Definitive source for Mamiya 645 manual focus cameras, lenses and accessories.

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Analogue Avid, May 6, 2013.

  1. Analogue Avid

    Analogue Avid Member

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    I am a returner to film and have a Mamiya 645 Super but have learnt through a very steep learning curve that there were many variants of accessory and cannot find a definitive source to check things out.

    These two sources are both deficient e.g. they don't agree about the lenses produced and there are omissions. http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Mamiya_M645 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mamiya_products#Mamiya_645_manual_focus_series

    I will illustrate two problems :-
    Camera strap - the lugs on the Super, Pro and Pro TL are not the same as the M645 original series. It is possible to get after market straps for the M645 but not the Super, Pro etc

    Left hand grip - it would appear that there were a number of models but those marketed as for the super ought to come with an adapter which clips to the side/flash socket and will therefore trigger the shutter. Many second hand models do not have this BUT because for some of these you could get an adapter to upgrade it to a Pro, Pro TL. You often find the latter for sale (RA 401) BUT what was the designation of the original super adapter? There is no model marking on either of these and they can only be distinguished by the shape of the moulding (flat for Super, curved for Pro) and the Super has a cable release socket. The Pros have a different cable release socket available!

    So where is the definitive source for this sort of info?

    Thanks
    Graham

    P.S> I have quite a collection of wrong parts now!
     
  2. zsas

    zsas Member

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  3. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Btw, welcome to Apug, glad to have ya aboard
     
  4. agfarapid

    agfarapid Subscriber

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    I have a 645 Super which I built/purchased on E bay. So far, has given excellent results. Suggest you download the manual from butkus.com (free manuals, etc.) Regarding the straps, I purchased one on the auction site specifically made for the 645 Super and Pro models. The strap for the earlier series M645 won't fit propertly. By the way, A strap from the RB 67 series will fit the Super/Pro models. I know because I use mine on both. To my knowledge, there isn't a definitive source for info on this save the owners manuals. The camera itself is pretty straight forward and reasonably simple. The lens line is preety wide; I have the 45 f2.8, 80mm f2,8, and 150 f4. The prism meter options are likewise pretty open as well. Good luck with your search.
     
  5. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

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    This is why folks get so motivated to make their own info sites. Perhaps you are hearing the call!:D
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Hi Graham, welcome to APUG.

    There is no single definitive source, although I've managed to cobble together lots of info on the 645 Super, Pro and Pro Tl.

    The problem you are experiencing with the grips is what led me, at one time to having three separate bodies - two Super and one Pro.

    In essence, the grips were initially made in three sizes for the Super, and they all came with the appropriate connector for the Super - the Connector "N".

    Then Mamiya brought out the 645 Pro, which requires a different connector - the RA401. In order to encourage people to upgrade, they sold the RA401 connector separately. They also sold a new grip - The GL401, which came with a RA401.

    Then Mamiya brought out the 645 Pro Tl, which added TTl flash capability. And guess what, a new grip (the GL402) and connector (RA402) as well.

    The RA402 apparently is compatible with the 645 Pro and GL401 as well.

    However, to the best of my knowledge, Mamiya never marketed the connector N separately. I sold mine when I sold one of my Super bodies with its grip.

    The difference between the connectors for the Super and the Pro is entirely physical - the camera bodies are shaped slightly different where the connectors connect.

    There is no mechanical cable release socket on the Super, but:

    1) the connector N provides one; and
    2) there are a couple of cable release adapters that have been sold by Mamiya over time which work on both the Super and the Pro and Pro Tl. One of those two accessories locks to the cameras better than its predecessor and/or routes the cable release in a better way.

    Some of the camera manuals contain information about accessories, but unfortunately the Super manual isn't one of them.

    There is, however a "Quick Setup" guide for the Super

    Mike Butkus' site has numerous helpful documents. Here are links to two of them:

    1) an accessory brochure which must have come out when the 645 Pro was new: http://www.cameramanuals.org/mamiya_pdf/mamiya_645_accessories.pdf ; and

    2) this is the Quick Setup Guide for the Super: http://www.cameramanuals.org/mamiya_pdf/mamiya_m645_super_quick_setup.pdf

    Mike has a couple of pages on his site that collect links to Mamiya cameras. They are two of my most used bookmarks. Here they are:

    Mamiya Camera Instruction Manuals: http://www.butkus.org/chinon/mamiya.htm and

    Mamiya Lenses and Accessories: http://www.butkus.org/chinon/mamiya/mamiya_lenses_accessories/mamiya_lenses_accessories.htm

    As always I recommend sending Mike his requested donation(s).

