Sunday, June 15, 2014

Cameras beyond my budget - The Plaubel Makina 670

Every once in a while, it is fun trying out a camera that I always thought was cool, but could never afford. It usually only happens when I am in the process of selling cameras for someone else.  In this instance, I am readying a lot of cameras for ebay for an acquaintance.  One of the ones that first caught my eye was a Plaubel Makina 670. Made in Japan, the Plaubel 670 is a 6x7 rangefinder with a collapsible lens bellows (think giant Kodak Retina).  This particular model, the 670 is an improvement over the 67, as it can take 120 or 220 film.  With 10 exposures on a roll of 120, 220, sure looks like a better bet for this easily-carried camera.  Also note that this camera has had strips of grip-tack applied so that it is easier to hold.  I think it's a great idea for a camera such as this.  The 670 also has a light meter, and the rangefinder is very clear and easy to focus.  Note that the lens is made by Nikon, and that the maximum aperture is f/2.8 -- a really nice feature for softening the background when doing portraits.  In use, the camera is easy to open and close.  The viewfinder is clear, and the 80mm lens (40mm equivalent for 35mm) gives a slightly wider angle than the typical 105mm focal length one sees for 6x7.  The camera weighs nearly 3 pounds, so its not as heavy as the Pentax 6x7.  With the lens retracted, the camera has a thin profile that easily fits into a large coat pocket or messenger bag.  I shot 2 rolls of B&W plus a roll of color.  The first roll, expired Plus-X, looks very good, but I can't get the film to lie flat enough in the scanner to scan without distortion. I'll have to make some prints, I suppose.
This is obviously not a cheap camera, with used prices on ebay starting around $1400.  I am glad that I had a chance to try it out, but 6x7 isn't my favorite format, so I won't be buying this one!  There isn't a lot on the web about the Plaubel Makina 670, but this link is useful.

No comments: