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Pentax 6x7

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15 68,720 Thu April 6, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $436.60 9.00
Pentax 6x7

Pentax 6x7
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Pentax 6x7
supersize

Description:
The Pentax 6x7 was the original medium format 6x7cm body from Pentax, launched in 1969.

Pentax 6x7, 67 and 67II Compared

6x7
Year introduced
1969
Mount
Pentax 6x7 dual bayonet
Meter range
2.5 - 19 EV (TTL pentaprism viewfinder)
Meter pattern
Average
ISO range
12 - 3200
Film type
120 and 220 roll film
No. of exposures
120 film: 10, 220 film: 21
Data imprint on film
No
Exposure modes
M, B, X, T
Exposure compensation
Not applicable
Exposure memory lock
Not applicable
Shutter speeds (auto)
Not applicable
Shutter speeds (manual)
1 - 1/1000s
Shutter speeds (mechanical)
None
Half step speeds in M and Tv
No
Self timer
No
Mirror lock-up
Yes, except for the first year of production
Auto bracketing
Not applicable
Multiple exposures
No
Winder
No
Built-in flash
No
TTL flash
No
P-TTL flash
No
Sync speed
1/30s
Flash exposure comp
Not applicable
Autofocus
No
Autofocus sensitivity
Not applicable
Viewfinder
Exchangeable. Pentaprism 90% coverage, waist level 100% coverage
Viewfinder type
Pentaprism, TTL pentaprism with light meter, folding waist level, rigid waist level magnifying hood
Diopter correction
No
Exchangeable screen
Yes (at service center)
Depth of field preview
Yes (on lens)
Image size
55 x 70 mm
Battery
6V alkaline or silver oxide battery
External battery pack
Yes, for use in cold temperatures
Size (W x H x D)
184 x 149 x 91 mm (with pentaprism, without lens)
Weight
1290 g, 1750 g with pentaprism finder
Comment
Accepts leaf shutter lens for flash synchronization to 1/500s.
The TTL pentaprism with lightmeter couples to the shutter speed and aperture and provides for manual 'match needle' exposure setting
Price History:



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Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,223

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 6, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Large negative and excellent resolution. - The Mother of all Cameras
Cons: A lot heavy, but it is worth.

This is the mother of all cameras, huge and heavy, but the shots are perfect. You just have to focus and shoot. I got the body only for the price shown above. The camera was in almost mint condition. It came with manuales, box, etc. No lens came with it. I have the 6x7 with the metering prisma and the mirror-up function. Most of the camera features have been described. I just can tell you that it is worth it. The problems developing a 35mm film are minimized at this size. I purchase the lenses separately S-M-C Takumars 105/2.4, 55/4, etc. Here are some photos taken with this camera and developed by me:


Pentax 6x7 + S-M-C Tak.105/2.4 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr



Pentax 6x7 + SMC Tak 105/2.4 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr



Pentax 6x7 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr



Pentax 6x7 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr


9-Neopan100Acros120008 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr



USS Midway Museum by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr


Star of India -- Pentax 6x7 by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr



Tall Ship in San Diego by Palenquero Photography, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Saint-Petersburg
Posts: 14
Review Date: September 13, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: $460.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Buil, Design, User friendly
Cons: Weight, Prism coupling, MLU only on later models

Found moded 6x7 MLU with late 90mm and TTL prism in a good shape on eBay for 460$ in 2015.

Pros:
- camera operates like 35mm format camera
- MLU and multiexposure switch (chrome switch near film type switch 120/220) on some models
- looks like a CAMERA
- large viewfinder (dslr's viewfinder looks like keyhole for me)
- wide range of lenses
- price

Cons:
- film loading
- battery-dependent
- mirror can't be lowered
- weight in some cases

Some of users would say that shutter+mirror are to loud but that's not a problem for me.

I own two bodies: older one nonMLU with numbers 10/21 instead of roll type and moded MLU model that is able to make multiexposure shots.

It's hard to find info about multiexposure mode, I only know that there're 6x7 and 67 cameras moded that way and aslo some of them had prism finder with hotshoe on the top.

My camera can take multiexposure shots. To do that - make first exposure, switch lever on right side of the camera, cock shutter again and fire, switch multiexposure lever back. Film counter won't rotate while you cocking shutter in multiexposure mode.

