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Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 1 Day Ago  
Pentax 6x7 meter needle stays at bottom
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 8
Views: 307
I think you will learn more, quicker, if you make use of a proper photographic light meter rather than an app for a smartphone.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 2 Days Ago  
6x7: Chain has always been broken ...
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 5
Views: 414
I have the chimney finder, but found the dioptric correction is insufficient for me to use it effectively, and I am loathe to put my half-specs on to peer into the thing.


The lack of 100% view is not really of consequence to me, and it certainly can serve to train the observer to the 'unseen extra' that needs to be accounted for in framing a bit like what happens with mounted slides (I haven't mounted slides since 1981). This is second nature with long experience. I've yet to manually crop off a 6x7 because something I wasn't careful of outside the reduced view in-camera has appeared on the transparency.

Maybe if I require full-frame glasses the chimney finder will be of some use. Right now it is in its velvet-lined box waiting for the resurrection day...
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 2 Days Ago  
Pentax 6x7 meter needle stays at bottom
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 8
Views: 307
Remove the TTL prism and inspect the 2 connection tangs on the base.
Likewise inspect and clean if necessary the contacts on the base of the camera where the focusing screen is.
If your version of the meter has an on/off switch, are you turning this on to activate the meter? It may sound a silly question, but it can be quite surprising how new users of this camera assume the meter will turn on by itself the moment the camera is picked up!

Failing the above and any change to a higher ISO as a sort of 'jolt' to its system, age-related derangement of the meter is a possibility. This is very common in the older 6x7 / Asahi Pentax meters of the late 1960s. Most people just source a replacement TTL prism, of which there are plenty available (but should be astutely checked for operation and with clear pathways for return if something is not quite kosher). The electronics within the TTL meter are very rudimentary, and would suit somebody skilled in electronics who can find their way around and inspect/calibrate the meter to working order.

Age will catch up with the meters and the cameras eventually.
When these things first came out, the glowing red and orange valves in radios were attractive to moths and little kids like me yet to be made aware of the danger of poking and pulling valves while they were powered by electricity... ;)
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-16-2020, 05:30 PM  
Fungus? Worth fixing?
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 42
Views: 1,346
This is one of the better, more celebration-worthy success stories of DIY in lens repatriation.

Most people dealing with suspected fungus would be better off binning the suspect lens rather than pulling it apart and potentially cross-infecting anything within cooee.


The sample images are quite nice, especially the first with quite artful background blur.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-16-2020, 05:28 PM  
6x7: Chain has always been broken ...
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 5
Views: 414
Stuff the camera and just be happy. The world needs more happiness. :)

OTOH, if you don't have a TTL prism, the lack of a functioning chain is of little consequence, and the skill of separately metering is very worthwhile anyway considering the rudimentary ability of the native TTL prism, if and when you come across this quaint, olde world novelty.

Replacement of the chain should be done professionally if and when you wish for it. Make contact with Eric at pentaxs.com .
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-12-2020, 07:08 PM  
Lever stuck, need help!
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 11
Views: 545
Fantastic outcome!

Very pleased for you. The super trooper of big cameras lives another day!
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-07-2020, 09:31 PM  
Lever stuck, need help!
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 11
Views: 545
You're having a bad trot. I'm sorry your experience has not been as positive as most people's pick-it-up-and-start-shooting introduction. As you can appreciate, it is very difficult to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis by to-ing and fro-ing on a forum, but that doesn't stop us from trying! :lol:

Where I am it is now too hot outside for photography (close to 36, full sun). Will be 40c tomorr'a, Monday...;)
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-07-2020, 02:08 AM  
Strange button on my new 6x7 non-MLU
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 7
Views: 460
Most educational. This looks like a very early Asahi Pentax 6x7 camera, and well-travelled it is too.

Could be a very early prototype of a function, not MLU (as you've noted nothing happens), that was not incorporated into the camera in subsequent iterations. I have never seen one of these buttons like this before so it is quite a unique view. The side view looks a bit iffy... I mean, sort of DIY and none too polished off in the way it is finished, but maybe a surrounding bezel has been lost in time? Perhaps take the lens off and then, with film in the camera, activate the button to see if anything is going on in the mirror box. I think it would be best to put a fresh battery in prior to further testing. If you press this button, does the battery check light under the prism's left side, illuminate?
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-06-2020, 05:31 PM  
Lever stuck, need help!
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 11
Views: 545
I'm thinking that there is a high probability of a mechanical problem having taken over the camera. The reset procedure works more often than not (generally most reliably when the battery is exhausted), but obviously you've tried it in more than one way -- with and without film, and to no avail. I do find that troubling. I'm never keen to recommend service to these big cameras as replacements, as required, come off like-cameras, possibly even older, introducing unreliability going forward and the likelihood of more failures down the line. But second to returning the camera to the seller, if you decide to persevere, a service is recommended. This may be a journey of discovery, highlighting additional problems, beside the winding mechanism.

