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06-03-2018, 06:47 AM   #1
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Pentax 645n/645nii vs 67

This is my first post in this forum, I landed here to read about 67 and 645 camera and lens reviews.
I am unable to decide in buying the new pentax medium format film camera.
I shoot 35mm with few cameras. I tried my friends Mamiya 645 af when I wished to try medium format. I did lots of research (last 3 months) and found pentax 645n and 67 are right for me.
I chose the 645n first for its af, metered prism, bright viewfinder, variety of lenses, 67 adapter, focus confirmation, dedicated dials, etc. But later leaned towards the 67 for, large negative than 645, wonderful lenses, ttl prism, mup, almost the price of 645n mint.
Then, I looked at buying 645 with 55mm f4 67 lens and an adapter, to start with.
I also have hesitation in buying 67, some say in forums that 67 has maintenance issues, clad once before use, limitations of 67, not idle for street, shutter locking up, minimum 1/125, high speed films etc.
What else I will miss in 67 if I go for 645n, besides the negative size, when I chose 645n?
Do I go for 67 or 6x7 with mup and ttl? I compared 67 and 6x7 features side by side and found no difference. what should I look for or enquire about if I buy a used 67?
Should I seriously consider 645ni, it's mup?

Thanks

06-03-2018, 08:38 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I had the same consideration a few months ago, and ended up with the 67. The 645N is a more modern camera than a 67, in the sense that it has a lot of conveniences: autofocus, autoexposure, power winder. It turns out that that was exactly what I was trying to get away from—I was looking to focus on the process of photography.
With the 67, I just went for the newest I could afford, so I went with a 67, not a 6x7. The main reason was age. Functionally a 67 and a 6x7 MLU are basically identical, but the 6x7 MLU could be as old as ~1975, whereas the 67 was introduced in 1990, so I was guaranteed a certain maximum age.
06-03-2018, 08:54 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The handling of all the 645 variants versus the 67 variants are DRASTICALLY different. Entirely different shooting experiences. I've been shooting both for about 5 years now and honestly you've made a good choice right off that bat. That is to say, I've long since parted with all my 645 lenses and now only use 67 glass for both formats (with adapter on 645). It's a very convenient setup. There are no AF options, but that doesn't concern me and never has. Auto aperture is still preserved for priority modes on the 645 system as well which is a big plus. I have a 645Nii, a 67, and a 67ii (more recently early this year).

Again, they are very different cameras - I personally prefer the handling and images from the 67 (but make no mistake, the film area provided by the 645 will still utterly blow away 35mm). The 645 is a less "tactile" shooter, more along the lines of shooting something like an MZ-7 or the like in 35mm if you're familiar. While the 67 is more like a gigantic KX, or something along those lines.

Try both. You may well keep both. But I don't think there's anything wrong with what you've settled on whatsoever.

Last edited by Eyewanders; 06-03-2018 at 08:59 AM.
06-03-2018, 11:34 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Entirely different shooting experiences.
^ ^ ^ Nothing to add


Steve

06-03-2018, 12:15 PM - 1 Like   #5
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When I upgraded from 35mm to medium format, my decision was based on:
a) My need for a significant, tangible improvement in 16x20" prints.
b) A system that wasn't too slow or heavy for me to carry or hike with all day.
c) Preferred format ratio and enhanced bokeh with less depth of field.

For me, the 645 format fit my needs. Yes, the 67 negs are even better, but I just found the camera, lenses, and ergonomics too heavy and slow for how I want and need to shoot. There are many street and nature photographers that will disagree, but for the amount of technical improvement in film size, it wasn't worth the other practical considerations for me.

My work, both as a pro and and as an enthusiast, was mostly competing and comparing with 35mm shooters. So the 645 gave me the edge I wanted. If instead, I was comparing and competing with other medium format photographers, I would have gone large format!

I have both the 645 and 645N. I actually prefer the feel and ergonomics of the 645 over the 645N, but appreciate and use more AF as my eyes age, and getting a 16th exposure is a nice bonus. For long or night exposures, I'd rather go with a FF (or MF) digital, so the mirror up feature on the 645Nii is not of importance to me.
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Last edited by Alex645; 06-03-2018 at 12:20 PM.
06-03-2018, 01:17 PM - 1 Like   #6
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For me the the biggest difference between the 645 and 6x7 film cameras is the system itself.

The 645 system went the auto focus route with more advanced communication between the camera & lenses. As well as more zooms lenses and less specialty lenses.

The 6x7 system remained manual focus with more emphasis on the system part. With the interchangeable viewfinders and more specialty lenses like Fish-eye, shift & soft lenses with less zooms.

Phil.
06-03-2018, 01:29 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
The handling of all the 645 variants versus the 67 variants are DRASTICALLY different
I second this. I had the same dilemma in the past, and I think you should decide whether you are going to use 645, or rather 67 (regardless actual make). Once you make your mind, it is going to be much easier to select the gear.

