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06-13-2009, 07:26 PM   #1
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Pentax 6x7

Year introduced
Pentax 6x7 dual bayonet
Meter range
2.5 - 19 EV (TTL pentaprism viewfinder)
Meter pattern
ISO range
12 - 3200
Film type
120 and 220 roll film
No. of exposures
120 film: 10, 220 film: 21
Data imprint on film
Exposure modes
M, B, X, T
Exposure compensation
Not applicable
Exposure memory lock
Not applicable
Shutter speeds (auto)
Not applicable
Shutter speeds (manual)
1 - 1/1000s
Shutter speeds (mechanical)
Half step speeds in M and Tv
Self timer
Mirror lock-up
Yes, except for the first year of production
Auto bracketing
Not applicable
Multiple exposures
Built-in flash
TTL flash
P-TTL flash
Sync speed
Flash exposure comp
Not applicable
Autofocus sensitivity
Not applicable
Exchangeable. Pentaprism 90% coverage, waist level 100% coverage
Viewfinder type
Pentaprism, TTL pentaprism with light meter, folding waist level, rigid waist level magnifying hood
Diopter correction
Exchangeable screen
Yes (at service center)
Depth of field preview
Yes (on lens)
Image size
55 x 70 mm
6V alkaline or silver oxide battery
External battery pack
Yes, for use in cold temperatures
Size (W x H x D)
184 x 149 x 91 mm (with pentaprism, without lens)
1290 g, 1750 g with pentaprism finder
Accepts leaf shutter lens for flash synchronization to 1/500s.
The TTL pentaprism with lightmeter couples to the shutter speed and aperture and provides for manual 'match needle' exposure setting

Attached Images
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PENTAX K20D  Photo 
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PENTAX K20D  Photo 

Last edited by Ole; 05-05-2010 at 07:08 PM.
09-14-2009, 04:14 PM   #2

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Honeywell Pentax 6x7

There should be a distinction made in this camera review section about the early non lock up Honeywell. It was made for the US market and was cosmetically different from the MLU Asahi that followed. The Honeywell had some design differences as well. The most noticable were the film spool pins; being longer than the MLU version. This made film loading very difficult because the spools just would not go into place easily. Many Honeywell owners have filed the pins to shorten them for a better fit. The non-USA version of this camera was called Asahi Pentax, so that is why there are some Asahi bodies with no MLU. The non-USA Asahi had bolder lettering on the finder when compared with the later Asahi MLU version. Besides the pin difference on the Honeywell, it also had a different film guide on the film door than the newer models. It would also shoot 21 frames when using 220. The film guide roller near the take up spool was flat black instead of chrome. Only one film start mark is seen inside the body. Battery door and lens release slider are two tone; black and silver.

Last edited by desertscape; 09-19-2009 at 05:19 PM.
09-18-2009, 11:50 AM   #3

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Location: Arizona
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Asahi Pentax 6x7 MLU

Pros - it is as solid and well built as the Leicaflex cameras
- several finder options
- stronger mounting for long lenses (outer bayonet)
- accurate averaging TTL meter when using gray card
- system has full array of lens focal lengths ( 30 different optical designs)
- many focusing screen options
- can handle bumps and small drops and survive
- reliable for at least 15,000 frames
- no film flatness issues
- outstanding field camera
- can be used for portraits or weddings in a pinch, especially with the 165mm LS lens
- long history of Pro users- a proven camera
- affordable lens line up when compared with other 67 cameras
- the top 10 lenses of the system can easily compete in sharpness with any 67 camera
- 2 tier lens quality-- (Takumar/Pentax plus the higher quality/price M*)
- extensive macro and close up equipment available
- having the shutter in the camera body instead of the lenses, keeps the cost of the lenses low.

Cons- I would have preferred to have the MLU be mechanical like the KX, so that one
could take the mirror down without wasting a shot.
- no half speeds----when you need to have a certain f-stop but the speeds can't get you
into the right exposure, a sacrifice of that f-stop is required. So having half
speeds would solve this.
- outer bay lens mount connectivity to the TTL has been an issue (no meter reading is seen with some bodies.)
- delicate film advance mechanism
- shutter vib at certain speeds affects longer lens sharpness.

I have been using this camera for 21 years now with 10 being professional. The Asahi Pentax 6x7 MLU has all the attributes necessary for the pro shooter to succeed. The only limitation is the shooter himself.

