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10-21-2012, 01:31 PM   #1
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Looking at 6x7

I am thinking about possibly getting a Pentax 6x7 for landscape work. What should I be looking for in a body and things to avoid.

TIA

10-21-2012, 02:08 PM   #2
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These cameras can have film advance issues when they are used by people who try to advance too quickly. After maybe 12,000 frames, the mirror sometimes have problems getting stuck in the up position. Get a body that is as close to mint as possible. Be aware that the prism finders are heavy and don't show 100% of the scene. Older, well used TTL prisms can be inaccurate. You might want to consider the 67II as well. The lens lineup is another matter. If you want info on those, please inform.
10-21-2012, 02:33 PM   #3
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Great cameras but dont forget about the great Fuji cameras for the same format.
10-21-2012, 02:45 PM   #4
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I would add that if you are looking to pick up an older "6x7" or even a "67" with MLU, you send it in for CLA prior to serious use. The common story of "...was working prior to storage for XX years..." still means the lube is old and possibly turned to gunk. An intermittently operational camera is not fun.

10-21-2012, 04:46 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
These cameras can have film advance issues when they are used by people who try to advance too quickly. After maybe 12,000 frames, the mirror sometimes have problems getting stuck in the up position. Get a body that is as close to mint as possible. Be aware that the prism finders are heavy and don't show 100% of the scene. Older, well used TTL prisms can be inaccurate. You might want to consider the 67II as well. The lens lineup is another matter. If you want info on those, please inform.
Wow , that's exactly what i was looking for, thanks. Sounds like it's something i shouldn't buy on eBay , rather i should handle it in person.
10-21-2012, 04:56 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Corto-PA Quote
Great cameras but dont forget about the great Fuji cameras for the same format.
Yes, fuji is on my radar as well
10-21-2012, 11:02 PM   #7
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This caught me eye just today--possibly a good deal?
Pentax 67 outfit - Saskatoon Cameras For Sale - Kijiji Saskatoon Canada.
10-22-2012, 01:52 AM   #8
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Be very, very careful looking at each camera's history, and they have been around a long time now and many have seen hard use. I concur with the statement that you should take time to seek out one that is in as close to mint condition as possible. It's not an impossible task: I bought mine mint from an estate which quoted that the owner used it to photograph each of his daughter's newborns and nothing else! Lenses should also be given careful consideration; the later SMC Pentax are better optical performers than the early Takumars, but it is not a universal rule — some beautiful old Takumars do exist, just finding them is the hard part!

The 67/6x7 is a beautiful machine for landscape work, but a lot depends on you mastering the TTL meter (where fitted) and, at the metering cut off (1 second), your skill with a spot/incident meter. Not to say of course it's not a good camera to learn by: it's one of the best, especially since you are free of automation and the camera doing all of the work for you: you even have to wind this one, go through a fumblefest loading and unloading 120-rollfilm and getting the roll locks seated correctly! If you wear glasses, dioptric correction lenses can still be bought for the 67II which are a direct fit for the 67/6x7 bodies (as I have found by fitting one to my 67).

The Saskatoon advert might be suspect; that price is very, very low; a very good specimen with lenses would be around $800 to $1,000; what is he/she offering, and in what condition? Condition is important; you could just as easily end up with a non-functioning camera at a critical moment. I would strongly advise you to get a hands-on evaluation of any prospective camera you are interested in.

10-22-2012, 12:06 PM   #9
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Fascinating. It seems the 6x7 and variants are much like a European sports car from the 1960s... beautiful to look at, but a long list of possible mechanical headaches once you're out on the road. Contrast that with the 645, which seems to have a reputation as bulletproof in it's old age. What IS it about the 6x7 series that make people risk more problems and pay more money than they would for a 645 kit? Is the larger image area that compelling? Or does the format have some magic like the "pixie dust" FA limiteds? I'd like to be convinced that risking problems with a 6x7 purchase is really worth it ... over the more pedestrian 645.
10-22-2012, 01:30 PM   #10
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If size matters, and a bit of noise as the shutter goes off, the 6x7 / 67 will fit the bill nicely!

