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09-11-2012, 02:02 PM - 1 Like   #1
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help me decide between a 67 and a 645n

My head is going to explode. Let's see 67 advantanges:

Potentially cheaper lenses (lol yeah right)
Larger negative space used
Looks totally badass
Mirror lockup

Disatvantages: not as modern...no af....incredible mirror slap...spotmatic era controls...service life?....can only use one lens series...heavy!

645n pros:

Excellently dampened mirror rendering lockup uncecessary on a tripod
Much more modern automatic controls with multimetering and af
Can use 645 and 67 lenses
Provides a gateway to eventual 645d
Smaller lighter...still looks badass
Film advance
More portable as a system...can probably also use a lighter tripod....
Newer, potentially more reliably built

I've become somewhat addicted to film and am seriously considering moving up. Large format would be cool too, but not realistic as a camera to carry all day. A 67 would be pusing it with a tripod.

Also is black and white as easy to develop at home as 35mm? I mean its just slightly larger...I don't see why I would have any problems. I want a camera that will last me for years. Reliability is important. I've heard 67s tend to break, but have no experience. I know they are all built like tanks. Any comments would be appreciated. I think if you are going to shoot film larger formats are the way to go. I like the look of film, especially black and white. Its time to move on the the next level. Thanks for any comments. This forum has been very friendly and a nice change.

09-11-2012, 02:27 PM   #2
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I got the 67 because I feel that the 645 format just doesn't really have that MF look as much as the 67 has. But hey, they are both excellent machines . which format is easier for you to make good compositions with? Questions like those can help you pull the trigger on one of the two maybe. Good luck and show us your shots
09-11-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
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Argh another thing to consider! Lol

I do like 2/3 ratio, but it would be cool to have a different framing perspective. I also like 4x5 a lot so yeah, this is closer to that...almost square. Here's the real thing which has more accesible lenses that won't cost me a small fortune? I'm ok with mf lenses of course. Also which has better cheaper wide options? Are 67 lenses more plentiful? Cheaper? Things to consider.
09-11-2012, 02:37 PM   #4
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Developing B&W 120 film is, I think, actually easier than 35 mm film. Given that you get 10 6x7 negatives and 15 645 negatives from a roll, I usually feel I get more from a 645 roll, but I will agree that the 6x7 negatives are easier to work with and, of course, have greater resolution. OTOH, I have an original 6x7 and 645, I have to say that the TTL metering on my 645 is typically better than what I get with my hand held meter for the 6x7. Operationally, I've not had any issue with the 6x7 mirror slap deal but I have to say that using a 6x7 is a slow, very deliberate process while the 645 is a much more speedy and simple process. Oh, and both are badass!

I believe 645 lenses are cheaper (to buy) and more plentiful.

Final thought, go with a 645 and if you really like it move over to the 6x7.

09-11-2012, 04:55 PM   #5
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The 6x7 (55 x 70mm) is almost exactly 4x5 aspect ratio. The question you have to answer is how important to you is the larger film size over 645? The 6x7 is similar in speed of use to the 645 but not nearly as slow as a 4x5.
09-11-2012, 08:06 PM   #6
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Pentax 67 6x7 + 105mm f/2.4 + 55mm f/3.5 + 200mm f/4 + 300mm f/4 Set EX+ | eBay

oh man...if i only had a couple ground laying around. can you imagine what this would have all cost new back in the day? some of those lenses look pretty cheap. especially for what you would pay for say a 400mm f4 for 35mm.....

I'm going to have to look at 645s next. I think a 645 is going to be the best place to start. The lesser weight will help too as I carry my gear for long distances at times. Its going to take a bit of time to get the money I think I'm going to need to start out with a small kit. A k-5 is next on my agenda, and I really need to work towards a 60-250....

I'm certainly going to start to keep my eyes peeled for a nice 645n body that doesn't look like its been drug through a warzone. Some of those 67s on ebay are freaking BEAT. Pentax makes some pretty tough cameras.
09-11-2012, 08:43 PM - 1 Like   #7
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The 6x7 format is a full 400% bigger than 35mm and a good chunk bigger than 6x4.5 and is, as it is termed, the "ideal format" as it requires no cropping to fill a page. And anyway, you could crop it any which way you can to imitate another format. The 4x5 format, while similar in its aspect, is superior if you are technically adept (it can be demanding, especially in low light) and know how to wring the very best out of its imaging quality getting into it just because it looks nice, without any prior exposure to it, is silly. It is also believed to be the first format to suffer as film dwindles. We're now seeing that with Fuji's discontinuation of several lines in 4x5, along with what remains of Kodak. 4x5 is also much more expensive if you do not process C41 or E6 yourself. Not a problem for B&W in your own darkroom. All things else considered though, it is the format to provide you with very large, crisp and startlingly beautiful prints (I'm quite happy and thrilled producing 28x36cm (11inch) prints from 6x7. On an economy of scale and availability of wall space for hanging prints, that's as big as I go. Each print is $280 in cost from scan, colourimetrics, inversion, proofing to final print and lastly frame-up. Anything bigger is not in my financial league.

