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Pentax 67 Gas!
Old 06-02-2010   #1
Keith
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Pentax 67 Gas!

I have it … and I can’t help thinking about those BIG 6x7 negatives shot from a camera that will more than make up for any inadequacies in certain body parts!

‘le vrai rdu’ has it also I’ve noticed in one of his recent posts … not sure about his perceived inadequacies though … that’s probably just my issue!

As much as I like my Hasselblad I prefer to be able to shoot at eye level and in spite of reports of the big Pentax being far from ideal for hand held shooting I’ve seen images that suggest otherwise. Some advice and reports from happy users whether tripod mounted for landscapes or brave hand held street shooters would be much valued.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-02-2010   #2
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Funny you mentioned street shooting. a lot of times people think I'm using a video camera when I hold that camera up to my face.
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Old 06-02-2010   #3
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Keith, I used a Pentax 6x7 for a little over 20 years, from the early 1970s, and it was superb. I'm moderately heavily built, with large hands, and I found its ergonomics to be excellent. Its weight never bothered me, although I appreciate that others have a different view. I bought the grip, but never used it seriously because I found the 6x7 so easy to hold by itself. Of course, you put your left hand under the body and the right one on the side, reaching over to the release. I found that particularly comfortable, hour after hour.

I used the 90mm, 105, 165 and 200mm lenses a great deal, and occasionally used the 400mm EDIF and 55mm lenses. For the first four lenses in this list I seldom employed a tripod, because I needed to work fast. In fact, the weight of the camera is an asset here--it resists sudden camera movements. Because my subjects were often moving reasonably fast I usually employed shutter speeds of 1/250 or 1/500, but even at lower speeds, down to 1/60 for slow-moving subjects, I seldom had problems with mirror slap. The mirror swings back at the same time as it goes up, and that makes the problem less serious.

However, I find it hard to envisage using the camera for street photography. It's size is only a part of the issue--the noise it makes when the mirror comes down is not what you'd call discreet!

Make sure you get the metered prism. Back in the 80s the second-hand market was saturated with used unmetered prisms. Everyone who bought one seemed to trade it in quickly on the metered variety. I found the meter very accurate, not least because its averaging mode was easy to predict. (With centre-weighted meters I tend to have difficulty figuring out what it's reading.) I always had the older 6x7 bodies and metered prisms, not the newer, matrix-patterned prisms and 67 bodies.

For a while I even used two bodies, holding 100 ASA and 200 ASA transparency film respectively. I'll agree that the weight then was significant, but it was not too bad. I could run fairly fast with a single 6x7 and a 90 to 200mm lens, but with two it was more of a challenge ;-) Nettar
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Old 06-02-2010   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I have it … and I can’t help thinking about those BIG 6x7 negatives shot from a camera that will more than make up for any inadequacies in certain body parts!

‘le vrai rdu’ has it also I’ve noticed in one of his recent posts … not sure about his perceived inadequacies though … that’s probably just my issue!

As much as I like my Hasselblad I prefer to be able to shoot at eye level and in spite of reports of the big Pentax being far from ideal for hand held shooting I’ve seen images that suggest otherwise. Some advice and reports from happy users whether tripod mounted for landscapes or brave hand held street shooters would be much valued.

Thanks in advance.
Seem to be plenty of them around, Igor has a couple. Price is good enough so you can try it and sell if you do not like it. People I know who like them love them, others not. J
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Old 06-02-2010   #5
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I can't say I'm particularly struck by the looks of the camera or any Pentax for that matter but I like what I read it's capable of. The range of focal lengths available and the ability to shoot quite close interests me ... this is where my RF645 falls down somewhat!

I thought briefly about a prism finder for the 500cm but I've heard it's far from ideal and makes the camera rather unwieldy.

le vrai rdu described the sound of the Pentax's shutter as being similar to someone falling down stairs!
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Old 06-02-2010   #6
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Quote:
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I thought briefly about a prism finder for the 500cm but I've heard it's far from ideal and makes the camera rather unwieldy.
It's perfectly fine if you get a 45° prism. A 90° prism can be a bit awkward, though.
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Old 06-02-2010   #7
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I recently traded in my Mamiya 6 for a Pentax 67ii with AE prism and 90mm lens and am pretty happy. The 90mm lens is compact and light, and has a lovely signature. Of course, compact and light doesn't mean much when the body and prism weigh so much. Everything feels wonderful, from the solid body to the smoothness of the focusing. Close focus is 0.65m, which I use a lot. The viewfinder is big and bright, and there are no problems acquiring focus. I'm growing to like 6x7 format too.

