Pentax 67 - 'mirror up' clarification

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by batwister, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. batwister

    batwister Member

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    I'm considering a Pentax 67 and have come across 'mirror up' in second hand sales. I read somewhere that the first production models (that don't have mirror lock-up) could be modified to keep the mirror in place.
    Does this mean the viewfinder is unusable!? Or is there some kind of lever or button fitted on these modified versions to move the mirror at will? It's a little confusing and I'm not sure if this term is used by sellers regardless of it being a late or early modified model.

    The camera I'm looking at is a 67 rather than a '6x7'. Which, if I'm right, means the camera had this functionality straight out of the factory - yet the seller has listed as 'mirror up'.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2012
  2. Willie Jan

    Willie Jan Member

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    the 67 has the mirror up function which allows you to prevent the shock of the mirror when for example shooting macro shots.
     
  3. BobD

    BobD Member

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    "Mirror up" most likely means it has the mirror lock-up feature but you should ask the seller to be sure.

    When the mirror is up the viewfinder is blacked out.
     
  4. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    The lock up button is on the left side by the lens as you look at the front of the camera. When you look through the view finder while holding the camera in your left palm you will find your left middle finger falls right on the lock up button. When you lock it up the view is gone from the finder. Even so I use the mirror lock up even when hand holding the camera. I frame the picture then hold still and lock up the mirror then take the picture.
    Dennis
     
  5. batwister

    batwister Member

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    There appears to be a few buttons in that area. If you could perhaps direct me with a picture as to what I'm looking for?
     
  6. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    here it is
     

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  7. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    Right, that's the button (really a slider -- push it up). The mirror will swing up and block the viewfinder until you trip the shutter. It's not like 35mm SLRs like the SRT 101 or Nikkormat, which have a lever that keeps the mirror up independently of the status of the shutter.
     
  8. batwister

    batwister Member

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    Cheers. I'll be getting the 67 then!

    It looks like the earlier '6x7' didn't have the lock-up and coupled with the mirror vibration hysteria, I think I'll avoid looking into that model.
     
  9. Robert Ley

    Robert Ley Member

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    I had a 6x7 with the mirror lockup and used it all the time for landscape work on a tripod. The really critical shutter speeds for mirror lockup where 1/8-1/125.
     
  10. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    +1 on 6x7, the first 6x7 model didn't have MLU, and then the later models did have MLU.
     
  11. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The 67 is the 1989-1991 version (a modern facelift for an old tropper...) and on some rare models also comes with the factory-modified multi-exposure facility (a tiny chrome button on the right next to the 120-220 film selector).

    The 67 mirror lock-up is primitive but effective in reducing mirror slap and whack, but the design of the camera (the huge mirror, for instance, although it has additional braking) still strongly favours more robust shock mitigation such as pressing down on the prism, using a heavier tripod or weighting the centre column during exposure. Once MLU is up, the viewfinder is blanked out: no great mystery about that, as most camera will do the same. The primitive nature of the MLU is that it drains battery power: a fresh battery will last around 4-5 hours in bulb mode. Archaic magnetic solenoids hold the mirror up, thus taxing the battery. Compose the scene with care: once MLU is activated, the only way to de-activate it is to press a thin pointed object into the reset button on the front right of the camera and press the shutter; this resets the MLU function but at the expense of a frame (unless, of course, you have multi-exposure activated concurrently). Tedious and a tad wasteful, and very Pentax-y in its quirkiness.

    I use the MLU function on my 67 for all images additional to weighting the camera down to avoid vibration as far as possible.

    The seller does not appear to be clued up regarding MLU. Cameras with it are described as simply "with MLU" and that is sufficient for those who know what they are looking for. DPURDY's picture is the right stuff for location of the MLU button. Push it up to activate.
     
  12. batwister

    batwister Member

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    I have to wonder how any of those Flickr photographers get a properly exposed and adequately sharp image. You've made it sound more complicated than dye-transfer!

    I'm not too clear on that second point quoted. I understand the nature of the mirror's operation - via battery power - but are you saying I need to press a reset button to bring the mirror back down again or to switch off MLU functionality?
     
  13. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    To clarify: if you decide you are not going to fire the camera with MLU engaged, then the reset button will need to be pressed and a frame exposed in order for the mirror to be returned to its viewing position. Not great mystery about the Flickr photographers' images. The 67 is more than capable of superb imaging quality, just that it can be fiddly and quirky. It is comparable to using large format, but without the equally beloved (and fiddly) movements.
    AND, the 67 will be a crowd puller for the noise it makes alone! :tongue:

    Someting to note: on a couple of 67 / 6x7 bodies I have seen, the MLU reset function has not worked. This may be due to age-related fatigue or abuse of the tiny recessed reset button: if it is shoved too far or hard, it will deform and not engage. Thus it is recommended that you check with the seller that the function is operative — but one needs to be cautious that he/she knows what he's doing and doesn't bung the process into the bargain. If it does not work, it can be a much more troublesome and involved process to manually reset the mirror: my term for it is "invasive" and potentially hazardous. So just something to note before you part with the cash as by the sound of it the seller may not be aware of these sort of problems.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2012
  14. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    That is making it pretty confusing. It isn't like that in normal use. You push the button to lock up the mirror just before taking a photo. Once you have pushed the shutter button to take the photo the mirror goes back to normal again instantly. Then you will need to lock it up again before the next photo. The only time you need to use that reset button is if your battery dies and the mirror can't reset itself. In all my 20 years of using a Pentax 67 I have had to use that button reset exactly once.
    Dennis
     
  15. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Dennis, the 67 as a camera can be pretty confusing, even to those I've known with 30 years' experience with the old 6x7: "its quirkiness never goes away: so using it (67) an experience in itself...". (quoted from my fine art framer who disposed of his last year after having it for something like 33 years).
    I'm much less decisive and have reset the mirror several times as I described. Habitually follow suit with my EOS 1N! :smile:
     
  16. batwister

    batwister Member

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    Well I've bought the 67 and all seems well. However, the mirror did become locked up and it appears this happens when the shutter dial is accidentally between speeds. I scratched my head for a bit, tried pressing the reset button on the front of the camera and finally moved the dial and the mirror reset. Thought I'd bust it for a second there.

    What worried me about that though is this, taken from the manual:

    'If the camera is left for an extended period of time after cocking the shutter, the shutter speeds will become inaccurate.'

    Is this in reference to the problem I had or just in general?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2012
  17. batwister

    batwister Member

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    Update; There seems to be a problem with either the shutter or speed dial. What I described above seems to happen erratically. While putting a roll of test film through the camera today, the only way of bringing the shutter down when the above happens is to take the camera off the tripod and remove the battery - during which time the image is still being exposed.
     
  18. Felinik

    Felinik Member

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  19. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    Just checked mine and indeed if the shutter is set in between any two numbers it will stay open and mirror up. Soon as I move the dial so it is set on a number though the shutter closes and the mirror re sets. I guess I would play with it with no film in it and figure out as much as I could what is going on. You know how to do the trick that allows the shutter to work with out film right?
    With the back door open you turn the little serrated button above the frame counter till it is past 1 and hold it there when you close the door.
    Dennis
     
  20. batwister

    batwister Member

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    Yeah, I've been doing this, but there is also an advancing problem which I'm trying to get my head around. I've wasted a couple of rolls trying to figure out what's going on.

    After I've loaded the film and turned the wind lever a couple of times, the start arrow appears - just in front of the 120 indicator. It then takes a half turn of the lever again to get the arrow in the right place - dead on 120. When I close the back I can turn the winding lever twice more, then the counter will indicate 0 and the shutter is engaged, but the first frame has yet to appear. The plate is on the 120 side and the switch on the side of the camera is set at 120 too.

    I took off the lens and used bulb mode on the second roll to see where the film is up to after a few shots. Only after a couple of times firing the shutter does the first frame of film appear. After 10 frames fired and wound and indicated on the dial, the shutter doesn't disengage like it should. The only way I'm able to get the film completely wound on to the take up reel is by firing the shutter several more times - the dial indicating around frame 15 after this.

    It does seem the camera is stuck on 220. I could carry on using it like this - dry firing to advance the film each end, but I don't know how many frames I'll lose. Would it be possible to fix this myself - if it is locked on 220 mode?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2012
  21. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Confusion can certainly be caused by the seemingly innocuous tiny knurled button on the centre top of the winding advance may need to be realigned with 1 (not zero) after completing film load and wind-on to what should be 1. It is incorrect to have the counter point to 0 after completion of load and film wind, which is typically 2 full strokes (cover closed). All other settings you have mentioned (rear cover window and 120/220 film selector) are correct in regards to 120. I don't understand how the 67 can be "locked" in 220 mode. If the plate moves freely from 220 to 120 and the switch on the side also freely selects either, then that should be the end of the matter.
     
  22. batwister

    batwister Member

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    Unfortunately the camera only seems to work in 220 mode. It means me dry firing three times and another four at the end of the roll to shoot 120. Looks like I'll probably be able to get 10 or at least 9 full frames exposed with the camera like this.

    I unscrewed the 120/220 switch and turned the screw 'manually' to no avail. It looks like my only option is to send the camera off for repair at this point, unless there is anything else I can do myself?
     
  23. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    If the camera is focusing precisely in this deranged modewith 120 film loaded, then it is probably good to continue, though far from ideal as you have seen. I would recommend packing it off for service. These cameras are now quite old and service sooner or later is to be expected. It might be that the 120/220 switch on the side of the camera is now engaging with the wind-on lever to set the corresponding start.