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11-20-2014, 12:02 PM   #1
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New (to me) 6x7 with lens

Hey all. I'm an occasional poster here, owning "only" a KX and a Spotmatic F. When it comes to Pentax, I'm still shooting film. Happy, I might add.

So anyway, I've been seriously considering getting a 6x7 (or 67) for years, but always seemed to have something more pressing to spend my limited funds on. And now, with the plunging prices of film medium format gear, one of those big brutes becomes even more appealing.

What really pushed me into finally buying an outfit was an email I got today from KEH, offering a one day 10% discount on all Pentax gear. Immediately I thought of the 6x7. So I went over to their website, saw a few interesting items and gave them a call. Talked to a fellow named Arthur, who fixed me up with a BGN 6x7 MLU body, an AE prism and a 135/4 macro for an out the door price of $368.

(Not affiliated with KEH in any way other than being more than just an occasional buyer.)

I've got a rather large stock of MF film in the freezer that I'll be burning through that 6x7over the next couple of months, I reckon.

I could have bought a 67 for $20 more but I was concerned that the latter model might have more plastic and less metal, so I went old school.

Ok, so if any of you have any comments or suggestions, I'll pay attention.

11-20-2014, 12:19 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
Hey all. I'm an occasional poster here, owning "only" a KX and a Spotmatic F. When it comes to Pentax, I'm still shooting film. Happy, I might add.

So anyway, I've been seriously considering getting a 6x7 (or 67) for years, but always seemed to have something more pressing to spend my limited funds on. And now, with the plunging prices of film medium format gear, one of those big brutes becomes even more appealing.

What really pushed me into finally buying an outfit was an email I got today from KEH, offering a one day 10% discount on all Pentax gear. Immediately I thought of the 6x7. So I went over to their website, saw a few interesting items and gave them a call. Talked to a fellow named Arthur, who fixed me up with a BGN 6x7 MLU body, an AE prism and a 135/4 macro for an out the door price of $368.

(Not affiliated with KEH in any way other than being more than just an occasional buyer.)

I've got a rather large stock of MF film in the freezer that I'll be burning through that 6x7over the next couple of months, I reckon.

I could have bought a 67 for $20 more but I was concerned that the latter model might have more plastic and less metal, so I went old school.

Ok, so if any of you have any comments or suggestions, I'll pay attention.
Congrats on the new kit, the 6x7/67 is a great camera.
Did you get the AE prism or a metered prism? The AE prism only fits the 67II.
The 67 doesn't have any more plastic than the 6X7.
11-20-2014, 12:30 PM   #3
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Yep, they are really nice cameras. Do get the 105 f2 lens. It's a good all purpose one. I just picked up the 120mm soft focus lens for my 6x7 and am loving it.
11-20-2014, 02:24 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
Ok, so if any of you have any comments or suggestions, I'll pay attention.
That's pretty open ended, so if you have anything in particular that you want to know, please ask.

11-20-2014, 02:42 PM   #5
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Only real advice is to enjoy the 6x7. It's a fantastic camera (and I too would recommend a 105mm f2.4).
11-21-2014, 06:14 AM   #6
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I am just going to repeat what everybody else have already said.
The 67 is a gorgeous camera. They do not build cameras like that anymore.
I am shooting the 67ii version these days for a couple of projects and adore it.

Choice of film is not what it used to be, but luckily my favourite black and white films are still readily available and colour film selection is not a total disaster either

My suggestion, get out there and use it
11-21-2014, 06:31 AM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback, guys. Swift1, I wasn't aware of the distinction in metered prisms. I've always called it the "AE prism", thinking that this was the original designation. So I guess the prism I got was the TTL one, since I got a 6x7 and not a 67, especially not a "II".

Yeah, the 105/2.4 can be had for pretty cheap at KEH and eBay. I probably would have gone for one of those instead of the 135 macro, but KEH was out of the 105s when I placed my order, so I decided to give the 135/4 a try for a couple of reasons. Because of the format, it seems to me that 135mm will be closer to the normal-short tele range, and perhaps useful for portraits. And also I bought it because it's a macro lens. I'm looking forward to using its macro range, and I'm reasoning that a property of macro lenses in general is they are quite sharp, so I'm hoping this one will be no exception.

My immediate plans for the outfit are to buy a few more pieces: the wooden-handled grip, a wide-angle and a longish tele. I'm thinking that big wooden grip is probably just about a necessity for shooting off-hand with the 6x7 and a lens of any length at all. As for a wide angle, I'd prefer to get a 45mm over the 55mm because I prefer the extra field of view. There doesn't seem to be much difference in price between the two on eBay, at least when comparing a late model 55mm withthe 45mm. What is the 45mm equivalent to in 35mm? 24mm or so? I recently bought a 40mm for my Bronica ETRSi, a 6x4.5 camera, and the 40mm on it is approximately equal to 25mm as I recall. So I'm thinking a 45mm on a 6x7 image size should be pretty wide. As for a tele, right now, I'm leaning toward the 300mm f/4. This lens is priced economically, for the most part, on eBay. Plus, if I get a good quality teleconverter to use with it, I'll have a 600mm f/8 for an affordable sum. I wouldn't mind owning the 600mm f/4 howitzer but it's priced too steep for my habit at this time. The 400mm f/4 also seems to be priced pretty fairly, from what I've seen of it. It bears consideration as well. I'm also thinking that, for macro work, an angle finder for the prism might be a good idea.