I shoot handheld only, and have achieved satisfactory sharpness (for me) on at least one shot at 1/25 s, so the mirror slap issue has been a red herring. What has been more of a problem has been the weight. It's heavy to carry around. Once raised to the face, it handles brilliantly, but I have to say that when shooting in portrait orientation, I think my hands are less steady than they might be, so I tend to opt for landscape orientation.

I'm verging on ecstatic. This is a wonderful camera. The only other criticism is the max 1/30 s flash sync with most lenses, but I don't use flash.
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Old 06-02-2010   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wintoid View Post
I recently traded in my Mamiya 6 for a Pentax 67ii with AE prism and 90mm lens and am pretty happy. The 90mm lens is compact and light, and has a lovely signature. Of course, compact and light doesn't mean much when the body and prism weigh so much. Everything feels wonderful, from the solid body to the smoothness of the focusing. Close focus is 0.65m, which I use a lot. The viewfinder is big and bright, and there are no problems acquiring focus. I'm growing to like 6x7 format too.

I shoot handheld only, and have achieved satisfactory sharpness (for me) on at least one shot at 1/25 s, so the mirror slap issue has been a red herring. What has been more of a problem has been the weight. It's heavy to carry around. Once raised to the face, it handles brilliantly, but I have to say that when shooting in portrait orientation, I think my hands are less steady than they might be, so I tend to opt for landscape orientation.

I'm verging on ecstatic. This is a wonderful camera. The only other criticism is the max 1/30 s flash sync with most lenses, but I don't use flash.

That setup that you have is the exact one that interests me and it sounds like you're very happy with it!

As much as I like my RF645 I'm tending to see less point in the 6x4.5 negative these days so I think the Bronica may go to fund a Pentax because of this ... between it and a Hassy I should have medium format covered.

What did the Pentax setup cost you incidentally? ... I would hope that my RF645 with 65mm and 100mm lenses would cover the cost or a possible trade for someone who wants to venture into RF land with MF and a lighter camera than the 6x7 SLR.
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The bronica RF645 should more than fund a P67 system
Old 08-18-2010   #9
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The bronica RF645 should more than fund a P67 system

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Originally Posted by Keith View Post
What did the Pentax setup cost you incidentally? ... I would hope that my RF645 with 65mm and 100mm lenses would cover the cost or a possible trade for someone who wants to venture into RF land with MF and a lighter camera than the 6x7 SLR.
Although there are various models of the Pentax, they made and sold a ton of them. Not so with the Bronica RF645.... very few in the market, and lots of demand for those available.

You should easily be able to raise the money for the Pentax67, metered prism and a couple of lenses. Good luck.

Now I say this with the full knowledge that my own personal interest is in function, while some people want function with pristine cosmetics. For most Pentax 67's the camera's were working tools and will have signs of use. It would be hard for me to think that robust usage would damage the function of that camera.

However, for pristine cosmetics, expect to pay more...

You knew that... right?
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Old 08-18-2010   #10
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Although there are various models of the Pentax, they made and sold a ton of them. Not so with the Bronica RF645.... very few in the market, and lots of demand for those available.

You should easily be able to raise the money for the Pentax67, metered prism and a couple of lenses. Good luck.

Now I say this with the full knowledge that my own personal interest is in function, while some people want function with pristine cosmetics. For most Pentax 67's the camera's were working tools and will have signs of use. It would be hard for me to think that robust usage would damage the function of that camera.

However, for pristine cosmetics, expect to pay more...

You knew that... right?

Well history reads that I bought a Pentax 67ii with a couple of lenses and kept the Bronica so it's all good as they say!

I agree with you that the Bronica is worth more than the 67 generally but the 67ii is a slightly different kettle of fish. I saw one with a few lenses go for over a grand and a half on Oz eBay not long before Barnwulf offered me his.

As an exercise I priced up what I subsequently bought at it's original value when new in Oz dollars back in early 2000 ... it came to over seven grand!

MF has never been so cheap and the quality of what you can get for peanuts is next to nothing!
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Old 06-02-2010   #11
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Definitely give it a try Keith.

You can shoot at 1/60 handheld with the 105mm.

It's just a giant SLR so you'll feel at home.

For about $300 you should be able to get a 6x7 + 90 or 105.

I don't think the P67II is worth it. When you're shooting 10 frames a roll you don't need a rapid fire camera.


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Old 06-02-2010   #12
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i had one for a while, and like many others found the vibration issue to be a myth. you can handhold it to 1/focal length just like any other classic slr. the first time i saw one, i was surprised by how small and light it really is. the only reason i sold it was that i didn't really need a 6x7 slr, and i wear glasses so i couldn't see the whole viewfinder screen (it's huge). that was before i knew that the 67ii plain prism has a lower magnification and can still mount on the older versions. had i known, i might not have sold it!
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Old 06-02-2010   #13
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Thanks for the example pic Ari, very nice ... the last 6x7 with mirror lock up I saw sell on eBay Oz went for around $700.00 with a couple of lenses from memory.

