Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Medium Format Acquisition

For a while now I've been looking for a good MF camera, my first thought was a Mamiya RB 6x7 then I became interested in a Fuji 6x9, but while waiting for those cameras to come in second hand locally, my dealer offered me this.

A Pentax 6x7
This camera can only be described as a Behemoth, it's like a regular 35mm SLR but just twice the size and weight. That's fine though because the film size is more than 4 times bigger and the resulting quality is amongst the best MF available, the Pentax lenses are also well regarded especially the later 'SMC' type.
I have only put a couple of rolls though the camera so far, and first impressions are pretty good. Handling wise the camera is what you'd expect, just like a large 35mm SLR. The shutter though is pretty loud especially after the 'mirror-less' Leica rangefinders I've been using of late. Another worry for me is that this is the model without the mirror lock up, so I'm not sure how vibration will affect picture quality so 1/250 is about the minimum shutter speed I dare hand hold.
Pictures taken with the camera I've nicknamed 'The Beast' will follow.

Taken on T-Max 400 with 150mm lens

Taken with 90mm lens on Fortepan 100
All images and text © Mark Antony Smith 2007


Charlie Wood said...

Hello Mark

I got my hands on a rather nice Pentax 6X7 with MLU.
Its not really that heavy! I use a Nikon F2 quite a bit. I just got a 105mm/2.4 lens for it aswell. I am going to Use this camera when I go up to Edinburgh next week for the fringe festival. I am going to shoot some transparencies and some B&W.
Please could you give me your dev times/ method for Agfapan 25 100 & (400 old emulsion) in Rodinal. I have been shooting the apx100 at 80&100 asa and developing for 13mins with 1:50 Rodinal. I have been using rodinal special for the apx 400. I plan to shoot APX in Edinburgh in 35mm and 120. My email is in my blog profile or you can contact me via APUG U/N charlie-j.


Anonymous said...

What's up, pre-MLU 6x7 buddy?

I have the SMC Takumar 90/2.8 leaf shutter lens. I believe they can help with the mirror slap issue. Essentially you meter, cock the lens, switch to a low shutter speed in the camera, then shoot. I've gotten decent results at 1/125th. I'm a little nervous to venture down into the 1/60th range, but it should theoretically be okay.

I think the real issue with the 6x7 is the lack of a MLU (someday I will trade bodies and fix this) and the mammoth size/weight of the tripod required to hold it.