    Now I have given up all my secrets! How am I going to maintain my APUG Mamiya 645 and RB67 reputation now? :blink:
     
  7. Analogue Avid

    Analogue Avid Member

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    :smile: Fantastic responses here, thanks. Just need time now to digest them fully!
    Please keep them coming, especially on the accessories category and maybe we can get another page together for photo-phil.org!
    Graham
     
  8. jvo

    jvo Subscriber

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    ditto what matt said...

    1. welcome to apug, graham

    2. mike butkus is an excellent resource for manuals, a donation is definitely a good thing as he puts a lot into continually updating!!! it saved me a couple of times and is much appreciated!:smile:

    jvo
     
  9. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    Finding the various 'System Charts' was a big help to me in sorting out what my kit should eventually look like.
     
  10. Analogue Avid

    Analogue Avid Member

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    Update - Left hand grips for Super and Pro

    Particular thanks to MattKing who set me off in the right direction and so I have added just a little more detail.
    However you will see that I still have some doubts about identification as between RA401 and RA402 and whether either of them provided a cable release function.*
    Neither of my Pro adapters have provision for a cable release.

    All references to Mamiya manuals.

    M645 Super
    There were three LHGs all originally supplied with Connector N (L,M,S)
    I have two M & S, and the instructions with the following descriptions :-
    Medium=Y0175O 118mm height 125mm around the grip
    Small=Y0176O 108mm height 115mm around the grip
    Large= ?(possibly Y0174O) 128mm height 140mm around the grip
    The Connector N has a flat profile to its body side and which also provided for a manual cable release.

    Pro
    LHG was called GL401 and the Terminal Adapter RA401 also appears (on the illustration) to have provision for a manual cable release.*
    This terminal adapter has a round profile to its body side.

    Pro TL
    LHG was called GL402 and the Terminal Adapter RA402 also appears (on the illustration) to have provision for a manual cable release.*
    This terminal adapter has a round profile to its body side.

    In a later publication Tools of the Trade (after production of Pro but before Pro TL) we have 4 grips!
    Cat#211.247 for Pro one size
    Cat#211.421 (Small) for Super only
    Cat#211.422 (Medium) for Super only
    Cat#211.423 (Large) for Super only
    Cat#211.423.RA401 Connector, converts Super Grip for use with the Pro


    For the Pro TL they brought out Cable Release Adapter RC402. This sits in the same side socket but does not extend to the flash sync. The flash arrangements on the TL are a mystery to me too many wires!

    Also Philip Hens keep up the good work.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2013
  11. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    I think you've just summed up the problem with almost everything about the internet these days, in that the information doesn't exist unless some nutter/collector goes and puts in on the net (and the older and less popular it is, the less likely).

    Deciding on my first DSLR I ended up going for Canon, not least because of friends' recommendations, but also from the massive wealth of information provided by TDP, the canon camera museum is also great for all their FD and LTM lenses and bodies.
    Same for when I switched to MF Film, the best site that I found was PentaconSix.com, almost everything written about everything, just maintained (still) by one guy who just loves them (and has the funds). Just having that information available meant that my first MF was P6, now I've got almost all the zeiss and soviet lenses, and a few soviet bodies to boot. They may not be the best ever made, but at least I knew what I was getting myself into.

    I've never found a 'definitive' equivalent for Nikons (although KR comes close, and I do find his Leica pages invaluable, even if not definitive), and there's dribs and drabs on P67s, a nice site on Rolleis, I've never seen anything much written about Bronicas at all.

    For mamiya 645, same as you, I've gotten all of my info from wikipedia, camerapedia, and just seeing what's out there and popular on ebay and keh.
    At least the leafasemiya website does have old user manuals for bodies (but I'm not sure how far back they go though), so at least you're getting more 'official' info than most systems...
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    There are at least two versions of the Cable Release Adapter. I know this because I have both.

    They differ in how positive the physical attachment to the camera is, and the direction that the cable release takes as it leaves the adapter.

    The latter version (the RC402?) is the better of the two.

    I believe the former version (identified simply as "Cable Release Adapter") came out at the same time as the Super, as it is listed under the "Remote Control Equipments" (sic) portion of the Mamiya M645 Super System chart, available here on Mike Butkus' site: http://www.butkus.org/chinon/mamiya...stem_chart/mamiya_m645_super_system_chart.htm
     
  13. studioesper

    studioesper Member

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    I wrote most of the camera-wiki.org page in regards to m645 accessories and parts. That page was mostly made for the older metal m645 and what was available. I have not read the wikipedia article for any differences. I have not done any work on the super/pro/tl pages in regard to parts. I was actually thinking about searching making adding and updating the parts list for the super/pro/tl and stumble on to this discussion.

    The pages of camera-wiki.org are indeed a wiki. It's not too hard to add content.

    update:I just stated making a system parts list. not complete at all!

    http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Mamiya_M645_Super,_Pro,_Pro_TL_and_E
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2013