What is "false fire" you referred to? Or is it another way of putting 'dry firing'?

Can you whip out the battery, irrespective of how good it might be, and put a fresh one in and try working after that.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-06-2020, 03:37 PM  
Lever stuck, need help!
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 11
Views: 545
The camera being referred to in this post is a Pentax 67, the original 67, not the 67II which proceeded it.
Internet nonsense about slapping, banging and generally mistreating these cameras is one of the reasons the market is seeing so many of these cameras with intractable faults and damage.

With the lever stuck, get a toothpick and depress the recessed reset button to the left of the mirror box. Then fire the shutter and attempt to wind the lever through its full cycle. I have seen this procedure done on an older 6x7 and it worked, but it then highlighted a fault in the winding mechanism, again, something that is common in the older 6x7 cameras than the newer (1989 onward) 67. It is worth trying this just to see if it clears the jam.

When winding the 67, the wind-on stroke must be completed in one fell-swoop, not broken into one or two small efforts, just one big wind. The lever must then be guided back to its resting position flush with the case, never allowed to 'flap' back.

Try the reset procedure and see what happens.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-05-2020, 05:46 PM  
Medium Format Film
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 22
Views: 730
Probably a good idea to have the meter of each of the cameras professionally assessed for accuracy before you commit anything serious to them. Particularly the AE-1.

The Canon AE-1 and AE-1+ Program where highly favoured in their day. Among by bicycle touring companions of the time, it seemed everybody had a shiny AE-1 and 50mm lens running Kodak B&W film. But not me. I was using an Olympus XA running Kodachrome!


If you have seldom seen medium format film, a few points.
Practice loading and unloading MF film safely. Ask a shop for ruined or grossly out of date film that you can use to practice with. Your biggest blunders are likely to be not with the cameras, but with film loading and threading, rewinding and general handling. Generally, film must be kept taut during loading and during rewinding, securing the tab and unloading from the camera. I have demonstrated this to a lot of students, and it was enough to send most of them straight to digital! It is far too easy for light piping to botch a roll. Static spiders can also impart some irritating marks on the film. Wipe the film chamber and back with an antistatic cloth to hedge against this. Ilford makes an antistatic cloth, and all cameras will benefit from an internal swipe with this from time to time.


Not all MF films (Kodak and Ilford, for example) have that handy hole in the leader for easily grasping the nib in the take-up spool. I carry a small plastic hole punch with me with fix Kodak's notoriously fiddly, stuck-down leaders with a convenient hole (or two...) and thus allow more speedy loading instead of battling in the wind and rain to secure the leader to the spool (the more battling, the more swearing...). Fuji's stable of films do not suffer from this irritating omission.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-25-2020, 05:37 PM  
Pentax 6x7 Issues with Focusing / 75mm Lens
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 11
Views: 644
Your contacts will have a correction factor and it could well be found there is a mismatch between them and the lens fitted to the viewfinder of the 67.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-25-2020, 05:35 PM  
Stupid question #3: Sunsets
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 20
Views: 1,294
Sunsets require context, and there are several good examples shown in this thread. A sunset alone is rarely successful.
Another way of approaching sunsets is to turn your back on it and photograph the light across the sky from behind you — the Rise of the Belt of Venus, or 'afterglow' is enriched in many subtle colours, predominantly blues/pinks and occasionally orange.

Sunsets are very, very high in contrast and difficult for many cameras to manage. Spot metering is only of value where there can be multiple 'weights' applied to specific light and dark (but not brightest or darkest areas) then averaged.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-22-2020, 06:53 PM  
6x7 shutter count problem
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 11
Views: 647
True. But slipped, stripped or broken film advance pawls have been found in later Pentax 67 cameras from the 1989 release onward. Problems have also been reported (Australia, UK, ,Japan) in repairing these mechanisms using parts from earlier cameras or a mix of both earlier and later mechanics — not ideal and definitely not a precise workaround. Unfortunately there isn't a wide choice available other than scavenging from the same cameras, but anecdotally it's a Heinz variety of parts as a stop-gap measure that will only introduce persistent unreliability going forward.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-22-2020, 03:19 PM  
Pentax 6x7 Issues with Focusing / 75mm Lens
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 11
Views: 644
I'll be brief with this post, as it's a long weekend and camping is on the cards.

