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07-24-2019, 02:26 AM   #1
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New (to me!) Pentax 67

Greetings! Yesterday my 67 arrived from Japan. Very nice condition, with the TTL finder and a late-model SMC 105mm f2.4 in just beautiful condition. I put a fresh battery in and added my Op/Tech USA wide neoprene strap to left side lugs. So far, just walking around the yard, slung cross-ways over my shoulder, Iím not fearing the weight of the beast - we shall see. One thing is for sure, with the strap, I see no value in the wood grip (dead weight), and Iíll be selling it off soon.

I practiced dry-firing, hand-holding it around the yard, while getting the feel of the mirror lock up process. The shutter sound is intoxicating, and indeed, itís the first SLR Iíve used with rifle-like recoil 😀.

The only issue I see is that the foam seal at the rear of the camera, upper and lower, is pretty much shot. The seals at the finder look good, as well as those immediately surrounding the right-side take-up spool. I ordered an ebay seal kit last night, but in all my excitement, I went ahead and loaded a roll of Portra 400. Iíve got a family beach trip coming up in two weeks, and Iím not sure Iíll get the new seals in by then. My goal had been to get some decent photos of Mom and Dad, as they are beginning to limit their outings such as this one, due to their age. I donít plan to be outside with the camera on this trip unless just after sunrise or in the late afternoon hours, but I envision some individual family shots on the porch during the daytime.

So my question is - how concerned should I be about those seals? Iíd hate to blow a couple of rolls (and the opportunity) only to find light contamination. Is the temporary work-around of running a strip of black electrical tape around the door a bad idea?

I look forward to learning and sharing here.

Thanks in advance, Ken

07-24-2019, 06:11 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kmier Quote
Greetings! Yesterday my 67 arrived from Japan. Very nice condition, with the TTL finder and a late-model SMC 105mm f2.4 in just beautiful condition. I put a fresh battery in and added my Op/Tech USA wide neoprene strap to left side lugs. So far, just walking around the yard, slung cross-ways over my shoulder, Iím not fearing the weight of the beast - we shall see. One thing is for sure, with the strap, I see no value in the wood grip (dead weight), and Iíll be selling it off soon.

I practiced dry-firing, hand-holding it around the yard, while getting the feel of the mirror lock up process. The shutter sound is intoxicating, and indeed, itís the first SLR Iíve used with rifle-like recoil 😀.

The only issue I see is that the foam seal at the rear of the camera, upper and lower, is pretty much shot. The seals at the finder look good, as well as those immediately surrounding the right-side take-up spool. I ordered an ebay seal kit last night, but in all my excitement, I went ahead and loaded a roll of Portra 400. Iíve got a family beach trip coming up in two weeks, and Iím not sure Iíll get the new seals in by then. My goal had been to get some decent photos of Mom and Dad, as they are beginning to limit their outings such as this one, due to their age. I donít plan to be outside with the camera on this trip unless just after sunrise or in the late afternoon hours, but I envision some individual family shots on the porch during the daytime.

So my question is - how concerned should I be about those seals? Iíd hate to blow a couple of rolls (and the opportunity) only to find light contamination. Is the temporary work-around of running a strip of black electrical tape around the door a bad idea?

I look forward to learning and sharing here.

Thanks in advance, Ken
Ken,

Congrats on your 6x7. Iíve had several over the years.

Two comments. I would not discount usefulness of the wood grip and get rid of it right away. After using the camera for awhile, I think youíll see the benefit of it.

Besides seals, the other area to be concerned with is your film advance gears. Thereís a lot of pressure on this mechanism due to the size of film. I had Eric Hendrickson CLA my last two 6x7ís including lubricating all the gears. Dramatically improved smoothness of film advance. Something to consider.

Enjoy the camera. The images are stunning!

Cheers,
Ned
07-24-2019, 06:25 AM   #3
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The wood grip is very very useful.
07-24-2019, 10:27 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I see Eric Hendrickson referenced as the go-to guy, going back quite a while in old posts. I was concerned that by now he may be near retirement age! Heís on my speed-dial if I find I need his services.

I will hold onto the grip a while. Right now, Iím just trying to get comfortable, and use MLU all the times the shot allows for it. While I know I wonít have the highest sharpness by hand-holding it, my goal is to get as good as possible at it. Possibly carry a monopod around when I do go out with it.

Got to start shooting!

07-24-2019, 11:15 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kmier Quote
Thanks for the replies. I see Eric Hendrickson referenced as the go-to guy, going back quite a while in old posts. I was concerned that by now he may be near retirement age! Heís on my speed-dial if I find I need his services.

I will hold onto the grip a while. Right now, Iím just trying to get comfortable, and use MLU all the times the shot allows for it. While I know I wonít have the highest sharpness by hand-holding it, my goal is to get as good as possible at it. Possibly carry a monopod around when I do go out with it.

