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06-12-2015, 03:06 AM   #1
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67 Newcomer

Hello fellow Pentaxforum.com. members.

I own a Pentax K20D and a few "old" 35mm film cameras (Pentax and Minolta). Up until recently I was going to jump ship and go Nikon "full frame" DSLR but, I have been enjoying using my film cameras and I am now seriously considering a Pentax 67II medium format camera. One question I have is, what is the availability of lenses like? I believe the "standard issue" is a 105mm or 90mm lens, but if I wanted to expand, are other lenses readily available? And I understand the prisms are interchangeable - for what reason and what are the options?

Any and all info gratefully received.

Thanks.
Peter (RHN12 - Melbourne, Australia)

06-12-2015, 06:59 AM - 1 Like   #2
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HI Peter,

In regards to lens availability there is plenty of quality lenses available for very very affordable prices, some a steal compared to even what they were 10 years ago. One recommendation is you stick to the later editions of the lenses which say 67 rather than 6x7. In regards to interchangeable prisms, the 67 line of bodies had a few options, metered & unmetered prism, and waist level magnifying hood and folding hood options if that's your shooting style. The 67ii comes with a metered TTL pentaprism. You also can change out the focusing screens if you prefer plain, micro prism, matte, split image there are several options.
If you do get a 67 body, some lens to take a look at are the 45 or 55mm there are fans in both camps between the two. The in addition to the 90 and 105 there is more expensive 100mm macro. There 165mm Leaf shutter and 165mm 2,8 are great lens each with their respective need. The 200 is also nice and coupled with a teleconverter may be a more reasonable option over buying the newer telephoto lenses. There some good reviews about all the lenses in the line in the lens section of this site.
06-12-2015, 07:28 AM   #3
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Not wishing to discourage anyone from picking up a 67, but you need to consider if you're going to print the negs or scan them. If scanning, what will you use, and are you prepared for the file size? I've owned a Pentax 67, with a number of lenses, and have scanned the slides (mostly Velvia from the 90s) using a Nikon 8000 film scanner. The files are lovely, but huge, so you need to ensure you've got the computer power, and drive storage, to handle them. (Yes, you can scan at low resolution, but that seems illogical to me. You can always reduce size and quality for web posting etc. but you can't go up in quality.) As to jumping to a Nikon 810, you might want to wait a bit and see how the K-3 II raw images are, since the k-3 II jpegs that Imaging-resource showed versus an 810, were staggering.
06-12-2015, 09:19 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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Some years ago I was also a K20D user contemplating Nikon "fullframe", but decided to follow my interest for analogue medium format and purchased a Pentax 67ii. The camera came with the 45/4, 105 /2.4 and 165/2.8 lenses. Later I have also purchased the 55-100/4.5 zoom and a 300/4 tele. All my lenses are of the latest version, the SMC Pentax 67 version. Some of the lenses come in three variants, Super Takumar 6x7, S-M-C Takumar 6x7 and SMC Pentax 67. The most recent lenses, like the 55-100 zoom, were only made in the SMC Pentax 67 version.

I took photos regularly, mostly colour negative film, for about two years before I could afford a decent scanner. My choice was between finding a modestly priced Nikon Coolscan 8000/9000 or a Minolta Dimage Multi Pro, or a brand new Epson V750 flatbed. I went for the latter option, I could not make myself believe it was a good idea to spend a fortune on an out-of-production scanner that is non-repairable (at least in my part of the world). The Epson is good enough for making excellent A3 prints from 120 film, and possibly also A2. And if I ever end up with a super shot, I can get an Imacon scan locally or send off for drumscanning. Since I enjoy watching my photos on a screen, the scanning part of the process is essential. One also needs to study the negatives or slides in print or on a screen in order to improve ones technique and craft.

The most enjoyable characteristic with the Pentax 67ii is the simple operation. There is no GPS, astrotracer, HDR function etc., to derail the photo experience. One has to "only" consider the most basic parameters, like aperture, shutter speed, focussing, DOF and composition. The highlight of the Pentax 67ii IMHO is the very large pentaprism, it is addictive! Dare to go against the digital mainstream, go analogue with the Pentax 67ii.


Last edited by bjolester; 06-12-2015 at 01:26 PM.
06-12-2015, 10:40 AM - 1 Like   #5
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If you need further inspiration in your decision making, here are two brillliant photographers who use the Pentax 67 as their primary photographic tool:

Margus Sootla: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tsiklonaut/

Nick Brandt: Nick Brandt : Photography
06-12-2015, 10:49 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RHN12 Quote
And I understand the prisms are interchangeable - for what reason and what are the options?
One of the reasons for the interchangeable prisms is that if you damage one, it can be replaced. Another reason is that if the meter goes out (on the AE prism) it can also be replaced.

DOF can be a problem with 67s, so your lens selection must be based on DOF considerations.
06-13-2015, 07:06 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Re: 67 Newcomer

QuoteOriginally posted by RHN12 Quote
are other lenses readily available?
You will want to become familiar with the lens information available at Antique and Classic Cameras. Most of those lenses show up on e Bay, some of them with regular frequency. Some of the "buy it now" prices are inflated, but if you're patient you can often get extraordinarily good deals on anything from the 45mm to the 300mm primes.
QuoteOriginally posted by RHN12 Quote
And I understand the prisms are interchangeable - for what reason and what are the options?
- Metered Pentaprism finder: For eye-level focus, composition, and metering. Works like a 35mm SLR. Make sure you don't let light leak around the eyecup or it can fool the meter. This meter comes with a risk of breaking the small chain that transmits metering info from the lens to the body: ALWAYS MAKE SURE NO LENS IS MOUNTED BEFORE MOUTING THE METERED FINDER. Order of operation: 1) Remove lens; 2) mount metered finder; 3) mount lens.

