Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-07-2013, 03:56 AM   #1
Veteran Member
JFN's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Golfe du Lion
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 363
Which one to get?

Hello there,

I'm starting a project during the next months with indoor natural light only model shooting (lingerie/nude arts), and I've been thinking about getting a film MF, preferably Pentax as I am a Pentax 35mm film shooter already (for digital I use other gear...).

Any thoughts about which one to choose; 645/N/NII, 6x7/67/67II?

Do I need built in metering, or in a controlled situation with camera on tripod, as this will be, will a supplementary light meter alone do the job? If so, any meter recommendations?

I could of course do this with 35mm, and I probably will for a start, but the idea of nice big MF negs is very appealing in this case.


Please spare me the "buy a 645d" comments, it's not interesting, I want to use film for this project.


Thanks!


Cheers
JF Felinik


Last edited by JFN; 02-07-2013 at 05:12 AM.
02-07-2013, 05:33 AM   #2
Pentaxian
Digitalis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Adelaide.
Posts: 8,535
If I were you I would go for the 67 and if you can get a Pentax 67II 105mm f/2.4 would make for a good start, pentax make a 55mm f/4 wideangle for the 67 that is impressively sharp. Many 67 lenses are being sold for pretty fair prices these days, the 67 165mm f/2.8 is an excellent lens for portraiture. Going from 35mm to 645 really isn't that much of a jump when you are using film*. Bear in mind that the Pentax 67 can be tricky to load the film in, especially if you are in a hurry. One of the drawbacks to the pentax 67 is that there are no interchangeable backs - the Pentax 645 also shares this characteristic, the 645 uses film inserts** which means if you want to change quickly between colour film and B&W you had better get a separate camera for that specific purpose. I would avoid the 645 Format due to the 645D many 645 lenses have experienced an increase in price.

If you are doing portraiture I always have a habit for using exposure meters, if you are working with flash Minolta make excellent meters that are relatively cheap or if you are using available light you can go for an older Weston light meter - these are very accurate and don't rely on batteries.

With the Pentax 67 you can get away with hand holding it, but your technique had better be up to it. The shutter and mirror in a 67 camera has a great deal of inertia and that energy has to go somewhere, depending on your lens using a shutter speed in the range of 1/30 to 1" it is best that you mount the camera on a tripod.


* Unless you are developing your own film, in which case loading 120 film onto the spirals is so much easier than 35mm format is. Image quality also depends on the kind of film you use, but generally there is a noticeable difference in Image quality and the extent you can enlarge your negatives and still obtain excellent image quality.

**if you have a film changing bag, this isn't such a big problem it is possible to change inserts mid-roll but you have to learn how to load the 645 by feel which after a few attempts is pretty easy.

Last edited by Digitalis; 02-07-2013 at 05:58 AM.
02-07-2013, 06:11 AM   #3
Loyal Site Supporter
blackcloudbrew's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cotati, California USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,782
I just did a portrait shoot with my original 645 and 6x7. The 645 was simply faster and easier to work with. With the 6x7 I'm always having to use my light meter but the built in metering of the 645 is just faster to sue. The 6x7 gave me some nice images for sure but the shutter battery went dead part of the way through the shoot and that was it for the 6x7. The other thing was that as the 645 has two tripod mounts on it, flipping between landscape and portrait orientation is a breeze. It's not so easy with a 6x7. Now I wish I had a 645N or NII as they actually record the exposure info in the negative. Now THAT I wish I had.
02-07-2013, 06:48 AM   #4
Site Supporter
germar's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Austin Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 728
QuoteOriginally posted by JFN Quote
Hello there,

Any thoughts about which one to choose; 645/N/NII, 6x7/67/67II?
Cheers
JF Felinik
I've had recent experience in being introduced to 645, 645N, 6x7 and 67 systems. Prior to that, I've shot 35mm and DSLRs. I found the 645 family of systems to be less obtrusive and easier to use than the 6x7 family. The 645 offers good ergonomics, a good metering system, auto aperture, motorized film advance, and an excellent reputation for few issues/breakage. The 645N builds on this with better selectors/controls and autofocus. I found that while using this camera, I was better able to stay focused on my shooting rather than fiddling with the camera.

