Are there any flash units that will work with this camera. I am thinking of getting one for use in candid photography at a high school homecoming. I don't want to use any 35mm or digital for such an application, but I don't want to compromise quality by having to push the film for use in available lighting. Is there anything else I should know about this camera? Is there a better model for such applications that I should consider? Thanks for your help.
Good Morning, Karl,
There should be zillions of flash units that would work just fine. Almost any modern unit will have an auto-exposure mode that enables it to work with any camera it can be connected to. I've had good luck with Vivitars, but there are lots of other possibilities. I've never used a Pentax 6 x 7, but I think that the sync speed is rather low, maybe 1/30. That may cause problems in relatively bright light, but the problem would be with the shutter speed, not the flash.
I bought a P67 solely for taking pics of my grandbabies as they grow. I was inspired by Cheryl Jacobs who posts some beautiful kid photos here. Anyway to answer your question I use an "L" bracket that elevates the Vivitar 283 flash well above the camera and I have a cheap plastic diffuser that goes onto the front of the flash so the light isn't so hard. The P67's have such a mirror slap problem that a flash is really the only way to get this kind of pics. I set the camera at 1/30 but the flash is actually making the exposure time, not the camera, so shake is not a problem hand held. You'll find Vivitar 283's at Ebay in the $45 range. There are billions of them in constant service.
Is the P67 not the ideal camera for the type of work I am entering into? I was thinking about going with a P645 or a Mamiya 645 (forget the exact model name), but I'm not sure if the negatives are big enough. I'd settle for 6x6, but there don't seem to be many affordable 6x6 cameras out there. My salary is 95c above minimum wage, so I don't have the budget of your typical photographer. Has anyone here ever photographed dances before? What type of equipment works best? Thanks for your imput. Glad to know that there are cheap flashes available for this model :-)
I would consider the P645. You can get them very cheap on ebay. And please don't be scared by the 645 negative. It is plenty big for prints up to 16x20.
Actually, you're on the right track. The Pentax 67 has a lot going for it. To do what you're considering you need a through the lens focusing camera. The Pentax is the cheapest system out there that does that. And the lenses are awesome. Stear clear of older TLR 6X6 cameras. For action, you need a flash and you need to look through the taking lens and be able to capture the moments. The only downside of the P67 is it's a muscle buider. A possible exception is the Bronica. Some of the older Bronica's are very nice. And smaller.
I have used and loved the Pentax 67 for years. It is quick and easy to use (except loading film) and has great lenses. The only other issue is flash sync speed. It only syncs at 1/30. Not great in bright light situations.
I think for indoor shooting with flash, the 6x7 will be just fine with any flash -- yes, as one poster said, get a decent flash bracket for it. You could just use the cold shoe that is on the wood handle, but you want to get the flash away from the lens plane. Stroboframe has some nice brackets that allow you to flip the camera from horizontal to vertical without changing the flash position. A PC cord and a Vivitar flash as already said above, and you are in business.
You could save your pennies & get a Mamiya 6 or 7. Leaf shutter, Flash sync @ all shutter speeds and silent operatontoo. If you're shooting dance from a given distance you could prefocus(which you'll have to do with the Pentax anyway) & they're MUCH lighter cameras with excellent lenses.
6 gives 6x6 neg.
7 or 7ll gives 6x7 neg & a 35mm(panorama) adapter is available too.
Think Leica on steroids
6x7 only gives you 10 shots per roll. For candid stuff you're hit rate is going to be lower than for formal stuff so you might find yourself burning a lot of film, or worse missing shots while you change film. A 645 gives 16 shots, and if you get something that can handle 220 then 32 shots per roll will save you a lot of fiddling. Obviously quality isn't as good as it potentialy could be with 67, but it's WAY better than 35mm.
I'm not sure through the lens focusing is essential - with a good flash you can stop down nicely, and pre-focus at a couple of meters. I've had great fun doing candid stuff at parties like this with a TLR (far more candid than an eye-level SLR). It limits your composition a bit, bit you catch the momment.