645N, 645Nii or 6x7ii


HowieM

Link Posted 25/09/2012 - 13:40
Hi all.

I've just joined the site and I'm looking into purchasing one of the Pentax Medium Format cameras. I currently shoot with a Nikon D7000, F100 and Canon eos 5 and 650. I recently sold a Mamiya 645 Pro because I found it difficult to focus manually at very shallow depth of field for portraits.

I originally wanted a Pentax but couldn't afford to buy one so went with the Mamiya. Very shortly though, I will be investing into a Pentax system as I will have the money available.

I'm just an enthusiast who still likes to shoot film. As an enthusiast is it worth me paying the extra to get the 6x7ii or do I go with my gut instinct and get a 645N or 645Nii? I've read that the auto focus is a bit sluggish compared to my Nikon f100 but I'm happy to accept that.

My main aim will be landscapes with some portraits and in general using the auto focus ability of the camera especially with portraits and a shallow dof. That leads me to the question how is the metering with these cameras? With the AE Prism finder of the Mamiya it was really very good so I'm hoping that the Pentax metering is as good and hopefully better

I have a limited budget of around £1100 and could probably get the 645n/nii with two lenses or the 6x7ii with one lens. Any help and advice will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Howie

johnriley

Link Posted 25/09/2012 - 13:44
In terms of qualiy of results, there is only really one answer. I always wanted the 67, but had to settle for the 645 and the jump in quality is just not enough IMHO to justify the extra bulk and cost.

The 67 on the other hand is superb in every way. 35mm-style handling, the best viewfinder I have ever seen and staggeringly good results, a real quantum leap.

I susepct that a 645D would actually be a better option again, but that's outside your stated budget. And mine too.
Best regards, John

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HowieM

Link Posted 25/09/2012 - 13:52
Thanks for the advice John and yes the 645D is definitely out of my budget

You've given me a lot to think about. At the moment I'm leaning 70/30% towards the 645N or 645Nii but I'll see what's available when I go to purchase a camera.

Thanks again,

Howie

greynolds999

Link Posted 25/09/2012 - 18:13
One of the things you might want to consider is the cost/availability of lenses.

(I'm happy to be corrected) but I think all the current 645 lenses would fit whereas 6x7 lenses may be harder to come by (in mint condition).
My Photobucket

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johnriley

Link Posted 25/09/2012 - 18:32
It's a fair point that 67 lenses will usually have seen very hard professional use. You just might find 645 lenses that have only had light amateur use.
Best regards, John

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bjolester

Link Posted 25/09/2012 - 19:29
I purchased a Pentax 67II with 45mm, 105mm and 165mm lenses roughly half a year ago. So far I have mostly used the 67II with the 45mm, loaded with Kodak Porta 400. Most of my shots with this combination have been hand held. I believe the 6x7 45mm is similar to about 21mm in 35mm film field of view, and is perfect for landscape photography. I have also done some star trail attempts and also one session with Northern Lights with the 67II and the 45mm, and I find that this set up can produce excellent images - with practice.

For photographing things far away, for instance birds, or moving subjects, I will go to the K20D. It is much much easier to deal with tele and movement when one has AF and the other conveniences of a DSLR. Although I am a newcomer to analogue medium format, I see clearly the niches of photography where the 67II will fit the bill, for me.

I have no experience with the 645 system, but the 67II is a brilliant camera with a large range of great, possibly legendary, lenses. When comparing medium format systems (at least 6x7 and 6x6), only the Pentax 6x7 system has a full range of tele lenses (up to 800mm if I am not completely mistaken). The 6x7 cameras have also been very popular with astrophotographers, and is as functional as an outdoors camera as well as in a studio.

When it comes to lenses, I guess it is correct that much of the Pentax 6x7 equipment has seen heavy professional usage. One has to keep this in mind when purchasing 6x7 equipment second hand. On the other hand, many 645 lenses have become quite a bit more sought after since the arrival of the 645D, and therefore often demand higher prices than 6x7 lenses.

Anyway, this is some of my experience as a 67II freshman Good luck with your medium format purchase!

