If you choose the Pentax, Bronica or the Mamiya RB/RZ cameras, also count on a heavy tripod. These cameras are not the best to use handheld and require a (heavy) tripod, especially the Pentax because of the slap of it's shutter curtain.
I use a Fuji GW670III next to my Fuji GX680. The GW670 is a superb camera that weighs a little under 1.5 kilos. Though dubbed the Texas Leica, you can easily store it in a backpack for long walks and it has an excellent lens. There is no GSW670 with a wide angle lens but there are the GWS690 and 680 models that have a 5.6 65mm wide angle lens. The normal GW models have a 3.5 90mm lens that I put to good use for environmental portraits. Since there is no mirror or shuttercurtain slap like in the Pentax, you can use a much lighter tripod should you need one and shooting handheld is a breeze. You might however feel limited by the single lens option. We can't all by like Cartier Bresson shooting most of our photos with a 50mm lens.
Hope this helps, good luck with your choice.
One thing that's not mentioned is shooting verticals with the 6X7 if you're using a WL finder. Just for S&G try turning your Rollei sideways to compose. I know the Rollei's a square but the optics through the finder are the same.
If you don't shoot verticals either camera will work, if you do, The pentax is superior unless you buy a prism for the Bronica which will increase it's weight by a significant factor.
Some might say I have a bad attitude! Too bad.
I'm very happy with my sq-a, its not very big and easy to handhold.
Originally Posted by yardkat
KEH's return policy is great. I've returned a back for my sq-a because of a light leak and they were very easy to work with. They shipped out a replacement back the same day I called to return the bad back, they even upped the shipping to 2nd day for free. I've never had any problems buying from keh. I've found their prices on sq-a gear is usually as cheap or cheaper than buying through ebay and you can return it if you don't like it.
Cheap, lightweight, or versitile. Pick 2 out of 3. That's your 6x7 choice.
Personally, I would figure out why a 645 camera won't work for your project. The thought of hauling a 6x7 camera in a backpack on x-country skis IS daunting. And I am a good sized guy. Throwing a 645 camera with two lens and a dozen rolls of film seems like a better choice, even if you give up that huge negative.
And yes, I own a rb67 system and have never recommended a 645 system before in my life. It just seems right for your application.
tim in san jose
Where ever you are, there you be.
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Ooo, I should clarify...the project I have in mind doesn't require either snowshoes or skis, well, maybe it will because that sounds like fun,...but I was just trying to illustrate what I normally do with my cameras. And of course, I might throw a 6x7 in a pack and snowshoe, depends how heavy it is...since I'm wimpy and all. But I'd probably do it, and if I whine just the right way my husband would probably carry it, but then I'd have to not let him see me be wimpy so I'd carry it anyway. (Although when he's in really good shape he goes soooo fast sometimes he needs a handicap, like a big ol' pentax!) I don't think 6.45 interests me too much because I already have 6x6, and don't really wish to go smaller than that, other than 35 of course. Granted, I could just crop 6x6 to the aspect ratio that I imagine, but my Rollei isn't wide enough. And, I was trying not to cloud my thinking and get too overwhelmed by adding yet another format into the mix.
Last edited by yardkat; 08-26-2008 at 10:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.
100% crop from a 3200 dpi scan of a Neopan 400 negative, shot in a Pentax 67:
You can definitely use it handheld and without mirror lockup. Of course if you want absolute sharpness at slow shutter speeds then use it on a tripod with MLU, but do not let naysayers make you think you can't shoot with it handheld. It's heavy sure, but I find I got used to it very quickly.
I have both a Pentax 67 and 645 (don't ask!) Others have already covered many points so I won't go over the same ground.
I think the advantage of the 67 for a 35mm user is that it handles much like a 35mm slr so there is little to adjust to other than the weight. If that is the style of photograpy that will work best for the project you have in mind, then the P67 is a good choice.
The weight is not so bad especially with the wood grip. I mostly use it handheld but am usually shooting in bright light with ISO400 film. The waist level finder does reduce a lot of weight (and I find more accurate for focusing) but as already pointed out, difficult for portrait orientation (made that mistake at a wedding) With the WLF there is not much weight difference between the 67 and a Nikon F5! I have thrown the 67 in the pack while skiing but now prefer to take the 645 for that purpose. The one issue I have found with portrait orientation on a tripod is that the 67 is way out to the side and needs a strong tripod head to hold at that angle (which is probably why I hand hold!) By the way, the 645 has tripod mounts for both orientations which is great for balance.
The 105mm lens is very sharp and much like a 50mm on the F100 for angle of view. I have a 55mm for a wide - I have thought about the 45mm but they are still expensive and the 55mm seems to be wide enough for me. There are 2 versions of the 55mm - the f4 is much smaller and lighter than the f3.5. I find the 105 and 55 a good 2 lens kit, adding the 165mm f2.8 if I need longer.
While the sound of the shutter/mirror can be alarming, I have not found issues with vibration in the resulting negatives as others have reported (It may not matter as much to me but I am happy with the negatives) For me, I use the 67 for the SLR style handling that the subject matter usually dictates. If I can be more deliberate and need to minimize vibration, then I usually reach for the 4x5.
EDIT: Karen Nakamura has a good page on P67 if you have not found it yet Nakamura's Pentax 67 website
Last edited by MartinB; 08-26-2008 at 02:19 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: added link to Nakamura website
Have you thought about buying a cheap 6x7 or 6x9 folder and having it restored? The total price would still be low, I think. That would be your most portable, lightweight option. Check this link for more info:
Can you name one 6x7 folder?
Originally Posted by aparat
And 6x9 folders have film flatness problems.
And to get a good folder with a rangefinder is as pricey as an rb67.
I do carry around a 6x6 folder a lot... but not for serious work. It's my snapshot camera.
So if weight isn't a serious concern because you won't be backpacking this...
the rb67 Professional S is the most camera for the money. If you think of it as a big small camera, you won't like it. If you think of it as a very small LF camera with the advantge of roll film use... it's an absolute steal.
Great (I mean stunning) lens, multiple backs, rotating format, tools for macro, and viewfinders of every type. And dirt cheap.
I do handhold it with a 50mm lens, but I don't recommend it.
tim in san jose
Where ever you are, there you be.