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A History of my Photography

Pentax 67 Camera and Accessories


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Pentax 6X7

Pentax 6x7 with 90mm f2.8 leaf shutter lens, TTL finder, wooden handgrip and bubble level.

    After using the Speed Graphic with the RH10 back I decided that I really liked the 6 x 7 format. I started looking around for cameras that used this format. Since I was planning to do landscape photography with it I could narrow down my requirements. I didn't need leaf shutter lenses. I didn't need interchangeable backs. I needed a good lens range, especially wide angle lenses. I couldn't afford a brand new camera. When I looked at prices on eBay I found the best buys were the Pentax 6x7 and the Koni-Omega Rapid. The Mamiya RB/RZ family was a distant third.

    I found someone locally who had a Pentax 6x7 for sale along with a number of lenses and everything was in excellent condition. I bought the Camera with the metering prism and a 90mm and 200mm lenses from him. Working on eBay I acquired a 55mm f3.5 lens, a 40mm f4 lens and a 135mm f4 macro lens. I used this setup on my post Christmas 2005 trip to death valley and got some excellent results.

Top view of the Pentax 6x7

    The Pentax has a large mirror and focal plane shutter and the mirror lock up is needed at speeds below 1/250 second. I have found the TTL meter to be of limited use but since I carry a hand held light meter and try to always use a tripod with this camera it is no big deal. I have found one way of getting good exposures is to use my D70 set at the same ASA as the big film camera and checking the histogram to determine proper exposure on the digital camera then transferring the shutter speed and aperture to the 6X7. The 18-70mm lens on the D70 matches the range of my Pentax lenses as far as field of view goes.

 

 
    I bought the camera with this finder on it. It couples to the shutter speed dial on the left side of the camera body. It also includes a plastic ring that mounts on the camera body shutter speed dial to increase its diameter to make it easy to turn. It also couples to the camera body at the top above the viewfinder screen to couple the lens aperture setting to the meter. While full aperture metering is common place today it wasn't back in 1969 when this camera was first announced. The meter draws power from the camera body so it doesn't need it's own batteries.
 
    I find five faults with this meter:
 
        1.    It is a full area averaging meter.
        2.    The prism shows 90% of the viewing screen.
        3.    The meter needle has a long range of movement. Top to bottom is 5 f stops so you have a range of    +- 2 1/2 f   stops. you had better center that meter.
        4.    The battery check light on the camera body is nearly impossible to see when the prism is mounted.
        5.    If you put the TTL metering prism on the camera after mounting a lens you have to remove and remount the lens for the metering to work.
 
    Other than a few faults it works ok. I hardly ever use it, I use a hand held meter instead.
 
    NEW - After more use I have gotten more familiar with the TTL prism meter and I find myself using it a lot more. As long as you take it's weaknesses into account you can get good results.
 
 
 

Front view of the Folding hood finder

    Pentax designed the 67 as a system camera - interchangeable lenses and finders are the main thing. Interchangeable backs and motor drive were not included. Since most roll film SLR's and TLR's had a waist level finder Pentax designed and sold one for the 67. It was different from most waist level finders in that it was split at the top rather than having a large forward folding top This unit opened to each side.

rear view of the finder

    When folded up the finder is very compact as are most of its ilk. It's easy to open and close also. And it adds very little weight to the camera, far less than the TTL finder prism.

Front view of the finder with the side raised.

    As is common with focusing hoods a magnifier is provided for more accurate focusing. Unlike most hoods the magnifier is in use by default and is flipped forward to view the focusing screen directly.

Here is a rear view showing the focusing magnifier.

    The biggest drawback of this finder is that it woks great for landscape mode but not for portrait mode. All right angle finder have this problem. Square format camera don't have this problem since you don't decide on portrait or landscape format until you print.

Here is the a front view of the finder with the magnifier flipped out of the way to view the focusing screen directly.

    One advantage of using the waist level finder is that it shows 100% of the picture area rather than the 90% of the prism finders

 
 

Mounting end of the eyepiece magnifier.

