Pentax 6x7 questions

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by NDP_2010, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. NDP_2010

    NDP_2010 Member

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    Hello,
    I am considereing buying a pentax 6x7 camera as my first medium format camera and have some questions. I see there are versions which have a metered prism and some without.
    If I have the unmetered version, can I effectively meter a scene with a hand held meter? Will this be accurate if for the exposure or should I look for a metered prism camera?

    If anyone has any other suggestions about a decent first medium format camera, I do not want to spend a large amount of money (max maybe $400 for the body).

    Thankyou.
     
  2. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    A handheld meter is slower, but at least as acurate as, more likely quite a bit more acurate than, a built-in meter.
    Depends on how well you use both though.
     
  3. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    I heard so many bad things about the accuracy of the ttl prism that I went with the standard prism. I take an incident meter reading and adjust from there. It's worked well for me. If you want to be exact about it a spot meter would be the way to go.
    All in all it's a great camera. Make sure you get the mirror lock-up version or slow shutter speeds will cause your images to suffer from vibration. Also, if you're shooting with flash you're stuck at 1/30 or slower sync. There are available leaf shutter lenses if this is a problem. Try to get the newer "67" model verses the "6x7" or get a 67II. If you give this camera what it wants it will make beautiful, sharp images for you. And the Pentax lenses are sharp, cheap and plentiful. I sold my more valuable Mamiya 7 because it just made nicer images for me.
     
  4. jbbooks

    jbbooks Member

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    Different strokes for different folks:

    Just my take on it, but I would not bother with a metered prism if I were looking to keep the expense low and you will be way out of budget if you step up to the 67II with an AE penta prism finder, which is the only metered 67 I would bother with.

    With a non-mirror lock-up 67 body, a non-metered prism finder and a 105mm lens, you are looking at about $600 in excellent condition, from what I saw on KEH. If you want to spend a bit more, than the mirror lock-up would be the next feature to go after.

    There is no reason, with a good hand held meter, that this would not make every bit as good an image as you could if you stepped up to their 67II with a 90mm/f2.8 lens and AE penta prism finder that they have priced at $1,500. Slower and less convenient, the only feature that you might really miss would be the ability to meter the exposure through a filter rather than having to allow for the filter factor. If you decide that you like the system, this would make a good second body for use with different film or as a back-up while you save up for the high end 67II with an AE penta prism finder.

    In any event, as I said, I would go for the low end or the high end, but I would not recommend starting out with something in between.


    Spend what you can for a good tripod. You will need it, whether you have mirror lock-up or not and it will make a lot more difference than mirror lock-up does.
     
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  5. vedmak

    vedmak Member

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    if you want the best meter, it will not come with your camera, pentax spotmeters will give you close to an absolute accuracy, if you are into the zone system, even if you just shoot different cameras, external spotmeter will do you much good, since you can use it for all of your cameras, to get uniform results.
     
  6. drkhalsa

    drkhalsa Member

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    I bought the 6x7 with the 105mm lens for under $400 plus sales tax from a local camera shop earlier this year.
    It has the non-metered prism and is without mirror lock-up.
    I am very happy with its performance even handheld at slower shutter speeds.
    And, adding more lenses has been quite affordable. A 55mm f3.5 for $225 plus sales tax and a 200mm f4 for $89 plus shipping.
    Using your handheld meter should give you excellent results.
    The prisms are easily interchageable, if you decide you would like a metered prism, you can buy it later.
     
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  7. NDP_2010

    NDP_2010 Member

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    thanks for the replies. I will try to get the best deal, if that means a non metered prism I will do as suggested and use an external meter.
     
  8. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Me too!

    Hi all,

    I too am looking at an Asahi Pentax 6x7 non MLU in very reasonable but well used (not abused) working condition: it shows brassing on all corners and along some edges. The mirror is exceptionally clean and there is no obvious mould or rubbish in the viewfinder or elsewhere on the body. The asking price is acceptable (providing it all works).