If you shop around carefully there is a very good chance you will come away with a well looked after specimen. Those to avoid include dents, scrapes, obvious cracks, scratchy winding mechanisms, damage of any sort in the film chamber, stained shutter curtain, stained film pressure rails, poor or non-existent light sealing around the rear cover. One of my friends bought a very good, if slightly battered 6 x 7 dating from 1972 I think and it is serving him well, but with so many different cameras it can take a while for him to come back to his "favourite" (and not even I know which one that is...).
10-22-2012, 01:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
...6x7 and variants are much like a European sports car from the 1960s... beautiful to look at, but a long list of possible mechanical headaches once you're out on the road. Contrast that with the 645, which seems to have a reputation as bulletproof...6x7 series that make people risk more problems and pay more money...
I would say that first is the flaw of the design... a set of friction springs that regulate (clutches) the winding... it was most likely the best and cost effective design for its time... and maybe still.

Secondly, prolific use and the abuse that comes with it. I actually remember a news piece on a photographer who was using the Pentax 6X7 for his studio work and I remember his cranking hard and fast on the camera and then hand it off to the assistant for a fresh body and again... "ca-chunka, ca-chunka" on that lever.

In comparison... I've heard, but don't know if true first hand, that the Hassey's get as much beating and therefore down time as well. Bronicas are known to have breakdowns often?... early ones for sure. Mamiya RBs that a friend used when he was still doing weddings had crapped out during jobs three different times... he was heavy handed... I repaired a broken crank for him recently on an old TLR.

The Pentax 645 is a motorized winding system and so is engineered to work consistently, but the regulation of individuals cranking energy is far too unpredictable. If you find a well cared for or recently serviced... as Eric Hendrickson told me about the 6x7 winding system... "take it easy on it and it will last for a long time"...as desertscape said, will last 12,000... or so.

I'm am doing great with my first 6x7 body... the one Eric CLA and replaced the clutch and so it feels like a marvelous machine!

Last edited by MysteryOnion; 10-23-2012 at 06:37 AM.
10-23-2012, 09:41 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
Fascinating. It seems the 6x7 and variants are much like a European sports car from the 1960s... beautiful to look at, but a long list of possible mechanical headaches once you're out on the road. Contrast that with the 645, which seems to have a reputation as bulletproof in it's old age. What IS it about the 6x7 series that make people risk more problems and pay more money than they would for a 645 kit? Is the larger image area that compelling? Or does the format have some magic like the "pixie dust" FA limiteds? I'd like to be convinced that risking problems with a 6x7 purchase is really worth it ... over the more pedestrian 645.
I'm not sure about the reliability factor you're talking about with the P6x7. It is a basic camera. Even more simple when you outfit it with a WLF instead of a metered TTL prism (my configuration). Over 20 years now and mine is still going strong and it has been through a lot. The larger negative is indeed a factor.
10-23-2012, 10:09 AM   #13
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It's also fairly easy to get a mint 67 or 67ii body more so than the older 6x7. You can even still find the odd 67 or 67ii body & lenses new old stock.

Phil.
10-23-2012, 02:58 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I'm not sure about the reliability factor you're talking about with the P6x7. It is a basic camera. Even more simple when you outfit it with a WLF instead of a metered TTL prism (my configuration). Over 20 years now and mine is still going strong and it has been through a lot. The larger negative is indeed a factor.
Thanks for your response, tuco. If you look at the first very useful posts on this thread, there seems to be a significant list of things that you need to look out for with a 6x7 or 67 series camera .... film advance, mirrors sticking, inaccurate TTL prisms, and the common guidance of seeing out the absolutely most pristine copy you can get to avoid intermittent (age-related) sticking and jamming. Guidance for buying a 645 seems limited to making sure the battery contacts are clean, and that's about it ... they just work, in spite of their mechanical complexity. That kind of tell-tale reliability (at least for me) gives the system an edge over the 6x7. Your experience with your gear (yeah, I like your configuration too) is encouraging. I'd love to try a 6x7 just to see what the larger negative can buy me.

Question, and sorry if this is posted elsewhere ... can p645 lenses be used on a p6x7 camera with some sort of adapter? I know the other way is possible.
10-23-2012, 03:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
... can p645 lenses be used on a p6x7 camera with some sort of adapter?
No... the coverage of the 645 lens is smaller than the 6X7 area... 67/6X7 lenses can be used on 645/645N/645NII bodies via an adapter.
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