The "piece of glass" you saw unscrews from the knurled ring that holds the caboodle to the viewfinder. Take it to an optometrist who will be able to put it on a thingy a bit like a microscope in appearance, which measures the strength of glass correction. He could even be quizzed about the prospect of having a custom dioptric lens made for you, if you actually wear glasses (?).


I'm sure the Big Apple has more facilities for a Pentax 67 go undergo an examination under the skin, moreso than we have here in Australia, which is a big worry (people actually have sent their P67s to the US for repair, at enormous expense of freight, something like AU$340 insured, one way :eek:).
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-21-2020, 04:41 PM  
Pentax 6x7 Issues with Focusing / 75mm Lens
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 11
Views: 644
It's not a rambling post. Shamelessly, mine are though, and that's where you win! :lol:

The images shown are very underexposed, in addition to being quite fuzzy. Scanning can be almost as befuddling to unravel as faults or mis-steps with the P67 itself. There is evidence of unstable holding. Avoid handholding the Pentax 67 when you are just coming to grips with it, sorry for the pun. Invest in and use a tripod to gain the best in terms of sharpness at low shutter speeds.

If you cannot achieve correct focus easily, it is likely the dioptric correction lens attached to the eyepiece is of the wrong strength. These tiny lenses are not readily available on the used market now, and where and when they are, only the nearest correction factor is available e.g. if you need +2.5 you will only be able to find +2 correction. This is what I use on my 67 and it works fine.

Second point. The native focusing screen of the 6x7 / 67 (1969 and 1989 respectively) is grainy and quite difficult to focus in low light, very much so with any lens of f4 or slower, and I would consider a lens of f4.5 to be really pushing the ability to focus easily and correctly, notwithstanding the foregoing issue. Other focusing screens are available, but not necessarily brighter. To get around this requires, as the easier way, investing in a faster lens. Pentax does have an alternative 75mm, albeit with a skyhigh price tag at the moment: the 75mm f2.8AL (AL is for aspheric element) which will provide an exceptionally clear and bright viewfinder image, even with a polariser attached (which is routine for my work). I would not recommend using a polariser on any lens slower than f4 unless you have the patience of a Hindu cow.

Another area to investigate is calibration of the focusing screen. On a workbench, this calibration is done at three places around the central area of the viewfinder: central microprism, outer ring and near-outer matte area. It is usually done with the 105mm f2.4 lens using a focusing chart. If the meter coupling chain has at some stage been broken and the lens mount has been removed, after repair the lens mount must also be calibrated for correct focus, in the range of mere millimetres, any deviation of which will make focusing very challenging and unable to be compensated by stopping down to a deeper aperture.

With regard to the first query about dioptric correction lens, an optometrist may be able to fashion one for you matched to your vision. The sticking point is the lens has a fixed ring around it used to support it in the knurled ring that in turn screws onto the viewfinder. Sometimes even people with 20/20 vision encounter problems with the standard viewfinder lens: this can be a tell-tale indication of a problem with the alignment of the focusing screen, the lens mount or both.

So, there are a few things for you to check out now, starting with the viewinder eyepiece and after that, moving on to examining the focusing screen plane, and especially any evidence of tampering with the screws that hold it down. Anything more is generally best left to a service centre.

* Also see this thread regarding the correct process for removing and replacing the TTL metering prism and lens to prevent breakage to the meter coupling chain.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-16-2020, 07:38 PM  
Pentax 6x7 aspect ratio issue
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 15
Views: 813
If you mean commercial, 'High Street' facilities, that would be correct: they do not have the time nor expertise to go down the path of detail. Pro labs most certainly know the meaning of full-frame and that's exactly what one gets when it is put down on the jobsheet.


____________________________________________________________





It sounds to me that you're film and scanning has been done at a High Street facility, rather than professional lab? There is a big difference. And one of the bigger ones is cost. And a lack of shiny display cases showing off fancy cameras. There might be a fridge in a few with a delightful assortment of well-known and obscure films, too. Experience and knowledge will put you in good steed dealing with the pro labs, where generally the client is expected to have a working knowledge of the end product he or she wants, and knows how much it costs.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-15-2020, 09:03 PM  
Pentax 6x7 aspect ratio issue
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 15
Views: 813
Notwithstanding quibble about the aspect ratio, or lack of conformity to one as such, the scan is lacking in quality.