The problem with these things is that if you buy them out of Oz you know the post is going to be a killer because of the weight and bulk!


This would be nice if it stayed at the current price of around $1400.00 LINK
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Old 06-02-2010   #14
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I suggest you to go BIGGER, Keith. Why not go 612 or 617? That should ease your GAS for quite some time, I hope !
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Old 06-02-2010   #15
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I suggest you to go BIGGER, Keith. Why not go 612 or 617? That should ease your GAS for quite some time, I hope !


Not familiar with 612 or 617 so I googled ... Not a lot of shots per roll though I gather!


I do seem to have this thing for large cameras though ... my Crown Graphic is one of my favourites and I have to confess to actually liking the bulk and weight of my D700!

There's no hope for me!
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Old 06-02-2010   #16
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Well, Keith, sounds like you've heard the siren song! How about selling-off the Hasselblad and keeping the Bronica? That along with the P67 would make for versatility.

As a long-time fan of the 6x7 series, I have two of them, plus two of the newer P67II, and most lenses up to 300mm excluding the fisheye and tilt-shift. Neither of the leaf-shutter lenses either, as I don't do flash. But I do also have the 55-100 zoom, weighs a ton. The 90 is most compact, though the newer and less common 75mm f/2.8 Aspherical is my favorite walkaround lens.

My original 6x7 has no mirror lockup, so I'm not in the habit of using that feature, even on the newer bodies. Have not used a tripod since I did a "Van Gogh moonrise at sunset" project with the 200mm. Fire scene below with the 75/2.8

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Old 06-03-2010   #17
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The 6x7 negative is indeed nice. I discovered it over 30 years ago with my Mamiya Super Press 23. It is probably not as heavy as the Pentax, but naturally not as light as a 35mm SLR. And it doesn't permit viewing through the lens as an SLR does. You can do it but must use a ground glass. It doesn't have the selection of lenses of the Pentax, and it's getting harder to find the 50mm. It does have interchangable backs (can use 220), extention tubes, and a surprisingly 35mm like ease of use. Again, they are getting hard to find, but it is capable of sheet film use.

It is not an SLR if that is what you wish in 6x7, but is worthy of consideration.
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Old 06-03-2010   #18
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Pentax 67s are for girls. *Real* men shoot Mamiya.
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Old 10-11-2010   #19
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Quote:
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Pentax 67s are for girls. *Real* men shoot Mamiya.
.....and 'six-seven' at that.
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Old 03-26-2012   #20
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Pentax 67s are for girls. *Real* men shoot Mamiya.
LoL! I love my RB67 and who says you can't do street photography? I have been working on this project for a while, and probably will for a while longer.





I guess they are more street portraits...

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Old 03-01-2013   #21
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Quote:
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Pentax 67s are for girls. *Real* men shoot Mamiya.
LOL!
When I was in college, one of my friends was a 98lb youn woman in the Art Department. We'd go for camera walks together. She loved the Pentax 6x7, even though it made her look smaller than my five year old niece holing a Nikon F2. :-)

I preferred the Pentax 645 ... The smoothest operating MF SLR I ever used, although the film drive wasn't particularly quiet. But overall I like 6x6 more than the other formats so went to Hasselblad.

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Random P67 infrareds
Old 03-03-2013   #22
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Random P67 infrareds

Couple of random Pentax 67 IR tschots as scans (& the random tones are from scanner, scanned as a colour film - not toned by me. Some it understood to make as B&W, others it didn't, I have a bad habit to let the photomultiplier scanner "think" by itself ):



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Old 06-03-2010   #23
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The RB/RZ 67 is surely a hunk! The P67 is just Shirley?
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Old 06-03-2010   #24
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I love my pentax 6x7. Love love love it.

I can shoot at 1/30th to 1/60th all day.
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Old 04-02-2011   #25
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I love my pentax 6x7. Love love love it.

Posted most of these already but oh well.. I can shoot at 1/30th to 1/60th all day. That last one one was either 1/15th or 1/30th.
The first picture is amazing. But for street photography, I'd recommend Mamiya6/7 is price is not an issue. For landscape, SLR is the king
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Old 06-03-2010   #26
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Something completely OT for Doug from one of the world's funniest men!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhyCL-ELRxg
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Old 06-03-2010   #27
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@Keith - I traded my Mamiya 6 with 50mm lens, and paid £100 on top to get the Pentax 67ii with AE prism and 90mm lens.
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Old 06-03-2010   #28
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Dn't get an early one. In the place I worked in the late 70s we had 3 in order to keep 2 in circulation. Can't remember what the probems were: I almost never used the thing, though I did try some street photography with it. It was... OK.

