Okay, "engineering disaster" may have been overstating it, although being able to advance the film is pretty critical to a camera's basic functioning. I'd seen a couple threads on this problem on pnet, but unfortunately ignored the warning when I bought my first used one. In fact, improved advance mechanism was one of the upgrades touted by the P67II and the reason I bit the bullet so hard to get one. But that one, too, froze on me.
I don't make a habit of trashing equipment on forums (particularly my own ), and I'm sure most people's luck with the P67 has been better than mine. But I think prospective buyers should be aware that at least some have had "issues" with the P67s.
No bias in your recommendations Mike...
When you come to a fork in the road, take it...
David, I crawl in the dust before you since youre able to detect the shutter induced vibration through the mirror induced vibration when firing the P67.
Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
I cant, not even with a laser penlight. Only with mirror lockup I was able to see the minor vibration caused by the shutter.
As for tripods, its the head that matters.
One must realize that the Pentax and Mamiya are very different beast designed for different tasks. You can handhold a M67 in the field and you can use a P67 in portrait mode in a studio but it would be easier the other way around. The revolving/interchangeable backs on M67 is a factor but so is the ease of operating the P67. As said before asking which to choose is like asking if one should go for blonds or brunettes.
I have an old Pentax 6X7 MLU and havn't experienced any problems with that thuogh it has seen pro use before I bough it. Before I bought it I was tempted by a Mamiya RB67.
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I have a Pentx 67 MLU along with 45mm, 90mm, and 165mm LS lenses. I have lugged this kit around Africa for a total of 6 months as well as many other trips. I used mostly Velvia and printed Cibachromes up to 20x24. I used a Bogen 3012 tripod, certainly not huge. Usually used a cable release and MLU. Never had any problems with camera shake, even when using it on a monopod. All of the lenses are sharp. Never a mechanical problem. Just picked up a used Pentax 67II on Ebay but I haven't had a chance to use it much. Looks really nice.
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Soeren, as I have made clear several times on this thread, my experience of Pentax 67 is limited to using a borrowed example for a relatively short time quite a few years ago, and I certainly never had time to do a lab test.
Originally Posted by Soeren
My remarks were based on the Reichmann website, in particular this part:
QUOTE< Here's another example. With a 300mm lens and 1.4X extender, a shutter speed of 1/10th of a second, and with the camera mounted on a light weight Gitzo 1228 carbon fiber hiking tripod with an Acratech ball head, there is so much shutter-induced vibration that the shot is blurred. This is shown in the frame below and its accompanying enlargement. Please note that this photograph was taken with the mirror locked up and with the use of a cable release! The sharpness destroying vibration is from the large focal plane shutter. A light weight tripod just doesn't cut it with this camera.
By way of explanation, what's happened here is that the shutter has bounced, as all shutters do. So, there have effectively been two exposures. One during the opening of the shutter and the second during the closing, at which point the camera had essentially rung like a bell thus causing the second image.>UNQUOTE
The picture accompanying this text has a double image, both parts of which are of equal intensity and which must therefore have been caused by exposures of roughly equal length. Reichmann talks about shutter bounce, which as far as I am concerned happens only with leaf shutters at high speeds when they open and close correctly and then open again.
Based ONLY on this pictorial evidence (let's be clear, this was obtained with the mirror locked up) and my general experience with many different types of camera, I conclude that this double image was caused by a vibration which was set off when the shutter was released and which lasted around half of the total exposure time (if the shutter had really bounced, which I have never heard of with a focal-plane shutter, the result would have been a normal single image with extra density in a band at one end where the shutter had bounced and the shutter slit had moved back out part-way over the film).
My conclusion about shutter vibration is based on this and this alone - I really cannot imagine any other cause. Purely from an engineering point of view, it is very hard to make a large fp shutter which can approach the vibration level of a leaf shutter, since all the moving parts of a leaf shutter are symmetrical, which means theoretically that any vibration should be self-cancelling. Furthermore, adding a leaf-shutter lens to a camera like a Pentax 67 will give greatly enhanced flash-sync capability but won't cut vibration unless it is possible to close the leaf shutter, fire the fp shutter on T, wait for vibration to die down and then take the picture with the leaf shutter only.
In general, it appears that the vibration characteristics of the Pentax 67 have improved over the years - as I understand it, the original model had no mirror lock-up, this feature was then added, and then a Mark II eventually appeared. If somebody with extensive hands-on experience of Pentax 67 is telling me they get sharp pictures, I of course believe them without question - if on the other hand, I see evidence such as that on the Michael Reichmann site, my explanation is as stated above. I hope it is clear that this is all I am saying!
I have owned and used both extensively. I have had very little problems with either the RB's or the Pentax's. I personally prefer the Pentax, but either camera will do a fine job.
I have over come any need for interchangable backs as I normally use three cameras set up with different lenses or film. Works for me!
A short time back I purchased a minty Pentax simply for a spare body, now have four that can go to work at any time. I have never seen better lenses than those available for the Pentax therefor I recomend it very highly.
The RB's simply are not designed to fit me or my hands, so I suggest
handeling both before making a decision.
RB's are designed to fit my hands. I hold it in the palm, put one finger on the shutter release and put my thumb on the focusing knob.
But, then again, I have big hands.
I vote for the Pentax 67. I have had two of them and they have performed flawlessly for years. The lenses I have 75mm 2.8, 105mm,165mm,150mm soft, and the 300 are all top performers and have better "bokeh" than my SL66 lenses. I tested the Pentax lenses against Hasselblad and Mamiya RZ/RB lenses before I chose the Pentax. I really just preferred the way the Pentax lenses rendered my subjects. Plus, the Pentax fits the way I shoot. I basically use the camera as a glorified 35mm for portraiture and landscapes. I shoot handheld 80% of the time. If I am concerned about sharpness when shooting at 1/60 or lower, I bring out the tripod. I never cared too much about separate film backs because I typically shoot a whole roll of 220 in about 5 minutes anyway.
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have you also considered the bronica gs-1? i researched 6x7 cameras a bit before buying my bronica, and have been extremely happy with it. everything i heard about shutter vibration on the pentax turned me off to that. the bronica has leaf shutter and excellent lenses, and is a bit smaller than the mamiya. and alot of the bronica gear goes cheap nowadays. however, it doesnt have rotating backs.