Considering a 645 SLR... thoughts?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Ara Ghajanian, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    Here's the deal: I used to shoot a lot of medium format. Then I rediscovered 35mm with my Nikon F3. I love that camera very much, but I desperately miss the negative size of 120. I have a Hasselblad 500c/m with an 80mm Planar at the moment, but lenses for the camera are way too expensive for me. The other thing is TTL metering. Also, I love the square format, but it doesn't lend itself to my compositions.

    I'm thinking about selling the Blad (it's super mint with all boxes, manuals, etc.) and getting an expandable 645 system. I figure with the money I get for the Blad I could get a Mamiya 645 Pro with a lens, back, TTL prism finder and maybe another lens(?). What are your thoughts on this?

    Thanks in advance,
    Ara
     
  2. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I have a 645 Super and love it. That said, I also find that I love the sqare format and ended up getting a Yashicamat TLR so that I could shoot in a square format when I wanted to. If you find that you crop your hassy images to fit the paper (and are doing so mentally when you shoot them) you should be happy with the 645. I think that the lenses are great, accessories are plentiful and not too expensive, and mine has worked great.

    Another issue is the focal plane shutter in the 645. If you shoot a lot of flash and want a faster sync than the 1/60 offered by the focal plane shutter, you will have to buy leaf shutter lenses which are quite a bit more expensive than the regular ones.
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I have a Pentax 645 and last month or so I added a Bronica 645. I've considered the Mamiya but for various reasons the other two always won out. Right now the Bronica seems the best value. I guess with the camera being dropped by Bronica the prices have dropped. The only downside with the Bronica ETRSI is that the TTL prism tends to be expensive. If you use flash the ttl flash module is expensive new but reasonable used. Lenses are cheaper then the Pentax versions even with the Bronica lenses having shutters. I can't explain it so I'm not going to worry about it.

    In a way I'd rather a Mamiya RB but the things are so heavy I'd rather just use the LF camera.

    So far I'm happy with the Bronica overall. I'm still getting used to the handling and I'd suggest finding a camera you can try out for a day.
     
  4. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    Nick stole the words from my fingers!
     
  5. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    I own a Mamiya 645 Pro TL, and a few lenses. It is capable of TTL metering, but I bought an unmetered prism as I use a hand held spotmeter. It's an excellent camera, and the lenses are excellent and inexpensive. Just be aware that flash syn is 1/60. The good news, though, is that there are a number of leaf shutter lenses available.

    KEH.com usually has a good selection. And even their "bargain" grade is better than other folks "exce;;ent" grade.

    Robert
     
  6. livemoa

    livemoa Member

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    I like my Bronica, it has replaced my Canon 35m system. All in all, I think it comes down to what feels good for you and what you can get at the time.
     
  7. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    If you are interested in architecture the Mamiya 645 50mm f4 PC lens really delivers the goods.I dont know that any other 645 system offers a PC lens, at least not that often comes up for sale used. In combination with an 80mm its abit heavy but useable.
     
  8. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Have you thought about renting one from a camera store to find out if you like the format/camera? Might be better than buying something and finding you don't like it.
     
  9. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I shoot both a bronica 6x6 and a mamiya 645, and for general shooting the 645 gets far more use, I like the format, its easy to print and not so heavy you won't take it, good selection of lenses, it is as easy to handle as a SLR, the only others that I like better are the 645 Rangefinders, which are a joy to handle and shoot.

    Good luck on your choice.

    Dave