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10-08-2019, 10:58 AM   #1
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Should I buy this 6 x 7?

I've always wanted a medium format film camera. I saw a Pentax 6 x 7 (non MLU) listed for sale on facebook messenger and had a chance to look the camera over. But I didn't buy it because there was an aspect of the camera that concerned me, and I hope someone can tell me if my worries are justified.


It seemed to be in good shape except that the battery indicator light didn't work. He told that despite that, everything worked OK. I opened the battery compartment to inspect it, took out the battery, put it back in, and then when I tripped the shutter, the mirror seemed to lock up. At that point I told him I didn't want to buy the camera. He called back to tell me that this issue was due to removing the battery, and he fixed it (without me present to witness it) by manually pushing the mirror back into place. He says this is known to happen when the battery is removed. That explanation seemed odd.


Can anyone tell me if this is true? I appreciate any advice offered.

10-08-2019, 11:27 AM   #2
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Sounds like the battery was weak. That is why the light didn't light up and the mirror stopped part way. Pushing the mirror back into place is not the solution, however. You should put a new battery in and push the small round button in the part of the camera where you normally grip it. The mirror then will reset and you can take pictures. The camera normally doesn't fire without film in it. You have to open the back, turn the counter by pressing your thumb on the middle of the counter and rotating until you see a number by the frame number indicator and while holding that you close the back. You can then cock and fire the shutter.
10-08-2019, 01:40 PM   #3
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I agree that the battery is probably weak. The batter is a 28A, which you should be able to find just about anywhere. Pentaxus is spot on with the frame counter bypass to test the shutter. Took me a couple of tries on my wife's 6x7 to get this working.
10-08-2019, 02:07 PM - 1 Like   #4
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DO NOT EVER FORCE THE MIRROR UP OR DOWN, for whatever reason.

When a battery is exhausted and the shutter button is pressed, the mirror will rise only half way. At this point, remove the battery and replace with a new one. Then reset the camera by using a toothpick inserted into the recessed button to othe left of the mirror box: press once, then press the shutter and wind on. This is the only correct method to reset the mirror.

The mirror can also fail to complete its travel due to a fault with the solenoid.

Thus, I would pass it up, chiefly on the age of the camera, but also on the strong suspicion the seller hasn't given you the full picture on this camera.

The battery indicatory's lack of operation is a hint of deeper problems, but the behaviour of the mirror suggests to me the solenoid that controls its movement has or is close to failure. Replacement of this is not a DIY task, and a repair facility would need to source a replacement from a like-camera (there are no new parts). Doing this introduces a cycle of redundancy and unreliability in a camera that is now considered by many people to be too old for continued reliable service. This advice applies to the 1969-vintage Pentax 6x7. The Pentax 67, which was introduced in 1989-1990 with engineering improvements, is a better option, though can be considerably more expensive. Choose carefully.


Last edited by Silent Street; 10-08-2019 at 02:34 PM.
6 Days Ago   #5
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Thank you for the advice. I'll pass on this one, but keep my eyes open for a newer model.
6 Days Ago   #6
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Just a battery issue. These camera build like a tank.... Just don't touch the shutter curtain, don't remove the prism without removing the lens first (aperture chain), and battery, they need battery to operate.
6 Days Ago   #7
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Buying a non MLU 6x7 at this point in time is not for the Pentax 6x7 novice. If you had already owned this system for years and knew the camera well, then that is another matter. The non MLU camera is harder to load than the newer models, had more problems with frame spacing and of course no MLU. I own one (along with 2 newer ones) but can't recommend them.
6 Days Ago   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
Buying a non MLU 6x7 at this point in time is not for the Pentax 6x7 novice. If you had already owned this system for years and knew the camera well, then that is another matter. The non MLU camera is harder to load than the newer models, had more problems with frame spacing and of course no MLU. I own one (along with 2 newer ones) but can't recommend them.

Why does the non-MLU have such a litany of challenges like this?
I think your post has neatly explained the somewhat short and testy acquaintance a colleague had with a non-MLU 6x7 almost 10 years ago, and which appears to see very little, if any at all use now.

6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #9
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Gary--- Most owners of this non-MLU camera did not modify the film spool pins and the film loading became a nightmare because the pins were too long. One just could not load film without a struggle. The newer models had shorter pins. I modified mine and still use the camera.

Steve
6 Days Ago   #10
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My two cents, I probably would not get any 6x7 model at this time, start with the 67. (Unless you can find a mint 6x7 MLU or one that has a service record and is easily returned if there are any issues)

Phil.
5 Days Ago   #11
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I am unlikely to be replacing my P67 if/when it packs it in. By that time, I think I will be pretty darned close to retirement!!
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