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Pentax 67 shortage/pricing
Old 09-02-2016   #1
Calzone
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Pentax 67 shortage/pricing

What happened to the Pentax 67 market?

I own a P67 II with the AE prism, on EBAY it seems the only ones available are from Japan, and perhaps over the past 5 years the price has doubled. None are available at either B&H or KEH. WTF?

Who cornered the market? LOL.

BTW I had someone ask me if I was selling my kit, but now I think I will change my mind because it cannot be easily replaced.

Cal
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Old 09-02-2016   #2
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I think it's all down to: 105mm f2.4

I wanted to keep away of Instagram but there's a lot of nice stuff in there, been seeing a lot of nice work and enjoy commenting some photographers' work. I am therefore "Active, but non publishing". Also it allows me to see the trends: Unbelievable how popular the P67 has become, of course with the bokehlicious 105 2.4
The wooden grip also adds a nice bonus to get more likes.

Not yet up to Contax 645 levels thankfully.
If you look for the popular labs et al... Seemingly Medium format is all down to Contax 645. I read an interview for a hip lab and the guy described simply as such.

I recall a couple years ago (even further maybe) that the P67 was praised as one of the MF best options. As I often say, I grabbed a Fuji GW and there I am.
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Old 09-02-2016   #3
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Makes me wish I bought a backup body when they were cheaper! At least people are embracing the beauty of that camera, love my P67ii to pieces despite talks of flash sync speed and mirror slap.
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Old 09-02-2016   #4
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mine collects dust. I haven't shot with the thing for some time now.

I'm on a 6x9 kick for MF.
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Old 09-02-2016   #5
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mine collects dust. I haven't shot with the thing for some time now.

I'm on a 6x9 kick for MF.
B-C,

Mine was collecting dust also until last night. I was on the street when my friend Mike called out to me. We were talking and he had a fashion shoot where he wanted to promote a retro look, and Mike asked to borrow some of my kit for the shoot.

Mike wanted the 75/2.8 AL (35mm equiv.) and the 105/2.4. I rigged the camera with the AFZ-500 dedicated flash and gave him a few rolls of Acros to run some tests. It wasn't long before Mike asked if I wanted to sell, but today after checking the market I think it is my own best interest to keep my kit together. I advised Mike to shoot slow speed slide film.

I paid premiums for clean gear, all my lenses have hoods, not all flash grips have the z shaped cable, and the most powerful dedicated flash they ever made remains in great shape. I have exercised it over the years.

I paid $1k for the 75/2.8 AL kinda crazy if proportionately today if it is worth double.

A funny story is that someone gave me some Fuji Velvia 50 and I used the P67 II with flash to shoot Fashion Night Out in NYC. Basically I blinded people on 5th Avenue with the most powerful dedicated flash at night.

While photographing a window at Berdorf that had a live model in the window, the model took exception to a photographer who was more interested in shooting me and the Pentax 67 II. LOL.

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Old 09-02-2016   #6
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I still have mine and actively shoot it. Best MF camera there is. Someone needs to write another article about how heavy/cumbersome/primitive it is and the fact that you can't handhold it because of the mirrorslap
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Old 09-02-2016   #7
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They obviously have appreciated this year - even ratty ones now sell for 500€.
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Old 09-02-2016   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stompyq View Post
I still have mine and actively shoot it. Best MF camera there is. Someone needs to write another article about how heavy/cumbersome/primitive it is and the fact that you can't handhold it because of the mirrorslap
Pro-Mone,

I think I own the most annoying P67 II out there. Extra heavy, equit with a grip, and I also use the Pentax stun gun, I mean flash.

Anyways my friend Mike was so impressed by the camera that he asked if I would sell it. Then Maggie got the idea of doing more art photography style work for her blog.

I have heard that back in the day 80-85% of all magazine covers were shot with a P67.

BTW thanks for showing me yours. Within a week the GAS killed me and I started rigging out the kit I now own.

