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Forum: Pentax Medium Format 3 Days Ago  
TLR woes
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 9
Views: 533
That looks like astigmatism, and the sort of photo one might arrive at using a tilt-shift lens or a lensbaby for special effects.
Other than to admire your accidental handiwork (and suspect a serious fault with the lens of your Yashica), nothing much to do except maybe make comparisons with pinhole photography. And on that note, a pinhole camera is soft and fuzzy (in a positive way) right across the image, not just partially.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 4 Days Ago  
How do you tote your Pentax 67 or 645?
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 15
Views: 460
Camera bags available today are nowhere near well enough designed exclusively for big old analogue systems such as the Pentax 67.
And certainly not a P67 with that wooden handle.
I am using an ancient, expandable LowePro AW-something that that snuggly holds 17kg of everything — and festooned to the outside is a personal locator beacon and Garmin GPS, karabiners and a 1.5L water bottle.

Unless they are tiny, flimsy things, tripods are rarely carried on packs, and certainly not heavy steel tripods. For years I have carried my Manfrotto CF tripod with my left or right hand while walking, doubling it as a walking staff for river/stream crossings.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-07-2017, 06:10 PM  
Pentax 6X7 Light leak
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 12
Views: 367
35mm canisters are easily identifiable to security in many countries. 120 roll film is less easily ascertained and sometimes can result in packages being opened. All this of course is superfluous if you pack unwrapped 120 film in a clear plastic bag and ask for (nicely!) a hand inspection. The worst that will happen is a swabbing and hand-pass over the x-ray machine, and bingo! A smile, a wave and you're on your way. I have in the past been dismayed in witnessing photographers big-noting themselves (all the while with a snaking queue of impatient and irritable people behind them!) making a scene and arguing heatedly with security people. Well, keep it up. They usually come in for closer and uncomfortable inspection and questioning rather than the hoped-for expediency through security.

The other thing is this: if x-rays are so safe, even to film, humans (including Security staff who operate them) would not be warned to stay clear of the machines (e.g., entry/exit) that emit them, irrespective of how "safe" they are to photographic materials. What would a Radiologist tell you? Same thing.

Lead-lined bags are strongly discouraged because they result in "blocking"of the vision and increased time spent examining the item, if not a dramatically increased level of power to penetrate the block.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-04-2017, 04:38 PM  
Pentax 6X7 Light leak
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 12
Views: 367
Multi-pass x-ray fogging of the film, either before or after exposure. X-ray damage is cumulative — the more passes, the more damage that is imparted to the film, irrespective of the film's speed.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-02-2017, 06:15 PM  
645z square lens hoods
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 14
Views: 602
One frequent glitch I see among users is that one of those clamps loses its effectiveness over time (dirt, abuse, normall wear and tear) and increases the risk of easy dislodgement. It may look to be firmly attached, but it is only lightly so. In that regard I certainly can confirm that the hood (plus the much bigger "high-tea cup" one for the SMC Pentax 67 90mm f2.8 lens) is very easily dislodged by a wayward finger, and sent skittling into the nearest river, necessitating a most unwelcome dip to retrieve it! Using a polariser of course means re-orienting the hood, but really, unless direct or off-axis light is causing grief, the hood is not required for either filtered or unfiltered photography.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-31-2017, 05:46 PM  
645z square lens hoods
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 14
Views: 602
Interesting get up. The Pentax PH-SB82 hood is native to the 45mm f4 wide lens of the Pentax 67 stable. Isn't there one native to the 645 lens you are using?
This unusual hood, often criticised for being ineffective, but is quite the opposite, is still a pricey catch on the second-hand market (mine was $80 back in 2010), as are most original P67 trinkets.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-04-2017, 05:00 PM  
Pentax 6x7 Shutter Curtain not opening.
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 14
Views: 543
Nice they are, but Varta long, long time ago ceased to be made in Germany (we can all remember the time when they cost much more then than they do now!).
They are all made in China (some in Malaysia). But so far I have nothing to report by way of problems at any time so I'm happy. I carry two spares in my kit (along with Mars Bars) on the off-chance I slip-up with Pentaximus and find myself high and dry with no power. ;)
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-04-2017, 04:57 PM  
Tips for Street Photography - Pentax 67
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 19
Views: 1,056
Toot-toot! I'm cheered by that!
Deconstructed cofvfe is all the rage here in Hipsterville and Snobsville. AUD$4.00 to AUD$7.00 is probably a bit more expensive than YVR...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-03-2017, 03:17 PM  
Tips for Street Photography - Pentax 67
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 19
Views: 1,056
I am not involved in street photography, other than the absolute critical sharpness of low light landscape photography, so my suggestion is to dabble with hyperfocus and a fixed aperture of say f11 (3 m focus) and leave it at that and shoot away. A fair bit of the image will be sharp (all things else coming into play such as vibration and the natural wobbling about that is par for the course with the P67).