Also I can flip mirror down if I accidently pushed MLU button without wasting frame.

If someone's looking for diopter correction lens.. you should know that diopter correction lens for Nikon F100/ F90X/ F90/ F801S will fit prism viewfinder. Pentax made correction lenses but they cost twice more.

Here're pics of my MLU camera with multiexposure lever:



   
New Member

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2
Review Date: November 13, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 100% magnification prism finder. Rugged. Great handling.
Cons: Loud compared with a leaf shutter TLR. Can be fiddly to load film

Bought first 6x7 MLU in 2010 and then a second one later that year very cheap, because it had a broken aperture coupling chain. Fortunately, Camera Clinic in Melbourne had one chain in stock! So they fitted it and gave the camera a general service and calibrated the later model metered prism (with timed auto off). I sold the first 6x7 and still have the second one. I also had a 67ii which I also sold after five years (separate review).

I only use the 6x7 hand held and can get high success rate down to 1/30 and even at 1/15. Using the 6x7 with the wooden grip makes it much easier to hold the camera steady. I don't find the mirror movement and dampening to be an issue. Certainly using the camera on a tripod, it is important to use the MLU for slower shutter speeds and using long lenses. Vibration from the actual shutter curtain moving is insignificant.

The 6x7 has a 100% magnification prism viewfinder compared with the 67ii prism (75%) but it is one stop darker than the 67ii focus screen. I don't have a problem using the slower 75mm f/4.5 lens with the 6x7.

The 6x7 is a rugged camera and I have confidently travelled over the world with this camera. The lenses available are all excellent. I have owned most of the lenses including the hard to find 75mm AL f/2.8 and have settled with the late model 75mm f/4.5, earlier model 105mm and a very early model 150mm super-takumar.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 6,152
Review Date: December 7, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, looks & MLU on later models.
Cons: TTL metering system, getting harder to find one in good shape.

Pros:
MLU on the later models.

There are four viewfinders available for the 6x7, the TTL & non metered prisms and the rigid magnifying & folding hoods.

The build of the 6x7 is impressive. I really like the looks of the Pentax 6x7 camera and standard prism with “ASAHI PENTAX” on the front. For me it’s the nicest looking of the three Pentax 6x7 bodies, add a wooden grip and you have one tough looking beast.


Cons:
No MLU on the early models.

The TTL metered prism and the coupling system it uses to connect to the camera body when using an "AUTO" lens.

The flash sync speed is slow at 1/30s, but there are Pentax 6x7 leaf shutter lenses with a sync speed of 1/500s to compensate.

One of the other issues with these older original 6x7 bodies is it’s getting hard to find one in good shape. If you find you need to replace the light seals on the camera or prism, then this web site has a good quality kit:

http://aki-asahi.com/store/html/Pentax67/LightSeal/Pentax67LightSeal.php


Summary:
I know some of the owner history for my MLU 6x7. It was purchased in Saskatchewan Canada with the 90mm LS lens, so I can date the body to a period around 1976 – 1979. I’m the third owner.

This means my 6x7 has some of the mechanical improvements that were added over the years since the original one was released in 1969, but not all of them. The last 6x7 bodies from the late 1980’s are apparently the same mechanically as the Pentax 67. Usage wise the 6x7 MLU and the 67 are the same.

If you’re looking for a 6x7 I would suggest the one with MLU, as it’s newer and most likely will be in better shape. Also a 6x7 without MLU is a big negative when shooting at lower shutter speeds.

I would also recommend skipping the TTL meter and using one of the other finders, along with a hand held light meter. These older TTL metered prisms are flakey and not worth the headache. If you must use a TTL prism then get one of the newer ones with just “PENTAX” on the front or go with the 67II & AE metered prism.

Rating:
I would give my 6x7 MLU an 8.5 rounded up to a 9, as it does not have all the mechanical improvements that the last 6x7 models do. So for the first non MLU models I would give those an 8 and the very last 6x7’s a 9.


Price:
I paid $800.00 CDN for a boxed mint minus Pentax 6x7 body & standard prism and 90/2.8LS lens. There were minimal signs of use and all manuals included.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2013
Posts: 3

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 27, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: $330.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sturdy. Lots of lenses to choose. Comparatively cheap.
Cons: Heavy. Mirror shake-ness.

