Jump to content


Photo

Problem with me or my newly arrived Pentax 6x7

  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 PaulEK

PaulEK

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 25 May 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 14 May 2013 - 10:57 PM

My 6x7 and 200mm lens arrived today from KEH! They look great, but there was no battery. I put one that I had into the camera, and the battery test light lights up. (I tested the battery first to make sure it was fully charged).

But I am unable to do the trick to get the shutter to *BLEEP* with no film in the body. I read somewhere that you might have to wait half an hour or so after installing a battery before the camera functions properly. Is that correct?

Here's my problem: Is the film counter supposed to trip back to zero when the back is opened? Because on this body, it was at the check-mark for shot number 3, and it still is after opening the back. The instructions for cocking the shutter without film, which I found in the 6x7 manual that I downloaded, say to use your fingertip to move the counter to somewhere above 1, and it already is. What's worrying me is that I cannot get it to move at all with my fingertip. It might as well be a solid piece. Should it move freely? I don't have the round little key that originally came with the camera, but used something flat to push in the little lever the key is meant to push against. It made no difference. The mirror is in the halfway position, and the film advance lever moves only a tiny bit (like, just in and out of its 'parked' position).

I hope someone can tell me that I'm just dong something wrong. I'd really rather not return the camera. First, because it's just a hassle, and I don't want to wait to play with one of these things. And, second, because I don't want a reason to think badly of KEH. If this is a dud camera, they're 0 for 2 on my last couple of purchases.

I hope someone can help!

#2 PaulEK

PaulEK

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 25 May 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 15 May 2013 - 12:55 AM

Well, I seem to have got it working. I pressed in the 'mirror/shutter reset button', and the shutter fired and the mirror came down. I should have kept playing around before getting frustrated.

I loaded an old roll of film (ruined and re-spooled), but did something wrong. The counter still did not go back down to zero, but I forgot to try to turn it with my finger, and when I closed the camera, it was already on the two mark. I'll test the shutter speeds by ear tomorrow by 'shooting' this roll, then re-spool it again and try to load it correctly. I figure that, when not on a number on the counter dial, the advance lever will work to advance the film to the proper place without moving the counter dial, and if I wind through all the numbers, it will disengage again. Is that correct?

I feel kind of stupid, but in a good, getting-to-know-the-basics way.

Any pointers would be appreciated!

#3 Nightfly

Nightfly

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1077
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2007
  • Loc: Dark Skies, Maine

Posted 15 May 2013 - 05:07 AM


Yes, the shutter will not engage until film is loaded and advanced to the first frame after setting the mark on the film leader and closing the back.

Make sure the 120 / 220 settings are set properly.

With no film, you should be able to turn the counter with the center of the counter thingy with a fingertip. Move it past 1 and close the back while holding it there. You should be able to *BLEEP* and fire the shutter. All this must be done with a battery installed. You probably found the "safety button" already. Press this when the mirror is caught halfway. This happens when the shutter is cocked and fired with no battery.

When you have reached your 10th shot, the shutter disengages and you continue winding to take up the leader on the end of the roll. This is correct. Try not to think of this as operating like a 35mm camera. It is different. The internal mechanism knows how much leader is on the beginning of each roll after you set the mark. See instruction manual and gleen every word of it. It will all make sense in the end. Do not touch the right side film roller and manually turn it. You might ruin the mechanism. It will roll when film is advanced. The left side film roller is freewheeling. If the counter does not set back to zero after running a roll through and opening the back, call KEH and tell them about this. This is not normal.

Good luck and welcome to the Pentax 67 world !

#4 PaulEK

PaulEK

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 25 May 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 15 May 2013 - 11:10 AM

Yeah, now that I got a roll in there, I think I'm seeing that all is well. My feeling of stupidity is fading....

I have shot medium format before, so I get the way the rolls work. The meter seems to be working fine, the shutter speeds sound accurate enough.

The camera is not as heavy as I had been led to believe by reading. I guess playing around with old 4x5 press cameras gives me a different perspective. And I find that holding the camera from the bottom with my left hand, with two of the fingers (or my thumb and index finger) forked around the lens, is a more comfortable way to hold the camera than I imagine using a grip would be. Maybe this is because I'm left-handed, or because the only lens I currently have is the 200mm, so the balance is front-heavy. Or maybe it's because I'm very large, and have big hands. In fact, the 6x7 feels more 'right' in my hands than my Canon DSLR, which feels quite small.

I see no problem using the camera hand-held, other than the mirror slap at lower speeds. That's not to say that I often will do that.

