At the last <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/groups/1223111@N20/“> Saturday Safari </a> (a social get together/ photoshoot) I was lucky enough to run a roll through a beautiful Pentax 67. It was a great experience, although circumstances necessitated I had too shoot the roll very quickly. Nevertheless I liked the result, but I liked the experience even more.
Plenty of people have written about this camera, so with half an hour’s experience, I can’t add much. For real details, I can point you at<a href=”http://photo.net/equipment/pentax/67>a concise but detailed review at photo.net by Hamish Reid</a>.
However, I don’t think many have produced badly sketched annotated illustrations about the 67, so I thought I’d do that. You can print it out and colour it in, kids! Mail it to Pentax with 100 words on why they were mean to discontinue their medium format gear in 06. Be warned, I don’t think they’ll give out any prizes for the best entry.
So, what did I like about the experience?
The handle, in combination with the considerable heft, just felt perfectly balance. Beautiful to use. If you know the Monty Python sketch about “Tinny” and “Woody” – well, this was as woody as it gets. Quite literally woody.
The pentaprism viewfinder. The field of view was so large it was almost like looking out a window. It contrasted with the experience of manual shooting through a dinky D5000.
The focusing screen had concentric rings of microprisms in the centre. Same system as my Zenit EM, except that on the Pentax it works beautifully and actually does make focusing easier.
I am unsure about about the 6 by 7 ratio. I am more used to square and I think I now prefer it. If part of what film photography does nowadays is to make a virtue of not being digital, then 6by6 is a lot “less digital” than 6by7 – but arguably 6by7 is more distinguished than the 35mm format.
Here are the photos from the roll.