The 6x7 and 67 series can be a challenging camera. Intended to be a pro system camera, it expects to be used by people who are comfortable with manually controlling all functions. There's auto *nothing* on this beast, with the only meter option being a TLL finder. Therefore you must be happy spending time setting up this camera for each shot, clunking down the mirror lock up, and firing a frame. This is not a camera you chase your toddler around for candids. I can't comment on the 67II body as that system still commands a price far beyond my film budget.

Speaking of price, it is true that the 645 lenses cost more than the obsolete 6x7 series, but I've found that 67 bodies cost more than 645s for some reason. I have also noticed a tendency for 6x7 bodies to have more problems than 645s, especially in the film transport system, which is easily abused by energetic winding of the film advance. Other issues I've personally seen include out of calibration shutter speeds and issues with the electrical systems. Fixing a worn 6x7 can cost nearly as much as a body, doubling your investment costs. Reports of 645 issues seem to be much less frequent on enthusiast forums, most dealing with dirty battery contacts in the grip.

I agree, that big 6x7 negative is hard to beat, and some options like a waist level finder can give it the edge over the 645 in certain applications. But if you want to place your full attention on lighting, composition and getting the most from your subjects, a 645 will let you do that without getting in your way.

Either is a great choice and it's nice to see enthusiasts rediscovering this excellent film systems.

02-07-2013, 06:57 AM   #5
Pentaxian
Digitalis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Adelaide.
Posts: 8,535
QuoteOriginally posted by germar Quote
some options like a waist level finder can give it the edge over the 645 in certain applications
Most 35mm photographers freak out when they first see that the waist lever finder is laterally inverted.
02-07-2013, 08:45 AM   #6
JFN
Veteran Member
JFN's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Golfe du Lion
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 363
Original Poster
Hmm lots of good thoughts there!

It will more be like "scenes" than straight up portraits, in this project, but that's of course a question about the choice of optics to start with, I guess I have to find out what 35mm equivalents I need, and then look at what lenses that can be had for whatever system I decide to hop on to.

A stand alone meter sounds like a great idea no matter what, I should probably pick one up already now!


It sounds a bit scary with unreliability, ie. the 67 systems, what I don't want is a piece of machinery that needs to go to the doctor every month or two, how bad is this really?

The 645's does of course not look even half as cool as the 67 systems, of course this is not a serious consideration, but I must say, that if they are more reliable and more of "work horses", that's probably where I'd want to go then.

Any more thoughts and opinions on this matter?

Regarding usability, workflow and loading etc. I guess that's just a matter of habits, I have no problems adapting to new habits as long as I dont have to stand naked on one leg and sing starspangled banners backwards...




Cheers
JF Felinik
02-07-2013, 08:47 AM   #7
JFN
Veteran Member
JFN's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Golfe du Lion
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 363
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Most 35mm photographers freak out when they first see that the waist lever finder is laterally inverted.
hehe, oh well, I've been doing a fair amount of astronomy (where depending on what tools you use things can be up and down, mirrored etc.), that will probably not be a huge deal, even if of course absolutely something to be aware of!
02-07-2013, 08:56 AM   #8
JFN
Veteran Member
JFN's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Golfe du Lion
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 363
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
One of the drawbacks to the pentax 67 is that there are no interchangeable backs - the Pentax 645 also shares this characteristic, the 645 uses film inserts** which means if you want to change quickly between colour film and B&W you had better get a separate camera for that specific purpose.
Though the 645 has inserts, right? So as long as I finish a roll, I could just drop in another insert and not have to recharge anything during the shooting, assuming that I have charged inserts on standby, right?



02-07-2013, 09:20 AM   #9
Veteran Member
Nesster's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NJ USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 13,047
QuoteOriginally posted by JFN Quote
Though the 645 has inserts, right? So as long as I finish a roll, I could just drop in another insert and not have to recharge anything during the shooting, assuming that I have charged inserts on standby, right?

That is correct.

Also, you can have a second insert ready to go, and pop it in when the first one is done, and continue shooting, though you do have to stand on one leg naked and sing America the Beautiful backwards

This may not be a consideration in studio - you can get an adapter to mount 67 lenses on the 645, though I think you lose some automation and will have to stop down manually.

I found the 645 lenses don't focus quite close enough for my tastes, so for me an extension tube comes in handy.
02-07-2013, 04:32 PM   #10
Forum Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Northants, England
Posts: 97
A P645N is a good choice.Unless the natural light is good and the model is relatively still I'd consider using D3200 at say E.I. 1600. Unless the prints are very large, grain will not be a problem. The alternative is TMax 400 at EI800. If you can get away with 800 and with large apertures and limited DoF( not usually a problem in what appears to be portraiture or still life) then I'd go for TMax400. This film is incredibly grainless even at 800 and possibly E.I. 1600 so big enlargements are possible.

