Pentax 67, reliability.

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by fastw, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. fastw

    fastw Member

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    Pretty much decided on the Pentax 67 over RZ 67. Went to my favourite camera shop in Melbourne, Camera Exchange and put a roll through one. It jammed twice. Not a big deal, easily fixed by pushing a little button on the front,but made me think. Called the Camera Clinic and was told that they can't get parts for it anymore, but service is not a problem. Apparently the only one they can still get parts for is the RZ 67. I know the Pentax will probably be OK, maybe it just needed some action (it had a new battery BTW), but it put a bit of doubt in my head. I know any of them can break down and I shouldn't rely on a single camera to do a project abroad, but ...
    What's the reliability record for P67?

    Cheers, Wojtek.
     
  2. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    I can only speak for mine. I bought it in 1983 and it is still going strong. I have gone through long periods during that time where I didn't do much photography at all but whenever I've brought it out it's always worked fine. I did have to send it in to Pentax for a minor repair in 1998, I had dropped it from a short distance and caused a dent on the front just below the shutter release. I have a roll of 220 Portra in it now and I will be taking it out this weekend. Eric Hendrickson in the U.S. works on Pentax and he also works on the P67, you might want contact him. It's a long distance but his work is great.

    pentaxs.com

    Chris
     
  3. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The 67, and its earlier incarnation, the 6x7, is certainly getting on a bit in terms of age. and many, many of them the world over have seen lots of service. It's a bit of a risk to just plonk money down on any one assuming it has been well looked after, but good specimens can be found. Models date from 1969 to 1989-1990 (when the updated 67 came out). How they are treated plays a role in reliability, especially if the shutter curtain is prodded, or somebody has carried out mechanical probing of stuck mirror (easily reset without physical coercion!). I avoid any camera with pronounced dents or damage, especially to prisms (and dents and scrapes are common on 6x7 and 67 bodies that have been in professional service). There's not much electronics in either camera save for the TTL meter prism. I guess like old dogs they will hobble along til the very last, faithful to the master before expiring — midway through a precious roll of film, and thus you beginneth a fumblefest, in a cold and dark place, to extricate your prized film from the beastie without incurring any trauma to that big shutter curtain... Things like light seals around the back cover and TTL prism can be done yourself with light seals readily available ex USA on eBay.

    It has been reported that if the shutter is left cocked for a prolonged period of time, then shutter speeds will become inaccurate. So obviously it's a good idea not to mothball a 67 / 6x7, but put it to good, solid use and look upon it as a faithful servant, probably with a long and adventurous previous life.

    I purchased my 67, minty, from a deceased estate in California (so a looong flight to Australia!) and was told by the dealer that it had received very little non-professional use. Michaels Cameras had a 67 in good condition but it had a jammed shutter and scratchy winding lever. But I was after the 90mm f2.8 attached to it: unfortunately, I was not successful in persistently arm-bending them to part with "just the lens, please!"... :ninja:
     
  4. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I haven't had any problems with mine. I know the shutter is battery dependent and it won't work with a bad battery. Mirror sticks in the up position from memory. I would be wary about buying one with a fresh battery that is playing up. Do you get a return option if you buy from this shop?
     
  5. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    They have always had the reputation of being very durable work horses but as said before it depends on how it is treated.
    I have had my 67 since buying it lightly used in 1994 and it is still a tight, good looking, good working camera.
    However I treat my equipment well.
    Dennis
     
  6. coigach

    coigach Member

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    I've had a 67II for about 10 years and found it to be very reliable. I've heavily used in that time. Only one issue, and that was when tripod blew over on a mountainside and the impact of camera hitting ground made the shutter curtain jam. Quick CLA and all was well...! :smile:
     
  7. fastw

    fastw Member

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    Thanks Guys. I'll just have to find a good one. Wish me luck.

    ps. Just about to scan the roll I shot at the shop.
     
  8. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    A good friend of mine has a Pentax 67. I've known him for over 20 years and he had it before I met him. He has never had a problem with it.
     
  9. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I've had my P67 since the late 90's, and love it. I've gradually built a kit of lenses 55, 105, 135, 200, and 300, and they're as rugged and reliable as the camera. Even though I was tempted to acquire a Hassie, I stayed with the 6x7 because the negative can obviously be cropped to square, but keeps the option of the rectangle. I hope you find one more reliable than what you were looking at...it's a terrific camera system.
     
  10. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    If you found one that's jamming, then go find a better body. Mine is a 6x7, and I bought it in the late 1990s and I've put lots of rolls through it. I did send it in for a CLA and replace the light seals, and it's still working just fine. I love the camera, and I suppose that when it dies I'll have to buy another Pentax. It's always been a reliable machine for me.
     
  11. paul ewins

    paul ewins Member

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    The gear train for the winder is the weakest point for the whole 6x7 family, so if there is any doubt about the winding action don't buy it. I have been told that the damage is often done by people who try to replicate the quick jerk they use to wind a 35mm camera as fast as possible. The much greater drag of the 120 film means the gears get a bigger initial force applied to them when winding that way. The correct technique is a smooth action with constant force.
     
  12. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

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    Sounds like weak battery problem to me.