Brought this in 2013 at ~US$330 equivalent, with a yellowed standard 105mm f/2.4 lens, and a non-metered prism. No MLU. No wooden handle. Slightly infected with mold.

I love this camera a lot; this may be the only choice of 6x7 format that looks like a 135-format SLR. This beast is HUGE; when you hold it in your hand, 135-format cameras and lenses suddenly become dwarfs. I'm writing in more detail in Bad things and Notes for those who may feel interested. But this is a great camera.

Good things
  • It operates like a 135-format SLR. Not like the boxy Hasselblad, not like TLR, not rangefinder. But SLR.
  • Comparatively cheap for 120-format. Hasselblad and Rollei are expensive. Fuji has several 6x9 rangefinders, but they are also expensive. Only Mamiya products are comparable in price. In contrast, most 135-format "professional" SLR are at the similar price range. So if you would like to shoot larger formats, P6x7 is the excellent choice.
  • Plenty of choices for lenses. From fisheye, wide-angle, standard, tele, super-tele, you name it. A bonus is, you can buy an adapter to fit them into any 135-format SLR, DSLR (cropped or not) and any other systems, and then you have plenty of tele-lenses with crazy-large apertures. E.g. 165mm f2.8 is ~f1.4, and 300mm f4 is ~f2 to 135-format. And 105mm f2.4 is ~f0.6 to four thirds system (and who knows what you can do with it...) (A calculator can be found here: http://www.okayan.jp/focal-length-calc.html)
  • Super bright viewfinder.
  • Lenses provide different experience from 135-format. My 105mm f2.4 gives absolutely dreamy photos when I have a close subject (1 - 4m) and a distant background. 135-format 50mm f1.4 (kind of expensive) may gives the same dreamy-ness to you, probably when shooting macro. So you have to experience this 6x7 format to feel the difference!!
  • Interchangeable viewfinder. Not only you have more choices, but you can also DIY a transparent slide with a grid, to make composing more convenient. This cannot be done with most 135-format SLR.
  • ....... plus most other good points others have said.

Bad things

  • Heavy body, heavy lenses. Your faith on your strip and the two tiny metal clips will be put to test.
  • Mirror shake-ness. I don't have the MLU mod (which I don't mind). But unlike smaller SLRs which use springs and sponge to dampen the mirror, the 6x7 mirror is attached to gears, so there is no dampening at all. 1/60s seems to be my bodily limit, while 135-format film-shooting SLR I can go to 1/4s and 1s in rangefinder. BTW, due to gravity (or mental effects), shooting portrait will suffer more than shooting landscape.
  • Complicated shutter operation when film is not loaded. (1) Open the back. (2) Use your thumb to turn the film counter to anywhere after zero. (3) Hold your thumb and close the back. (4) Make sure battery is inserted unless you would like to purposely "jam" the mirror. (5) Cock and fire.
  • Battery-dependent. If you cock and fire your shutter without a battery, the mirror will be "jammed". You will need a battery to reset the mirror, and will have one frame wasted if you have a roll loaded. Not to mention someone may seriously jam a camera if one does not know s/he need a battery and flip the mirror by force. If you are buying one at a shop, make sure to test the shutter with a battery before the deal is done.
  • Mirror cannot be manually flipped. If you want to clean the interior and if you don't have MLU mod, you can't reach the interior. You may want to cock and fire the shutter without a battery to "jam" the mirror, in order to clean the interior. If you have MLU, however, locking up the mirror drain your battery.
  • Slow reloading time. You can practice and reload faster, but I find that I better sit down, and have it reloaded on a table. It feels safer, or if I would either drop my roll or my camera.
  • Slow flash sync (but I never shoot with flash, so no problem to me).

