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05-24-2013, 12:47 PM   #1
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6x7 lenses

I'm new to Pentax with my K-01 ( love the camera, am looking at K5IIs now) and was looking at my local craigslist. There are 2 old 6x7 Pentax (1 prism view, 1 standard view) for sale with 7 lenses. There are six listed: 75mm, 90mm, 105mm, 135mm, 165mm, and 300mm. The poster is looking for $1500 for the 2 cameras, 7 lenses, 2 hard cases, and a lot of accessories. I was wondering 1)if these lenses will work on the 645? 2) if Pentax makes a FF in the coming year or so, would these lenses likely work?

05-24-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
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Yes, they will work with the proper adapters.
05-24-2013, 01:15 PM   #3
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I guess my next questions are 1) if the lenses are in good working order, are they worth $1500? 2) Is there an adapter for these lenses to K mount? 3) is this foolish to even use these lenses on K mount even if an adapter exists? or is $1500 better spent on K mount lenses? Sorry to ask so many questions. I'm just new to Pentax and there is something about the photos I'm getting out of the K-01 that has just sucked me into the Pentax universe.
05-24-2013, 01:37 PM   #4
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I don't think the lens under 165mm are worth buying for use on APS-C or 35mm. There are many good lenses available that are much smaller and have auto-features. All would be worthwhile on a 645. If the equipment is in decent condition, I think $1500 is a good price.

There are both Pentax and third-party 6X7>K adapters.

05-24-2013, 02:02 PM   #5
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Hey Jerome,

$1500 for that entire 6x7 package sounds like a fairly nice deal...start piecemealing the kit together by looking at prices on KEH.com and you'll see what I mean. If you're planning on getting into medium format film, and actually using the 6x7 bodies, then this deal would be a reasonably inexpensive way to get started. However, if your only intent is to use the lenses on a K-Mount digital, I would suggest that a better investment would be in modern, digital glass.

Many 6x7 lenses are fantastic, in fact, most of the lenses in your package are great, but I have found that real world performance/usability on a digital K-Mount is kind of lack luster. I experimented with 45mm and 200mm 6x7 lenses on my K5, via the Photodiox adapter ($100). While these big lenses were surprisingly well balanced on the K5, and pretty easy to focus, etc...the final image quality wasn't anything special compared to modern equivalents. My two cents, spend the money on nice, used 16-50 & 50-135 zooms. You'll get most of the same range, smaller package, and likely, better image quality. Trouble is...you'll be roped into the cropped format system. Not really a bad thing, as you can get fantastic results with the cropped format.

Now...if Pentax actually gets their act together and develops a full-frame, then I could see possibly going through the trouble to use the old 6x7 lenses on a K-mount. Could be more practical? However, if they do develop a FF, I imagine that they will also release better equivalent lenses to accompany the kit. Gosh..they would have to, right? Something to consider.

Best of luck-
05-24-2013, 02:12 PM   #6
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Afternoon,

The lenses you list for the 67 are a nice selection for that camera, ranging from normal to a mid telephoto. However, for the K-01 and/or K5xxx, the lenses are going to be:
  • Large and heavy - the 67 lenses are substantially physically larger and heavier due to the larger image circle required for the film size of the 67.
  • Manual - They are going to be manual lenses
You can find equivalent lenses in the M42 (screw mount) and K mount (K, M, and A lenses) that are equivalent in quality, that will better suit the camera in terms of size and handling. You could get a single zoom lens that would cover the entire range the DA 55-300 for about $400 or so. You could also find an assortment of primes that would cover the range (DA70 or FA77, DA100, M150, K or M or A 200 and 300). The prices would vary, with the question of - would it be cheaper. It would depend on the deals that you could find. You could spend more - depending on the condition and the aperture of the lenses.