Cal
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Old 09-02-2016   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stompyq View Post
I still have mine and actively shoot it. Best MF camera there is. Someone needs to write another article about how heavy/cumbersome/primitive it is and the fact that you can't handhold it because of the mirrorslap
The P67II is an entirely different camera and does not suffer from those issues.

I owned the P67 (1980s version) and sadly it did had a vibration problem. Even at 1/125 some negatives showed slight blur due to vibration, while I can get pin-sharp, steady pics using my Mamiya RB67 pro-S for comparison (same 6x7 format). With the RB67 i had no problem handholding it down to even 1/15s.

On the frames which had no such vibration problem, you could see my Pentax SMC 90/2.8 was an extremely sharp lens indeed.

Researching through forums I see that most people who is happy with the P67, are using the big honky fat wooden side-grip. Well, then the Pentax does not become that compact compared to a RB67 with 90mm lens and waist level finder.

And I did use mirror lockup rather often. But on forums i confirmed my suspicion: The culprit was not just the mirror (which on the P67 has an ingenious swing-back action that should reduce vibrations) but also the huge focal plane shutter. And no MLU will help you this time.

My camera had a quite bright focusing screen but nailing focus was difficult... compared to the RB67. The screen was smaller and the focus point was not so easy to see. Mind you, all this comparison is within Medium Format standards, of course compared to 35mm the Pentax viewfinder is great and the negative sharpness great. But we're in Medium Format, where the demand for sharpness is bigger, and here there are things that suffer.

Vertical shots of course were uncomfortable compared to the RB67

All in all it is no surprise which camera I sold and which camera I kept. It is kind of sad, since the Pentax 67 felt good in the hands, felt solid and tough, made a beautiful noise, and Pentax makes some of the best lenses ever. But at the end the Mamiya was a more usable machine. With the Mamiya at 1/125, 1/60, i always get fantastic pin-sharp negatives that make you drool when you check on the loupe, if you're a sharpness fetishist of course.

If I find a Pentax 67 II on sale, i surely would grab it, for supposedly it solves the vibration problems.
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Old 09-02-2016   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Pro-Mone,

I think I own the most annoying P67 II out there. Extra heavy, equit with a grip, and I also use the Pentax stun gun, I mean flash.

Anyways my friend Mike was so impressed by the camera that he asked if I would sell it. Then Maggie got the idea of doing more art photography style work for her blog.

I have heard that back in the day 80-85% of all magazine covers were shot with a P67.

BTW thanks for showing me yours. Within a week the GAS killed me and I started rigging out the kit I now own.

Cal
Lol. No problem Cal. As I told you before, I think you should keep yours. Get rid of those Fuji RF's if you want
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Old 09-02-2016   #11
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Early ones were horribly unreliable. Where I worked in the late 70s we kept three, in order to have two working: the third was always being repaired. I don't know how old they were, though: at that company (audio-visual production) I was at least 95% writer, at most 5% photographer.

Cheers,

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Old 09-02-2016   #12
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Quote:
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Pro-Mone,

I have heard that back in the day 80-85% of all magazine covers were shot with a P67.


Cal
My dad was a professional photographer and owned Hassels, Mamiya's, Rolleiflex sl66 and other medium format. His favorite camera for real job was his P67 though. Most of his medium format professional jobs where done in that one.

Somehow,when I was younger, that didnt made any sense to me . Hasselblads and sl66 looked way cool than the P67. To me P67 was ugly.

Later, my dad lend it to me to try it and was in love at first use, so to say. After that I got my own

Great camera with an attitude
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Old 09-02-2016   #13
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Quote:
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B-C,
...I advised Mike to shoot slow speed slide film...
Cal
True that. I remember getting some really sexy chromes from my pentax when E6 was still a same day thing in Toronto a few years ago.