Last edited by desertscape; 03-28-2010 at 10:34 AM.
03-01-2010, 10:59 PM   #4
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There are in fact three different versions of the 6x7.
The original version, released in 1969, had a slightly different loading system with little round checkered plates for the spool release instead of the lift up latch style found on all later models. You pushed in the plate and turned it, rather than lifting up the latch and turning it. The earliest manual (the red Asahi Pentax one) shows this arrangement.

This was upgraded with the new latch style of spool release, but still without mirror lock-up. The earliest Honeywell 6x7 manual I have (the dark blue one) shows this style of camera.

Finally there is the MLU version.

Somewhere along the way the 10/21 switch on the side became 120/220 and the number of frames on 220 dropped to 20 but that may have happened before or after MLU was adopted.

Note that there isn't a separate "Honeywell Version" per se, while Honeywell held distribution rights in the USA the finders were labelled "Honeywell Pentax" but once that agreement ceased they were labelled "Asahi Pentax" the same as everywhere else in the world. Since the logo is only on the finder and the finders are interchangeable there is no guarantee that a camera with a Honeywell finder was sold that way.

There is possibly an even earlier version, since the original advertising booklet (the yellow one) shows a chrome and black 6x7, much like a big Spotmatic although the prism is black. If it does exist (other than as a prototype) it will most likely have been sold in Japan only.

05-08-2010, 04:42 PM   #5
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Pentax 6x7 Camera Review

Pros Big and reliable
Cons Big
Rating 9
Price $200
Years Owned 10
I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Mirror lockup, versatile viewfinder arrangements

Camera Review
I have 4 lenses to go with this big SLR. All of the glass for this system is good. If this negative isn't big enough, move on the LF. I have a waist level finder and a ttl prism which give it versatility. The advantage of this body is its big. The disadvantage to this body is that its big. Don't be afraid to use too much tripod or monopod with it. If I didn't like my 135 platform so much, this rig would replace them!!
07-27-2010, 12:14 AM   #6

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Pentax 6x7 Camera Review

Pros rugged, great lenses
Cons heavy
Rating 9
Price don't remember
Years Owned 25 years

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
The 6X7 is a better field camera than the Mamiyas and Bronicas, and less expensive than Hassleblad and Rollei. Solid optics and a dependable body make it attractive.

Camera Review
I've used the 6X7 mostly for landscapes. Great results are possible, and it sets up much more quickly than a view camera. I use the waist-level hood and a fiber optic equipped meter to take reading of the ground glass. This technique helps deal with the limited dynamic range of the chrome films I shoot.

My lenses are the 45, 55, 90, 165, and 2x. I use a Nikor 105mm enlarging lens on the helicoid extension tube for macro work, which is dandy as long as the subject is static.

For many years a used a lightweight Gitzo Reporter and hung my pack from it for stability. That works quite well under most circumstances.

I must admit that I shoot digital more often now. Processing is so much easier, as well as less expensive.
12-02-2010, 01:37 PM   #7
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Pentax 6x7 Camera Review

Pros Affordable 6x7 system
Cons soft handed with film transport
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) $350
Years Owned 2

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
If you don't mind heavy or big. This camera is mostly a predictable image machine. It is the plush truck of a sports sedan of cameras. The lenses are mostly affordable and deliver sharp and contrasty images.

Camera Review
Firstly, I got the camera body very cheap... about 150. It looked great, however, I soon found out that the previous owner was a little too energetic with the film advancing and so the two test rolls were overlapping frames which meant it needed a $200 repair to the fried film clutch and little gearbox (120/220 switch). Post repair... A great joy to use this camera! Strange to some to hear due to the weight and I tell my wife that I get lots of exercise lifting it. However, I do like to use this camera because of it's layout and at the same time knowing I'm toting camera that is capable of producing absolutely beautiful images. Other systems are out there but few can compete with the full system of lenses and performance to price.

I am not a Pro, but I've had to use my P6X7 for work to shoot people and places for publication and thanks to the great lenses I had lots of really nice shots. I've surprise many with my 6x7 images when it came time to weed through the collection of digital and film shots. People were liking the film shots more than the 14.6MP digital shots. Hey!.. love those lenses on film!

Weight aside, this is a very maneuverable camera as it handle much like the diminutive 35mm cousins. Using the microprism that is standard on most P6x7s to focus was comfortable in average indoor lighting scenes and even with the lenses that are f4 maximum aperture. Differing from the common SLR would be setting the shutter speeds on the left side as opposed to traditional right side next to shutter release. However, when you get use to the other side selecting is smooth and positively. A feature hard not to notice are the four strap lugs up front and allow for the familiar wooden left grip and the mounting points for the strap providing horizontal or vertical use. I even found it convenient to mount the camera upside-down when shouldering as it will help to pull taught the strap for extra steadiness. Just make sure you have a properly functioning locks for the prism before you try this.

