Grip for Mamiya 645E?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by snegron, May 5, 2007.

  1. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Any suggestions for a grip for a Mamiya 645E? I have the rapid winder but removed it after having way too much trouble with it. After the 3rd roll of film the film advance knob got stuck thanks to the useless rapid winder. The 645E was only about 3 months old so I sent it to Mamiya with the winder. They cleaned the camera out, did CLR, and returned it to me. I threw the rapid winder in a box and have had no problems with the 645E since then.

    The problem is that I find it rather uncomfortable to hold the little box-shaped 645E without a grip. I tried using the grip I have for my 645J, but it won't press the shutter release button. I would like a grip like the one for the 645J that would permit me to press the shutter release button on the grip.

    I thought about getting another grip like the one that the 645J has and modifying it myself so it can press the shutter release button, or I could just cut off the little metal tab that is supposed to press the shutter button and just use the grip without the trigger function. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Is that the grip with the thumb wind lever?
     
  3. lither

    lither Member

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    Before I switched to the RB67, my 645e went everywhere with me, across multiple continents, for many years, hundreds of rolls, always with the rapid winder and I never had a single problem with it. I suggest getting the winder replaced. It should work perfectly.
     
  4. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Yes. For some reason it winds a bit too much causing the film advance lever to lock. I have heard others with this problem as well.
     
  5. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Could it be the insert that you are using?
     
  6. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I don't think the insert is the problem. The insert is the same one that came with the camera, and I have been using it without a problem since I purchased the camera new a few years ago. I think that something is wrong with the design of the rapid winder I have, maybe one of the gears is too big or out of allignment. Without the rapid winder, my camera works flawlessly. Also, I kind of like turning the rewind crank knob instead of advancing film with the thumb mechanism. It reminds me I'm usung roll film!

    I have heard that there are universal grips for the 645, I'm not sure if one can be used with the 645E though. The problem is with the shutter release button on the 645E. Unlike the 645J, the shutter release button on the 645E does not protrude from the body as much. On the 645E the button is almost flat against the body, so when you place the 645J grip on it, there is a small gap between theshutter release button and the firing mechanism of the grip.

    I thought about getting 645J grip, drilling a small hole on the tiny metal surface that is supposed to touch the shutter release button, and adding some sort of small rubber extension so it touches the shutter release button. Of course, it would be a whole lot easier if there were a grip out there that was already designed to fit the 645E...
     
  7. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    The only other grip for the right side (that I've seen) is a motor drive. I think there might be a left hand grip for the Pro/Super that might work with the E. I think the trigger connects to the electronic remote connection. If you buy a motor drive (and have a choice of different drives) buy the one that takes the 2cr type battery. It's belt drive so there is much less noise, and it is much lighter than the ones that use AA batteries. It is also slower so there is less risk of damaging the film in high static environments.

    I think at this point I might consider selling the E and buying a nice Pro or Super body, or even an old 1000s. Then you would get the option of waist level finder plus all the different motor drives or left hand grip. I do have an old 1000s that I rarely use be won't get rid of. The durability is second to none. If the 1000s had interchangeable films backs, it would have been close to perfect.

    Also I have toyed with the idea of buying the rapid winder and messing with it to see if I could get it to work with any of the other bodies that I have. Prices were never low enough for me to do this yet.
     
  8. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I would not mind getting a small flash bracket for the 645E. I have used a handle mount Sunpack 555 with the 645E, but needless to say it is quite cumbersome. It could be a small universal-type flash bracket without the trigger. The idea is to use it as a left handed grip (my right hand would operate focus/aperture rings and shutter release button).
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    One of the oddities about the 645E is that it doesn't use the same winding configuration as the 645 Super or Pro. As a result, you cannot use the winders designed for those two cameras on the 645E. In fact, the 645E borrowed much of the winder configuration from the older 1000s.

    There used to be a User Forum sponsored by Mamiya America. There were threads on it discussing the fact that people had discovered that they could use the motor winder for the 1000s on their 645E. There was a great dialogue there about how initially Mamiya America didn't realize that would work. They ended up borrowing an old winder from a forum participant in order to check it out. Subsequently they confirmed that it would work.

    As to the old manual left sided grips being used with the 645E, I think you will find that the 645 Super and 645 Pro/ProTl also have a release button that is too small to be used with one. I discovered that the hard way, because unbeknownst to me the first 645 Super body I bought used had been modified by replacing the shutter release button with one that protrudes more. When I bought my second Super body, it wouldn't work with the same grip.

    I really wish that the winding configuration was the same, because I'd like to use a Rapid Winder on my camera :smile:.

    Matt
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    After re-reading your initial post, I see that your existing grip worked with the 645J. I think I have that same grip - and I too was thinking of modifying it by attaching something to the "paddle" so that it made better contact with the camera's shutter release.

    I ended up, however, getting one of the grips with the electronic contacts that work with my cameras instead, and thus gained some additional advantages, including a live hotshoe on grip for flash.

    Matt
     
  11. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    The winder for the 1000s is loud! I bought one new from B&H several years ago and almost returned it. I ended up opening it and applying a teflon bearing grease to all the gears, this made it about half the noise level and on par with the higher speed winder on my Super.

    The rapid winder on a pro or super might be nice once in a while to get the weight down. Too bad Mamiya didn't design an adapter to allow this. WOnder how much SK Grimes would charge for a one off adapter?