I don't doubt that I'll load it up and shoot with it. I just don't like shooting SLRs as much as I do RF. Plus the 85% crop factor or whatever it is on the prism is pretty bad. I'm still holding on to my Pentax in hopes that I can find a reasonably priced WLF for it. 100% WLF with the pentax is where it's at.
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Old 09-02-2016   #14
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Lol. No problem Cal. As I told you before, I think you should keep yours. Get rid of those Fuji RF's if you want
Pro-Mone,

I have a problem selling gear. LOL. Especially gear that would be difficult to replace. The Fuji's (Texas Leicas) all have been serviced and are not so easy to replace either. I also like the Fuji glass, even if it is slower than the Pentax primes. I love 6x9 also.

Any gear I cull down will be bodies or lenses I can replace easily. Gear that is difficult to find or never can be replaced end up being kept as treasures. I was so shocked at how little the availability of Pentax 67 gear is. There is no stock in the USA.

Anyways Maggie once said, "You have too many cameras," but now after hearing and seeing Mike's response to the P67 she sees added value.

Cal
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Old 09-02-2016   #15
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I believe that Pentax stopped making the 67II models and never had a replacement since the digital Canon models came out. A lot of the pros that were using the 67II switched the Canon 5Ds MkII.

The earlier Pentax 67s had a lot of vibration from the shutter and the large mirror popping up for the exposure. It took me a little while to solve that problem which was to use a large and substantial Carbon Fiber tripod since CF will dampen vibrations much better than Aluminum. I also added weight such as a bag of rocks from my tripod or you could hang your backpack from the tripod head to help with the dampening of the vibrations. Some people used a bean bag full of lead shot to help dampening the vibration. It worked just fine after a few trial and error setups.

The 67II had less vibration so it was easier to use. - jim
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Old 09-02-2016   #16
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I stalk them on ebay regularly and I've seen bodies with prism in the 150-250 range, advertised as working.

I adore mine. It's probably my favorite film camera. I'm so glad it's getting some love.
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Old 09-02-2016   #17
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I had my Pentax 67II serviced this year. Six months passed before I got it back; it needed a few parts replaced and it took that long to find a donor camera.
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Old 09-02-2016   #18
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I think it's all down to: 105mm f2.4

I wanted to keep away of Instagram but there's a lot of nice stuff in there, been seeing a lot of nice work and enjoy commenting some photographers' work. I am therefore "Active, but non publishing". Also it allows me to see the trends: Unbelievable how popular the P67 has become, of course with the bokehlicious 105 2.4
The wooden grip also adds a nice bonus to get more likes.

Not yet up to Contax 645 levels thankfully.
If you look for the popular labs et al... Seemingly Medium format is all down to Contax 645. I read an interview for a hip lab and the guy described simply as such.

I recall a couple years ago (even further maybe) that the P67 was praised as one of the MF best options. As I often say, I grabbed a Fuji GW and there I am.
It won't get to Contax levels because P67s are still notoriously slow to load, so at a wedding (Contax land) it's a no go unless you have 2-3 bodies and someone constantly loading the other body. And since you can't even get 220 film anymore, it compounds the problem. That said, for my engagement shoots and other portrait sessions a Pentax 67 neg cannot be beat. That 105 is a dream lens. The 75 AL is similarly amazing.

As for the 'vibration problem' that's really just an issue for people shooting landscapes and trying to maximize sharpness. I would bet that most people shooting P67s now do it for the look the big negative gives with the fabulous Pentax lenses. If you're shooting hand held it won't matter, if you're on a tripod you use mirror lock up. The whole issue is overblown. Plus, if you really want a sharper negative, get a Mamiya 7 or a 4x5.
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Old 09-02-2016   #19
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while prices for p67 gear have gone up, especially things in great condition, the other stuff is happening in general. keh has had a shortage of everything since the recession/revamped website double whammy, and japanese camera sellers finally found (and flooded) ebay earlier this year(?). i forget when.

i think the development of LED lighting is part of what's driving up demand. slow flash sync is becoming less and less of an issue, so people who would have thought that hasselblads or mamiyas were their best option see the pentax as being effectively as versatile while having more familiar handling.
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Old 09-02-2016   #20
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. . . That said, for my engagement shoots and other portrait sessions a Pentax 67 neg cannot be beat. . . .
You've never tried a 6x7 Linhof, then?