    It comes with an SMC Takumar 200/4 lens, which is also very clean inside, the diaphragm, focus ring all very smooth and all the click-stops and the film advance (have to have film in the camera for this to work) and stop-down lever function well.

    I too have some questions about the Asahi Pentax 6x7.

    One problem: the TTL lightmeter seem to give/result in readings that (presumably) underexpose to hell :sad:; e.g. for ISO 400 film in bright sun, it suggests about f/22 @ 1/1,000 (a long cry from f/16 @ 1/400? Is this something that could be fixed? (I've been assuming the camera.lens functions in open aperture metering, am I right?)

    Second question: I see there are 6x7 SMC Takumar lenses and SMC 67 Pentax lenses: will the Asahi Pentas 6x7 accept the later(?) Pentax 67 lenses or not?

    BTW, an image of the camera in question may be found here:

    http://www.mrmartinweb.com/images/camera/medium/pentax6x7lg.jpg

    Thanks for responding:smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2010
  9. drkhalsa

    drkhalsa Member

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    I believe 6x7, 67 and 67II lenses are interchangeable, but I don't have first hand knowledge.
     
  10. Joachim_I

    Joachim_I Member

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    Yes, they are 100% compatible.
     
  11. ccross

    ccross Member

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    I don't have any technical info to add, but I bought a Pentax 6x7 with the 75mm lens couple years ago (without TTL) and a pentax spot meter. I would recommend the MLU version if you can get one and are if you are planning to use the slower shutter speeds. I am very happy with the whole system (I now have five lenses and a set of extension tubes to go with it).

    The best part (or most entertaining part) for me is pressing the shutter button and scaring everyone around me.

    Good luck,
    Craig
     
  12. mick8585

    mick8585 Member

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    Yes, the camera is virtually bullet proof. I have mirror lock up. It is essential to compliment the sharp lenses available.
    The camera remains good value but do not try sneaking up on people with the loud shutter action:smile: Be careful buying certain lenses because they may not be compatible with the mirror lock up. I cannot remember which at this stage(might be 135mm)
     
  13. Galah

    Galah Member

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    OK folks,

    Thanks for all the encouraging answers. :smile:

    I have discussed the TTL issue with the vendor, who is willing to "recalibrate" the meter.:D

    I have, also, put a second film through the camera using a hand-held meter this time: I have yet to see the results of either film, but have my fingers crossed. :tongue:

    In spite of the heft (the handle really helps with this) and the very loud shutter (and no MLU), I do like the beast very much, and have found it quite easy to use hand-held. (Of course, I have yet to see any results -which should become available on Friday- but I'm hoping). :smile:
     
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  15. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    A heads up for SMBooth here on APUG when he happens along; he has a Pentax 6x7 sans-TTL with 90mm, and is metering with a Sekonic spot
    /incident.
     
  16. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    And I as well. 45mm-105mm-150mm lenses & a Gossen Luna-Pro sbc for all of my metering needs including Hasselblad & Linhof Technika V.
     
  17. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    I have a 6X7 with MUL (Mirror Lock Up), and I also have the metered prism. Right off the bat you do not need MUL, I have taken hundreds of photos with this camera, and I have only seen two blurred shots, and both of those were because of the main disadvantage of the metered prism. What is the problem? The problem is that with the metered prism you tend to adjust the camera so the shot is properly metered and not look at your speed thus you shoot at too low a shutter speed and blur your photo. My Metered prism is accurate, your actual mileage may vary.

    Check your shutter speed before you shoot and the metered prism should be fine.

    I stopped using a handheld meter with this camera a while ago, I still check the meter, before a day of shooting, but that is it unless I am trying to do something a handheld does better for me.

    You can hand hold this camera, I have never used a tripod with it, I took a sunset photo with it resting on a table once, that was the closest it ever got to being on a tripod.