The 105mm lens is a bit long for street; I thought of the 55 or 45mm; either/both allow for easy cropping out of the frame and enlarging from that point. And the wider the lens, the more will be in focus.

Mastering any genre of photography is not, and never has been, dependent on equipment and features. Clue up on advanced skills with the P67 to rise above the ordinary. I could probably do street photography with any of my pinhole cameras, taking advantage of the rudimentary, simple nature of photography "the way it once was" (soft, blurry, abstract). No need for AE prisms!

At this time I am shocked at the very poor quality of photography from so-called "pros" (on Flickr, among other places)... people who have thrown away $6,000+ on the Nikon D850. What are they doing? Cats, dogs, babies, house roofs, old cars and front lawns with the sprinkler going. They should all get 2 weeks detention and a disposable camera as penalty.



---------- Post added 4th Oct 2017 at 09:23 AM ----------

[quote=gofour3;4104247]Here in not so sunny Vancouver, 400ISO usually means f16 and a shutter speed of 1/500, so no issues hand holding.

I should hope things pick up quite nicely before and when I make landfall in YVR next August-September 2018. The 2013 trip was utterly cold, grey, wet and miserable. Even the coffee served looked under the weather (though the BBQ salmon lifted spirirs admirably well!).
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-03-2017, 03:07 PM  
Pentax 6x7 Shutter Curtain not opening.
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 14
Views: 543
Fair enough. I use 6v Varta batteries. They are all made in China but I do wholly agree that people shoudl stay away from unknown secondary market brands packed to the rafters (I've seen packs on eBay of 100 batteries for under $5!). I haven't changed the battery in the 67 for years now, even with the use of MLU and sometimes a lengthy delay until the shutter is fired.

The use of lithium batteries of (some) interest. Are you referring to "piggybacking" two or more button cells to fit in the 67 battery clasp? Generally, my long experience with lithium batteries in other cameras (EOS 1N, EOS 1V) has been OK until the sharp and sudden dive to the death which leaves everything in limbo. For the last year or so the cameras have been fitted out with AA alkaline batteries. It adds not inconsiderable weight (each power drive booster [10fps] fitted to the camera runs of 8 x AA batteries) but provides stable, proven, long-term reliability.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-02-2017, 05:27 PM  
Pentax 6x7 Shutter Curtain not opening.
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 14
Views: 543
Meaning??
An alkaline battery is what I have used for years, and is the only type available anywhich where I look, high and low (and I do not buy batteries from eBay).
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-24-2017, 12:27 AM  
Pentax 6x7 Shutter Curtain not opening.
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 14
Views: 543
Yes, I agree fully with that observation. If it is a fault with the shutter, perhaps consider buying a newer version, the Pentax 67 (from 1989) in respectable condition (no signs of rough treatment or exposure). You do know that both versions of these cameras are now old (the 1969 ones vintage, and very much so!) but the later version had some small engineering changes / improvements made to it, along with newer lenses (SMC Pentax 67-designated lenses). There are plenty of these later cameras on eBay.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-24-2017, 12:21 AM  
Pentax 6x7 Shutter Curtain not opening.
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 14
Views: 543
I considered mentioning that, but he is in Brisbane, here in Australia. The cost of freighting to the USA would not be cheap or timely, but is an open option I suppose.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-24-2017, 12:19 AM  
Pentax 6x7 Shutter Curtain not opening.
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 14
Views: 543
The pic you have shown is stated as being "...taken mid wind to show curtain." So what is visible at complete wind-on? The band/join should not be visible on the shutter after complete wind-on.

