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  1. #1

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    Most reliable 6X7 system?

    My second Pentax 67 has developed sticky mirror syndrome and as much as I love this camera optically - call me superstitious - it hates my guts. My first Pentax 67 body was this way when I got it, and after sending it back to the repair 'specialist' three times (they couldn't fix it), so I let it go. The replacement body, which I bought here on APUG, looked and behaved flawlessly, until now. To say I am disappointed is an understatement, as I haven't been able to consistently make pictures on film, mechanical-worry free, for quite some time now.

    I'd like a camera in this format that I can depend on to a great extent - with the usual expectation of a yearly CLA. Quite honestly, I am willing to compromise on flawless optics and ergonomics, so long as it will get me through a solid stretch of shooting without anxiety attacks every time I press the shutter, and has a consistency of visual output.

    I'm after something in the same sort of price range - give or take.
    'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde

  2. #2

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    You must be under some kind of curse. P67's are famous for reliability, and were chosen by Shirakawa for his famous Himalayan expeditions and
    aerial shots too. I have one which has undergone hell for thirty-five years, was once stolen and dropped (twice), recovered, and still works perfectly, despite lots of obvious brassing. I've had this camera in the snow and rain, unprotected. I also have a newer backup P67. Maybe you
    need a different repairman.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    You must be under some kind of curse. P67's are famous for reliability, and were chosen by Shirakawa for his famous Himalayan expeditions and
    aerial shots too. I have one which has undergone hell for thirty-five years, was once stolen and dropped (twice), recovered, and still works perfectly, despite lots of obvious brassing. I've had this camera in the snow and rain, unprotected. I also have a newer backup P67. Maybe you
    need a different repairman.
    Interesting. Different stories have been told to me on APUG.

    I will say that I took the camera with me while travelling over the summer and was shooting handheld the whole time - not one case of sticky mirror. Since I've been back, I've only used it on a tripod with cable release and it happens with every roll. However, I did use it exclusively with a cable release before going on that trip and didn't run into a problem. If the cause of the problem is me (and not divine intervention), I'm having a hard time establishing what I'm doing.

    A couple of questions for you, Drew: Which batteries do you use? Is there some kind of electrical shorting when using mirror lock-up while the meter is on? (I only ever shoot with MLU - is there an unwritten rule about switching off the meter before engaging?)
    'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde

  4. #4
    Chrismat's Avatar
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    Sorry for your problems with your cameras.

    I bought my Pentax 6X7 in 1983 and it's never failed me. In the late 90's It fell on a rock which caused a little dent in the front left side (as you are looking at i) and it still worked. I sent it to Pentax in Colorado to check it out and replace the plate. I pretty much always use the MLU function and haven't had any electrical problems. I know shipping to the U.S. would be a hassle, but you might want to consider sending it to Eric Hendrickson, he's a Pentax expert. Within the next few months I'm going to send my P6X7 to him for a checkup.

  5. #5

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    I always use mirror-lock except when handheld. My bodies are P67's, not the later 67II. I use the PX28 barrel batteries, ordinary Duracell
    alkalines. I have a remote battery cord for extreme cold, but rarely need it. Have you checked the electrical contacts for leaky battery corrosion?

  6. #6

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    I met an experienced landscape photographer in Scotland back in 2007, he is using only film, and his main camera is Pentax 67II, his images are all piece of art, so he never stop to do amazing until now with this camera, i was a bit surprised you had an issue with this camera even mk1 version.

    I started film with MF as well, and my first 2 bodies together were Mamiya RZ67II and Hasselblad 501CM, Hasselblad RZ67 was my favorite camera i use mostly for m tests and loved all the results out it and never disappointed me, the only drawback was with the battery, so that i bought RB just recently and soon i will complete RB system to start shooting, another 6x7 camera i have is Mamiya 7II, i can't judge which one is reliable or dependable until i can use them all extremely or massively and then i can confirm and conclude my judgement.

    Try to go with Fuji rangefinder or folder one, i have Fuji GSW690II and it is flawless camera, i like the results out of the most over all other MF formats until i can afford 6x17 gear, so maybe i may think about Fuji 6x7 one, battery-free camera will always have a most use with me.

  7. #7

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    I like the Fotoman cameras, I'm not saying they are very reliable, but basically there is nothing to go wrong on them, the camera is just a bit of metal, and you've got replaceable backs, and they take large format lenses.

    So, worth a look if you like very simple cameras with nothing on them to break.

  8. #8

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    You might look into a Maimya RB67

    Jeff

  9. #9
    Kyle M.'s Avatar
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    My first and only 6x7 is a Mamiya RB67 Pro S, I picked up the body, one 120 Pro SD back, waistlevel finder, and 90mm C lens on ebay for $300. I've been shooting it for about a month and absolutely love it, I've since shelved my other MF cameras and am just shooting the RB.
    Nikon F, Nikkor-S 35mm F=2.8
    Gossen Luna Pro F

  10. #10
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    •If you want to go handheld, and be somewhat portable, then I'd stick with the P67 sytem.
    •If you want more "options"(IMO), and like a rotating back design, I wouldn't look past the RB67 Pro-S/SD line. No batteries, all mechanical. Taken care of and exercised regularly, they're very dependable(yet somewhat bulky off-tripod) beasts.

    •If you have some more coin, and don't mind a more limited lens selection, and higher price to get a very small package, then the Mamiya 7II system and its glass is extremely high quality. Optically, they're superb.
    •If you want a single-lens(non removable), stow-in-a-jacket-pocket-easily type camera, then get one of the Voigtlander or Fuji bellows folding cameras: GF670/Bessa 6x7
    •If you want to spend less on a fixed lens camera, but still get a very high quality image, even wide open, and don't mind a bit more bulk, then the Fuji GW670III is a superb choice. Rangefinder to focus, but it's very simple. All mechanical, leaf shutter 90mm 3.5 lens. I've owned a few and regret selling them!

    cheers,
    Dan

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