Bjørn
Bjørn

PPG
Flickr
Last Edited by bjolester on 25/09/2012 - 19:48

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HowieM

Link Posted 25/09/2012 - 20:23
Thank you for all your helpful input. I presumed that 645 lenses wouldn't work on a 6x7ii camera and vice versa and now it's been confirmed

I really would like the 67ii but with my limited budget of £1100 means I could buy one from Ffordes at the moment with I believe it's a 90mm lens for £1099. They have a couple of 645N's with a 45-85mm lens for £799, a 645Nii with 45-85mm for £849. If I went the 67ii route I would definitely need to purchase a 45mm lens and that adds another £300-£400 on top of my budget. Decisions, decisions

It's probably going to be middle to end of October when I make my purchase so I still have a few weeks to make my mind up and to see what's available.

Many thanks for all the input.

Howie

johnriley

Link Posted 25/09/2012 - 20:34
There is an adapter that enables use of 67 lenses on the 645. Howevcer, it's Big Money.
Best regards, John

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HowieM

Link Posted 25/09/2012 - 20:51
Thanks John. I'm sure if I go the 645 route I'll stick with the 645 lenses. I'll see how much money I can muster up by the end of October and if I can stretch it I'll go 67 and try and get two lenses and if not then I'm sure I'll be happy with a 645n or 645nii

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 26/09/2012 - 08:21
If you go for the 645 and you want to get really shallow depth of field, you'll be better off with primes rather than zooms.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses

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LennyBloke

Link Posted 26/09/2012 - 09:37
Hi Howie,

Your decision will depend on many factors, I really think you should handle both of these cameras before you decide. I used to own a 67 and still have a 645N (I don't use it often enough) and the difference in weight is significant. I used them mainly for landscapes (without a tripod) and it didn't take me long to realise that the 67 kit (body, 3 lenses and the almost essential grip) was very heavy, holding the 67 to take a series of photos for more than a few minutes was very difficult and I got to the point where I didn't feel like taking it out on the more rugged trips. The 645N is a different beast - although it is fairly large, it is well designed and has a very nice balance to it and doesn't feel too heavy. It can be hand-held for fair periods of time and the viewfinder is superb (the 67 is good because of its size, but the 645n struck me by its brightness).

My 67 was an early version with the basic metering prism and I did get variable exposure results, the 645N I found to be excellent. Autofocus on the 645N always seems fine for my purposes (landscapes, the odd portrait, a bit of macro) - I don't notice it being particularly slow (or fast) - it just works.

Having said all that in praise of the 645N, I have a box of slides taken on the 67 that still take my breath away every time I look at them
LennyBloke

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DanceOfLight

Link Posted 26/09/2012 - 19:17
One more consideration if you are into portraits and need to (like me) hand hold some shots, is that, with a 645NII it is a breeze. With a 67 system you may not be that lucky because of the mirror backslash. Here is one article on the same.

BTW I reuse most of my 645 lens on the K5 with the Pentax adaptor. The 33-55 might not be that useful on the 35mm digital cameras, but the 645 75mm and 300mm are stupidly sharp even with a 2X tele sticking to them on my K5. The 33-55 is brilliant on the 645D though, I clicked a few pictures using the 645D and the 33-55 combo and the results were excellent.

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HowieM

Link Posted 27/09/2012 - 14:15
Thanks again everyone for the help. I think I'm 99% sure I'm going to get the 645N with a view to getting a 67ii in the future. Hopefully I will be getting it by the end of October as I should have all my funds ready by then. As soon as I do and I have my first roll of film developed, I'll post some sample images.

I'm probably going to be shooting mainly the new Portra and Ektar as I love those films

womble

Link Posted 27/09/2012 - 19:10
One thing no one has mentioned is that you get more images per roll with 645 than 67... given the cost of film and developing these days it is a consideration.

I, however, do keep dreaming of a 67 but keep buying classic 35mm stuff. Must save my pennies, must save my pennies......!

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

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HowieM

Link Posted 27/09/2012 - 20:51
womble wrote:
One thing no one has mentioned is that you get more images per roll with 645 than 67... given the cost of film and developing these days it is a consideration.

I, however, do keep dreaming of a 67 but keep buying classic 35mm stuff. Must save my pennies, must save my pennies......!

K.

Yes I think your right Kris, think it's 15 shots for the 645 and 12 shots for the 67 if I remember correctly. I'm usually a lot more careful if I'm shooting film and try and take my time more. Doesn't always mean I get better photographs but I certainly think a lot more
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