This is the 1969-vintage Pentax 6x7?
If so, it may require service/overhaul. I don't know where in Australia the P6x7 / 67 can be serviced; perhaps Nagami Camera Repairs (Google this) can do it — they are down here in Melbourne. Parts for repair must be taken from like-bodies, and this introduces redundancy and unreliability. Weigh up the balance of cost of, versus the value of the camera; sometimes repairs can far exceed the net worth of the camera.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-23-2017, 11:05 PM  
Pentax 6x7 Shutter Curtain not opening.
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 14
Views: 543
As a safety feature, both the Pentax 6x7 and the later Pentax 67 cannot be fired if no film is loaded.
"Dry firing" is possible with a special, very thin key that bypasses the winding mechanism pawl.
The shutter shown in the picture appears incomplete in its travel.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-21-2017, 07:01 PM  
Pentax 6x7 W/MLU Questions
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 2
Views: 391
It must be the handle. Losh man, that's.... BIG... :lol:

Problems with these early cameras are common, often through long periods of inactivity; inaccurate TTL meters, shutter speeds (keep the shutter speed on X or B when the camera is not in use), winding problems, mirror/shutter solenoid and film seals all featuring prominently in serial reports of niggles that make them a bit of a gamble, even if subject to moderate use by enthusiasts. I am not a fan of the older cameras for any sort of use that requires reliability. Remember that 'way back when' these cameras were go-to workhorses in the studio or outside on location, and saw quite heavy service. How many years ago was that? Around 48 years from release to the present.

I gather from your description the the mirror is a bit sticky. The oddity is what you reported: that the mirror goes up when you advance the film and comes down when you press the shutter — that is not the correct operation at all. Sometimes a bit of exercise back and forth of that tab you found can be a fix. At other times, it is an echo of more involved problems under the hood like the winding mechanism.

If you, or a service person think this camera is repairable and worth holding onto, go for it. But the cost of repair could well exceed the net worth of the camera. That's the decision only you can make.
Parts must be taken from a like-camera, which introduces a cycle of redundancy and unreliability, even though it may give reasonably good service, if repair is thorough. But the later 1989-vintage Pentax 67 cameras (e.g. the one below) had a number of improvements underneath — not to say they are absolutely more reliable, because age will catch up with all of them eventually, but not as many problems have been observed with these later cameras. They do like to be used, but not abused.

I think that 55mm lens is the one before the present-day SMC Pentax 67 55mm — the naming convention differs from Takumars, to the next type and the final SMC Pentax 67 lenses. It should be just as sharp and contrasty as the current 55mm.

PS: Yes, that's correct about the mirror/TTL prim removal and reassembly; you can freely remove the prism, but before you re-seat it, remove the lens. Then re-seat the prism and re-mount the lens. This correctly lines up the aperture coupling chain buried in that little slot at the top front side of the focusing screen escucheon.