Got to start shooting!
Iím about to send Eric a lovely Asahi Pentax SP Black for CLA. Heís still doing great work and is very reasonable cost wise.
07-24-2019, 11:24 AM   #6
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Thanks, Ned!
07-24-2019, 01:49 PM   #7
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I wouldn't shy away from the black electrical tape. Just use a good, expensive one. They tend to leave less residue. The clean up afterwards is what's cumbersome.
You know why they say. Better safe than sorry. Specially with family moments.
I hope everything turns out well, and that you can share some nice portraits here afterwards. Best regards!
07-24-2019, 03:01 PM   #8
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If you are talking about replacement of the foam seal around the edge of the TTL finder, that is a definite bugger! An indication of replacement is when the TTL finder 'rattles' in its locked position or, worst of all, comes away from the camera through no provocation.

Replacement precision-cut and measured seals are exceptionally well made from Aki-Asahi Custom Camera Coverings in Nagoya/Tokyo for about $15. The rear cover has a dovetail arrangement in addition to the seal channel; I have not seen evidence that worn seals here will compromise the light-tightness of the camera -- this is more of a problem with loading and unloading 120 roll film: never mind the camera. 99% of light spoilage I have seen among users and online is caused by this seemingly overlooked skill!

The 105mm lens is a great start. The quality of the images depends also on how refined one's shooting technique is. Mirror lock-up with separate shutter release, and mounting the camera on a tripod will deliver the very, very best quality in imaging this camera is capable of, meaning that you must work with it, not against it, and this is the problem with handheld (or 'freehand') photography where users vehemently assert that freehand shooting at low shutter speeds will give sharp results. It will not, and this will be evident under loupe examination, and even more dramatically so if you print huge, as I do.

I see no benefit at all in using the wooden grip, other than adding significant weight and bulk that complicates packing of the camera into the bag. The 67 is big and bulky enough without that. The OpTech strap is an excellent choice, though the quick release buckles should be locked with a cable tie to prevent accidential release. I removed the neoprene section; all I have now is a haul-up strap for docking the 67 into the Manfrotto Mg head (the camera slides in from the front with this).

07-25-2019, 06:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kmier Quote
... While I know I won’t have the highest sharpness by hand-holding it, my goal is to get as good as possible at it. Possibly carry a monopod around when I do go out with it.
Congrats on your new gear.

I have only used my wood grip for situations like when I was on a sailboat bouncing around in choppy seas; otherwise, I have no desire to use it because I keep my P67 in a compact configuration using a waist level finder (aka the folding hood). Of course the longer focal length the harder it will be to get crisp, handhold shots. The 105/2.4 is my limit. I have done a lot of handhold with the 55/4. A mono pod is a good idea. I have used one with my medium format cameras but not too often. For me, 1/30th second is about my lower limit while on a monopod.

Sure use electrical tape. It can only help.

Have fun with your new gear.
07-25-2019, 08:32 AM   #10
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Congrats on your new gear. The handle can be awkward with short lenses (physical length) but helps me with longer/heavier lenses (more so for carrying the camera than shooting it - I always cradle the lens with my left hand when shooting). Like Silent Street, I zip tie the OpTech plastic buckles together. Be warned that the metering in the prism is rudimentary and may have drifted with time. When I bought mine, I was advised to always guide the film advance lever back with the thumb rather that letting it snap back.

Remember the golden rule when removing the TTL prism: If you remove the prism, you must unmount the lens before remounting the prism, remounting the lens after the prism - you risk breaking the metering chain otherwise.
07-25-2019, 09:45 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replies...all good advice. I went out this morning around dawn and shot a roll on an old abandoned house where a lumber crew had recently cleared around. Before, you hardly knew it was there from the two lane street.

I did use an old (circa early 60ís) Celestron tubular-legged tripod and a remote shutter plunger. Hoping my TTL meter is still somewhat accurate, but something tells me itís off. Can they be recalibrated for less than an arm and a leg if I need to?

Iíll try to figure out how to post a couple of photos when I can. Thanks.
07-25-2019, 12:14 PM   #12
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If you have a smartphone, try using the built in camera (or any other digital camera) to see what exposure it's using or get a dedicated metering app; that should get you in the right ballpark to see if the TTL meter is accurate.
07-25-2019, 02:08 PM   #13
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Thank you - I know my 645 has a very consistent light meter - I will make direct comparisons with it for reference.
07-25-2019, 02:37 PM   #14
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Be aware that as the 67 TTL meters age, they become inconsistent. Be on the lookout for it. The same scene metered several times over a period of 10 minutes could show very different readings, even when the light is the same on all attempts.
07-25-2019, 03:00 PM   #15
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Can they be corrected?
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