I worked with a pentax 67, pentax645 and a hasselblad.
The 67 was to big, and the depth of field to narrow for shooting out of the hand when the light was less.
The 645 was a nice camera, but since i planned to stick to analog, i wanted to buy a manual camera without electronics because these fail eventually and nobody can repair it in x years time.
Eventually i came to hassy, and must say the zeiss lenses are superior towards pentax (sorry). everything is manually and easily to repair. nice optional tools and afordable these days...
Thanks, I knew that. I don't care for 645 format, I just felt that the cameras are more geared towards eye-level handheld use.
Originally Posted by EASmithV
I have a 2.8F with prism, a Pentax 67, and a Bronica ETRS with prism.
I don't find the Rollei with the prism difficult to use at all, and I've been using it this way for the better part of a year. Yes, it's a little awkward to hold, but you get used it it. Or at least, I did. I've used it for portraits (the prism is indispensable for that) and for street photography.
The Pentax 67 is definitely handhold-able, but heavier and larger. I love that camera. Handles exactly like a large 35mm SLR.
Of the three, I find the Bronica the most awkward to hold while using it with the prism (without a grip).
Not sure if this helps...
The weight of the 67 actually helps to stabilize it. With my left hand below the camera & lens, right hand on the grip and triggering the shutter, and the camera against my left eye, I can definitely shoot 1/30s handheld using my 105/2.4 lens wide open and get very decent shots.
Originally Posted by rawhead
I also use a Rollei with prism. You can actually orient the camera like binoculars if you want better balance though I have no trouble with the balance holding it normally. The problem with hand holding a Rollei with or without prism is that it slows down your film advancing. You have to grip the camera one way to take a picture and re grip it another way to advance the film.
On a tripod it is much quicker.
I also use a Pentax 67 with prism. The problem I have with that in portraits is that the slap of the mirror causes people to blink right when the shutter opens. I have lost nearly whole rolls to some who blinked on every shot. The solution to that is the mirror lock up but then you have to have the camera on a tripod.
I own and frequently use the Bronica ETRs, Mamiya 645 Pro TL, and the Pentax 645, Pentax 645n and Pentax 67.
The Bronica and the Mamiya have the advantage of being fully modular, allowing you to switch film backs, grips and view finders (AE metered prism, manual prism, WL, etc.).
The strong points of the Mamiya are the wide selection and affordable prices of the lenses. In particular the 80/1.9 stands out as the fastest MF lens available. I also really like the 35mm. Furthermore, the powerdrive is readily available and cheap.
The advantages of the Bronica are the superb optics and the fact that they are leaf shutters, which is a real advantage for handheld work. It's hard to hold without the speed grip, so I would recommend getting one along with the AE-III metered finder for hand held work.
As for the Pentax, it isn't modular at all, doesn't have any particularly fast lenses, and uses a focal plane shutter. Nevertheless, the 645n is probably my favorite 645 camera! Why? It is the most comfortable in the hand, the optics are very good, the viewfinder is significantly brighter than any of the others, it has a focus confirm indicator, and I really like the data imprinting on the film. And the ergonomics are excellent. It is distinctly more modern than the others. And compared to the Pentax 645 (original) it is just better in every regard. Personally I wouldn't spend the extra money for the 645nii because the additional features are unimportant to me and come at a very high price. I only us A-series manual focus lenses with my 645n and they are wonderful. But if you really want the flexibility of a modular camera the Pentax might not be for you.
With regard to 6x7 cameras, you are right that the Pentax is quite heavy and not all that great for handheld work or portrait orientation. But it certainly makes a statement! :) If you want to shoot handheld 6x7 with an SLR I would strongly recommend the Bronica GS-1. It is a joy to use with the speed grip and metered AE prism.
How about a Hassy prism on your Rollei?
Both the Pentax 645 and the Rolleiflex are much preferred to a Rolodex!
I have owned the Pentax 645 and the N and Nll.
You want the N or Nll. The original camera has a goofy electronic shutter speed button selector and a dimmer viewfinder plus it is strictly manual focus.
I owned the Nll because a seller on ebay advertised it as an N so I bought it at the N price. The big deal about the Nll is the mirror lock-up. The mirror on the N is so well dampened that this feature is not necessary. I liked the textured finish on the Nll. Not as pretty as the N but did not show scratches in the long run. The real advantage of the Nll is that it is newer.
The lenses to buy are the 150mm, 75mm and the 35mm. The macro lens is also nice (I forget the focal length). Buy the 75mm and 150m with autofocus. Save your money and buy the macro and 35mm with manual focus.
No, the lenses are not Zeiss sharp but they are plenty sharp for 8x10's and 11x14's. Of course if you want ultimate sharpness in medium format you should be shooting a Mamiya 7.
The Pentax N and Nll are really fun cameras to use. With autofocus and matrix metering they are as easy to use as a digital camera but have that wonderful film look. With their huge viewfinders they are a pleasure to use handheld.
If you are interested in the 645 format then I highly recommend them.