Notes
  • Since the viewfinder is interchangeable, you may find tempting to take it off and put it back on very often. And that's why I dropped my viewfinder on concrete floor, and left a crack in the prism glass (fortunately still usable). Don't follow my stupidity!!
  • When reloading, make sure the empty spool should have the slit pointing vertically up. This ensures the roll to be correctly aligned with the counting mechanism. Otherwise, the last frame may be cropped. (Film used: Kodak B&W T-Max 100)
  • The shutter curtain is extra-fragile due to its large area; beware not to poke it, purposely or accidentally!!!
  • Wind your film gently. The pressure plate gives lots of friction to the film. If you do not wind films gently, you may wear off or break the winding gears.
  • The official lens cap has two metal clips, so you can scratch your lens easily. Besides it produces lots of metal debris. Buy a plastic one immediately.
  • Since this camera is heavy, you need a heavy tripod rather than a light one to avoid tipping off; carbon-fiber ones are therefore not recommended. And if you are shooting with tele-lenses, you may have to use two tripods, or DIY a rig so that one tripod can hold them both steadily.
  • Lenses mostly focus over-infinity. Most of the lenses - including my 105mm f2.4 - have infinity focuses located at about 1mm from the center of "infinity" sign. The purpose of making this is unknown (infrared photography??). But you have to focus with your own eyes to make perfect infinity focus, but not to assume "turning to the end means infinity".
  • MLU is not necessary to me. It depends on personal preferences. If you are a street shooter, you probably don't have to use MLU since operation is clumsy; you may need high ISO films. If you are a studio shooter, you can adjust lighting rather than using flash, and you can fix the camera onto a tripod (or a concrete block ) to dampen the mirror shake. People has been saying that Pentax will not repair non-MLU ones since they don't produce those gears anymore. I would say, if you have shot so many times that your gears are broken, you should probably buy another one rather than repairing it; otherwise, non-Pentax or DIY repair will always help with jamming if you are not replacing any parts.
  • Older lenses use radioactive elements to make glasses. They will become yellow and tint your color-film. But there is no problem when shooting black-and-white.


In conclusion, I love this camera a lot. There are more things that I have to pay attention to than other 135-format SLR, but the experience is more than I have expected. And all those "bad" things are actually things to be avoided, but not serious defects. I'm surprised that I, as a hobbyist, can buy a professional system camera, suitable for both outdoor and indoor photography, at such a low price. You will enjoy this camera like I do if you have one!!
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 13
Review Date: February 15, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Handling, access to 6x7 glass
Cons: Slow to load film; slow flash sync.

This is an excellent camera. It has two faults inherent with the design. First, the film is slower to load than other medium format cameras. Second, you cannot change the back mid-roll. These are simply inherent aspects of Pentax's decision to model this camera after 35mm film bodies. But, the benefits of that decision outweigh the burdens in my view. The glass for the 6x7 system is great.
   
Giveaway winner!

Registered: December, 2007
Location: beantown
Posts: 944

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 2, 2010 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Affordable 6x7 system
Cons: gentle with film transport.

Pros Affordable 6x7 system
Cons soft handed with film transport
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) $350
Years Owned 7

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
If you don't mind heavy or big, this camera could be the camera for you. For me, its has proven to be mostly a predictable image machine in the past few years of use. In the world of medium format the Pentax 6X7 is much like the plush truck of amongst the sports sedan the likes of Fuji, Rollei, Bronica, Mamiya or Hasseblad. The lenses are mostly affordable and deliver sharp and contrasty images... no real surprises. It has no built in meter, no auto advance or auto focus. It is a basic camera with only shutter speeds and the film advance lever.


My Camera Story
I got the camera body very cheap... about 150. It looked great, however, I soon found out that the previous owner was a little too energetic with the film advancing and two test rolls later, I found overlapping frames... a common problem with this model. It needed a $200 repair to the fried film clutch and little gearbox (coil spring brake near the 120/220 switch). Post repair: A great joy to use this camera! Update: No, it was not the tension part at the source side. I checked that as did Eric Hendrickson. It is true you can oil and loosen things around the spring on the source side. Removing too much tension and you will have other issues. If the "anti-reverse" spring is very worn, dropping all tension on the other side can introduce issues with the counting system and the firing of the shutter. Proper back tension helps regulate that.

Camera Review
Don't let that monster SLR camera exterior scare you, it works well. Other systems are out there, but few can compete with the full system of lenses and performance to price ratio. I am not a Pro, but I've had to use my P6X7 for work to shoot people and places for publication and thanks to the great lenses, I've often gotten really nice shots for suited for publishing. I've surprise many with my 6x7 images when it came time to weed through the collection of digital and film shots. People were liking the film shots more than the 14.6MP ...Update: and recent 24MP...digital shots and were surprised when I told them that they chose the film shots. Hey!.. love those lenses on film!

