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05-04-2016, 08:23 PM   #16
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120 film is ~6cm wide, the 6x7 transports it from left to right, and the 6cm dimension forms the short side of your horizontal frame. The 6x4.5 format transports top to bottom, the 6cm width is your long side of a horizontal frame.
You get 15 frames on a 6x4.5 format camera, and 10 out of a 6x7 format.
The classic square format 6x6 (Hasselblad, Rollei, & most twin lens roll film cameras) from 120 film gets you 12 frames from a roll.
Then there are more exotic formats from 120, 6x9, 6x12 and 6x17. Some of these larger roll film backs can be found that work with 4x5 and larger view cameras. Some were dedicated single purpose cameras. Look up the Linhof Technorama for an odd beast.


Last edited by K-Three; 05-05-2016 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Was thinking about my old Graflex roll film backs, corrected
05-04-2016, 08:32 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
This is going to sound like a stupid question, but I am trying to figure out the difference between 67 and 645. The 67 has a bigger format, but both use the same film, right? How does that work? There is also quite a price difference. I see a 645 body listed for $50 canadian on Ebay, but the cheapest 67 goes for around $300. Is it that much better?
645 and 67 both use 120 format (or 220*) film. Most 645 cameras run the film vertically, and the 6cm frame width runs from edge to edge of film.
6x7 cameras run the film horizontallly, and again the 6cm frame width (height) runs from edge to edge of the film.

From what I have seen, a good working Pentax 645 body with film insert and grip will cost somewhere in the range of $100 to $200 US.

A good working Pentax 6x7 mlu body with a prism finder will run you more like $250 to $400 US, depending on condition and metered or non metered prism.
A Pentax 67 model will usually cost more because they are newer.

For many medium format film users, the 6x7/67 is generally a much more preferable system as the negative is much larger than the 645 format. Because of this they usually sell for more.

* - 220 film is basically 120 that doesn't have backing paper and has twice the length. The Pentax 6x7 is made to easily switch between 120 and 220 without the need for additional accessories.
The Pentax 645 needs different film inserts for 120 and 220.
220 film is no longer being produced and is generally only available expired.

---------- Post added 05-04-2016 at 08:43 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by K-Three Quote
You get 15 frames on a 6x4.5 format camera, and 9 out of a 6x7 format.
Not sure about other 6x7 cameras, but the Pentax 6x7 cameras give you 10 frames on 120 film.

Last edited by Swift1; 05-04-2016 at 08:38 PM.
05-05-2016, 09:04 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
645 and 67 both use 120 format (or 220*) film. Most 645 cameras run the film vertically, and the 6cm frame width runs from edge to edge of film.
6x7 cameras run the film horizontallly, and again the 6cm frame width (height) runs from edge to edge of the film.

From what I have seen, a good working Pentax 645 body with film insert and grip will cost somewhere in the range of $100 to $200 US.

A good working Pentax 6x7 mlu body with a prism finder will run you more like $250 to $400 US, depending on condition and metered or non metered prism.
A Pentax 67 model will usually cost more because they are newer.

For many medium format film users, the 6x7/67 is generally a much more preferable system as the negative is much larger than the 645 format. Because of this they usually sell for more.

* - 220 film is basically 120 that doesn't have backing paper and has twice the length. The Pentax 6x7 is made to easily switch between 120 and 220 without the need for additional accessories.
The Pentax 645 needs different film inserts for 120 and 220.
220 film is no longer being produced and is generally only available expired.

---------- Post added 05-04-2016 at 08:43 PM ----------



Not sure about other 6x7 cameras, but the Pentax 6x7 cameras give you 10 frames on 120 film.
Thank you very much for the explanation! Since I've never tried medium format and I don't know if I am going to like it, I don't think I will go the 67 route - 6x7 cameras look pretty old on Ebay, and the 67s are just too expensive... So it seems the 645 might be the way to go for me. Having said that, I read a Ken Rockwell article on medium format, and he says "the bigger, the better". If I go for 645, does it provide enough of an improvement over 35mm that would be easily noticeable? I don't want to do it wrong: try it, not see much benefit, and give up on the medium format. Kind of like trying Italian food at Pizza Hut...
05-05-2016, 09:13 AM   #19
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It's pretty easily to see the difference between MF and 35mm. Not only with image quality but the look (which is controlled by the telephoto compression to field of view ratio).

