Subscriber

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    Pentax 645 vs Pentax 67

    Thank you all for your suggestions and insights to these two cameras and how they handle and feel in use. I can always count on unbiased and real world experienced opinions. I've decided to stick with the 645.

    Thanks again to all who have responded.

    Doug:smile:
     
  13. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    All right, Bethe- drop and give me fifty! Do that every day for a couple months and you'll be handling that 67 like it was a feather!
     
  14. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    LOL
     
  15. mtjade2007

    mtjade2007 Member

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    I have had my P67 II since 2002. I use it almost exclusively on hiking trails. It is not a studio camera to me. Rather it is a fantastic huge 35 mm camera that gives stunning sharp large 6x7 negatives. I don't understand why people think it is a studio camera. It is heavier but in terms of handling it is not much different from a classic 35 mm cameras.

    It takes a little more effort in loading say a roll of 220 then set the speed of the film and the metering to one of the 3 choices and dial the speed dial to auto. After that I just wind, compose and focus and depress the shutter button. Repeat that for another 20 times to get a total of 21 shots. No hassle whatsoever. It's not a studio camera. It is the opposite. If you use one you will know what I mean. It is a great camera for outdoor natural light portraiture too. It is plain wrong to regard it as a studio camera.
     
  16. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The 67II is not the 67 or 6x7 (both fundamentally primitive in terms of metering, control and lack of focus or systemic automation), nor is the 645 in any way similar to the 67 or 6x7. There is a very big difference in handling due to the non-existent ergonomics, but anybody can 'warm' to the beasts.
     
  17. mtjade2007

    mtjade2007 Member

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    It is true that P67-ii is much improved over the older P6x7 and P67. However, that's just the latest improvement over the original design of the Pentax 6x7 system. The Pentax 6x7 system was not designed to be a studio camera. Not even close. That's what I meant.

    I see that you have an opinion about having to tilt the camera 90 degree to switch from landscape to portrait orientation. Did you ever use any 35 mm SLR before? All 35 mm SLRs require that too. Was that a problem to you? I would actually find it a nuisance of a rotating back for 35 mm SLRs. To change the orientation something has to turn 90 degrees. It would be appropriate for a studio camera to rotate the film back but for an outdoor camera such as Pentax 67 isn't it easier by just turn the whole camera 90 degrees?

    Non-existent ergonomics for older versions of Pentax 6x7 or P67 cameras? I am afraid this is a misunderstanding of the camera. I had a 500C/M before getting my P67-ii. That was the camera completely lack of systemic automation. It was a studio camera obviously.
     
  18. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

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    Agree
     
  19. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    "Non-existent ergonomics" is just very untrue and unfair in this situation. To declare it as unquestionable fact is just silly. Ergonomics is the study of how a machine fits with the human using it. In my hands and in my use the Pentax 67 is nearly perfect for my use. I would personally say the Pentax 67 is very well designed for Ergonomics.
    I like the weight and balance and how the camera sits in my hands and how the controls are placed. I would say ergonomically it is better than my beloved Rolleiflex for comfort of use. It hangs better over my shoulder, it fits my hands more naturally and the format is more natural to my eye. It is a beautiful camera to look at as well.
    To a large degree ergonomics is relative to the human using the machine. Of all my gear which includes 8x10, 4x5, 6x6, 6x7, 35mm, studio lighting, multiple tripods and stands, I would say that the Pentax 67 is near the top in pleasurable ergonomics right up there with my Nikon F100.
    Dennis
     
  20. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Whatever. There's no denying the P67 is a plus-size camera that requires a big-a$$ tripod, head, and not a little planning before flipping that considerable mass into portrait/vertical orientation. The lack of mid-roll film change and the need for a hefty tripod kept me from buying one after baby-sitting one for a year. Optics are first-rate--no fight there. I just find my Mamiya RB 67 Pro S easier to handle in and out of studio settings: close-focus without tubes or extra lenses; swappable film backs; and the rotating feature let me use a tripod that's stable but light enough to make a truly portable 6x7 kit.
     
  21. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    That's another odd thing about the 67: people mentioning you need a darned heavy tripod, an industrial strength head and a team of Sherpas to keel haul the caboodle from one place to another. Very Ken Rockwell-ish. I don't have a mega-a$$ tripod head for the 67; it's a bog standard Manfrotto 498RC2.

    Ergonomics means many things to many people. I don't need a kumbuya-holding hands dissertation on the semantics of "ergonomics". For what it's worth, I did not choose the 67 on quality or otherwise of handling, but on the quality and availability of lenses, including two minty optics that were going with the body I was eyeing off. :smile:

    What's this stuff about the 67/6x7 as a studio camera? Is somebody going to tell me an EOS 1N is a studio camera? Either camera can be anything at any time, including a great bushwalking companion (and by dint of the effort, a sure-fire conversation starter!). But I'm not taking the 67 bushwalking and will lose nothing because of that. :tongue:

    I'm reminded of my long-time conservation framer using his 6x7 in his full-tilt studio for 20+ years, only getting rid of it when his eyes (macular degeneration) did not allow him to focus accurately. His studio (closed in 1995, remodelled with no darkroom, as his gallery/reading/open space), in the country, was almost always portraiture, still life/found object studies (using B&W and producing very large prints in his darkroom for framing and sale) and the defining quality of his images was the early Takumar lenses: old 100, 200mm Takumars shot at mid-range Avs; none of the newer SMC Pentax 67 optics from 1989 onward (much of his imaging was on TMax and a very fine and precise Kodak BW emulsion that I forget the name of...TechPan??) One could walk into his studio (above his garage) and be chastised to "watch where you step": sync cords, batteries, three or four strobes, blinds, bulb releases, awnings, extension cords... created a virtual bird's nest, with the "bird" proper being the unmissable 6x7 (with waist-level finder), repleat with those ornate wooden handles, sitting diddly-squat on a massive wooden tripod (the tripod itself — like a surveyor's tripod — weighed about 15kg). It all got turfed out years ago when he walked away from it — sad, bitter and spent. In the small town of Maldon, central Victoria, the battered 6x7 and four lenses went for the princely sum of $800 (around 1996 I think).

    AND, For all the bushwalks we did, I never once saw my friend carry his 6x7, only his much-loved Minolta SRT101 (black) — which he shot Trooping the Colour (on Kodachrome) in the 70s on his honeymoon. His wife still has that camera.
     
  22. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

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    I hiked and did bushwalking with P6X7 and now with P67II and Nikon DSLR. Tripod is manfrotto 021 + 486RC