Anything I might be missing? Oh., a set of extension tubes. Definitely.


11-21-2014, 07:48 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
Thanks for the feedback, guys. Swift1, I wasn't aware of the distinction in metered prisms. I've always called it the "AE prism", thinking that this was the original designation. So I guess the prism I got was the TTL one, since I got a 6x7 and not a 67, especially not a "II".

Yeah, the 105/2.4 can be had for pretty cheap at KEH and eBay. I probably would have gone for one of those instead of the 135 macro, but KEH was out of the 105s when I placed my order, so I decided to give the 135/4 a try for a couple of reasons. Because of the format, it seems to me that 135mm will be closer to the normal-short tele range, and perhaps useful for portraits. And also I bought it because it's a macro lens. I'm looking forward to using its macro range, and I'm reasoning that a property of macro lenses in general is they are quite sharp, so I'm hoping this one will be no exception.

My immediate plans for the outfit are to buy a few more pieces: the wooden-handled grip, a wide-angle and a longish tele. I'm thinking that big wooden grip is probably just about a necessity for shooting off-hand with the 6x7 and a lens of any length at all. As for a wide angle, I'd prefer to get a 45mm over the 55mm because I prefer the extra field of view. There doesn't seem to be much difference in price between the two on eBay, at least when comparing a late model 55mm withthe 45mm. What is the 45mm equivalent to in 35mm? 24mm or so? I recently bought a 40mm for my Bronica ETRSi, a 6x4.5 camera, and the 40mm on it is approximately equal to 25mm as I recall. So I'm thinking a 45mm on a 6x7 image size should be pretty wide. As for a tele, right now, I'm leaning toward the 300mm f/4. This lens is priced economically, for the most part, on eBay. Plus, if I get a good quality teleconverter to use with it, I'll have a 600mm f/8 for an affordable sum. I wouldn't mind owning the 600mm f/4 howitzer but it's priced too steep for my habit at this time. The 400mm f/4 also seems to be priced pretty fairly, from what I've seen of it. It bears consideration as well. I'm also thinking that, for macro work, an angle finder for the prism might be a good idea.

Anything I might be missing? Oh., a set of extension tubes. Definitely.


A few thoughts on lenses and other stuff.
Get the wooden handle, I have it permanently attached to my 67ii and use it to hand carry the thing or I have a sling attached there as a safety when I am doing stuff that require harness and ropework for safety.

In terms of lenses I have setteld with the latest version of the 55 and 105 (the latter was bought new from Japan actually) for short tele and portrait work the 165LS is a great, the leaf shutter addition is very nice, especially for studio type work and it has a very pleasant rendering to its images.
I have a 300/4 as well, but a couple of images aside I tend not to shoot that long focal lengths on 67, it do not have the same appeal to me for some odd reason.
Which is a little odd when considering that the 135mm DC Nikkor has been one of my most used lenses on the 35mm format.

But in general dont get too hung up on the gear, the 67 cameras were meant to be used, get out there and shot

11-21-2014, 10:32 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duplo Quote
But in general dont get too hung up on the gear, the 67 cameras were meant to be used, get out there and shot
This is my attitude with photo gear in general. But sometimes in order to get the shot that I'm picturing in my head, it requires specific pieces of kit to get it. When it comes to medium format, I tend to be rather conservative. I have a Yashica Mat 124 (not the G, but the older all-metal model), Zeiss Ikonta and Agfa folders, and the aforementioned Bronica ETRSi. I use my feet for zooming or changing focal lengths with the Yashica and the folders, and to some extent with the Bronica as well. I own just a 150mm and the 40mm in addition to a normal lens, so I'll zoom with my feet with it as well.

My plan is to be fairly conservative with the 6x7 as well. A good WA, moderate tele, and maybe a few other pieces, like extension tubes. I wasn't aware that the 165mm was an LS lens. I know the 90 is. But being that I have that ETRSi, complete with the Metz SCA module for it and a 45CT1 flash so I can have TTL flash, I just don't know if I'll need an LS lens for the 6x7. Oh, I dunno, I suppose it might be useful if I need fill flash at a higher shutter speed than X sync.
11-21-2014, 10:47 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duplo Quote
I have a 300/4 as well, but a couple of images aside I tend not to shoot that long focal lengths on 67, it do not have the same appeal to me for some odd reason
Yep I have the same issue with the 300mm FL on 6x7, hardly use it. Glad I did not buy the more expensive 300/4 ED!

QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
As for a tele, right now, I'm leaning toward the 300mm f/4. This lens is priced economically, for the most part, on eBay. Plus, if I get a good quality teleconverter to use with it, I'll have a 600mm f/8 for an affordable sum. I wouldn't mind owning the 600mm f/4 howitzer but it's priced too steep for my habit at this time. The 400mm f/4 also seems to be priced pretty fairly, from what I've seen of it. It bears consideration as well.
The older 400/4 6x7 Takumar lens is a good performer and costs way less than the newer 400mm & 300mm ED lenses. It also works well with both converters.

Phil.
11-21-2014, 12:55 PM   #11
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I would not recommend the 300mm Takumar, as it is very much affected by the shutter. Using a converter on it is a disaster. The 300 ED is much better, in that it has a tripod mount but is costly. The 400 Takumar with the 1.4X converter is a better idea than the 600 f/4. The 400+1.4X has better color correction than the 600. The 45mm has a similar angle of view of a 24mm in 35mm format. There are two 165mm lenses; one is the fast f/2.8 Double Gauss and the other is the f/4 LS (Ernostar design). Besides flash work, the LS does well in landscapes and macro because of its f/32 stop.
11-21-2014, 12:56 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
As for a wide angle, I'd prefer to get a 45mm over the 55mm because I prefer the extra field of view. There doesn't seem to be much difference in price between the two on eBay, at least when comparing a late model 55mm withthe 45mm. What is the 45mm equivalent to in 35mm? 24mm or so? I recently bought a 40mm for my Bronica ETRSi, a 6x4.5 camera, and the 40mm on it is approximately equal to 25mm as I recall. So I'm thinking a 45mm on a 6x7 image size should be pretty wide. As for a tele, right now, I'm leaning toward the 300mm f/4. This lens is priced economically, for the most part, on eBay. Plus, if I get a good quality teleconverter to use with it, I'll have a 600mm f/8 for an affordable sum. I wouldn't mind owning the 600mm f/4 howitzer but it's priced too steep for my habit at this time. The 400mm f/4 also seems to be priced pretty fairly, from what I've seen of it. It bears consideration as well. I'm also thinking that, for macro work, an angle finder for the prism might be a good idea.
.


The 45mm is approximately equal to a 24mm on 135 format, maybe slightly wider. It's a great lens.
I used to own the 300/4 EDIF, which is an amazing lens, but for me, the SMC 67 200/4 is nearly as good, and it's about as long as I want to go with a 67, and it only cost me $125.
My current lens kit is, 45/4, 90/2.8 (non LS version), S-M-C Tak 105/2.4, and SMC 67 200/4. I'm thinking of possibly adding a 75/4.5 eventually.

You should think about getting a waist level finder.
11-21-2014, 01:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
...
My immediate plans for the outfit are to buy a few more pieces: the wooden-handled grip, a wide-angle and a longish tele. I'm thinking that big wooden grip is probably just about a necessity for shooting off-hand with the 6x7 and a lens of any length at all. As for a wide angle, I'd prefer to get a 45mm over the 55mm because I prefer the extra field of view.
It seems all n00bs go straight for the wooden grip. I was no exception. But after shooting my 6x7 for more than 25 years now that thing does nothing but collect dust. No doubt others will find value in it though.

Be aware there are two different optical versions of the 55mm. The 6x7 55mm and 67 55mm generations. The latter being more highly rated. If you have not seen this Pentax 6x7 Lens Guide site before it is worth checking out. It will tell you what generations have different optical formula as well as a rating relative to other Pentax 6x7 lenses.

Shooting focal lengths greater than 200mm on the 6x7 requires care and fortified support for slower shutter speeds.
11-21-2014, 02:26 PM   #14
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The wooden grip is more of a museum piece than a functional accompaniment to actual shooting, causing the photographer to extend his reach beyond the normal area of gripping the camera. Besides that, it does add weight, and the 6x7 / 67 is quite enough weight to haul around without adding trinkets that both complicate handling and stowage in the pack.

Lenses and lens choice are very subjective. What is good for one set of photographers won't necessarily be as good for others. Concurring with the foregoing commentary though, there are a number of stellar performers, among them the 45mm, 55mm 90mm and 75mm AL (all SMC Pentax later generation). Some of these lenses -- namely the 55mm, are quite bulky and heavy for what they are so carefully selecting a lens that you know you will use frequently, taking into acount the weight, should be a priority in consideration. The 67 might be sneered at by the digi-toting tots, but keep at it and it will reward you with breathtaking image quality. From there all you need to do is print!
11-21-2014, 06:31 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
The 67 might be sneered at by the digi-toting tots
LOL!

I don't think I have the stones to print something like that here.
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