Squinting Eye: Making the shot means using the microprism that is standard on most P6x7s. To focus was comfortable in average indoor lighting scenes and even with the lenses that are f4 and f4.5 minimum aperture. It is rare, but some camera bodies are out there with Beatie and or bright slip-image type focusing aid. Also, if you are a prescription wearer, you'll need to mind the knurled ring found around the eyepiece in the common configurations. Without the glasses, the micoprism is difficult to see. I've taken to using an old pair of glasses and cutting an insert to install in my viewfinder.

Comfort: Differing from the common SLR would be setting the shutter speeds. That dial is on the left side rather than next to the shutter release. However, when you get use to the other side, finding and selecting is smooth and natural. A feature hard not to notice are the four strap lugs up front and allow for the familiar wooden left grip and the mounting points for the strap providing horizontal or vertical use. I even found it convenient to mount the camera upside-down when shouldering it, as it will help to pull taught the strap for extra steadiness in hand-held shots. Just make sure you have a properly functioning locks for the prism before you try this... two click!

Timing:Since the camera's CLA and repair by a pro (Eric Hendrickson), all exposure were right on the money every time. No surprises with the film advance for 120 and 220 film anymore, just nice even spaces every time.

Lens changes? Easy enough to mount a 6x7 lenses, although if you are use to K-mounts, you'll find it a little odd as the lens release button is on the other side.



Here comes the negative points that are on my list

Older design in film transports, a used body may have a lot of miles (rolls of film) put through it...this could mean spacing issues much like what I had. On the early 6x7 with the silver lens release and checkered film spool tabs, the design of the transport (cranking system) was the best that they could put inside the monster due to cost. The next generation would be the 6x7 black lens release and flip out film spool tabs and I do think the transport was mostly unchanged... as caution was provided by Eric Hendrickson when my newly acquired body had to go to him for burnt clutch and gear. After he repaired it, he did say to "go easy on it... and it will last quite a while" It is rumored that the later MLU models and the badged "67" bodies had beefed up transports, but I've not found evidence of this. So I would say, steady cranking... allow a steady travel and so, don't haul on it in with a speed half a second cranking as if you are doing a high speed fashion shoot like in the movies... "work it baby-(swish,click,swish,click)-work it! Or (swish,click,swish,click)-Pout-baby-pout-(swish,click,swish,click)!"

Flop-pa-ty Flip: The camera has a big mirror and this fact is known by everyone when you released the shutter. That mighty "Ka-Chunk!" or "Ta-Flap!" in other hemispheres... is the sound that turns heads and gets digital shooters diving for cover. If you are not prepared for the effects of this big mirror on the move, then fuzzy is going to be an extra feature to your images. However, many sources out there will say: "...at speeds 1/60th and slower should not be attempted without a tripod..." Yet oddly... I've made shots at low speeds without the MLU or pod. They looked very sharp and I simply just braced myself to achieve this or take advantage of solid objects near by. At 1/15 and 1/30 wide open to 2.4 on the 105mm with the MLU, I don't see the vertical shake motion of the mirror at all on some of my shots. Could this mean I steadied the camera enough on some shots? Well, it is not impossible and if you are running the body with a waist-level, I'm sure more steadiness is possible.

That brings me to the Mirror-Lock-Up/MLU. I love it and sometimes hate it. I've gotten the hang of using it in low light conditions (speeds 1/60 to 1/8) and so with a flick of the finger for the MLU switch and followed by the twitch for the release, I've been getting 7 out of 8 low-speed shots that are sharp or at least very-very usable. However, sometimes that flick was an accidental one and leaves me with a choice of finding at least something to shoot at blind or plain waste the frame just to get that mirror back down. There is not a mirror cancel or reset feature, just a one way sequence from mirror up to shutter and release. If you are willing to tape it down, try using blue painter's tape and tape only the edge of the switch as to give easy override if you needed to use it in a pinch.

Now the next obvious thing is the weight, but I'm talking more about holding that weight comfortably. The ergonomics of hold such a heavy camera the likes of the P6x7 or P67 body... it just really needs a right hand grip like the P67ii. Those years in production...its amazing to me that Pentax never marketed one? It looks to me that they were aware of the issue since they did bother to mold such a thing to the P67ii body. I've built a right-hand grip which gave me tons of stability to the use of the camera without a tripod. The left grip is nice and sometimes is helpful too, but more an aid when you have the weight of a flash than an every day help...yes, that's my opinion and I've read about other who would never take the left grip off, but it feels to me that I've put a heavy camera at the end of the stick four inches further away from my hand.



