There are a number of photographers out there who consider the 6×7 format of medium format film to be the only really medium format type. Part of this has to do with the fact that it’s right in between small format (35mm) and large format (4×5). It’s quite a bit larger than 645 format and much larger than 35mm format. It can also prove to be very difficult to work with simply because you need to be super critical about your focusing.
So if you’re looking for a 6×7 format camera to work with, check out this list.
The 6×7 Format
The 6×7 format and the cameras are pretty versatile. The format is great for a variety of things but perhaps works best with more stagnant photography due to how large the negative size is. For years, studio and landscape photographers used it. Indeed, it’s really all about proper photography so to speak. You know: put the camera on a tripod, make some specific adjustments, etc. Later on, certain cameras were designed to be handheld. In fact, the Pentax 67 system was originally designed to be handheld by fashion photographers and was improved on with the Pentax 67 II.
Plaubel Makina 67
One of the best ever made 67 format cameras is the Plaubel Makina 67. This camera is a rangefinder that uses an 80mm f2.8 lens–one of the fastest offered in the 67 format. Not only that, but this is a Nikon made lens–so you can be confident it’s going to be great considering that Nikon has had a very rich history in photography.
This rangefinder camera focuses using a bellow system similar to something like a Polaroid land camera. So if you’re thinking about picking one up, consider ensuring that the bellows are in good condition.
You can probably take the Mamiya RB67 or RZ67, drop it out of a plane and it would survive. (It wouldn’t really, but it’s perhaps one of the most durable cameras on this list.) Additionally, it’s the only traditional medium format SLR type on this list. These cameras operate using a finder, a body, a back, and a lens. You can add things like a grip onto them but they’re really designed to be shot on a tripod.
If you’re a studio type of photographer who appreciates leaf shutter lenses, go for these cameras. The RZ can even accommodate modern digital camera backs.
Pentax 67/67 II
Imagine an SLR on steroids and that would be the Pentax 67. These are big, heavy cameras with some of the brightest viewfinders I’ve ever seen and some of the best lenses made. The Pentax 67 series of lenses are fantastic in every way. The 67 II adds the option of a metered prism but if you don’t need that then don’t worry.
Like most other cameras on this list, remember that you won’t be able to use a medium format back.
Mamiya 7 II
Perhaps one of the best medium format cameras ever made, the Mamiya 7 II still tends to go for a whole lot of money. By far, it’s got one of the quietest shutters ever and loads of lenses. They’re all leaf shutter too, so the camera and the lenses will work at pretty much any shutter speed with a flash.
On this list, it’s also one of my favorites.
Fujifilm GW 670 Series
The Fujifilm GW670 series of rangefinders were fixed lens rangefinder cameras. They’re made of plastic and so they probably aren’t as durable as some of the others on this list. But the lenses and the operation are all really great.