Is $1500 a good deal for the lenses? It depends of the specific lenses and their condition. For instance just the 300mm, there are several models ranging from about $400 to $1500. You need more information along with checking the Forums lens database.
05-24-2013, 03:11 PM   #7
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I seem to remember reading someone being disappointed in the quality of using 67 lenses on APS-C DSLRs (or was it some mirrorless?), saying they just don't work great with digital and are clumsy on small cameras. But you might look into using the 67 camera as is, it can produce some amazing photos
05-24-2013, 04:32 PM   #8
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Medium format lenses typically do not have as high a resolution as lenses made for smaller formats, because the small format lenses are designed knowing the images will have to be enlarged more. Even Hasselblad lenses used on 35mm cameras don't hold up to large prints.

05-25-2013, 02:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
Medium format lenses typically do not have as high a resolution as lenses made for smaller formats, because the small format lenses are designed knowing the images will have to be enlarged more. Even Hasselblad lenses used on 35mm cameras don't hold up to large prints.
What!? Where did you get that information from??
And how does it relate to the imaging quality of the format, being between 300% and 400% bigger than 35mm?
05-25-2013, 04:06 AM   #10
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I have ordered the Fotodiox adapter and will be evaluating my 67 lenses with the K-01 sensor soon. Although in general I would agree that it would be better to use full frame 35mm lenses vs. 67 glass, there are applications where the medium format lenses can be a justified option. The sharpest of the line, the latest 55, 75, and 200 (among others) are sharp enough even for a cropped sensors and may even exceed many good 35mm lenses in resolution. For those of us that have to deal with vignetting, the larger image circle is a plus, allowing wide open operation with no light fall off in frame corners and the sweetest part of the lens encompassing the sensor, mostly free from aberrations.

The older Takumars such as the 105, 200, and 300 lenses will likely show chromatic aberration due to the scrutiny of the sensor, but the better glass should produce fine images, although cumbersome to handle.
05-25-2013, 12:13 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
What!? Where did you get that information from??
And how does it relate to the imaging quality of the format, being between 300% and 400% bigger than 35mm?
Look at the MTF curve of large format lenses vs medium vs small format and you should see a trend. The large area of the film did not need lenses to resolve as much to yield high quality, in general. That is also why medium and large format film scans better quality-wise on commodity scanners. It takes a higher resolving optical path to scan small format well. Of course some of the Mamiya 6x7 lenses for their rangefinder are reported to be amongst the highest resolving in medium format but do not adapt well, if at all, to other mounts.
05-26-2013, 06:08 PM   #12
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There are several 67 lenses that are on par with 35mm format lenses but that ability to perform on film is no guarantee that they will do the same on digital. Strangely, my 150mm Rodenstock APO Sironar for my Linhof is almost as sharp as my 21mm Super Angulon-R for my Leica 35mm SLR.
05-26-2013, 09:20 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Look at the MTF curve of large format lenses vs medium vs small format and you should see a trend. The large area of the film did not need lenses to resolve as much to yield high quality, in general
To be honest, you need to quote some MTF charts for specific lenses. The 105mm is pretty good even wide open. The late 55/4 is one of the best lenses I've ever used on any format, period. The 75/4.5 is a sibling to its 35/3.5 counterpart, which is considered one of the best 35mm lenses ever produced. The 150/2.8 is by no means soft. I've taken all of these lenses and cropped back to 35mm format for a print. Which of the lenses, specifically, do you have an issue with?

QuoteQuote:
That is also why medium and large format film scans better quality-wise on commodity scanners. It takes a higher resolving optical path to scan small format well. Of course some of the Mamiya 6x7 lenses for their rangefinder are reported to be amongst the highest resolving in medium format but do not adapt well, if at all, to other mounts.
No, medium and large format images scan better because there is more image area available There is a much larger image, so the resolution limitations of the scanner matter less. It has very little do do with the lens, as even very soft images will scan well (like a guesstimated shot with my 75/3.5 Novar Anastigmat at f/4 on my Ikonta 521/16). A v500 will resolve about 10-20 lp/mm, this is nothing for any decently sharp lens on any format.

Naturally the Mamiya 7 is an excellent camera, it matches and exceeds the late P67 lenses - as it should, given their similar late 90s computer-designed vintage. This will not be apparent without very good scans - something like a 4k or 8k drum scan. Yes, it has a shorter register distance than P67 - however, it is also longer than mounts like the Pentax K mount. The larger problem is the in-lens leaf shutter.