Cheers,

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Old 09-02-2016   #21
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Wow!

Sell the Camera Calzone!!

They are really nice cameras, that's for certain, but if you can make a real good profit off this kit then do it.

Camera prices cycle up and down. In a few months your kit will be worth half what you paid for it. Fads do not last very long.

I know you enjoy the camera, and you are not really a seller, but let's get serious. I know that you have a lot of photographic options open to you so you are really not going to miss that camera that much. In 6 months to a year you will be able to buy it all back.

Just my 2 cents. Or maybe less.
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Old 09-02-2016   #22
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I think it's all down to: 105mm f2.4
Arista EDU ultra 100 HC-110h by John Carter, on Flickr

Handheld, 50 EI, the best lens I've ever used.
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Old 09-02-2016   #23
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I always knew if I keep shooting my P67, I'll eventually be hip Things come in and out of fashion. Next thing the kids will discover is Crown Graphic and the Pentax prices will come down
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Old 09-02-2016   #24
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I still have mine and actively shoot it. Best MF camera there is. Someone needs to write another article about how heavy/cumbersome/primitive it is and the fact that you can't handhold it because of the mirrorslap
Never been a problem for me . . . love the thing. But it hasn't seen any film in a while.
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Old 09-03-2016   #25
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I always knew if I keep shooting my P67, I'll eventually be hip Things come in and out of fashion. Next thing the kids will discover is Crown Graphic and the Pentax prices will come down
Since I discovered the system back when I read about MF, there was something interesting in it. Perhaps the grown SLR form factor and neg size with good lenses and not steep price. Wouldn't say no to a P67, esp the P67II!

The 105mm 2.4 is quite unique and attractive to the system. That is a heavy part of its recent hipness for sure.

Contax 645 ain't coming down for sure. There was this thread around here of the chap who wanted to find a 80 f2 under a grand, and it was very difficult.
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Old 09-04-2016   #26
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I still kick myself for not buying a backup 67ii body when i had a chance. my local camera store used dept had got a whole system from what was clearly a pro. 3 67ii bodies all with the new metering prism and wood grip with flash capabilities. also was every lens that pentax made for that system, and I mean every one. the super long telephoto lenses had cases that looked like my telescope cases. so my drug dealer said he would sell me a body with the 105 and 55mm lenses with grip for $900. I passed as I was there to buy the same guys hasselblad pcp-80 slide projector for $800. while I love the projector I kick myself for not buying the backup body, or all 3 at the price he was selling em. I keep looking for a backup body now and your right guys, prices have gone up.

when I look back at what I consider to be my best landscape prints, more than 80% have come from my 67ii system.
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Old 09-04-2016   #27
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I have it on good authority that Bruce Weber has 100 of these cameras that he uses for his fashion shoots.
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Old 09-04-2016   #28
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<snip> I was there to buy the same guys hasselblad pcp-80 slide projector for $800. <snip>........ prices have gone up.
A PCP80 for $800 is considered theft So, you're very lucky to get away with that.

As far as the prices for Pentax 67 items go, they may be going up, I don't know, but, if looked at in the context of what level of photographic results you can get with a given system, all that means is that Pentax67s have gone from being insanely undervalued to merely very undervalued. And, it's not just the 105.
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Old 09-04-2016   #29
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There are two in the used section of B&H as I post this.
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Old 09-04-2016   #30
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67iis were always expensive and in demand. I sold one with shutter problems 5 years ago for $600

Roger, which 6x7 linhof do you use?
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Old 09-04-2016   #31
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The 67ii's have been expensive for a long time. I'd love to get one but can't justify the coin. The 75/2.8 AL's have also held steady in the $750-1000 range. It's my favorite lens in the system but once again I can't justify it when the 55/4.0 and 105/2.4 make such a excellent combination. If the 67ii really does eliminate the vibration, I guess I should save and get one though; I've definitely had shots lose a bit of sharpness at 1/125 handheld that I could nail with a Mamiya 645 at 1/60.
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Old 09-04-2016   #32
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There are two in the used section of B&H as I post this.
Just curious how much those are fetching? Does look like the units on the bay have risen $200-300 each.
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Old 09-05-2016   #33
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I just put 70 shots through my 6x7 at the rennaissance festival. All handheld. As long as your shutter speeds are up and you are careful, I don't see mirror slap issues.