#5 Nightfly

Nightfly

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1077
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2007
  • Loc: Dark Skies, Maine

Posted 15 May 2013 - 12:06 PM

Glad to hear the unit is working well. Thew weight of the body without lens or prism is very light actually. The prism is made out of lead I think, lol. Because a pentaprism large enough to give 100% coverage, Pentax opted for a 90% coverage prism. You can get a 100% view via the folding hood.

The mirror-lockup feature is useful, even for handheld shots. I've handheld down to 1/30 sec without much fuss using wide-angle lenses.

Gulliver's camera !

Walking around with my 67 makes me feel like a real man and I smile when people hit the ground when the shutter is fired. I assure them all is safe.

#6 PaulEK

PaulEK

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 25 May 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 15 May 2013 - 12:37 PM

I once had a 4x5 Graphic camera set up in my backyard at night, with a 500mm f/5.5 Schneider lens attached. Someone called the police, and they responded, thinking it was some kind of weapon. When I explained what it really was, the officer stayed for a while to ask questions. Turns out he was a budding astronomer.

(That lens, by the way, was not sharp wide open.)

#7 Nebhunter

Nebhunter

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1926
  • Joined: 04 Oct 2003
  • Loc: Frostbite Falls

Posted 15 May 2013 - 06:18 PM

Paul, we have all been there getting the Pentax. Is it a 6x7 or 67 version?
The 6x7 version has a routine where the battery can be removed after firing the shutter and it will stay open. The 67 won't - and needs to have the safety hole depressed to function without the battery. If you shoot with the battery for a long exposure - it won't last but a frame or two.

Please check the door closure with light seals. When you close it - it should be tight and not depress much when squeezed with fingers. If the door moves a fair bit - how to describe it - about 1/16" then the seals are probably worn - but not worn out.

I have found this to be an issue with astro frames shot f/4 f/5.6. Not really and issue with landscape when f/8 or above. My best shot of the MW with M8 area with the 200 lens shows good pin point stars everywhere except on the lower corner of the film where an open cluster is stretch a bit. I though it was field rotation as the G11 is way over in RA getting close to the alarm.

After confirming drift was dead on with a 2 hr test with two 2x barlows and the 12mm IR - I found the same issue on other frames and badly stretched stars with the 400 edif lens - at both sides of the film - door to hinge side that is. Playing with the camera one night I noticed I could squeeze the door closed tighter a fair bit with one of the camera. I loaded up some B&W film and used the 200 lens on a tight shot wide open on a poster. BINGO.

Door normal loose - centre of film sharp - sides with a slight blur where reading the text was difficult. I clamped the door tighter with a large clip and that proved the problem. Text in the middle of the frame was the same as the corners. SHARP to the edges. Easy to read the text. So it's not a big deal, but an easy fix. Latest frames came out much sharper.

So guys - check your camera door with the squeeze test.

Igor

#8 PaulEK

PaulEK

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 25 May 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 15 May 2013 - 11:12 PM

Igor:

I got the 6x7. I've seen a post about the battery removal It was from Jim), but thought you needed a piece to hold in the mirror/shutter release button. He said it works for both the 6x7 and the 67. Is there another way with the 6x7?

I had read a comment of yours somewhere else about the light seals, so I squeezed mine first thing when I got it. It's very solid; doesn't move at all. I checked the seals on the prism, and they look new, so I assume they were replaced at some point. The thing is, I bought both the camera and prism from KEH, but they were separate items, so new seal on the prism don't necessarily mean good seals on the body.

I've replaced seals on Mamiya products (backs and cameras), and it was not too bad, but I don't want to do it if I don't have to. I looked around online for images or descriptions of what the seals are supposed to look like, but couldn't find any. The seal along the door hinge is just a bit sticky, but seems complete. If anyone knows of a link to instructions on replacement, or just pictures of the places where the seals are, I'd like to see it, if only to check out what it should look like. I don't want to fix something that isn't broken.

I found a couple of places that sell new seal kits for the 6x7, and I guess I could ask them, but I know they want to sell me something.

#9 PaulEK

PaulEK

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 25 May 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 15 May 2013 - 11:31 PM

Well, I found this. The basic drawing shows where the seals go, I think. It looks like mine are good enough to keep until I actually check the camera by running a roll of film through it. But I have leftover material from other light seal projects, so I think I'll clean off the gunky strip on the door by the hinge and replace it (it's left traces of itself on the body, where the door seals against it). I may take a closer look at the two strips at the hinge end of the door, too. I cannot easily touch them to see if they are sticky or flattened, so I'll use a bright light and loupe tomorrow. they should be easy enough to deal with, too. The very thin strips inside the slot along the length of the body, where the edge of the door fits? I don't want to mess with those unless it's absolutely needed. That would be a job.

#10 Michal1

Michal1

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 400
  • Joined: 25 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Czech Republic, Central Europe

Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:40 AM

I've checked my P67. There is a slit ~0.5mm visible at the left side of the door, which disappears, when the doors are pressed towards the camera body. So this slit shouldn't be there, right?