    The Pentax 67 is not an easy camera to focus. The focusing screen is not very bright and the focusing aids are ineffective. Also the designers left off the feature of interchangeable focusing screens so putting in a third party screen can mean a trip to the repair shop. One solution to this problem is the eyepiece magnifier for the prism finders. This device is a mini telescope that allow you a better view of the center of the screen. It hinges up out of the way for composition. It requires unscrewing the finder window, inserting it into the bracket and screwing it into the camera again.

The eyepiece magnifier is actually a small telescope.

 

Extension Tubes

Set of three internal bayonet extension tubes and their case.

    The Pentax 67 uses lenses of twice the focal length of 35mm cameras to get the same field of view. This means the focusing helicoids have to be longer to provide the same level of close focusing. To focus closer you can use a bellows attachment or extension tubes to move the lens further away, or close up lenses to shorten the effective focal length. The most economical solution for the Pentax 67 is extension tubes. Pentax makes two different sets of extension tubes. one for the inner bayonet for lenses up to 400mm and one for the external bayonet for lenses 400mm and longer.

The extension tubes stacked. 14mm on the bottom, 28mm in the middle and the 56mm on top.

    This set is for the internal bayonet and provides auto aperture control but no meter coupling. The tubes are 14mm, 28mm and 56mm in length and can be used individually of in any combination. They may have problems with timing when using the leaf shutter in certain lenses so that is not recommended.

All three extension tubes combine with a 135mm macro lens for 1:1 magnification.

    Hasselblad C series camera lenses are famous for their limited focus travel and extension tubes are necessary for may lenses for simple studio work. The Bronica cameras with leaf shutter lenses are also famous for their limited focusing range and for the high prices of their extension tubes.

On the left is a set of Pentax K mount extension tubes for 35mm and on the right is the set of extension tubes for the Pentax 67

 

 

67mm Reversing ring for Pentax 6X7

This picture shows the threaded side of the 67mm reverse adapter. The small chrome knob rotates the lens assembly for to access the lens controls

    After reading an article in Shutterbug magazine on do it yourself soft focus lenses I purchased this adapter on eBay. It is designed to fasten to lenses such as the the 90mm and the 105mm and mount them in reverse for macro use. I plan to use two +3 diopter close up lenses with a perforated plate between them. I haven't purchased the close up lenses yet or found the right materiel for the perforated plate so the project is still in process.

 

Pentax 6X7 Helicoid Extension Tube

View of the Helicoid Extension Tube set to minimum length.

    I bought this item as part of the do it your self soft focus lens project. The idea is that this would allow me to focus the homemade lens to some degree. This is not a common items and is getting harder to find on eBay.

The Helicoid Extension Tube at maximum extension.

    Unlike the fixed length extension tubes the Helicoid Extension Tube provides no coupling for automatic aperture or full aperture metering. You have to use stopped down metering with this device.

 

Pentax 6X7 to Leica Screw Thread  (M39) Adapter.

Front view of the adapter showing the threaded plate for Leica threaded lenses.

    I have acquired a number of Leica threaded lenses for close up work. I found this adapter on eBay that allows mounting them on my Pentax 6X7. It came from China and is very well finished and has a padded case. The price, including shipping was far less than what a comparable item from Novoflex would cost.

Rear view of the adapter showing the Pentax 6X7 mount

    The adapter can be used with the Helicoid Extension Tube and/or the 3 automatic extension tubes to provide the necessary magnification factor.

A combination of the Helicoid Extension Tube, the Leica adapter and a 105mm EL Nikkor lens.

 

 

Homebrew Cookin Filter Mount.

Front view of the homebrew filter mount showing the Cookin P series filter holder.

    The 55mm f3.5 lens is a beautiful piece of glass. I have gotten excellent results from it and it is in beautiful condition. It's one big drawback is it's filter mount. The lens is designed to take 100mm bayonet filters. As far as I can tell they were only made by Pentax and only used on this lens. When Pentax replaced the lens in it's line with an f4 lens which took 82mm bayonet or screw mount filters the source of the 100mm filters dried up. Pentax had made a gelatin filter holder for the 55mm f3.5 lens though and I was able to buy one on eBay. I remove the bayonet mount portion from the holder and glued it to a Cookin P size filter holder. Tests with the combination have shown no vignetteing at the apertures that I use.

 

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