Pentacon 6

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Ben
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#1
Whats peoples thoughts on this camera? Ive been looking for a medium format camera for little bit now. I did have a Mamiya 645 and a RB67 which I sold. Ive been missing using a waist level camera with a focusing screen! Seems like some people love it and some hate it. The one Im looking at looks in good condition with a 80mm 2.8. Ive read that the lens isnt that sharp and the camera isnt that realible either, but Ive had no experience using one
 
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#2
I had a P6 for a while and liked it overall. It’s basically a massive SLR (like a Pentax 67) with the benefit of a nice bright wlf.

The issue with mine, and a lot of them by all accounts, was that the frame counter didn’t work which lead to inconsistent frame spacing. I spoke to Miles Whitehead about it and he took a look but couldn’t fix it due to availability of parts.
 

Mr Bump

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#3
I had one, heavy, very heavy, shutter speeds are random mainly longer slower ones. personally I would say avoid, more hassle then worth
 
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RJ
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#4
Whats peoples thoughts on this camera? Ive been looking for a medium format camera for little bit now. I did have a Mamiya 645 and a RB67 which I sold. Ive been missing using a waist level camera with a focusing screen! Seems like some people love it and some hate it. The one Im looking at looks in good condition with a 80mm 2.8. Ive read that the lens isnt that sharp and the camera isnt that realible either, but Ive had no experience using one
A risky purchase given the camera's reputation for unreliability.

If you are interested in a medium format SLR that operates like a monster 135-format camera, I would be looking at a Pentax 6x7 instead. If you want a waist level finder with 6x6 format (Pentax 6x7 does offer WLF, but 6x7), then I'd go for Bronica SQ series or a TLR.
 
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Ben johns
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#5
Cheers for the advice. A while ago I would have just taking a punt on it but I’d have to sell some stuff I get the money for it. I was looking at a TLR but a lot of the more reasonably priced ones have lens and shutters like old folding cameras that aren’t coupled to the film advance.
I have looked at the bronicas. I dismissed them as I was looking for a TLR at the time. I wanted a camera that you could walk around with but I’m moving away from them now
 
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Ben johns
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#6
A risky purchase given the camera's reputation for unreliability.

If you are interested in a medium format SLR that operates like a monster 135-format camera, I would be looking at a Pentax 6x7 instead. If you want a waist level finder with 6x6 format (Pentax 6x7 does offer WLF, but 6x7), then I'd go for Bronica SQ series or a TLR.
What about a Bronic S2A?
 
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#7
When it worked, the Pentacon 6 was a good camera. The problems (as noted above) were both too many and too random to rely on it. New, it cost around 75% of a Hasselblad but it gave around 25% of the reliability. When it worked it did a very good job but the ever present question was: "Will it work"?

Mind you, it was much more usable than the Hasselblad when it came to long lenses. This was taken through a Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 180 mm f/ 2.8 which could also be used with full auto diaphragm on a 35mm Praktica or Pentax via the supplied adapter...

Susie on the grass Pentacon Six.jpg
 
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#8
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Ben johns
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#9
Yea I just read that it’s heavy. Doesn’t size doesn’t seem too bad but weight could be a pain. Probably look at the bronica SQA then. That or re look at a TLR, the prices seem to be very high for decent cameras though
 
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Peter
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#10
I bought one new in 1971 -- it served me well for a while then the shutter went -- there was a Repairer specialising in Pentacon Six -- I was lucky to get him before he went broke -- now the shutter has gone wrong again - speeds all over the place -- need a Lube but I had a look on-line about taking off the top and it is beyond me. It WILL work on the 1/20th flash synch speed indoors with flash though. . I had some adaptors made cheaply in London and I could use my 'Gift' lenses -- Kodak Aero-Ektar 175mm f2.5 and a 12inch Dallon telephoto etc with the bellows I got for £15 quids --
Pentacon Six Group.jpg
 
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Ben johns
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#12
I had one of these a few years ago on my first, abortive, foray in to MF. Why abortive..? Dear god the weight... I will admit to never actually taking it out of the house It was sold (at a loss ) not long after purchase.
That’s the reason I sold the RB67. It took up so much space in my bag and weighed so much that unless I knew 100% I would use it I didn’t take it out. I went away with it to the coast and it was just a pain to lug around. The 645 was great but can’t really do portrait orientation with a waist level view finder, miss the 645 though
 

Andysnap

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#13
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#14
One combination that might be worth considering is a Mamiya C330 with the 180mm lens. You might think that, being a TLR, it will weigh too much but I used to carry it for a working day without strain. You could pop an 80mm in your pocket with barely a bulge. They're very rugged having very little to go wrong. The shutter is inaudible more than a couple of feet away making it great for candids, especially if you use the waist level finder. They can be found quite cheaply with a bit of searching. I made this picture in the early '80s when I was doing a series on Topsham...

Old woman dozing on pub bench.jpg
 
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Ben johns
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#15
One combination that might be worth considering is a Mamiya C330 with the 180mm lens. You might think that, being a TLR, it will weigh too much but I used to carry it for a working day without strain. You could pop an 80mm in your pocket with barely a bulge. They're very rugged having very little to go wrong. The shutter is inaudible more than a couple of feet away making it great for candids, especially if you use the waist level finder. They can be found quite cheaply with a bit of searching. I made this picture in the early '80s when I was doing a series on Topsham...

View attachment 273056
I’ve handled 1 TLR and that was a MPP microcord with a broken shutter so I just held it and focused it, it was that camera that made me miss the focusing screen/waist level way of shooting. I had it in my head that a C330 would be a lot bigger and way heavier but I’ve got no comparison. I was looking at a TLR as like you said I wanted something that could be carried with a strap in an SLR ish sort of way.
 
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Ben johns
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#16
Prices for film cameras just seem to all over the place. I saw a listing for a zeiss ikon 6x6 folder for £170!! The one with 3 shutter speeds, I got one for £10 a couple of years ago
 
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Gareth (Not Gary!)
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#17
I've handled one once. The frame counter on that one didn't work either, as has been said, a common fault. They are a very cool camera though but it would potentially stop me owning one unfortunately. One of the few cameras I haven't owned that's on my list of likes.

What's your budget? The C330 is a good buy if you want a TLR for sure. Why not just go all in, buy something like a 500cm and have done with it?! :D
 
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#18
I looked at P6 a while back as a replacement for my Bronica EC, I dunno why, maybe I was preempting failure.
Anyway, due to the unreliable nature of P6 bodies I toyed with the idea of a Kiev 6C/60 because it was P6 mount, but in the end I did neither, I just don't shoot the Bronica much at all and the collection of kit I have for it would take an age to replace with P6.
I shoot a Mamiya 6 and have very little reason really to bugger about with big daft awkward boxes these days, without the Mamiya, I'd be in this 6x6 bind, though it would be less about WLfinders and more about kit weight and convenience..:)
 

Andysnap

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#19
I've got a Mamiya C330f and 4 lenses and I wouldn't part with it at any price, however I rarely take it out as it is bulky and heavy compared to a Rolleicord or Rolleiflex. It is much more adaptable though with lenses ranging from 55mm to 250mm all of which are superb. I'll pop a few examples of shots taken with all 3 cameras when I'm back on my computer.
 
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