A day with the Plaubel Makina 67

The title may be a little misleading since I have the Makina 67 for a years now, but its one of the rare times I shot three rolls of films (aka 30 photos) on a single day with this camera, Kodak’s Portra 160VC and TRI-X 400.

I am not going to enter (for one more time) into technical details about this camera, but I will once more say how much I love the camera !! A very portable medium format 6×7 camera with a truly unique rendering.

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(Plaubel Makina 67, Kodak Portra 160VC)

The Nikkor 80mm f/2.8 lens produces subtle images, with a mild contrast and color which are very pleasing to my eye. At f/2.8 and f/4 is a fantastic portrait lens, stop it down to the optimum f/8 Nd f/11 apertures and it can get as sharp as you want to.

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(Plaubel Makina 67, Kodak Portra 160VC)

Being a rangefinder means I can very easily focus accurately even at f/2.8 and its meter works pretty much like my Leica M, so I am very familiar with it. My only “complain” is that the shutter button requires more power when pressing than what someone would expect from a leaf shutter camera, and also its quite noisy. Other than that is a true gem.

This is a camera I can shoot all day long without the need of any additional gear. The 40mm equivalent lens mean you have pretty much covered. It’s also a wonderful portrait camera (shooting a 80mm f/2.8 lens at the distance of a 40mm really isolates the subject from the background).

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(Plaubel Makina 67, Kodak Portra 160VC)

The Makina 67 is a camera that must be treated with care. With the folder extended it becomes quite sensitive to abuse and there’s also the known issue of the faulty meter after years of use. I had mine fully services by Plaubel (they still fix their cameras) a couple yeas ago, so I expect to last for a long time. Even when the meter stops working, you have a fully mechanical camera (no batteries needed to activate the shutter).

Well, it seems that for one more I’ve written many words about the Makina. But that happens when a camera becomes your favorite, and its very important to enjoy operating a specific camera, it will lead to better images, that’s for sure.

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(Plaubel Makina 67, Kodak Portra 160VC, that’s a Nikon D700 resting on a tree !!)

Now,about the films used, I still have a few rolls of be discontinued Kodak Portra 160VC which I like very much, and of course the TRI-X is a classic film. Comparing the Makina images with the Leica M (both shot with TRI-X) I usually notice that many times the Leica files can look sharper not be screen. Of course when you get to the printer and print at 30 inches wide sizes, the 6×7 negative will blow away any 35mm camera or lens. And of course you get the wonderful tonality of MF film and the finer grain it produces due its large size negative.

So, for “serious” images that I would like to seem them printed large, the MF film is the way to go (of course, i am expecting my Sinar Norma 4×5 camera to change that but you can’t shoot a view camera handheld).

Enjoy the rest of the images.

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(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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7 Responses to A day with the Plaubel Makina 67

  1. Angus says:

    Perhaps you should snap up the Fuji GF670 while you still can – same 80mm 2.8 Nikkor lens but better build quality and 6×7 or 6×6. Loving mine – nomination for best MF rangefinder ever?

    • kbesios says:

      The GF670 is a great camera indeed, but I think I already have too many cameras in my arsenal !! With the Sinar I think I will spend a lot of time mastering the large format and that will keep me pretty busy !!

  2. Angus says:

    Agreed, I’ve got to stop buying gear and start taking more photos. Rainy season has hit San Francisco – excited to take some images with dramatic skies.

  3. I’ve recently purchased a Makina 67, and love it. I’ve read elsewhere on the Net that it is indeed delicate. Just curious, how much did it cost for you to have your camera serviced by Plaubel?

    • kbesios says:

      The repair cost was about 400 euros, certainly not cheap, but they made the camera like brand new. Among the things fixed, was the light meter, as you may have read this was the weakness of this model, after years of use the meter stopped working. If you treat it with care, I am sure it will last for many many years. I consider the Makina 67 my favorite film camera, it’s a real gem.

  4. e m campbell says:

    Hello. Please can you let me know what batteries the camera takes?

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