Last edited by Paul MaudDib; 05-26-2013 at 09:33 PM.
05-26-2013, 11:50 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul MaudDib Quote
To be honest, you need to quote some MTF charts for specific lenses. The 105mm is pretty good even wide open. The late 55/4 is one of the best lenses I've ever used on any format, period. The 75/4.5 is a sibling to its 35/3.5 counterpart, which is considered one of the best 35mm lenses ever produced. The 150/2.8 is by no means soft. I've taken all of these lenses and cropped back to 35mm format for a print. Which of the lenses, specifically, do you have an issue with?
There are independent tests out there and they vary for one person to the next. But I shoot both the Mamyia M7II and Pentax 6x7 and get to do my own comparisons while I edit the photos. My experience finds the Mamyia lenses are damn good. I personally find the leaf shutter lenses on the M7II way better for handhold shooting. No vibration.
05-27-2013, 07:55 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
There are independent tests out there and they vary for one person to the next. But I shoot both the Mamyia M7II and Pentax 6x7 and get to do my own comparisons while I edit the photos. My experience finds the Mamyia lenses are damn good. I personally find the leaf shutter lenses on the M7II way better for handhold shooting. No vibration.
Yes, the Mamiya 7 lenses are superfluous and the system is definitely better engineered than the P67 when it comes to vibration. No surprises there, medium format requires large mirrors which need to be damped well. The P67 does fine outside the "danger zone" of 1/30 to 1s, particularly if you learn to use the MLU handheld. The 645 was designed with the lessons learned from the P67, and the P67ii was designed with a much better system as well. The P67 system does have the advantage of being a tiny fraction of the cost of the M7 system, boasts faster/longer lenses, as well as permits tools like polarizers and grad ND filters to be used which cannot be used easily or at all on a rangefinder. Horses for courses.

Yeah, I haven't ever seen a professional resolution test of the P67 lenses. However, my anecdotal evidence is that they are all great. I can crop my scans back to a 35mm negative size and the image is not noticeably worse than a 35mm lens. Obviously that's not a highly stringent test, but I don't think people without drum scans probably need to even bother themselves with this question to begin with. This was pro equipment back in its day, people wouldn't have used it if you couldn't crop and enlarge to a high degree. On smaller sensors, you are getting the sharpest, best-corrected area of the image. Obviously there is sample variation and not all of the lenses are equal to the later 90s-vintage lenses, but overall I really doubt they perform that significantly worse than 35mm lenses.

Someone did a test here, on a 645D. Here's his conclusions:

QuoteQuote:
Full image with this post, then crops from the following in a 2nd post: 645 55mm A, 45-85mm FA at 55mm, 67 55mm (late) and the 55-100mm 67 zoom at 55. All lenses were sharp in the center. Crops are from lower left corner. The 645A lens falls apart, the 45-85 zoom does very well and the 67 55 and 55-100 are superb. Little to choose between with the 67 lenses.
Now let's ponder the implication of that - P67 lenses are remaining sharp to the corners of a 40 megapixel digital sensor. That means that you won't have any problem if you stuck this lens on a D800 or other top-of-the-line megapixel monster. There's couple other people who chime in with their own test charts, same results.

Here's another example with the 55-100 outresolving a Canon 5D Mark II's sensor:

QuoteQuote:
The Pentax 645 and 67 lenses are the best made in this world, for medium format film, for medium format digital, and for my DSLR landscape works. The SMC coating is second to none, their 35mm/f4 is way above the Mamiya/Hasselblad offers, and my Pentax 67 prime and rooms lenses (the zooms are every bit as good or better then the primes) are my best lenses for 5DII and will be for the D3x/D700x.

A while ago I posted the test results online that irritated a lot of people since they had the stereotype that the MF lenses are less sharp than the 35mm ones even though there is no such thing in Physics. Eventually I had to post 100% pixel test chart images to show that my P67 zooms can consistently do 80 line pairs per mm to outresove my 5DII 5um sensor pitch. Then all went to silent.
Which of the Pentax 67 lenses, specifically, do you have a problem with?

Last edited by Paul MaudDib; 05-27-2013 at 08:18 AM.
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