P.S. I decided to use Mamiya RB 67 for its rotating back and ability to change the film mid-roll.
06-03-2018, 01:31 PM - 1 Like   #8
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All Pentax 645 models can use the original 645 manual focus (-A equivalent) lenses, no?

I like the design of the Pentax 67, like some overgrown 35mm SLR, but given its enormous size and weight
I'm confident the 645 models handle better and are more practical for everyday shooting.

Chris

06-03-2018, 03:48 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
All Pentax 645 models can use the original 645 manual focus (-A equivalent) lenses, no?
Yup.

QuoteQuote:

I like the design of the Pentax 67, like some overgrown 35mm SLR, but given its enormous size and weight
I'm confident the 645 models handle better and are more practical for everyday shooting.
Frankly, I think the 67 handles better, with the exception of film changes (though if you don't have a back pre-loaded at the ready and we're talking about actually loading the roll itself, then I'd actually say the 67 is a tad less "fiddly"). It's also actually only marginally heavier and it's total volume in space I can't imagine is much more if not nearly the same. The proportions are obviously far different. When you start adding glass things certainly change, but since I shoot both I wound up nearly always taking 67 lenses and swapping which is what eventually led me to simply ditch the 645 glass. And for some reason I actually *prefer* 67 glass on the 645's... it just feels more balanced and the lens barrel is closer to the bottom of the camera body - just feels natural to me until you get up to something like the 300mm (and *maybe* the 165).

They're really, once again, just drastically different in operation at every turn. I will say, that 10 frames sometimes feels limiting, so I'm always on the lookout for 220 deals. But beyond that, I really only choose the 645 when I'm at an event for quicker shots, or "less expensive" shot, as it were.

Anyhow YM(and everyone else's)MV.
06-03-2018, 04:50 PM   #10
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Yeah, I’m also still contemplating a 645 camera just to get 15/16 frames on a roll, and depending on the camera, to get something a little more portable. Shooting film has really helped me slow down my process compared to digital, but it’s still really easy to get to 10 and still think you want to take a few more shots.
06-03-2018, 07:52 PM - 1 Like   #11
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I'd like to augment my previous statement that the 67 handles better than the 645... I think that *now* after adding a custom right-side grip to my 67, and after shooting with the 67ii (which already has a right-hand grip). WithOUT a grip on these, the 645s do handle better. A barebones, sans grip 67 or 6x7 is a little awkward at first.

That said I personally *hate* the Pentax left-hand wooden-handled grip (with the flash mount). I find the camera even more awkward with one attached.
06-03-2018, 09:25 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
That said I personally *hate* the Pentax left-hand wooden-handled grip (with the flash mount). I find the camera even more awkward with one attached.
But the grip looks sooo cool...

I think the 67 grip is better for carrying the camera than it is for using it...

-Eric
06-03-2018, 11:24 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
But the grip looks sooo cool...

I think the 67 grip is better for carrying the camera than it is for using it...

-Eric
I have a strap.

06-04-2018, 07:18 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
I'd like to augment my previous statement that the 67 handles better than the 645... I think that *now* after adding a custom right-side grip to my 67, and after shooting with the 67ii (which already has a right-hand grip). WithOUT a grip on these, the 645s do handle better. A barebones, sans grip 67 or 6x7 is a little awkward at first.

That said I personally *hate* the Pentax left-hand wooden-handled grip (with the flash mount). I find the camera even more awkward with one attached.
I have the hot-shoe (TTL flash) left side grip on my 67ii as well as a strap, so a three way safety net.

Phil.
06-04-2018, 03:13 PM - 1 Like   #15
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I already had (for a long time) a Mamiya 645 when I bought my 6x7, I'd wanted a 6x7 forever, but prices were always way above my budget. When I finally found one, it has become my most used camera for anything but holiday photos (I hardy used my K-5 since buying it). I also picked up the 645 adapter and was thinking of a 645N but the prices were too high (and the size saving seemed too small), compared to just using the Mamiya. I've since built a comprehensive lens line-up for the 6x7.

With smaller lenses, the left-hand grip gets in the way of cradling the lens with the left hand, with bigger/longer lenses it helps (mostly for carrying the camera), I also use a strap on the right-hand lugs. For ultimate security, follow the suggestion in the Pentax manual - "... two straps may be used when security is paramount, e.g. when mountaineering...".

I prefer the manual operation of the 6x7, ten frames is usually enough before I want to change film stock for a different approach, the lenses are really well built and have good solid controls. When you get everything right, the chromes that come out of the camera are simply stunning - 645 is really good, but don't have the same impact.

Last edited by johnha; 06-04-2018 at 03:19 PM. Reason: added a bit more...
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