The 6x7 format is rounded out from 70x55, seemingly because it is convenient rather than meaningful to beginners. 6x7 negatives and transparencies will be cropped around the edges somewhat during the scanning process, unless you have specified full-frame in the scanning jobsheet, which means the entire frame, not through the negative carrier or mount of a slide.

The sample does not look to be in 4:5 ratio to me.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-14-2020, 05:13 PM  
Is medium format popularity on the rise?
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 56
Views: 3,864
Put on the 75 2.8AL, and you won't need to stop down for the best results! There are quite a few people in Australia using the 645Z and just the 75AL universally (one camera+one lens kit).
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-14-2020, 03:36 PM  
6x7 shutter count problem
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 11
Views: 647
MODS please move this thread to the Pentax Medium Format so it can be found for further discourse as necessary.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-12-2020, 03:17 PM  
6x7 shutter count problem
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 11
Views: 647
Having established that the film was loaded correctly, then another problem that is worth looking at is a slipped winding pawl in the mechanism that does not engage with the ratchet spindle. With the older Pentax 6x7 cameras (coming out of 1969), faults with the winding mechanism are well documented and unfortunately quite common, related to repeated heavy professional use (studio, chiefly) that weakens the components and can lead to either freewheeling of the wind-on lever or failure to engage at some point, much like what you are experiencing now.

If you purchased the camera online, do you have recourse to being able to return the camera on the assumption that it is likely to have been faulty when you received it? Same again for a brick-and-mortar store. Repair of the winding mechanism is not user-serviceable unless you are handy with miniscule screws and springs that pop out the moment the caps are taken off! These big old cameras can be repaired at pentaxs.com; email Eric there for an assessment before the expense of sending the camera to him (assuming you are in the US; outside of the US he may not recommend the camera being sent over, but it's worth asking).
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-11-2020, 10:33 PM  
Is medium format popularity on the rise?
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 56
Views: 3,864
Yes, I agree! The 67 (cameras that require the user to think for themselves, rather than follow the camera's advice) would also encourage photographers to concentrate and build on conceptualisation, pictorial aesthetics and skills development rather than bat on endlessly about sensors, pixels, bokeh and bunkum.


I cannot find the listing for the hugely expensive 67 on Gumtree. It may have been a Closed Private listing where things are kept hush-hush to garner maximum interest and push the price up. Plenty of other examples on the web with cameras heading north in price ranges, esp. Japan.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-11-2020, 04:06 PM  
6x7 shutter count problem
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 11
Views: 647
Is the film loaded correctly?
If this is your first time with this camera, have you aligned the leader of the film with the start pointer on the film rail inside the camera? Once the leader is engaged into the spool, wind-on until the START line comes into view and align it with the corresponding 120 or 220 mark on the film rail. Close the back and wind-on until 1 appears and the shutter is cocked. The winding process will become progressively more taut during the initial winding phase.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-07-2020, 05:47 PM  
Is medium format popularity on the rise?
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 56
Views: 3,864
Hi Steve,
A Pentax 67 with 45 and 55mm lenses sold here in Australia (New South Wales) privately for more than AU$8,000, around 10th August I think. It was through Gumtree and selling from the filthy-rich suburb of Mosman in (Sydney) NSW. I had only seen the listing once and didn't pay much attention to it, thinking it was a Japan listing (laughable, as improbable as that would be for Gumtree!!). Meanwhile, the 75mm f2.8AL is still heading north in used and NOS/NIB markets. No way I would buy it for $3,700 when I got mine for $1,000! Hang on to those little chestnuts!!
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-22-2020, 04:46 PM  
67 Shutter speed dial
Posted By Silent Street
Replies: 6
Views: 2,272
Cost caps in manufacturing is the chief reason such niceties haven't trickled down to practical use.
I am not at all troubled by not having the Tvs in clear view with the camera on a tripod. Among my goodies is a mirror on a retractable lanyard, held above the camera to read shutter speeds. I also use a handy camping mirror (plastic) held in front of the tripod head where the spirit levels are when it is not possible to stand in front of the head to examine the levels. Something ventured, something gained! :)


Engraved shutter speed steps would have been nice, but we are talking about the vintage 1960s when the first 6x7 came out, and that knurled dial remained unchanged all the way up to the last 67 cameras that came out in 1989 to 1992.
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