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02-08-2008, 04:46 PM   #1
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Pentax 67 Users?

Sorry if this has been covered already, but the recent post about medium format cameras had me wondering if there were many Pentax 67 users on this forum. Iím here because I have a relatively new K10Dómy first serious digital cameraóand wanted to know more about it. While I love using (and handholding) the K10D, my favorite camera is still the Pentax 67.

The Pentax 67 is a quirky, clunky camera that is almost totally lacking in bells and whistles but has an almost cult-like (albeit small) following. Iím not that familiar with the newer 67II, but consider the following limitations of the 67:

--no interchangeable back

--film loading can be a little clumsy until you get the hang of it

--no self timer

--mirror lockup is almost a necessity

--slow flash sync (1/30 sec) except with the more expensive leaf-shutter lens

--heavy, although not as heavy as the Mamiya RB or RZ

--only 10 shots on a 120 roll

--a relatively heavy tripod is needed, especially at shutter speeds around 1/8, to dampen shutter slap.

Could someone whose only exposure to photography was a digital camera ever love a camera like this?

02-08-2008, 05:14 PM   #2
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I have one that I have not used for quite a while, but then I do use my 645 a bit now and then. My 67, not 6x7 has been modified by Pentax so it will double expose since at one time it was my main Wedding Camera.

And yes I did get the leaf shutter lens for faster flash sync.

02-09-2008, 11:09 PM   #3
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I proudly own a 67 now, and despite my love for digital, my passion is for film. After taking my first few shots with a roll of T-Max 400, I had forgotten how good the grain was, the depth, and to my surprise, the awesomeness of a large negative for resolution. Just today, I built an in home darkroom so that I can develop the film myself like I used to, and then just scan in the negatives. If you're thinking of getting one, do so, and don't look back! And depending on the absence of the wooden handle, I can do handheld shots at 1/60th with ease, and not worry about mirror lock up.

Here's some recent examples:

02-10-2008, 04:03 AM   #4
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Those photos look awsome!


02-10-2008, 04:29 AM   #5
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Congratulations on actually making a TMAX shot look good.

I'd be a 67 user...if I had one, dagnabbit.
02-10-2008, 06:17 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmax Quote

Could someone whose only exposure to photography was a digital camera ever love a camera like this?
Show them some 6x7 chromes and yes they will love a camera like this. I was not sure i made the right choice in 2001, when i bought my 6x7, until i got back the test roll of slides.

I was hooked.

I now use it mainly to shoot winter B&W scenes. Its hard now in my area to get any work done, but there are a few holding on.

As far as hand holding at low shutter speeds, i have shot at 1/30 at times and still get good results. It can be done.

02-10-2008, 01:57 PM   #7
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Great images, FireMate. The tone values are stunning. Iím impressed! I presume the slight vignetting was intentional since it works so well with the photo noir style. What lens did you use?

Many believe that the 67 (6 x 7, 67II) isnít suitable for handheld use. Obviously at least some of you that have responded would disagree. I was once surprised to see a very petite oriental girl use one for street photography. (With a wooden handle attached it probably would make a good weapon.)

Ninety-nine percent of my exposures are made using a tripod. With a slow B&W film I wind up with many exposures in the 1/2 to 1/15 range, especially when using filters, and I think I experience is some shutter vibration at these speeds unless I use a fairly heavy tripod. Of course, under these conditions mirror lock up is essential.

I certainly have nothing against digital and, in fact, feel liberated when I can stick on a zoom and handhold my K10D. However, I seem to produce my best work when I go into a ďcontemplative modeĒ with the 67 or, occasionally, a 4 x 5. Since I like to bracket and explore different compositions, the 4x5 is pretty much reserved for those situations when I know exactly what I want. Also, Iím getting old and lazy.
02-12-2008, 10:15 AM   #8
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P67 Users...

Hi Joe,

This is basically my first post here, and I'm responding to your question of whether a digital shooter can appreciate a Pentax 67. I sincerely feel that the answer is a resounding YES!

I shot with a Nikon 35mm system for years, but didn't feel like I was getting the quality enlargements that I wanted. Yes, I could enlarge to 8"x12", but beyond that, the image quality declined, even using my best technique - tripod, MLU, cable release, etc.

So, I started doing my research into an MF camera that I felt would meet MY needs, which was mostly nature & landscape at the time (this was about seven years ago). In doing my research, I came across the P67 system and realized that I had seen one hanging around the neck of a photographer while I was in the Grand Canyon - a clear memory, because I'd never seen a camera that big! After completing my research, I decided to go with the P67 and bought a 6x7 body and 200 mm Takumar lens on ebay. After my first roll of film, I was hooked! A few months later, I sold the 6x7 and bought the 67 model, and several lenses. After a couple of wonderful years of the 67, I bought a 67II (and now, a second one, both of which have the timer & MLU), and even more lenses. I have a whole slew of lenses between 45mm and 400mm, and love most all of them - I feel that the SMC 105 is about the sharpest lens that I own.