The 75mm lens focuses quite closely for the kind of subject matter you have stated but if not you might want to consider a 45mm

asahijock
02-07-2013, 05:52 PM   #11
Pentaxian
Digitalis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Adelaide.
Posts: 8,535
QuoteOriginally posted by JFN Quote
It sounds a bit scary with unreliability, ie. the 67 systems, what I don't want is a piece of machinery that needs to go to the doctor every month or two, how bad is this really?
Not as bad as you think, Pentax made these cameras to last, though if you do happen to find either a 645NII or a 67II in good condition get it - but even with a few physical dents and scuffs these cameras will work fine.

QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
though you do have to stand on one leg naked and sing America the Beautiful backwards
Actually I found this to be of more benefit with mamiya cameras, With pentax cameras speaking the true name of Yog-Sothoth whilst gazing into a mirror fixed to the north aligned wall of your darkroom works best.

Last edited by Digitalis; 02-07-2013 at 06:05 PM.
02-07-2013, 06:22 PM   #12
Veteran Member
rparmar's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,783
The 645 family operate like a SLRs. You don't even know you are using a larger format camera. It's pretty amazing.

For a light meter I suggest using a DSLR you already own. Set the metering the same as the 645. Cheaper on the pocket. And you get the bonus of safety digital shots. :-)
02-07-2013, 06:40 PM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Fowlmere, UK
Photos: Albums
Posts: 696
QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
if you have a film changing bag, this isn't such a big problem it is possible to change inserts mid-roll but you have to learn how to load the 645 by feel which after a few attempts is pretty easy.
You may exchange them mid-roll, but does the camera remember how far down the line the roll was? I don't think so. So basically, the rest of that film will be wasted, and you might as well just press the release button until the end.

The 645N is an ergonomic camera, well-automated, yet offering full manual control. Some of the lenses are astonishing, and the portrait lens (2.8/150mm) is very well suited to the task.
I have not used the 67 due to my fingers, but from a tripod I would not hesitate to choose it. In a studio / indoors, you should be in full control, and the manual process should be the course of action anyway.

I found that I do love waist level finders. I now use a Rolleiflex TLR and it's my first choice in standard lens material.
For portraits, nothing beyond my 2.8/150 or 4/135mm 645 lenses (I don't have the Tele-TLR).
02-07-2013, 07:15 PM   #14
Pentaxian
Digitalis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Adelaide.
Posts: 8,535
QuoteOriginally posted by Smolk Quote
You may exchange them mid-roll, but does the camera remember how far down the line the roll was?
The camera doesn't have to. The 645NII automatically winds onto the next frame - you put the camera in the changing bag, take out the insert with loaded film, place the cover on it, put in the freshly loaded film insert and you're done, the camera will automatically advance to frame 1. As long as you don't accidentally knock the film advance wheel on the left side of the insert when you take it out you won't have any registration issues.
02-08-2013, 09:15 AM   #15
JFN
Veteran Member
JFN's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Golfe du Lion
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 363
Original Poster
After looking around a little I've found that the 645n can be had fairly inexpensively, though after reading up on APUG and other places I am under the impression that there's far more interesting glass to get from the 67 series, and as someone mentioned in this thread there's an adapter to use these lenses on the 645 series.

What are the drawbacks with doing that (apart from the manual focus, which is not a problem), and specific procedures out of the "normal" when doing it?

Oh, and in terms of using manual focus, on the 645n, is there some kind of split prism or focus confirmation etc. to help when doing manual focusing?


Cheers
JF Felinik
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, film, light, medium format, meter, mf, pentax, project
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DA limited 40mm vs FA43mm which one to get nirVaan Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12 07-04-2011 11:48 PM
Total flash newbie... which one to get? Javaslinger Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 16 01-17-2011 05:49 PM
need advice on wide angle lens which one to get dahlia Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 22 10-29-2010 01:23 AM
M42 to kmount adapter, Which one to get? druitt Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 8 11-19-2008 08:50 AM
[LBA] Which one to get first?? qdoan Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 02-27-2008 02:16 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:57 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top