What's so really special about the 645 beside automation? Have you the skill to do additive/subtractive/basal spot / incident metering to be able to step in, say, in low light or challenging mixed light, when the Pentax 67 TTL meter won't do? You'd certainly need those skills using 4x5 (plus a working knowledge of the Zone System for metering). Or rely solely on gimmicky electronics and multi-pattern metering and whiz-bang film advance. Why is that necessary?

With B&W film, you do not need all that electronics: remember your interest in 4x5? Where are the electronics in a Linhof, Wista, Toyo...whatever else? None! Nada! Creative spark is in your hands guided by your grey matter, a meter and a keen sense of observation.

How irksome: where is the proof that the 645 is potentially more reliably built? Over what? What do you think of the Pentax 6x7 / 67 bodies are more than four decades after these oddly-termed "badass" boxes came out? Not exactly clapped out, probably worn, and justifiably so. More electronics does not necessarily equate to better reliability (or for that matter, better photographs!). 67s can be damaged, most likely through the user incorrectly mounting/dismounting prisms and lenses (the coupling chain can break if a procedure is not followed), wind-on lever can be stripped from aggressive winding, locking wingnuts on base where film spools lock into can be broken...

Of lenses, I don't consider the 105mm 2.4 to be a stellar performer. On the other hand, a few pentax SMC lenses are eye openers, even though the best examples still command a fairly steep price. I nominate the 45mm and 55mm f4 and slightly behind them, the 165mm LS. I did my homework very carefully selecting these. All my stuff came off an estate on eBay, mint. No plans to buy others: consider the weight of a 67 kit with three lenses! It is a chore to cart around that kit with a tripod. Especially uphill...

Mirror slap... What slap? Being deaf like me has advantages. Aside from that MLU gets around most mirror/shutter-induced whack. The rest is down to taking care.

If a full-blown 6x7 kit is weighing (heavily) on your mind, there's always this.
So what format will it be?

Last edited by Silent Street; 09-11-2012 at 09:01 PM.
09-12-2012, 06:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by zosxavius Quote
Potentially cheaper lenses (lol yeah right)
Larger negative space used
Looks totally badass
Mirror lockup
Minor mod...
Wicked large negs that 400 speed film look great.
Fricken badass and firing off the shutter makes digi shooters dive for cover!
Mirror lockup... Yes, it is very handy.
Lens cost is still good compared to inflated cost of used 645 lenses.

09-12-2012, 06:52 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by MysteryOnion Quote
Lens cost is still good compared to inflated cost of used 645 lenses.
I already have my full set of 645 lenses for the 645D, but have noticed a significant drop in price of 645 lenses on KEH.com over the past few weeks. About 30% less than I paid for my lenses in March/April...and I did quite a bit of shopping at the time. For example, the FA 45-85 in BGN condition I bought for $820 in March is now $599, plus they've been having 10-15% off sales on some weekends lately. There are also some good deals on this forum as well.
09-12-2012, 07:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ryan Tischer Quote
I already have my full set of 645 lenses for the 645D
Thanks for the update... was trying to score a A75mmF2.8 just to pick up a broken 645 body.
09-12-2012, 07:21 AM   #11
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Tough choice.

Break your decision down to do you need convenience or not. That might answer your question.

Consider this approach on the 6x7. Go all manual on it. That is, do not try to make the 6x7 a 35mm. Put a WLF on it to reduce weight/size, use a small tripod and meter your own scene. You still can cover a lot of photographic scope with this configuration.

If that is too restrictive then the 645 would be a better choice. Most people who want all the convenience and shoot like a 35mm go straight for the 645n.
09-12-2012, 08:36 AM   #12
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No experience with a 67 but I LOVE my 645N. There are at least two in the for sale section right now, plus a ton of lenses, at really good prices.
09-12-2012, 12:22 PM   #13
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The 6x7 is 2.5 cm more badass. No contest really!
09-13-2012, 07:14 AM   #14
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I've really enjoyed the P645N for operation and carrying (Lorenzo bought one of my bodies, and the other is up for sale at the moment). I would not want to carry a P67; I would look at a rangefinder in that format.

Also, consider the computer power necessary if you are digitizing the negatives. I can handle 645 scans reasonably well, but if I photomerge to 67 size my computer really bogs down. (That same problem keeps me from jumping to Nikon D800!)
09-13-2012, 07:54 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by MetaD Quote
Also, consider the computer power necessary if you are digitizing the negatives. I can handle 645 scans reasonably well, but if I photomerge to 67 size my computer really bogs down.
I hear you, my old (Dual core 1.4Ghz with 4Gig's of RAM) laptop doesn't like those large 6x7 scans very much either. But now I finally have a good reason to upgrade my system, those files sure look nice ....
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