You raise a lot of very valid points about the shortcomings or difficulties of the P67 system. By the same token, you didn't raise the limitations of your digital system. I also shoot digital, and each camera fills certain needs, sometimes overlapping needs. But, the 67II system requires me to slow down and be more deliberate. The other issues that you raise aren't really issues for me, as I've invested into the system - a heavier tripod, a 165mm leaf-shutter lens, flashes, etc. Yes, this is a heavy package to carry, but I feel that the quality of the images make it worth it.

I now shoot several weddings each year. I'll use the digital equipment for the "quick" photos - ceremony, reception, arrivals, informal images - while I use the 67II for formal poses. When you can clearly see a bride's smallpox scar on her arm, or the tiny little zipper on the back of her dress, then you know that you're onto something. Yes, most of the wedding prints that I sell are 8"x10", but there's a very distinct difference in the quality between the digital and the MF camera. The MF images are just so much smoother and sharper.

I've seen many discussions about pros & cons of digital vs. MF. And, I feel that the discussions should be about digital *AND* MF. Each serves its purpose. But, when I take a digital image and get a 17 mb .tif file, and then scan my MF images and get a 60 mb .tif file, you can understand that I really am getting about four times more information that can be used to make wonderful images.

Regarding the issue of hand holding, yes, the size of the 67II does make this an issue and imposes some limitations. But, when I've been pushed, I've made some great handheld images. I have one hanging on my wall that's 4'x5' (yes, feet), that was shot handheld with a P67 and a 200mm lens, at f/8, 1/125", on Portra 160 - and it looks wonderful at the proper viewing distance, and even closer. When I'm at weddings, I shoot quite a few of the formal poses with my 105 mm lens, sometimes handheld, sometimes on a tripod.

So, yes, it can be done, to include the P67 in your repertoire, but it does take some time and getting used to. But, when you see those first transparencies, you'll be hooked!

Good luck,


02-14-2008, 04:06 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by IlluminataPhoto Quote
You raise a lot of very valid points about the shortcomings or difficulties of the P67 system. By the same token, you didn't raise the limitations of your digital system.
Donít get me wrong. I love my Pentax 67. It just seems like some of the digital photographers on this forum seem to obsess about the number of features a camera has including those that most people would seldom use.
02-14-2008, 09:49 AM   #10

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Love the 67II

Viewing 6x7 transparencies on a light box is one of the true joys of photography. The wall sized chrome prints are certainly another! In the '90's I almost exclusively carried Pentax 35mm equipment. I skipped the ist* era and waited for Pentax to come out with something like the K10D--that gave me a few years to "live" with my 67II as my primary travel kit. WOW that was fun. Then I snapped when the K100D came out and added the K10D thereafter. Mostly carrying digital now, but I still love the 67II. If the subject matter is likely for magazine or family use, I generally shoot digital. For wall art or anything to be printed larger than a magazine page, give me that big chrome transparency from the 6x7. I'd equate the "photo experience" of shooting the 67II to that of many people on this forum who love their K10D with FA Limited lenses. Using those serious primes for serious work is much like the serious nature of the 6x7 experience. By the way, I don't mean "serious" as in not fun. I mean "serious" as it relates to being an aficianado--to truly appreciate the experience of photographing as an art in itself. Perhaps even a special bridge between the technical and equipment side of photography and the artistic and more emotive side of photography. Sounds corny, but anybody who owns and loves their FA Limiteds can probably relate to this feeling.
02-24-2008, 10:37 PM   #11
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BTW I posted a WTB add as I am looking for a 67 systme (6x7 MLU could do also..)
I sold my Hasselblad a few months ago as I wanted to change. I've made decision that it would be a Pentax 67.
So if anyone should part with one, keep me posted, please!
03-02-2008, 05:44 PM   #12

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I rented one for a weekend, many years ago. I t had the rosewood handle and the 90 mm, f2.8 leaf shutter lens.

This camera took the clearest photos I have ever taken and I've used Leica, Mamiya, Hasselblad. It's a fantastic, professional camera.
04-24-2008, 06:59 PM   #13
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And then theres the question why not get both They make a perfect MF duo...
I decided to go the route of the 67ii, which I love btw, As far as landscapes go, nothing compares, however after looking into the 100mm macro, I'm thinking of saving and getting a 645n and 120mm macro instead due to availability and cost. Then I can make the 645 my around town shooter, of course this means my LX will probably accumulate even more dust than it does now :/

If you wanna play with 4x5 you could always pick up a Graflex Speed Graphic pretty cheap...

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