• Image: Later c.1989 Pentax 67 (after c. 1969 Pentax 6x7)
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-14-2017, 05:38 PM  
Finding a decent Pentax 67 105mm lens / dealing with yellowing
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 12
Views: 611
The yellowing is thorium and no, exposure to sunlight does not eliminate thorium tint. Chapter and verse has been written and blathered about around camera clubs, fora, dinner tables and toilets. It will not affect images, nor will it affect you in any way. It is a novelty of sorts and exclusive to a handful of early Takumars and also the early right-angle finder for the Pentax 6x7 and later Pentax 67 model (that is to say, there are two models of the right-angle finder). Be it noted that prolonged exposure to intense light in the hope of getting rid of the thorium tint can cause heat damage inside the lens — aperture blades can then become sticky or warped. I have seen this from clever types who left their lens out in high-summer sun and wondered by the lens no longer focused and the aperture lazy!

If you want a pristine lens — typically the later SMC Pentax 67-designated lenses, be prepared to pay for it, and search carefully for one that accurately reflects the word 'pristine' (be mighty careful assessing the descriptions of condition shown by Japanese sellers): no fungus, no balsam separation, no sticky blades, no stiff or wonky focusing, no resistant aperture ring, no dings, dents or minute dust... make a list, and research a lens that ticks all the boxes. MINT/NIB lenses will be unquestionable. Minute dust is a given: even new lenses have it.

You can as a matter of fact, achieve world-class performance with any lens and careful, studied and conscientious technique. That means not succumbing to the temptation to use the 67 handheld at very slow shutter speeds. Get any lens, put the camera on a tripod, refine your shooting methodology, take notes of what you are doing (in a notebook, no less) and watch things proceed from there.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-14-2017, 05:26 PM  
Pentax 6X7 camera shake
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 27
Views: 7,869
How is that plausible when/if blur is visible in the finished image you are viewing on the lightbox or on the print (not at tiny print sizes, but at enlargements of 1 metre across)?
It is at the moment both mirror and shutter inertia combine to introduce blur, if the camera has not been firmly stabilised or improper technique is used (such as not separating mirror travel and shutter travel by using MLU).
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-10-2017, 10:51 PM  
Pentax 67II Limited?
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 13
Views: 837
The listing was removed in haste, and that is very often a red flag.
There is no reference to the 67II 61 Limited in photoethnographic digests.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-09-2017, 05:43 PM  
6x7 battery issue
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 9
Views: 438
Dah—oh!!
OK, sorry. I will put my detail glasses on next time. I can see what you are referring to now from the bigger image!! :o

---------- Post added 10th Sep 2017 at 10:51 AM ----------



Erm, but the mirror doesn't "flap about". Once triggered, it goes up and stays up. Inside a pack while walking, or on the back seat of the car it is not noticeable. That tape trick I mentioned ... I adopted it years ago and never have experienced a dreaded MLU trigger since.

Regarding repairs... You have to remember that parts are taken from another like-body so repairs introduce a cycle of redundancy and unreliability in their own right. But the solenoid often doesn't need replacing, just "exercising" and a bit of lubrication, unless it is electrically dead, in which case it is yanked out and a replacement put in. The amount of lubrication is miniscule — a very, very tiny drop, at the time of manufacture/assembly. But the ingress of dirt, dust, moisture, corrosion (from using the camera in salty air environments e.g. by the sea) can in themselves cause much more serious problems.

This site gives you an idea what lies under the cover of the 6x7 and what sort of problems develop over time:
Pentax 6X7 & 67: Mirror stuck repair ? Step-by-step guide & Maintenance
Note the solenoid (in green) and the switch at far right.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-09-2017, 02:30 AM  
6x7 battery issue
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 9
Views: 438
Four rolls from a battery!?
Something is wrong in there. It could be the TTL meter with an open short (?)
Mine is from 1989, also mint/barely used, and the tiny battery was last changed in June 2012, by dint of the MLU having been tripped in the pack (at that time I did not have a spare battery and it made me incandescent with rage!!)
The camera is marked thus, but I have no idea how many rolls have been through it in that time. But many, many more than just 4!

I'm never going to move away from the 67. I love steampunk. :)

PS: I do like the tempting pic of the dusted caramel chews. Yummo! Were you sampling them too?
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-08-2017, 11:59 PM  
6x7 battery issue
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 9
Views: 438
One problem could be the mirror solenoid sticking — weakness through the passage of time. That is certainly a service job and if it is the early Pentax 6x7 body, it should not come as a surprise given the age of that camera.