Most of the negatives of the pentax 6x7 are either untrue or overstated. So I have learned by actually shooting one.
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Old 09-05-2016   #34
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Those two are sold. We sold them yesterday.
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Old 09-05-2016   #35
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67iis were always expensive and in demand. I sold one with shutter problems 5 years ago for $600

Roger, which 6x7 linhof do you use?
Currently, in 6x7, a stripped-down Tech 79 with extra rise. In the past: ST IV, ST 70. I also have a 5x7 Tech V. And a 5x4 Technikardan...

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-05-2016   #36
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I just put 70 shots through my 6x7 at the rennaissance festival. All handheld. As long as your shutter speeds are up and you are careful, I don't see mirror slap issues.
Which shutter speeds? How fast? Did you use the wooden hand grip? If i can't do 1/30 or at least 1/60 reliably then the camera becomes limited to me.

Quote:
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Most of the negatives of the pentax 6x7 are either untrue or overstated. So I have learned by actually shooting one.
That is what I thought at the beginning and that's why I bought myself a Pentax 67 in the past. So I actually shot one and sadly i found many of the criticisms to be valid. Got back to my Mamiya RB67 and C330, happier with them.

It is sad because I miss the sound of the P67 shutter. But romanticism aside, it didn't work as well as expected.

I am also dissapointed because the P67, which is an update of the original P6x7, did not improve the shutter to lower down the vibrations. It is just as if Pentax did not care for improving the machine. The actual improvement only came later in the form of the P67II.
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Old 09-05-2016   #37
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. . . So I actually shot one and sadly i found many of the criticisms to be valid. Got back to my Mamiya RB67 and C330, happier with them. . . .
Same here, though I went for Linhof instead. Bigger negative too (56x72mm). I could borrows the company 67s whenever I wanted to, but I didn't often want to. But as I say, it was the unreliability of the early 67s that I really remember.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-05-2016   #38
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I owned the 1st version for more than 25 years.
Less than 100 films through it.
I owned a 4x5 heavy metal tripod.
I had no problems with vibrations by not using certain speeds.
It needed "pro" labs that used outdated processing and printing methods compared to "1-Hour Labs".

My happiest moment was trading the whole kit and caboodle,
for a new 2000 Leica M6TTL at Samys in LA.

I never looked back.
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Old 09-05-2016   #39
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Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Same here, though I went for Linhof instead. Bigger negative too (56x72mm). I could borrows the company 67s whenever I wanted to, but I didn't often want to. But as I say, it was the unreliability of the early 67s that I really remember.
Was it the film advance? That's what I often hear when mentioning the reliability problems of the Pentax. The film advance is really ambitious, for it takes just a small angle of the film advance lever to advance a lot of film. That means the sprockets will be under a lot of stress. Coincidentally the film advance sprockets on the RB67 120 film back are also the weak point of the system.
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Old 09-05-2016   #40
Roger Hicks
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Roger Hicks is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Aquitaine
Posts: 23,947
Quote:
Originally Posted by flavio81 View Post
Was it the film advance? That's what I often hear when mentioning the reliability problems of the Pentax. The film advance is really ambitious, for it takes just a small angle of the film advance lever to advance a lot of film. That means the sprockets will be under a lot of stress. Coincidentally the film advance sprockets on the RB67 120 film back are also the weak point of the system.
Honestly, I forget. They didn't break on the rare occasions I used them, and I never thought to ask the official photographer for the company just how they did break. I just know they were in for service a lot. Sorry I can't be more help: this was in about 1976-77, and somebody else's non-working cameras were not something I paid much attention to.

Cheers,

R.
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