#11 PaulEK

PaulEK

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 25 May 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 17 May 2013 - 10:57 AM

My 6x7 has a narrow slit there, too (if I understand you correctly). But mine does not disappear when the camera is squeezed. When mine is closed, it does not move when squeezed. Still, mine is the only one of these cameras that I've seen, so I don't know if it makes sense to judge by it. My 6x7 does have foam in all the places that the link in my last post shows, though, so I think it is acting as it should.

When I close my camera, I need to hold it shut while pulling down on the door release slider, otherwise it wants to stay open a bit. When I am squeezing at that time, I can clearly feel that I'm pushing the light seals against the metal body. So I figure that, either my seals have been replaced with something a bit thicker than the original seals, or my camera is fine and your seals might be worn thin.

#12 PaulEK

PaulEK

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 25 May 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 17 May 2013 - 12:34 PM

I'm glad I didn't mess with replacing the light seals yet: the camera does not work properly. I ran a roll of film through it, and it jammed at about the 8th frame. The mirror was up and nothing would move. I tried the shutter/mirror release button, I checked the battery. Then, it just let go, and the mirror dropped. From online research, it seems I may have shot through the frames too quickly (I wasn't taking actual shots, just clicking through the frames to test the counter). Someone said the 6x7 needs to be wound slowly or it can jam. I wasn't abusing it in any way, and I think I was winding steadily, not roughly....

But here''s the real problem: the winder stopped advancing the roll once it hit '10'. It would not wind the roll all the way onto the take-up spool. I had to open the back and remove the film by lowering the pins on the bottom of the camera. This was not good film, so it was no loss, but it would have been very frustrating if I had exposed some actual shots. Also, the counter does not return to '0', and is stuck at 10. It won't turn with my fingertip, even when pressing in on the tab, as shown in the 'dry firing' technique. It did this before, but then stopped for no reason I could see, and worked for a while. Now it's stuck again. Maybe it will unstick again, but this does not seem right.

It's more than possible that I am doing something wrong, so I could use any suggestions you guys might have!

But I think there's something wrong with it, and I'm going to call KEH for a return slip. If someone can show me where I'm going wrong, then I'll keep it, and won't use the return slip. Since I have no experience with these, I just don't know for sure if it's me or the camera.

#13 Nebhunter

Nebhunter

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1926
  • Joined: 04 Oct 2003
  • Loc: Frostbite Falls

Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:28 PM

Sounds like an issue with the camera to me Paul. There is no need to have a camera with even minor issues - everything should work smoothly. Yes, advance the film lever slowly - no snap advances like with a 35.

Sound like there is something in the counter mechanism - and not worth tinkering with. Exchange that camera. The 6x7 version as I recall starts with the battery in. Advance the film, trip mirror up and then the shutter with a locking cable release, dial on B. Now you can remove the battery and the shutter is supposed to stay open. To end the exposure insert the battery, and unlock the cable. A remote battery outfit from Pentax would make this easier as you don't touch the camera. I have one if you need one.

The P67 version needs to have that bypass button depressed which is that small "hole" on the front right side of the camera body. Jim has made a piece which fits over the camera strap buttons at the top and bottom of the body. I have a Hutech which simplifies the issue but they are hard to find now. A cable release is threaded into a hole directly above that "bypass hole" on the body. Depress and lock the cable which should push down the button in the bypass hole holding it down. Use just enough pressure to keep the button depressed firmly. Now you can trip the mirror, then shutter with or without a cable release - but NON LOCKING here. The shutter stays open as long as the cable has the bypass button depressed. Releasing that cable to let the button release up ends the exposure with mirror and shutter returning.

Don't advance the film until ready for the next exposure, otherwise a long duration on the spools can cause them to give a bit slacking the film.

Hope this helps - can't think of anything else other than dew heaters for your area. Summer seems ok and for me as well, but come fall time and the dew is soaking.

Igor

The battery is removed for the P67. Advance film,

#14 Nebhunter

Nebhunter

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1926
  • Joined: 04 Oct 2003
  • Loc: Frostbite Falls

Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:34 PM

Michal - that slit runs from the top to the bottom of the frame - vertical slit? That's not an issue. Press on the side of the door where it opens and see how much the door depressed inward. Use light pressure with the thumb. A slight movement is fine but if you can see it go inward 1/16" - or 0.5mm to 1mm?? then you may have an issue especially with your 400 lens.

Use a paper clamp - or gator clip to hold the metal "rail" attached to the door and the other side against the frame on the body edge. Make sure the door is closed evenly and not where the bottom of the door moves inward, but the top pushes out.

igor

#15 PaulEK

PaulEK

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 25 May 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 17 May 2013 - 10:43 PM

Igor:

I called KEH and they are taking the camera back, and even paying for return shipping (there was no shipping charge for the original purchase), so this won't cost me anything.

