March 21, 2021

From Gerald R. Lucas

Medium Format Considerations covid-19: day 363 | US: GA | info | act

I’m still considering a medium-format film camera. I think I’d really like the larger 6x7 negative of the Pentax 67, but I don’t really want to spend the money (between $2500 and $4000!) to get the 67ii—the one with better ergonomics and aperture priority. Losing those two features in an older model is not a deal-breaker, but getting a nice version of a 67 and a Pentax 105mm f/2.5 is still over $1000, and I’d want one with the TTL prism.

I think another option would be the Pentax 645: a newer system (mid-80s), but with a smaller negative size. It’s standard lens is a 75mm f/2.8, and it also has two wider lenses, a 55mm f/2.8 and a 45mm f/2.8, which also would interest me. A version with auto-focus is available, but I don’t care about that. The cool thing about the 645 is that it has center-weighted TTL metering, aperture priority, and a smaller footprint than the 67. Also, I can get an adapter for the 105mm lens to use on the 645—about equivalent to an 85mm f/1.4—so the perfect portrait lens. The biggest benefit might be the price: they seem to sell from $600 to $1100 with the lens. This might be the better option, and this guy’s review was helpful as was this one.

Yet, do I really want to get into film now? How long will I be able to do it? It’s also an added expense, though it seems at-home developing is a thing now.