Street photography with a Linhof Tech 70 is quite fun, and it's a bigger '6x7' too (72mm long - I seem to recall that the Pentax is 68mm).

Cheers,

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Old 06-03-2010   #29
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Street photography with a Linhof Tech 70 is quite fun, and it's a bigger '6x7' too (72mm long - I seem to recall that the Pentax is 68mm).

Cheers,

R.
Most of the 'street' photos I capture with mine seem to be of people tripping over themselves because they're too busy staring at the Linhof to look where they're going.

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Old 06-03-2010   #30
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Have you considered staying with a rangefinder and go with the lighter Mamiya 7? Great lenses as well so not a bad package if you ask me... (can you tell I'm tempted to get one myself?)..
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Old 06-03-2010   #31
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Have you considered staying with a rangefinder and go with the lighter Mamiya 7? Great lenses as well so not a bad package if you ask me... (can you tell I'm tempted to get one myself?)..

I have considered that option occasionally but it comes back to the P67's ability to focus down to .65 meter, I think that's right ... and the amazing range of lenses available.

The frame lines on my RF645 are not much better than my M8 IMO ... vague at best when trying to frame accurately and I would assume the Mamiya's would be much the same?
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Old 06-03-2010   #32
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I was just thinking about getting a 67. Where do you suggest would be good place to look (other than ebay)?

Carlo
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Old 10-09-2011   #33
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Big is better, however the lenses are not as sharp as Hassy or Rollie plus they are Japanese tonality and will not give the same print.

There is a difference between Japanese and German optics beyond sharpness. Argue, say what you will, the optics are what made Zeiss and Leica and Schneider. Put the prints up against each other and you can easily see.
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Old 10-09-2011   #34
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Big is better, however the lenses are not as sharp as Hassy or Rollie plus they are Japanese tonality and will not give the same print.

There is a difference between Japanese and German optics beyond sharpness. Argue, say what you will, the optics are what made Zeiss and Leica and Schneider. Put the prints up against each other and you can easily see.
That's interesting.
Amazing how the Japanese Pentax 67 glass was responsible for more (pre-digital) advertising and magazine pages than Hassy/Zeiss, Leica, and Rollei/Schneider. Combined.

Same with the Japanese Mamiya RZ glass.

Someone should tell Meisel, Testino, Lindbergh, Bitesnich, Annie, et al that they were handicapped all those years.
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Old 10-09-2011   #35
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Big is better, however the lenses are not as sharp as Hassy or Rollie plus they are Japanese tonality and will not give the same print.

There is a difference between Japanese and German optics beyond sharpness. Argue, say what you will, the optics are what made Zeiss and Leica and Schneider. Put the prints up against each other and you can easily see.
I shoot with a Diana and a Great Wall, sharpness is a bourgeois concept.
(humour/joke)
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Old 06-03-2010   #36
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+1 in favor of the 67. It's an amazing camera and I love the 105mm (My Norita handles the same as the 67, but the lens flares like a ...).
I love big cameras, also out on the street, big rather than discrete can produce some interesting photo opportunities.
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Old 06-03-2010   #37
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I have to admit the GAS is here, not yet the money

a friend lend it to me for a few days, quite an impressive camera but very easy to use, just a bigger SLR than usual

I while developpe the uninteresting pictures I made with it (the last horse race I shot with the P67 II was completely boring )
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Old 06-03-2010   #38
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I hate to brag.... but what the hell I got my series 1 6x7 for $60aud and the 105 takumar for $40aud in a secondhand camera shop in tokyo. It works flawlessly and is in great condition.

It's probably the most pleasurable camera to use that I've owned so far and the one lens that I have - an early 105mm f2.5 takumar, is just gorgeous. The negatives are quite staggering in term of detail and the bokeh from the 105mm is so lovely. I shot a roll of neopan 400 in Tokyo, and at 1/60th shutter speed, shooting out of a hotel window, the details in my scan (scanned with a lowly epson v600) are pretty crazy. I might post it up in a sec...
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Old 06-03-2010   #39
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I feel like changing my Rolleiflex T (after 2 years and 100 rolls) for some MF with AE. Had briefly Pentax 645N with 45-85/4.5 at home (returned it because of some problems) and now have really hard time to decide which way to go - 645 or 6x7 (P67II) or "just" some RF (Mamiya 7 or RF645).

Anyhow - I do like the AE option so it seems that in the case of P67 I woudl have to get the "II" version. However these seem to be hard to find. I have seen a few with AE prism and 105mm lens for £1000 what seems a bit too steep to me.

So - what is actually a fair price for the P67II with the AE prism and 105mm lens today?
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Old 06-03-2010   #40
BillBingham2
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Irv L, a friend of mine had nothing but troubles with his early one. Put it in several times and it never stood up to light professional use. YMMV.

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