Thoughts about focusing aids is a minor thing for me really. In very poor or low light conditions the microprism is almost useless and short of a beam from a flashlight, the only upgrade solution out there is the sometimes rare Beattie Interscreen, or the rare split-image focusing aid version screen list in some Pentax catalogs, but rarely ever found. You could home brewed laser pointer on a goose neck and shine it at a point of aim and try to focus on it. I've tried that in a test and it does work, but the real world human subject may not like that. So viewing at f4.5 and narrower will be a challenge.

Another thing to watch out for is the not-so-user-friendly method of a lens change when a metered-prism is mounted. I don't own one yet, but I am aware and heed the warnings! If you are not careful and forget to remove or lift the metered-prism unit off before changing the lens, it could mean that the coupling mechanism (chain) in the camera can snap. So look up the proper procedures and memorize it!

UPDATE: Acquire, finally, a TTL meter prism. So... if you mount the prism while the lens is on, it will not couple right away. The TTL prism has a sloped tab that mates to the notch of the index chain. So unlocking the lens and spinning it to the alignment dot and back on allows the notch to slip past the tab and successfully connect. If you have poor conditioned foam seals on the prism, this might not work as well or may even damage the chain? I've had success in turning the lens to the point where it is near the red alignment dot and not have to completely remove the lens. This is a good thing as it means in some situations where I've needed to change to the TTL from a regular prism or waist-level, my last action is to simply turn and return the lens without having to fully unmount it.

UPDATE: Lens changes, think twice if your hands are full of lenses. The two lens and one hand swap is not a safe technique to practice with this camera. I forgot what it would mean to do a quick change with only one hand free and almost lost a 45mm to the hard sidewalk. Gear up with a provision for lens swaps. I either have a cargo pocket to help trade off or have my bag or pouch is at the ready for a quick trade.


So in conclusion (finally)

My P6x7 has delivered every time, for me it is a 95% love and 5% hate. It is a grand'ol-ugly-hulk with many advantages that adds up to handsome. Your mileage may vary... but if medium format is calling to you? The P6X7, P67 is a good place to go... or if your wallet is bigger, take a look at what the folks are saying over at the P67ii reviews.

As Requested-- What I would look for if I was buying?

The camera has two parts that need to work. Electronic and Mechanical.
Starting with the mechanical... Mirror is spring driven, Shutter curtains are spring driven, transport is geared and relies on you.
Common workflow of the camera:
Loading- Door is not binding, spools install easily, stretching the leader to the take-up should have slight resistance, never touch or spin the big metal roller next to the take-up, the transport or advance should not feel rough, closing door should not click or rub, cranking the film to the "1" mark should be firm and smooth with no dropped gears, shutter release should have some stiff resistance and you are ready to shoot.

Pit-falls: Rough or harsh advance lever. This is a commonly abused area of the camera and depending on the mileage or number of rolls of film as well as the intensity of the photographer, it is hard to test the true problems involved. The usual way to test it is with an actual roll of film. Testing this will let you know if the spacing is working as it should. Some users may also force the crank at the end of the roll. This is not a good thing because of the way the gears are set up to multiply the main gear to allow 74mm of travel to bring the film to its new position in only a single stroke as well as 79mm of curtains. I think its about 38mm of gear travel to achieve all of this. Feel sorry for the little gear that has to do all that and has aged averaging around 30 years delivering that service. It is easy enough to snap off a gear tooth.
There is the rub - #O-C1-01 by Warren Yee, on Flickr
   
Moderator
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Posts: 17,285
Review Date: May 8, 2010 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Big and reliable
Cons: Big

Pros Big and reliable
Cons Big
Rating 9
Price $200
Years Owned 10
I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Mirror lockup, versatile viewfinder arrangements

Camera Review
I have 4 lenses to go with this big SLR. All of the glass for this system is good. If this negative isn't big enough, move on the LF. I have a waist level finder and a ttl prism which give it versatility. The advantage of this body is its big. The disadvantage to this body is that its big. Don't be afraid to use too much tripod or monopod with it. If I didn't like my 135 platform so much, this rig would replace them!!
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,070
Review Date: September 18, 2009 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: $610.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Asahi Pentax 6x7 MLU

