Well, I received my P6 last week, and already put a roll throght it. Here are my first impressions on it:
The overall feel is good. The prism it came with (as a bonus, see further down) is very dim, but useable outside. It is the latest type of prism pentacon made, with condenser lenses. supposed to be bright, would hate to see a dim one... I measured the view area of the prism to be 45mm x 45mm. About 65% of the neg, right? Pretty absurd cropping, but one might be able to get used to it.
Without the prism, the focus screen measured to be 51mmx51mm, maybe 1mm less due to the screen holder. It comes to about 80% of the image area, much more useable. Without the prism, my focus screen is plenty bright. I will have to rig a waist level finder for it, though.
The much dreaded film spacing problem is present, but with too much spacing. I get 10 shots per 120 roll.
The single coated 80mm lens it came with seems sharp, from looking at the negs. I'll still have to print them, though (it might be a few weeks).
Moral of the story: for $150.00 shipped, it beats my now defunct Lipca Flexora hands down. THe film spacing does not bother me, since the flexora had it too. The lens is sharper, the viewfinder brighter (or just as bright when the prism is on), and I have more shutter speeds to use.
BUT, if I had the money, I would go for an ARAX 60 or a similar upgraded K 60, if I had the guarantees of a problem free camera.
I took a risk buying a used camera from overseas. Of all the things that could have gone wrong, this is the lesser evil.
Oh, yeah: the negs look very well exposed, and I used 1/125 to 1/500 of a second (bright sunlight on most of the shots, tri-x to boot). So the shutter does not worry me.
Just something to keep in the back of your head, Harris.
about the prism, I think the seller included it to make up for the frame spacing issue. Not something you have to worry about if buying new.
Congratulations on the arrival of your "new baby" André! I think that you will find the lens/camera combination to be an excellent performer.
The Pentacon prisms are indeed very dim. They can be replaced with the much brighter Kiev prisms if you desire. Rolf Dieter Baier makes a Kiev prism
adapter for the Pentacons (I use one on my 6TL and recommend it - but it is more expensive than what you paid for your camera). See: http://www.baierfoto.de/
The in-camera focusing screen can be be replaced with a much brighter screen and this also helps.
Rolf Dieter Baier also has published a film winding procedure which will help prevent frame overlapping (not your problem, but ....?). The URL is: http://www.baierfoto.de/transportengl.html
Everything is analog - even digital :D
Tom, thanks for the heads up, but I had looked at baiefoto's web site prior to buying the camera.
Right now, it just seems sillly to spend so much money just on a prism... if I had 300 bucks to spend on the camera, that would be different. I could even consider buying a new kiev, for that much...
Right now, I'm thinking of either getting a pentacon waist level finder and making better shades to fit it, or making my own wlf from scratch.
Now that I think about it, upgrading a pentacon wlf seems like a better deal... safer, anyway.
Do you own a pentacon wlf? Does it show all of the focus screen? what are you impressions of it?
I just realized, I was not following baierfoto's directions, but Ron Spillman's. Have you found these to be incorrect? http://www.pentaconsix.com/Loading.htm
Thanks once again for the help...
Jen, the girl at school who has a kiev also, is very careful with her film advance lever. She carefully holds it while it repositions itself back to the start. She told another student who purchased one, that if you didn't do that, it caused problems. Try this little trick with your Kiev. See if it might help with the spacing problem.
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That's what I do! But it's ok, losing 2 shots does not bother me. At least it's consitent: I ran 2 rolls of outdated slide film through it, marking the spacing with a pen, and it did not change a bit.
Originally Posted by Aggie
By the way, I envy you. I used to live in Concord/Walnut creek, in my 1st year in the U.S. great place, Nor Cal.
not the same place. In the past 7 years the area has at least doubled. Out in the delta region near Antioch and Brentwood it is all houses now. Hwy 4 is a nightmare. That and the county is on the verge of bankruptcy. Mismanagment of funds
André, Rolf Dieter Baier's film advance procedure is in addition to and complementary to Ron Spillman's film loading procedure.
I probably have one or two Pentacon WLFs around - I'll take a look. I honestly can't remember if they show the whole screen or not (probably not).
I use Kiev 60 WLFs on my Pentacons. They show the whole screen and have a better magnifier. IMO they are a better design than the Pentacon WLF and they are inexpensive. I may have a spare - I'll take a look.
Everything is analog - even digital :D