February 28, 2014

Don’t Tell My Wife…

I just bought a Pentax 67. It’s an old medium format film camera. Format wise, 35mm film is thirty-five millimeters wide by twenty-four millimeters tall, and that’s the same as a full frame DSLR. This camera shoots 120 film and makes a picture that is seventy millimeters wide by 56 millimeters tall. That’s nearly four times larger!

Why would I buy an old camera? Two reasons:

  1. It think it’ll be fun to explore. This will be my hobby, and since it’s related to my profession I don’t have to learn all new skills and it’ll help me in my profession, as well.
  2. It’s a bigger window. Film size or sensor size is all about perspective. I like to think of it this way: go stand in front of a small window in your house and take in the view for a few minutes. Now go stand in front of the sliding glass door–the one that starts at the floor and goes taller than you and is very wide—and enjoy the view. It’s obvious that the bigger wind lets you see more of the world. I think that a larger format camera offers a similar experience, and I’m really looking forward to it.

If you don’t mind, I’ll share some of the adventure with you here and we’ll see what we learn. I’ll do some comparisons with my digital cameras. It’ll be fun!

Just don’t tell my wife I bought another camera…

Note: I’m not a film guy. I haven’t shot film since high school. I didn’t buy this camera so that could I use film. One reason I bought this model is that the lenses work on Pentax’s newest digital medium format cameras. If I could, I’d buy one of those (again, don’t tell my wife). Digital capture has changed my life, and I wouldn’t give it up for all the film in the world. Having said that, I am excited to see what the film holds…


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Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. very cool, can’t wait to see the pics!

  2. Congratulations! I want to get into medium format with the Mamiya 645 and RZ67. I’ve been shooting film with my Canon A-1 for 34 years; July 2013, I bought a Canon F-1N since I can use my FD lenses.
    But I doubt my wife will let me get a medium format camera since I have to invest in new Canon EF lenses since I got my first DSLR, Canon 5D Mk III, Chrismas 2013.

  3. I love the idea of medium format but I’m hesitant to invest in film, I’d rather get a digital back. Of course, the cost difference is massive between medium format film and digital.

  4. Hey Levi, can’t you put a digital back on those things?

  5. You will love it. I recently sold my 67 MKII. Why, because I struggled to carry the thing. Great image quality though and the lenses are a joy to use. If you can get hold of a split focus screen it’s even more fun to use. Hide it well and enjoy.

  6. Welcome back to film. That bad boy is beautiful. :)

  7. […] Read the original post: Don’t Tell My Wife… […]

  8. Those Pentax 67s are huge and were designed for studio use. Congrats on the purchase, I’ve found shooting medium format film a pleasure. Getting my film back from the lab (Citizen’s in PDX is fantastic BTW) makes me feel like a little kid again, opening up the box and gazing at the positives (E6) in the sun.

  9. Shooting medium format film is an absolute joy. If I recall, you are in Portland, so develop a friendship with the folks at Citizen Photo to have your film (c41/e6/bw) developed, they are a joy to work with. There isn’t anything like getting a roll back of E6 and looking at it with light behind it and seeing the colors POP.

  10. Thanks, guys! I’ll definitely look up Citizens Photo. I’m excited to see the medium format world.


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About Levi Sim

Passion drives Levi to make photographs, teach, and help new friends. He tells people he's a photographer, but he really does more than just make pictures. His professional photography is primarily commercial work for businesses, both small and large, and he really helps show how great it'd be to work with those companies. He excels at photographing people, from two-year-olds to oil field workers to couples married for 60 years, everyone has a good time making pictures with Levi. Besides people and businesses, Levi enjoys all other aspects of photography, and practices landscapes and still life, as well. Other people enjoy photographing everything, and Levi wants to be able to help, so he practices as much as he can to be ready to help. He also runs a local photography club, is a Rotarian, actively helps at church, is a husband, and poppa to a peppy four-year-old girl. Levi writes regularly for and is co-author of books on Adobe Lightroom.