    A Pentax 6X7 can only use flashbulbs connected to the FP PC jack on the camera for fill flash. People that say this camera can not do fill flash are wrong, it will do fill flash as long as there are flashbulbs (not much longer). You can not use an electronic flash at a faster speed than 1/30 second unless you get a leaf shutter that only gets you to 1/90 second.

    Good luck in your quest.
     
  18. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Thanks for the advice and the encouragement. :smile:

    I have already been using this camera and, I must say, I like it (with MLU, TTL or not).:tongue:

    So far, I have found it very comfortable hand-held (using the big handle- which is beautifully designed to balance the rig in a portrait orientation) and the slowest shutter speed I have used is 1/60th sec. We will see tomorrow how the shots pan out. (Using 35mm format, I have several times made good shots -inside churches, cafes etc- as slow as 1/8th sec -bracing myself against a wall or something, of course.)

    As I said, I'm hoping the meter will respond to some attention, but -if it doesn't- we may be able to negotiate the price. (I have several 35mm non-metered bodies and several hand-held meters, so it would not be a big drama for me.):smile:.

    Thanks again. :smile:
     
  19. kingkristjan

    kingkristjan Member

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    Pentax 6X7 meter question

    I've had a Pentax 6X7 for over 2 years now, with a 105mm, 55mm, and 135mm macro. This camera has such mixed reviews, but in my experience it is a fantastic camera. Think about it...Pentax did not change the basic camera for nearly 30 years, until they came out with the 67 II version in 1998. There's a good reason for that. It worked well and remained very dependable. The metered prism is extremely accurate...it averages the scene, which for most purposes does the trick. I'm sure with trasparency film it may be a little more finicky. I've recently started using a Pentax V Spot meter. Great meter, works well, but comparing my exposures, the metered prism was not far off at all. I only got the spot meter because I've always been passionate about the Zone System, and love working with black & white.
    Great camera. I'm running a roll of film through it about once a week.
     
  20. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    I am interested in viewing the results of reversal film run through a Pentax 6x7 with TTL meter as opposed to one metered with e.g. a multi-spot /Averaging meter. B&W images I've seen so far meters with hand-held meter (Sekonic L558) have been uniformly excellent; haven't see trannys come off friend's 6x7 yet.
     
  21. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    I'm not saying that I know what I'm doing or that what I'm doing is correct, but...
    I meter transparency film with an incident meter. Just saying.........YMMV.
     
  22. wy2l

    wy2l Member

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    I have a Pentax 67 II (the latest version) with the AE meter. I found the meter to be extreamly accurate and makes the camera operate just like a modern 35mm film SLR. The 55-100 zoom lens is very sharp and a joy to use.

    I have had no problems with 'mirror slap', but the camera is heavy and my experience is that the system demands to be mounted on a tripod.
     
  23. Joachim_I

    Joachim_I Member

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    Hi Gary, You have seen some of my 6x7 slides (Velvia 50). All of them were shot using the built-in meter of the P67II. I have a Sekonic spot meter too. But I leave it at home when using the Pentax. Best, Joachim
     
  24. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Joachim, yours were the images I was thinking about. Like all meters its knowing how to use them.
     
  25. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Touché. And SMB's mono images to date with the Sekonic have been bang-on form. Atta boy, Boots, skitch 'em! Show 'em how it's done! :laugh:

    And — oh yes, Joachim, I can remember holding up the tranny sheet I think in ... hmm, Sin City some place; can't remember, but you were there... so was the Pentax... and a few other oddities (cameras, I mean!). Despite some earlier reservations, the 120 format appeals to me more than the 5x4 sheet film w/ field camera business, so speculatively eyeballing some 6x7s at the moment. How common are right angle finders for the Pentax?
     
  26. Joachim_I

    Joachim_I Member

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    Good to see that the P67 becomes kind of popular in our area. It is a great system. I guess the right angle finder is not too common. I got mine 2nd hand from B&H. It's great for macro.