Since the camera's CLA and repair by a pro (Eric Hendrickson), all exposure were right on the money every time. No surprises with the film advance for 120 and 220 film anymore, just nice even spaces every time.

Easy enough to mount the lenses although if you are use to K-mounts, you will find it a little odd.

Here comes the negative points that are on my list

The camera has a big mirror and this fact is known every time you released the shutter. That mighty "Ka-Chunk!" or "Ta-Flap!" in other hemispheres... is the sound that turns heads and gets digital shooters diving for cover. If you are not prepared for the effects of this big mirror on the move, then fuzzy is going to be an extra feature to your images. Many sources out there will say: " speeds 1/125th and slower don't try it without a tripod..." Yet oddly... I've made shots at low speeds without the MLU or pod. They looked very sharp and I simply just braced myself to achieve this. At 1/15 and 1/30 wide open to 2.4 on the 105mm with the MLU, I don't see the vertical motion of the mirror at all on some of my shots. Could this mean I steadied the camera enough on some shots?

That brings me to the Mirror-Lock-Up/MLU. I love it and sometimes hate it. I've gotten the hang of using it in low light conditions (speeds 1/60 to 1/8) and so with a flick of the finger for the MLU switch and followed by the twitch for the release, I've been getting 7 out of 8 low-speed shots that are sharp or very-very usable. Now sometimes that flick was an accidental one and leaves me with a choice of finding at least something to shoot at blind or plain waste the frame just to get that mirror back down.

Now the next obvious thing is the weight, but I'm talking more about holding that weight comfortably. The ergonomics of hold such a heavy camera the likes of the P6x7 or P67 body... it just really needs a right hand grip like the P67ii. Those years in production...its amazing to me that Pentax never marketed one? It looks they were aware of the issue since they did bother to mold such a thing to the P67ii body. I've built and added a right-hand grip which gave me tons of stability to the use of the camera. The left grip is nice and sometimes is helpful too, but more an aid when you have a flash than a every day help...yes, that's my opinion and I've read about other who would never take the left grip off.

Focusing aid is a minor thing for me really. In extremely challenging low light conditions the microprism is almost useless and short of a flashlight, the only upgrade solution out there is the sometimes rare Beattie Interscreen that's a split-image aid with a brighten coat of some sort. You could home brewed laser pointer on a goose neck and shine it at a point of aim and try to focus on it. I've tried that in a test and it does work, but the real world human subject may not like that. So at f4.5 and narrower is a challenge.

Another thing to watch out for is the not-so-user-friendly method of a lens change when a metered-prism is mounted. I don't own one yet, but I am aware and heed the warnings! If you are not careful and forget to remove or lift the metered-prism unit off before changing the lens, it could mean that the coupling mechanism (chain) in the camera can snap. So look up the proper procedures and memorize it!

So in conclusion (finally)

My P6x7 has delivered every time, for me it is a 95% love and 5% hate... yes I'm bias. It is a grand-ugly-hulk that adds up to handsome. Your mileage may vary... but if medium format is calling to you? The P6X7, P67 is a good place to go... or if your wallet is bigger, take a look at what the folks over at the P67ii review say.

Last edited by MysteryOnion; 12-11-2010 at 02:13 AM. Reason: Sloppy proof reading...darn-it found another typo!
01-31-2011, 01:58 PM   #8
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Pentax 6x7 Camera Review

Pros relatively cheap, different viewfinders, easy to use when used to a (d)SLR
Cons heavy, noisy, but that's only relative
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) 200
Years Owned 1

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
MLU version, performance is great. It's big, everyone knows. My copy has a broken coupling chain, so no TTL metering, but that's not a big deal, because I just love the waist level finder...

Camera Review
When I wanted a MF camera for street work, I fell in love with the photos on the net of this particular camera. I bought one with 4 lenses (35/4 fish-eye, 55/4, 165/2.8, 200/4), a prism and waist level finder and a wooden grip. Most of the time I use the 55mm, and it's great for street work, especially with the waist level finder. People just don't see you're pointing a camera towards them! That's a weird experience, with such a bulky camera! I use the camera mostly hand-held, which is very much possible, whatever they say otherwise....

All in all I love this camera. It's versatile, easy to use, but a bit heavy to carry around all day....

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