Pros - it is as solid and well built as the Leicaflex cameras
- several finder options
- stronger mounting for long lenses (outer bayonet)
- accurate averaging TTL meter when using gray card
- system has full array of lens focal lengths ( 30 different optical designs)
- many focusing screen options
- can handle bumps and small drops and survive
- reliable for at least 15,000 frames
- no film flatness issues
- outstanding field camera
- can be used for portraits or weddings in a pinch, especially with the 165mm LS lens
- long history of Pro users- a proven camera
- affordable lens line up when compared with other 67 cameras
- the top 10 lenses of the system can easily compete in sharpness with any 67 camera
- 2 tier lens quality-- (Takumar/Pentax plus the higher quality/price M*)
- extensive macro and close up equipment available
- having the shutter in the camera body instead of the lenses, keeps the cost of the lenses low.

Cons- I would have preferred to have the MLU be mechanical like the KX, so that one
could take the mirror down without wasting a shot.
- no half speeds----when you need to have a certain f-stop but the speeds can't get you
into the right exposure, a sacrifice of that f-stop is required. So having half
speeds would solve this.
- outer bay lens mount connectivity to the TTL has been an issue (no meter reading is seen with some bodies.)
- delicate film advance mechanism
- shutter vib at certain speeds affects longer lens sharpness.

I have been using this camera for 21 years now with 10 being professional. The Asahi Pentax 6x7 MLU has all the attributes necessary for the pro shooter to succeed. The only limitation is the shooter himself.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 508

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 26, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Amazing photographic experience
Cons:

Note on the problem concerning the safe mounting of a TTL Pentaprism Finder for the Pentax 6x7 (since the coupling chain can be broken, if you don´t remove the lens before mounting the TTL Pentaprism Finder!)

In the Operating Manual, TTL Pentaprism Finder For Asahi Pentax 6x7 the instructions for (safely!) mounting the finder and lens are as follows:

Mounting
1. After removing the standard pentaprism or other viewing unit, remove the lens from the camera body. This is necessary to properly position the diafragm coupling slide on the viewfinder frame for solid connection with the diafragm coupling pin on the Pentaprism Finder.
2. Attach the shutter speed dial adaptor (supplied with Pentaprism Finder) onto the shutter dial on the camera body.
3. Mount the Pentaprism Finder securely on the camera body, making sure that the lock pins »click«.
4. Turn the shutter dial on the Finder until the coupling pin drops into the slot of the shutter dial on the camera body.
When the pin drops, you will hear a distict »click«.
5. Turn the shutter dial adaptor. Make sure that both shutter dials turn simultaneously.
6. Re-mount the lens on the camera body.

Function
..
*The Pentaprism Finder can safely be removed from the camera body with the lens on.
(..use alternative viewing unit and then return to Mounting, step 1. etc. to mount the TTL Pentaprism Finder again.)
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2008
Location: Zetten - The Netherlands
Posts: 8,953

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 31, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: relatively cheap, different viewfinders, easy to use when used to a (d)SLR
Cons: heavy, noisy, but that's only relative

Pros relatively cheap, different viewfinders, easy to use when used to a (d)SLR
Cons heavy, noisy, but that's only relative
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) 200
Years Owned 1

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
MLU version, performance is great. It's big, everyone knows. My copy has a broken coupling chain, so no TTL metering, but that's not a big deal, because I just love the waist level finder...

Camera Review
When I wanted a MF camera for street work, I fell in love with the photos on the net of this particular camera. I bought one with 4 lenses (35/4 fish-eye, 55/4, 165/2.8, 200/4), a prism and waist level finder and a wooden grip. Most of the time I use the 55mm, and it's great for street work, especially with the waist level finder. People just don't see you're pointing a camera towards them! That's a weird experience, with such a bulky camera! I use the camera mostly hand-held, which is very much possible, whatever they say otherwise....

All in all I love this camera. It's versatile, easy to use, but a bit heavy to carry around all day....
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,420
Review Date: October 5, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: $116.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Construction, Lens Selection, Image Quality
Cons: Weight, Mirror Shake

This is a great camera with a lot of bulk. You know it's around your neck all the time. In fact, using it makes any 35mm SLR feel light by comparison.