- Non-metered Pentaprism finder: For eye-level focus and composition. Metering is done with a hand-held meter, or use the "Sunny 16" rule. Not having the meter saves a bit of weight.

- As with 35mm or DSLR cameras, the pentaprism finders don't quite show 100% of the negative area.

- Waist level finder (WLF): Shows 100% of the negative area. Allows you to compose while holding the camera at waist level, as with a twin lens reflex (TLR), which can be fun for more innocuous street or candid shooting. Has a flip-out magnifier to assist with focusing. Weighs the least of all the finders. Not practical for shooting in portrait orientation.

- Rigid or "chimney" finder: Shows 100% of the negative area. Superb for use on a tripod; gives a big, bright view of the image. Not the best for shooting in portrait orientation, though on a tripod with still life compositions it's not impossible.

- Both the WLF and "chimney" finders show the image exactly as projected onto the focus screen, i.e., flipped left-to-right (lacking the extra flip that a pentaprism provides)

The manuals for cameras, finders, and other accessories can be found on line if you hunt around a bit.

Hope that helps.

Sterling
06-15-2015, 12:13 AM   #8
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The 67II is a notch up above the stalwart workhorse before it it, the Pentax 6x7 and 67 cameras. Lenses for the 67 system are plentiful, but their quality (in terms of history) varies greatly. When buying on the second hand market you must have your wits about you and be armed with knowledge of what to look for e.g. excessive dust (but some dust inside lenses are normal for both new and old lenses), fungus, scratches or chips, lose front elements, sticky aperture blades... a long list!

The Pentax 67 is my primary workhorse for all landscape/scenic work (running Velvia 50 in both 120 and 220 format), plus a Zero Image multiformat pinhole camera and a little "eye-spy" in the Fuji X30 digi. A great team!

06-22-2015, 08:49 PM   #9
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Original Poster
67 Newcomer

Thanks everyone for your feedback, comments, links and advice - certainly gives me some food for thought. I've been away for a little while, hence the late reply.

I had this PC custom built a couple of years ago and specifically had it tailored to my photo needs (post processing, storage etc), so it has plenty of grunt and disc space. My plan was to use transparency film and get "my" lab to scan the images which I'd store on the PC, having the better ones printed at a later date. I'm sure there would be a lot of colour neg film involved also as well as black and white.

Again thanks for all the info. especially about lenses. I'll re-read it again shortly and digest it properly.

Peter.
10-26-2015, 03:06 AM   #10
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Did you end up buying a P67II, Peter? This camera certainly would feel at home on Phillip Island. Have been using mine in your neighbourhood (Kilcunda).

Jim
10-26-2015, 09:09 AM   #11
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Often people who come from small format want a medium format that shoots just like the more nimble small format camera. So they look at the 67II for its comfy features and SLR style of shooting. However, the size of the camera and lenses will never make it a convenient replacement for a casual and sight seeing kind of camera that you may be use to.

That said a 45 or 55, 105 and 165/2.8 lenses will make a good starting kit. If you expect to do strobe work and portraiture, perhaps replace the 165/2.8 with the 165/4 LS.
10-27-2015, 09:18 AM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
That said a 45 or 55, 105 and 165/2.8 lenses will make a good starting kit. If you expect to do strobe work and portraiture, perhaps replace the 165/2.8 with the 165/4 LS.
Ditto except my "normal" lens has always been the 90 f2.8 rather than the 105. The 75 f4.5 is a super lens and very sharp as is the 75 f2.8 but that one is like finding hen's teeth and one of if not the most expensive 67 lens out there-IF you can find them.,
10-27-2015, 10:04 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ColColt Quote
Ditto except my "normal" lens has always been the 90 f2.8 rather than the 105. The 75 f4.5 is a super lens and very sharp as is the 75 f2.8 but that one is like finding hen's teeth and one of if not the most expensive 67 lens out there-IF you can find them.,
I have all those lenses and more.
10-27-2015, 12:30 PM   #14
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I procrastinated on a good priced 75 f2.8 just last week and waited too long to decide. Someone else scarfed it up. It was $698 and in EX+ condition.
10-27-2015, 12:59 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ColColt Quote
I procrastinated on a good priced 75 f2.8 just last week and waited too long to decide. Someone else scarfed it up. It was $698 and in EX+ condition.
That sucks. I gave up trying to get that lens. I wanted it more for the filter size than anything else. Apparently, Pentax did not give much thought to the filter sizes when they designed their lenses. They are all over the map with filter diameters. You can easily have to carry colored filters for BW in the 82mm, 77mm and 67mm filter size. What a PITA. Stepper rings suck because the lens hood does not fit it.

Contrast that to my Hasselblad 500C/M. I can carry my 50/60/80/100/120 and 150mm CF T* lenses and only need one filter set (bay 60 = 67mm with adapter) and a few lens hoods. That really cuts down on the bulk you need to carry, big-time. And bayonet hoods are really nice compared to screw-on, rectangular lens hoods on some of my Pentax lenses which need alignment and that can mean not screwed on tight to get it in orientation.
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