05-05-2016, 09:13 AM - 1 Like   #20
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Here is a negative size comparison:


Phil.
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05-05-2016, 09:57 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
Thank you very much for the explanation! Since I've never tried medium format and I don't know if I am going to like it, I don't think I will go the 67 route - 6x7 cameras look pretty old on Ebay, and the 67s are just too expensive... So it seems the 645 might be the way to go for me. Having said that, I read a Ken Rockwell article on medium format, and he says "the bigger, the better". If I go for 645, does it provide enough of an improvement over 35mm that would be easily noticeable? I don't want to do it wrong: try it, not see much benefit, and give up on the medium format. Kind of like trying Italian food at Pizza Hut...
I think 645 is a great format to get started in medium format. You will definitely see the benefits over 35mm, and a camera like the Pentax 645 handles like a big 35mm so it's an easy switch.
With bigger negatives, you usually end up with bigger cameras and bigger lenses. This isn't necessarily a problem, but it makes for some pretty heavy gear.
The bigger, the better argument is only true to a point. If you plan on printing very large, then it can make sense.
When Sebastio Selgado swithed from 35mm to medium format so that he could make really large prints (36"x48") he chose the Pentax 645, and he stayed with it until he swithed to digital.
I have 12 medium format cameras (645, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, 6x12) and I use my Bronica ETRSI more than any other one camera. There are some special reasons why (it's easy for me to use without assistance), but I don't feel like I losing a lot of IQ by not using my 6x7. Of course the 6x7 negative is larger and so has many IQ advantages, but 645 is no slouch.

I agree with you about getting a 645 first over a 6x7. From what I have seen, the 645 is a tough camera and usually isn't problematic. The 6x7 is a great camera, but is known for film transport problems. This doesn't make it a bad buy, but if I were buying a used one on ebay, I would figure in the cost of having it serviced.
05-05-2016, 12:47 PM   #22
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Thank you very much for all your advice. I guess the last question I have is which lenses would you recommend? I almost exclusively use primes. Would a 50mm, 75mm, and 200mm be a good kit?
05-05-2016, 01:26 PM - 1 Like   #23
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For the Pentax 645, I would probably choose the 55/2.8, 75/2.8, and 150/3.5. The 200/4 is maybe a bit better lens than the 150/3.5, but for my use it's a bit long.
If you want wider, then maybe the 45/2.8 instead of the 55/2.8.
If you want a superb landscape lens, the 45-85mm zoom is a really good lens.

05-05-2016, 01:44 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
Thank you very much for all your advice. I guess the last question I have is which lenses would you recommend? I almost exclusively use primes. Would a 50mm, 75mm, and 200mm be a good kit?
It really depends on you but it could be a reasonable kit. I went for 45, 75, & 200 to have a nice range of FLs. The 45 and 200 being very inexpensive also helped with the decision. I have heard the 55 is very nice so it wouldn't be a mistake but I wanted something wider for landscapes. I've since gotten the A 35 to go even wider and it's a wonderful lens although not quite the bargain the 45 is.
05-06-2016, 10:03 PM   #25
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My Pentax 645 system consists of A35, FA45, A55, FA75, 6x7 105mm, A150 f/3.5 and with the exception of the 45mm all the rest are superb lenses.
I recently tested them with adapter on my Sony A7II and they are every bit as good (some times better) as the Sony FE lens line.
05-07-2016, 01:31 AM   #26
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Just as I decided to go with the 645, I found a 6x7 with 105 f2. 4 super takumar for $320 US in "superb condition". "not a scratch on it " he said in response to my email. No pictures though... And it is so close, only a six hour drive from here

Looks like $100 more than the cheapest 645 plus lens combination I can find on Ebay. If the condition is as he says, seems like it is worth the extra $100?
05-07-2016, 01:52 AM   #27
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Go for it, but be aware that the 6x7 is a real beast of a camera.
05-07-2016, 03:58 AM   #28
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medium runs from 645-6x9, I was looking on ebay and saw a lot of cheaper possibilities. there a lot of twin lens reflex from $100.00- $300.00. they were in hi-demand in their day. 6x6 might be a good fit. check it out.
05-07-2016, 08:12 AM   #29
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I have the 45-85, which is my go-to lens, and I use the 150 for portraits. Very happy with these lenses.
05-07-2016, 09:04 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
Just as I decided to go with the 645, I found a 6x7 with 105 f2. 4 super takumar for $320 US in "superb condition". "not a scratch on it " he said in response to my email. No pictures though... And it is so close, only a six hour drive from here

Looks like $100 more than the cheapest 645 plus lens combination I can find on Ebay. If the condition is as he says, seems like it is worth the extra $100?
Make sure you know how to test out the 6x7. Normally the shutter won't cock or fire unless there is film in the camera.
If it is working, $320 is a good buy, especially with that lens.
Is it a MLU version?
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