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  1. #1

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    Kowa, Pentacon, Pentax and mirror slap question.

    Hi,
    I've been shooting with a few Kowa Six's for the last couple of years and I recently purchased a Pentacon kit. From everything I've read, I thought that the Pentacon should be fairly easy to hand hold down to about 1/30th (with the 85mm lens), but it feels like the shutter in itself shakes the Pentacon quite a bit compared to my Kowa's (leaf shutters in there, so that's a win, but the Kowa should have more mirror slap I thought?).

    I'm wondering, in the Pentacon, is the mirror slap the biggest problem or is the shutter itself a big part of the problem? If I put the Pentacon on a tripod (middle of the road Manfrotto) and set the self timer, when the shutter fires the whole camera visibly shakes.

    I ran into another APUG member the other day who was shooting with his Pentax 67 II, and I shot a frame, and that camera felt much more steady (in my hands anyway) than the Pentacon Shutter. I had read often that the Pentax had terrible mirror slap, so I'm wondering if anyone here who has experience with these cameras can tell me if the Pentacon should be easier to hand hold than either the Kowa or the Pentax, because so far I think the Pentacon is fairly difficult?

    I'm now looking at the RZ67 as well as a 'blad C/M, mainly because in theory I think that with leaf shutters I should be able to more easily shoot without a tripod. I'm sure I am missing some knowledge about this, so any input on these cameras appreciated as well.

    I've been lucky with the Kowas in terms of hand holding. I think the leaf shutter helps a ton and also on the Kowa's there is a sort of built in delay on the shutters which I think helps with the mirror slap aspect, but not with critical moment timing.

    Any comments appreciated.

  2. #2
    aparat's Avatar
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    From my experience, it has a much weaker (better dampened) mirror slap than the Bronica SQ-B I used to own. I can hand-hold my 180mm Sonnar at 1/125s without any evidence of camera shake. I must add that I suffer from a neurological disorder, so I am do not have the steadiest hands. Frankly, I am really impressed with how well-dampened the mirror is.

    You can also have your Pentacon Six converted to a two-step shutter release whereby the half-press will raise the mirror, and full press release the shutter. This will eliminate mirror slap completely.

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Welcome to APUG.

    The Pentacon build quality isn't brilliant, I'd guess there a bit of variation between cameras. All MF SLR's suffer some degree of mirror slap, even the best

    I use Mamiya 645's and hand held isn't too bad, but mounted on a tripod it's incredible how much difference the Mirror up/Lock makes. A leaf shutter is only a slight help.

    Ian

  4. #4

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    two step shutter

    Quote Originally Posted by aparat View Post
    From my experience, it has a much weaker (better dampened) mirror slap than the Bronica SQ-B I used to own. I can hand-hold my 180mm Sonnar at 1/125s without any evidence of camera shake. I must add that I suffer from a neurological disorder, so I am do not have the steadiest hands. Frankly, I am really impressed with how well-dampened the mirror is.

    You can also have your Pentacon Six converted to a two-step shutter release whereby the half-press will raise the mirror, and full press release the shutter. This will eliminate mirror slap completely.
    Thanks for the info on the two step shutter. I'll look into that, sounds like it might make things quite a bit simpler..

  5. #5

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    Thanks Ian..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Welcome to APUG.

    The Pentacon build quality isn't brilliant, I'd guess there a bit of variation between cameras. All MF SLR's suffer some degree of mirror slap, even the best

    I use Mamiya 645's and hand held isn't too bad, but mounted on a tripod it's incredible how much difference the Mirror up/Lock makes. A leaf shutter is only a slight help.

    Ian
    Yes, the Pentacon, seems tough but "rough" when compared to even the Kowa, which really doesn't have that great of a reputation.

    In the kowa's when you use the self timer, the mirror goes up and then 30 seconds later the shutter fires, so really there is no mirror vibration I would guess. I'm guessing that if I end up with a system that does not have a leaf shutter, that I will need MLU.

    Thanks again for the welcome..

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSindrey View Post
    Hi,
    I've been shooting with a few Kowa Six's for the last couple of years and I recently purchased a Pentacon kit. From everything I've read, I thought that the Pentacon should be fairly easy to hand hold down to about 1/30th (with the 85mm lens), but it feels like the shutter in itself shakes the Pentacon quite a bit compared to my Kowa's (leaf shutters in there, so that's a win, but the Kowa should have more mirror slap I thought?).

    I'm wondering, in the Pentacon, is the mirror slap the biggest problem or is the shutter itself a big part of the problem? If I put the Pentacon on a tripod (middle of the road Manfrotto) and set the self timer, when the shutter fires the whole camera visibly shakes.

    I ran into another APUG member the other day who was shooting with his Pentax 67 II, and I shot a frame, and that camera felt much more steady (in my hands anyway) than the Pentacon Shutter. I had read often that the Pentax had terrible mirror slap, so I'm wondering if anyone here who has experience with these cameras can tell me if the Pentacon should be easier to hand hold than either the Kowa or the Pentax, because so far I think the Pentacon is fairly difficult?