The best aspects of this camera are the feel -- it's sturdy; the interface -- it's enjoyable to use and returns high-quality results; and the lens selection -- there's no gap in the lens lineup. The cons, though, make this camera unusable for some, the weight -- it gets heavy fast and stays heavy; the shutter and mirror vibration -- they're big, so it's a lot; the 6X7 format -- some odd people simply do't like this format.

My only complaints are the shutter shake and that, at least on mine, the mirror can't be lowered once it's locked up without taking a picture. That's, effectively, a wasted frame.

That said, of my 40 or so film cameras, this returns the highest percentage of quality shots per roll. Often, in fact, returning results that are good that would be inadequate on 35mm cameras. Much of this can be chalked up to the large negative size, but I submit that the lens quality is also more well engineered as this was a professional's camera, not a hobbyists.

If you have the neck strength to carry it, this camera is likely to make you a very happy photographer.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,425
Review Date: July 27, 2010 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: rugged, great lenses
Cons: heavy

Pros rugged, great lenses
Cons heavy
Rating 9
Price don't remember
Years Owned 25 years

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
The 6X7 is a better field camera than the Mamiyas and Bronicas, and less expensive than Hassleblad and Rollei. Solid optics and a dependable body make it attractive.

Camera Review
I've used the 6X7 mostly for landscapes. Great results are possible, and it sets up much more quickly than a view camera. I use the waist-level hood and a fiber optic equipped meter to take reading of the ground glass. This technique helps deal with the limited dynamic range of the chrome films I shoot.

My lenses are the 45, 55, 90, 165, and 2x. I use a Nikor 105mm enlarging lens on the helicoid extension tube for macro work, which is dandy as long as the subject is static.

For many years a used a lightweight Gitzo Reporter and hung my pack from it for stability. That works quite well under most circumstances.

I must admit that I shoot digital more often now. Processing is so much easier, as well as less expensive.
   
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 250
Review Date: March 2, 2010 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:

There are in fact three different versions of the 6x7.
The original version, released in 1969, had a slightly different loading system with little round checkered plates for the spool release instead of the lift up latch style found on all later models. You pushed in the plate and turned it, rather than lifting up the latch and turning it. The earliest manual (the red Asahi Pentax one) shows this arrangement.

This was upgraded with the new latch style of spool release, but still without mirror lock-up. The earliest Honeywell 6x7 manual I have (the dark blue one) shows this style of camera.

Finally there is the MLU version.

Somewhere along the way the 10/21 switch on the side became 120/220 and the number of frames on 220 dropped to 20 but that may have happened before or after MLU was adopted.

Note that there isn't a separate "Honeywell Version" per se, while Honeywell held distribution rights in the USA the finders were labelled "Honeywell Pentax" but once that agreement ceased they were labelled "Asahi Pentax" the same as everywhere else in the world. Since the logo is only on the finder and the finders are interchangeable there is no guarantee that a camera with a Honeywell finder was sold that way.

There is possibly an even earlier version, since the original advertising booklet (the yellow one) shows a chrome and black 6x7, much like a big Spotmatic although the prism is black. If it does exist (other than as a prototype) it will most likely have been sold in Japan only.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,070
Review Date: September 14, 2009 I can recommend the Pentax 6x7: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:

There should be a distinction made in this camera review section about the early non lock up Honeywell. It was made for the US market and was cosmetically different from the MLU Asahi that followed. The Honeywell had some design differences as well. The most noticable were the film spool pins; being longer than the MLU version. This made film loading very difficult because the spools just would not go into place easily. Many Honeywell owners have filed the pins to shorten them for a better fit. The non-USA version of this camera was called Asahi Pentax, so that is why there are some Asahi bodies with no MLU. The non-USA Asahi had bolder lettering on the finder when compared with the later Asahi MLU version. Besides the pin difference on the Honeywell, it also had a different film guide on the film door than the newer models. It would also shoot 21 frames when using 220. It is rare however that one could get 21 shots out of a 220 roll because part of the frame would be cut off. This is why Pentax changed their newer models to just 20 shots. The film guide roller near the take up spool was flat black instead of chrome. Only one film start mark is seen inside the body. Battery door and lens release slider are two tone; black and silver.
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