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01-07-2017, 07:44 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Just purchased a Pentax 6x7 - what to check?

Yesterday I impulse-bought a Pentax 6x7 with a 105mm lens. It's one of those deals that may be too good to be true. The seller has yet to ship it and delivery may take a while. While I wait for the system to arrive I wanted to ask the forum here what I should examine to ensure the body and lens are operating together as they should.

Any pointers would be great! Thanks!

01-07-2017, 08:11 PM   #2
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Open and close the aperture all the way.
Remove the lens, look into the mirror box, trigger the shutter, watch what the mirror does.
Run through every shutter speed and listen carefully to the sound.

The preceding will only tell you if there is a major flaw

Basic description of a test (other details should be obvious): load with film; in strong light, aim camera at a neutral-gray card or something of uniform reflectivity (a large clean piece of cardboard is OK).; run through as wide an aperture + shutter speed equivalent exposure combinations as possible such as: 1/500 f2.8; 1/250 f4; 1/125 f5.6; 1/60 f8, 1/30 f11, etc. Develop the film; lay over a light box and see that all the negatives have exactly the same density (=shutter speeds are accurate), all have uniform density one side to other (=shutter curtain travel is smooth and uniform), and there is no blackout (clear negative) on one edge (=mirror rise is sticky). The film strip will also reveal any light leaks (darkened, high density streaks on many or all negatives).
01-07-2017, 08:47 PM   #3
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Just send them both to Eric. $13.85 Priority Mail 2-Day Flat Rate. He'll tell you what's good, what's bad, and what it will cost to CLA. If you choose not to he'll send them back no charge.

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01-07-2017, 09:34 PM   #4
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Forget about loading the camera with negative film.

Get a roll of slide film. Load that into the camera, paying attention to set the correct ISO on the dial (this is fiddly if you don't have perfect eyesight).
Shoot in both bright daylight and overcast ("diffuse") light. Take written notes of the aperture and shutter speed you have used across the roll.
A waning or drifting TTL meter will show glaring errors in exposure because slide film does not have the overly generous latitude for under- or over-exposure that is such an endearing feature of negative film.

If meter errors are plainly visible and persistent, the camera requires service. This is especially so of the now very old Pentax 6x7 cameras (as opposed to the moderately old, later generation Pentax 67 bodies [1989 onwards] ).

Other errors are poor correlation of shutter speeds (marked shutter speeds are typically slower when firing), irregular frame spacing (large and larger gaps or overlap of frames), inaccurate shutter travel (some frames partially exposed, others not), battery compartment corrosion and the condition (or even absence!) of the meter coupling chain.

Foam seals on the base of TTL or non-ttl meter prisms wear down over time. This can mean the prism can 'wobble' slightly, and in certain circumstances, come away from the camera completely if tilted to portrait (vertical) orientation. Replacement seals are available, but the task is a grubby and tedious affair.

About the meter coupling chain. This is the 6x7's achilles heel and requires an awareness that incorrect prism-lens procedure can give rise to breakage. It is a bummer that requires disassembly of the camera's front (e.g. the attention of Eric H., mentioned in the foregoing post). This brings us to the first rule:

If you remove the prism, then remove the lens.
Re-mount the prism, and then re-mount the lens.
This resets the chain and meter coupling.


Above all else, use the camera frequently and when not in use, keep the shutter speed dial on either B or X, not on a marked shutter speed.


Last edited by Silent Street; 01-08-2017 at 04:32 PM.
01-08-2017, 08:02 AM   #5
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Don't try and dry fire the shutter without following the procedures in the 6x7 manual, the 6x7 does not work like a 35mm SLR.

Also Check the light seal and the seal around the prism to see if it loose.

Phil.
02-01-2017, 12:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Yesterday I impulse-bought a Pentax 6x7 with a 105mm lens. It's one of those deals that may be too good to be true. The seller has yet to ship it and delivery may take a while. While I wait for the system to arrive I wanted to ask the forum here what I should examine to ensure the body and lens are operating together as they should.

Any pointers would be great! Thanks!
At the back cover there is a small pin that is moved when you slide the pressure plate from 120 to 220 film. I've seen one camera where this pin did not move and hence if you loaded 220 film the frame counter kept counting for a 120 film. The result is that you cant really shoot 220 film.

Also when you connect a flash, make sure you plug it into the correct port.

Ohh and before I forget, definitely have to buy the wood grip. Makes a super looking camera look even better.

The 105mm lens you got with it is a super nice lens, great for portraits and landscapes. I still have my 150 f2.8 lens. Sold the camera a while back with the 105mm lens, but cant let go of the 150mm lens, not yet anyway.

If it doesn't have a split focussing screen then try to get one. They have become very difficult to get, but makes a focussing a breeze. If not available you can try to modify ones from a Mamiya, not sure about the size difference on the 6x7. I recently did something similar on my 645z, and now I can focus manually again without hassles.

You will have great fun with it.

Have fun!!!
Theuns

Last edited by TDvN57; 02-01-2017 at 12:32 PM. Reason: adding items
02-01-2017, 05:20 PM   #7
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Ohh and before I forget, definitely have to buy the wood grip. Makes a super looking camera look even better.

Better? That's subjective.
The grip adds bulk, making the camera difficult and awkward to fit into a pack (it takes up room otherwise needed for lenses etc., and besides that, a bigger pack is necessary to accommodate everything), and isolated cases of the wooden grip cracking and dislocating from the bracket.

The 67 may be big and heavy, but it does not really, in active use, gain anything with such a hideous protrusion and more weight. In 10 years of professional use I have never once longed for any sort of grip, and I have small hands. The best action is to feel comfortable with the camera in its basic shape and form and become accustomed to handling it proficiently.
02-02-2017, 04:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
Ohh and before I forget, definitely have to buy the wood grip. Makes a super looking camera look even better.

Better? That's subjective.
The grip adds bulk, making the camera difficult and awkward to fit into a pack (it takes up room otherwise needed for lenses etc., and besides that, a bigger pack is necessary to accommodate everything), and isolated cases of the wooden grip cracking and dislocating from the bracket.

The 67 may be big and heavy, but it does not really, in active use, gain anything with such a hideous protrusion and more weight. In 10 years of professional use I have never once longed for any sort of grip, and I have small hands. The best action is to feel comfortable with the camera in its basic shape and form and become accustomed to handling it proficiently.
I always appreciate the focused redirection of someone on a mission :-) Point taken, but the wood grip does look cool.

02-02-2017, 08:38 AM   #9
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I never used the wooden grip either at the start, but warmed up and really like them now. I was constantly adding the grip for flash work and then taking it off, seems like a waist of time so I just leave them attached to all three bodies now.

I use the grip to hold the camera when I'm walking between shoots and yes it does add some more space/weight but no big deal for me. And yes it does look cool!

Phil.
02-05-2017, 07:08 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
And yes it does look cool!
Now, THIS is cool! That's what Pentax should have done and never did.

02-06-2017, 09:43 AM   #11
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There is a procedure that will allow you shoot the camera without film in it. You could set the shutter speed to something slow enough to see if the aperture works and what not.
02-20-2017, 06:46 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
There is a procedure that will allow you shoot the camera without film in it. You could set the shutter speed to something slow enough to see if the aperture works and what not.

Open the back, press down on the hub of the counter with your thumb and rotate it past "1", keep it there, and close the back
02-20-2017, 07:14 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GarageBoy Quote
Open the back, press down on the hub of the counter with your thumb and rotate it past "1", keep it there, and close the back
And, what is missing from the procedure you described?
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