They were apologetic, and I would have paid for another camera from them, but found a deal on eBay for a better price, from a camera repair shop that says they have tested everything and found it working. They have 100% positive feedback and thousands of ratings, so I thought it was a risk worth taking. The photos show a camera that looks like it has very little wear, and it comes with a late version 75mm f/4.5 lens. I don't think I'll keep the lens, since it's slow for astro, and I have a 55mm coming, which is close to the 75 in focal length. Judging from what they're going for on eBay, after selling the lens, the camera will have cost me less than $250. If I'm lucky, maybe a lot less.

Thanks for the tip on battery removal. I had read something about it, but it seemed like kind of a hassle with the camera mounted on a tripod. The cable accessory seems like a great solution.

I have a dew heater system. Things here went from winter to summer very quickly. We had snow on May 2, and 90 degrees this past week. The humidity is creeping steadily up, too. The only night without rain in the forecast for the next week is tomorrow, so I think I may head out to the spot where I'm going to be building an observatory, and look for the precise spot for it.

#16 Nebhunter

Nebhunter

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1926
  • Joined: 04 Oct 2003
  • Loc: Frostbite Falls

Posted 19 May 2013 - 02:01 PM

Glad to hear it - is it also a 6x7 version?

Don't sell the 75mm lens short. It is very, very sharp and probably just fine wide open. Jim has one and has more info, but from what I remember it produced fine landscape results. F/4.5 is not too slow for astro as far as Pentax MF lenses go. I'm shooting mostly f/5.6 on my f/4 lenses.

igor

#17 PaulEK

PaulEK

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 25 May 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:24 PM

Okay, I'll keep the 75, too! The camera and lens together cost less than many sales of just the body. And it is another 6x7, not the 67.

I paid less than $900 for the four lenses (three of which are the latest versions), the body, and the TTL prism. I'm happy with that.

#18 PaulEK

PaulEK

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 25 May 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 25 May 2013 - 12:19 AM

The 'new' 6x7 arrived today. The film advance works as it should, the meter is fine, and the 75mm lens seems good (it has a slight filter ring ding, but still takes filters fine). But, the light seals are gummy or gone.

Oh, well! Replacing them is something I know I can do, I just have to find instructions. I have plenty of light seal foam: I bought a large generic kit on eBay from a seller called intersplice. He no longer sells on eBay; his last ad is two years old. But he used to sell P6x7 kits that came with instructions, so I've emailed him. I hope he writes back. His instructions for the cameras I did a while back (Mamiya RB67 and M645) were very thorough, and entertaining, too.

#19 Nightfly

Nightfly

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1077
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2007
  • Loc: Dark Skies, Maine

Posted 25 May 2013 - 05:20 AM

I recall a pre-cut gasket kit for the 67 that made the task easier.

Good luck!

#20 PaulEK

PaulEK

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 689
  • Joined: 25 May 2008
  • Loc: Wisconsin

Posted 25 May 2013 - 10:37 AM

I did hear back fromm 'interslice', and he sent me installation instructions, complete with detailed photos.

One thing they say is that, sometimes, the 6x7 came with fabric seals instead of foam, on the hinge end. When I looked at mine just now under a bright light, I saw that it looks like there is thin fabric there, not worn out, flattened foam. The instructions advise not to replace these, as they last much longer than foam, and do not usually need replacing. (In my mind, I had been comparing these thin things to the thicker foam in the body I sent back to KEH.)

But I definitely need to replace the horizontal lines of very thin foam in the slots that the edges of the film door fits into. They've degraded to the point of leaving gooey residue on the edge of the door. Same with the foam on the prism, which will be the easiest to remove and replace.

#21 jouster

jouster

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 948
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2005

Posted 29 July 2013 - 07:15 AM

My 6x7 from Keh is faultless so far, and if I get everything right it takes very sharp pics. Mirror slap hasn't really been an issue.

It lacks a strap, which it really needs because it is not light!

I probably won't bolt it onto a telescope any time soon. I have nothing that produces an image circle big enough, so would be wasting the vast majority of each frame. Also, I'm not sure my 2" Feathertouch would be up to the task.

#22 Nightfly

Nightfly

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1077
  • Joined: 20 Jun 2007
  • Loc: Dark Skies, Maine

Posted 29 July 2013 - 05:51 PM

[quote name="jouster"]I probably won't bolt it onto a telescope any time soon. I have nothing that produces an image circle big enough, so would be wasting the vast majority of each frame.

Try some piggyback work. The 6x7 glass works quite well.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics