|Type||SLR camera for 120/220 roll film|
The original Asahi Pentax 6×7 of 1969, as well as the later Pentax 67 models, are SLR medium format system cameras for 120 & 220 film. It resembles a traditional 35mm SLR camera with interchangeable viewfinder and lens, but is considerably bigger and heavier, weighing 2.3 kilograms (5.1 lb) with plain prism and standard lens; perhaps inspired by the 1957 East German 6×6 KW Praktisix and its successor, the Pentacon Six, although the horizontal SLR concept can be traced back to the 1933 Ihagee VP Exakta. The Pentax 6×7 has its own dual bayonet lens mount, and a wide range of interchangeable Takumar lenses exist. More than forty years after the original camera introduction a wide selection of lenses was still available, together with the latest Pentax 67II.
The following models has been issued:
- Asahi Pentax 6×7 is the original model that was introduced in 1969
- Asahi Pentax 6×7 (MU) with a mirror-up mechanism came in 1976
- Pentax 67 is an improved version launched in 1990
- Pentax 67II is the current model as of 2010, on sale since 1999:
The Pentax 6×7 is quite similar to a regular 35mm SLR camera. It uses either 120 or 220 roll film, which produces ten or twenty (twenty-one for the 1969 version) 6×7 format exposures respectively, with each exposure of 56×70mm area. A small knob on the right-hand side of the camera selects the film type, and also the film pressure plate inside has positions for either type, the thickness of the films being different. The pressure plate also maintains film flatness in this horizontal design during exposure, aiding the extreme sharpness across the entire image for which the camera is renowned. Other systems use film tension alone, or against rails at the film's edge, in more compact vertical-feed magazines found in 6×6 or 6×4.5 formats. The standard equipment includes the Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR/6×7 1:2.4 f=105 lens and the removable pentaprism finder that shows exactly the exposed image.
The camera is completely battery dependent. It does not work without film, unless the film counter dial is rotated away from the empty position and closing the back while still holding the dial. The frame counter is incremented only with film in the camera. The camera locks when the counter dial has reached the last frame. The automatic frame counter resets only if the shutter is released before opening the back. If the shutter is released without a functioning battery, the camera halts after the mirror is raised. A small flush button on the right-hand camera front, just below the shutter-release button, is provided for reactivating the mirror/shutter cycle. Depressing the shutter release once more completes the cycle. The shutter is threaded for bulb or cable releases or the use of a large accessory button.
The fingernail operated camera back latch is situated at the lower left-hand corner. The left film chamber takes one roll of unexposed film that is secured by a centre-pin connected to the left key at the camera base. The take-up spool to the right is secured by a similar device at the right-hand side. The frame counter resets automatically whenever the back is opened. Later models of the original 6×7 could also bypass the frame counter for deliberate double exposures, though not many were made with this feature.
Lenses and accessories: A wide range of lenses are available for this camera. The first lenses made available had a standard coating named "Takumar" while later ones, engraved "Takumar Super-Multi-Coated", has the improved 7 layer coating. Two leaf shuttered lenses were also made available allowing flash sync at all speeds, thereby solving many mirror and shutter vibration problems. In 1976, the mirror induced camera vibration was lessened by the introduction of a mirror lock-up feature. Sliding upwards a switch on the right hand side of the mirror housing raises the mirror, depressing the shutter release completes the exposure.
The Through-The Lens (TTL) metering pentaprism viewfinder is a popular accessory; a Waist-Level folding finder and a fixed Chimney (top view) finder are also available. A special viewfinder was available for the marine housing when the camera was to be used underwater. The focusing screen can also be changed to allow for plain, gridded, and/or split-image focusing at various angles.
Another very useful addition is the separately available left-hand grip with accessory shoe. The grip attaches to the two posts at the front of the camera and is secured by tightening a finger-operated bolt. The grip is removed by sliding it off downward once the bolt is slackened and lifted a bit.
Current and earlier lenses (as indicated) for the cameras as of November 2011: 
♣ Older/Original version (pre-updated optical design); ♦ Also existing as first release version, Takumar (non-SMC or pre-SMC)
- SMC PENTAX 67 45mm f4
- SMC TAKUMAR 6x7 55mm f3.5♣ ♦
- SMC PENTAX 6x7 55mm f4♣
- SMC PENTAX 67 55mm f4
- SMC PENTAX 67 75mm f2.8 AL
- SMC PENTAX 67 75mm f4.5
- SMC PENTAX 67 90mm f2.8
- SMC PENTAX 67 105mm f2.4 ♦
- SMC TAKUMAR 6X7 150mm f2.8♣ ♦
- SMC PENTAX 67 165mm f2.8
- SMC TAKUMAR 6x7 200mm f4♣ ♦
- SMC PENTAX 67 200mm f4
- SMC PENTAX 67 300mm f4♣
- SMC PENTAX 67 300mm f4 ED IF M*
- SMC TAKUMAR 6X7 400mm f4♣
- SMC PENTAX 67 400mm f4 ED IF
- SMC PENTAX 67 500mm f5.6
- SMC PENTAX 67 600mm f4 ♦
- SMC PENTAX 6X7 800mm f4♣ ♦
- SMC PENTAX 67 800mm f6.7 ED IF
- SMC PENTAX 6X7 1000mm f8 Mirror
- SMC PENTAX 67 Fish-Eye 35mm f4.5
- SMC PENTAX 6X7 Shift 75mm f4.5
- SMC PENTAX 6x7 LS 90mm f2.8
- SMC PENTAX 67 Macro 100mm f4 & smc LIFE-SIZE CONVERTER
- SMC PENTAX 67 Soft 120mm f4
- SMC PENTAX 67 Macro 135mm f4
- SMC PENTAX 67 LS 165mm f4
- SMC PENTAX 67 55mm - 100mm f4.5
- SMC PENTAX 67 90mm - 180mm f5.6
- PENTAX 67 Rear Converter 1.4×
- PENTAX 67 Rear Converter 2×
- PENTAX 67 Rear Converter T5-1.4×
- Ivor Matanle (1996). Collecting and using Classic SLRs. Thames & Hudson, London. ISBN 0-500-27901-2.
- James M. and Joan C. McKeown (2004). McKeown's price guide to antique classic Cameras, 12th Ed. Centennial Photo Service, Grantsburg. ISBN 0-931838-40-1.
- Pentax Subsidiary of HOYA publication
- Günther Kadlubek, Rudolf Hillebrand (2004). Kadlubeks Kamera-Katalog 5th Ed. Verlag Rudolf Hillebrand, Neuss. ISBN 3-89506-995-7.
- Asahi Optical sales literature and User Manuals.
- Pentax 67 home page: http://www.pentax.jp/english/products/filmcamera/lens/index672_list.html
Media related to Pentax 6x7 at Wikimedia Commons