But I thought it was more like you were at the end of a battery life cycle. The procedure for resetting the mirror after battery change is to push the small, recessed "reset" button that on the left of the mirror box (when viewed from the front). Then press the shutter, and wind on. This wastes a frame (unless you are at the end of the roll and wind on after the 10th frame). There is one sure way of getting a nasty surprise of a flat battery when you least needed it: if you have mirror lock up (MLU) on your Pentax 6x7 body, tape the mirror up tab with a piece of tape when storing the camera in a bag — it is very easy for ordinary movement to push this small button, raise the lever and ... FLATTEN the battery at the most inconvenient time. This means of course that MLU, when activated during actual exposures, uses power from the battery.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-07-2017, 10:16 PM  
645 won't wind film
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 5
Views: 359
I noticed in your text that you had lithium AA batteries installed. It is a well known trait that lithium batteries have a very steep and sudden end-of-life curve that can leave anything from cameras to motor drives in limbo when they die very suddenly. That means even though the battery indicator may show half-full, there is far less than that available on tap and failure is not far away. Replacing them with new lithium batteries may not necessarily clear the problem. The best solution is to use high capacity rechargeable batteries (e.g. Eneloop) or equivalent AA alkaline batteries, even if at a significant weight penalty over lithium.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-02-2017, 06:59 PM  
What is the sharpest manual lens for pentax 67 / 645 ?
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 13
Views: 938
There are only a few optically top-notch SMC Pentax 67 lenses that can be described as really sharp, however, their use is not dependent on them carrying an image over the line without any experience!

The SMC Pentax 67 55mm, 45mm and 75mm AL lenses are widely used in the landscape/scenic context, and can be used quite well in portraiture for head/shoulder shots, but the contrast and ability of the 75AL to see every fold, bulge and wrinkle may be quite off-putting. Shooting it wide open doesn't necessarily negate this! The old 105mm, long held as a "standard" kit lens, is less commonly cited but still widely used. The disadvantage with the ultrawides is their slow speed; at f4 in low light, focusing can for many people be challenging. Even more so if a polariser is used. For that reason you should have at least one, preferably two f2.8 lenses available.

The two leaf shutter lenses, 90mm (the only LS lens that can be used in MLU + LS mode) two-speed 165mm lenses can be good choices in portraiture, but require additional skills to learn to use correctly when the leaf shutter mode is engaged (chiefly for higher speed sync over the native Pentax 6x7 / Pentax 67 1/30sec). There are a few 165mm f4 lenses in use in the landscape context and also the 90mm that finds use in still life/portraiture. I do not think it is as sharp as the ordinary 90mm, and nowhere near the performance of the 75mm f2.8AL.

Takumars should be left to their present and future life as trinkets for collectors tugging at the forelocks of a long-gone era of quite ordinary optical performance.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-16-2017, 03:59 PM  
Dropped my ttl 6x7 prism.
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 4
Views: 469
Dropping the TTL prism is one of those horrible things I hope never happens to me again, nor anybody else (I actually did drop mine once from a low height onto sand and being top-heavy, it handed on its head rather than the glass). It is a precision instrument with glass inside it, a couple of circuit boards and the meter bit. A solid drop I would imagine could cause a lot of damage and dislodgement — which sounds to me from your description what could have happened. Yes, Eric could probably fix it, and like all old Pentax things, if the repair exceeds the net value of the prism, it is probably better to buy another on the used market (and there are plenty). Repairs and replacement use cannibalised parts from other prisms anyway.

I cannot find it here at the moment but somewhere on this forum is a pictorial guide on disassembling the TTL prism and cleaning, repairing wiring; it gives you an overview of what is involved and the layout, though I don't think gives any pointers as to repairing/replacing broken prismatic material.
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