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03-02-2014, 05:22 PM   #1
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Repair 35mm SLR or start with MF (645/6x7)?

Hello! I couldn't decide where to put this, so I decided to post it here.

I am currently trying to make a decision. I mostly shoot portraits, product shots (both with a bit of flash,) with limited sports and landscapes thrown in.
I have been yearning for something... different. I had been considering saving up for a K-3 for the boost in "IQ." However, while digital is nice (being able to instantly have the shots,) I find myself drawn to film.

This is where the problem comes in. My K1000 has some issues with the mirror and shutter sticking. I'm assuming $60-100 to have it fixed. Or I could get an inexpensive 35mm. Or, I could try to find an inexpensive MF setup (Any suggestions for less than or around $400?)

My K-30 works fine for the sports shots I sometimes need, but I still want the look and perhaps the "image quality" of film and the larger format. And with the availability of film scanning gear (like was just shown by Pentax) I feel more comfortable trying at least B&W film which I could potentially develop at home (though I have little to no knowledge of that)

The 35mm SLR would be more likely and practical, but something draws me to the 645 and 6x7 formats.
Anything I missed? Any suggestions? Input would be greatly appreciated.


Last edited by SpartanD63; 03-02-2014 at 05:57 PM.
03-02-2014, 06:06 PM   #2
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If you want to go with a 645 or 67, first make sure you can afford some lenses you want.
03-02-2014, 06:27 PM   #3
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Good point, DSims. From the looks of it, I would have to buy a new lens for the FOV I want in both the 35mm and 645 formats. And since I don't mind (and actually like) manual focus, it seems that I could get some lenses for reasonably inexpensive prices. So it looks to be a tossup.
03-02-2014, 06:59 PM   #4
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But I don't think it'd be worth fixing the K1000 unless you really like it, because there are many other, more premium Pentax 35mm cameras you could choose from (even if they eventually need to be repaired too). Put the money toward another 35mm camera, or the beginning of your 645 or 67 kit.

03-02-2014, 07:55 PM   #5
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Yeah, I don't really have much of an attachment to this camera. So it looks like I'll save up for a 645 kit. Unless there any major points to deter one from MF... Aside from price and bulk.
03-02-2014, 08:19 PM   #6
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It's not so much the cost of the MF equipment, it's the cost of the film and the associated expenses.
03-02-2014, 08:36 PM   #7
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It all depends how you shoot. But I have few suggestions. For the $100 it would take to fix your K1000, you can get MX.

Otherwise if you tend to fire away, and not think too much about composition etc, MF might not be the right choice for you.
For me I like that I can take 12 photos on my 6x6 camera (16 photos for 645 and 10 for 67) and get to see them faster. With my MX I have to take 36 photos and that can take long time.

I think if you save up $500 you should be able to get a decent pentax 67 with 105mm f2.4 lens. For $400 you might have to look around.
I would only get 645 if weight is an issue. For me I wouldn't go smaller than 6x6 when going MF.
03-02-2014, 08:40 PM   #8
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I've noticed. Less than half the exposures per roll. Just in film cost it's about 3x the price per shot... But I wouldn't be switching to film for the cost. It's more expensive than digital either way.

The biggest issue I see with MF is the small amount of exposures per roll. But, from shots I've seen, and from what I've heard, it has an advantage at larger print sizes.

Hmm... This is kinda a tough call. Film isn't very economically practical either way, but the more expensive stuff looks great to my eye.

---------- Post added 03-02-14 at 08:44 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Nuff Quote
It all depends how you shoot. But I have few suggestions. For the $100 it would take to fix your K1000, you can get MX.

Otherwise if you tend to fire away, and not think too much about composition etc, MF might not be the right choice for you.
For me I like that I can take 12 photos on my 6x6 camera (16 photos for 645 and 10 for 67) and get to see them faster. With my MX I have to take 36 photos and that can take long time.

I think if you save up $500 you should be able to get a decent pentax 67 with 105mm f2.4 lens. For $400 you might have to look around.
I would only get 645 if weight is an issue. For me I wouldn't go smaller than 6x6 when going MF.
Hmm... Good points. And I actually do like slowing down and thinking about my shots more. I usually get more keepers that way.

Why do you suggest 67 over the 645 format?


Last edited by SpartanD63; 03-02-2014 at 08:46 PM.
03-02-2014, 08:47 PM   #9
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It all depends how you shoot. With my hasselblad, every shot is very deliberate and I have lots of keepers. I don't shoot randomly with it.
The huge viewfinders on MF cameras help with composing photos and getting everything right the first time. I never had a need for 2nd or 3rd photo. Unless it's people and I need to make sure they didn't blink etc...

With my 35mm gear, I tend to take lots of useless shots, just to get to the end of the roll. Very often so I can put in another film, with different ISO or Colour/BW etc...
03-02-2014, 09:00 PM   #10
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Yeah... I think I'd end up doing the same a lot with a 35mm. I switch styles often enough with my digital gear. I wouldn't like too much to be stuck with one "look" for too long xD

I think a MF might help my photography, especially a 67. Being limited to 10 well thought out shots would be good. And I couldn't just click away aimlessly as I sometimes do with digital. I think it would suit me best to get a 67. Now to save up for it.

Anything else I should keep in mind, going to MF?
03-02-2014, 09:01 PM   #11
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The 6x7 frame is over half again the size of the 6x4.5 frame. The more real estate you have on the film the better if you want that MF quality increase. You will also gain half the weight and the lens costs will be higher as well as the film and processing expenses. If you want the quality, go for big.
03-02-2014, 09:14 PM   #12
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I will also add, the pentax 67 lenses are cheap as dirt compared to lenses for my hasselblad. 50mm lens for Hassy costs around $800-1000. 55mm for Pentax 67 costs around $200-300. It's cheaper than any other MF system with decent lenses.
03-02-2014, 09:18 PM   #13
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It's kinda daunting, but I think I'll try it. I can always sell it if it turns out to be too much gear for me. And with how "cheap-as-dirt" Canada_Rockies says it is, I won't be out too much money.

EDIT: It seems that the 67 doesn't do so well hand held... That might be a bit of a deal-breaker. If that is as I've read, it'll have to be 645. Any comments on that?

Last edited by SpartanD63; 03-02-2014 at 10:16 PM.
03-02-2014, 10:48 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpartanD63 Quote
EDIT: It seems that the 67 doesn't do so well hand held... That might be a bit of a deal-breaker. If that is as I've read, it'll have to be 645. Any comments on that?
Should be no issues at 1/125 or higher shutter speeds using lenses 200mm or less.

Phil.
03-02-2014, 11:57 PM   #15
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Ok. Sounds pretty reasonable then.
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