    I'm now looking at the RZ67 as well as a 'blad C/M, mainly because in theory I think that with leaf shutters I should be able to more easily shoot without a tripod. I'm sure I am missing some knowledge about this, so any input on these cameras appreciated as well.

    I've been lucky with the Kowas in terms of hand holding. I think the leaf shutter helps a ton and also on the Kowa's there is a sort of built in delay on the shutters which I think helps with the mirror slap aspect, but not with critical moment timing.

    Any comments appreciated.
    My two Pentacon Six TL cameras have one of the smoothest and quietest shutters of all my Medium Format SLRs. I had no problems shooting hand held with these cameras with lenses up to and including the 180mm 2.8 Sonnar.

    For tripod shooting with the 300mm and 500mm lenses, I had Pentacon Service in Dresden fit the EXACTA 66 mirror pre-release to both of my Pentacon Six TL cameras , and I am pleased with the results. While making the mirror pre-release upgrade, Pentacon Service CLA’D each camera.
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  7. #7

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    FWIW, if you want to stick with the Pentacon 6 lenses, Kiev 60s use that mount, and they can be modified to have MLU features. (They don't ship from the factory like that, though.) This might be better or worse than the 2-step shutter modification for the Pentacon 6 that aparat describes. I've noticed much more vibration with my Kiev 6S than with any of my 35mm SLRs, but I can't compare it to any other MF SLR, I'm afraid. I have gotten what I consider to be perfectly acceptable hand-held shots with my Kiev, but whether that's because my shots are better than yours or because I've got lower standards I can't say. Perhaps a TLR would be a better choice if this is a real issue for you. The Mamiya C-series looks very nice, although I've never used one myself -- just drooled at the eBay listings!

  8. #8

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    The Kiev 60 cameras, as mentioned above, use the same lensmount, have interchangeable viewfinders including a very nice prism that shows more of the frame than the Pentacon prism does, and can include a light meter built into the prism. There are at least a couple of after-market vendors that rebuild the Kiev cameras and install a mirror pre-release, and the cameras with this mod are very economical to purchase. the Kiev 60 is a bit heavier, which helps hold it still. Your lensmount is also available on the Kiev 88 camera, which looks "just like" a classic Hasselblad, with interchangeable film backs and prisms. It is even a more robust feeling camera. For this camera you can get Polaroid backs, multiple film magazines in several formats, waist level and 2 different prism finders (one with meter). This Ukrainian built equipment is all very economical to purchase in new or reconditioned state. There are also some very interesting lenses in Pentacon 6 mount from Kiev, including a couple of "shift" wide angle lenses, good for architecture.

  9. #9

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    Mamiya 330

    Quote Originally Posted by srs5694 View Post
    FWIW, if you want to stick with the Pentacon 6 lenses, Kiev 60s use that mount, and they can be modified to have MLU features. (They don't ship from the factory like that, though.) This might be better or worse than the 2-step shutter modification for the Pentacon 6 that aparat describes. I've noticed much more vibration with my Kiev 6S than with any of my 35mm SLRs, but I can't compare it to any other MF SLR, I'm afraid. I have gotten what I consider to be perfectly acceptable hand-held shots with my Kiev, but whether that's because my shots are better than yours or because I've got lower standards I can't say. Perhaps a TLR would be a better choice if this is a real issue for you. The Mamiya C-series looks very nice, although I've never used one myself -- just drooled at the eBay listings!
    Funny you should mention the Mamiya. I actually have one. I had a different one 4 years ago that I sold, and it had a fairly sharp lens. The lens in the one I have now is not very sharp..so I'm currently looking to replace it. The C330 is a great camera, but the lenses don't have the "look" of the Zeiss on the Pentacon. Anyway, I'm doing some research on the modified Kiev bodies and may end up with one of those. I'm also really looking at my technique to see what room there is for improvement there.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by PHOTOTONE View Post
    The Kiev 60 cameras, as mentioned above, use the same lensmount, have interchangeable viewfinders including a very nice prism that shows more of the frame than the Pentacon prism does, and can include a light meter built into the prism. There are at least a couple of after-market vendors that rebuild the Kiev cameras and install a mirror pre-release, and the cameras with this mod are very economical to purchase. the Kiev 60 is a bit heavier, which helps hold it still. Your lensmount is also available on the Kiev 88 camera, which looks "just like" a classic Hasselblad, with interchangeable film backs and prisms. It is even a more robust feeling camera. For this camera you can get Polaroid backs, multiple film magazines in several formats, waist level and 2 different prism finders (one with meter). This Ukrainian built equipment is all very economical to purchase in new or reconditioned state. There are also some very interesting lenses in Pentacon 6 mount from Kiev, including a couple of "shift" wide angle lenses, good for architecture.
    Thanks for the response. I'm going to investigate the Kiev 88 as well as the 60. It would be nice to have removable backs if the camera is reliable enough.

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