In an era when compactness and portability seem to rule, this beautiful piece of photographic technology boldly proclaims a distinctly counter-cultural value. It’s big, it’s heavy and it’s loud! Fortunately cameras aren’t like cars so there isn’t any ethical obligation to forgo this sort of “bigger is better” approach to photography. The Pentax 67 is an absolute joy to use and there are many very accomplished photographers who continue to make superb images with this camera.
Asahi Pentax first released the 6×7 camera in 1969 and soon afterwards added the MLU function without changing the model name. That camera had an incredibly long run of twenty years before the slightly upgraded 67 was released in 1989. Then in 1998 it was completely redesigned and released as the 67ii and continued in production until 2009 when they quit manufacturing medium format film cameras altogether.
Here are some good reviews of the camera that I’ve enjoyed.
This medium format film camera was my first 6×7 body and what makes it unique is the extent to which it resembles a normal 35mm SLR; just a lot bigger. It is not ideal for handheld photography although some photographers get great results anyway, but is very simple and straightforward to use on a tripod. The shutter is a focal plane shutter so using the mirror up function is pretty much essential.
I got this camera with the standard 105/2.4 lens for right around $100. Over time I gradually added the other lenses but none of them were more than $100 either, and some were less than $50. I also got the TTL metered finder for about $35.
Here are some photos taken with these cameras.
The original line of lenses for this camera are labeled “Super-Multi-Coated Takumar” and have all metal focus rings and grips. The later SMC Pentax lenses have rubber grips on the rings.