Mamiya 645 models - a few questions

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dans, Nov 13, 2004.

  1. dans

    dans Subscriber

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    I currently have a Mamiya 645 1000S and like it. I does have it's drawbacks like being heavy (really heavy after carrying it all day), no built in metering, obsolete -as in not being made anymore so the only accessories I can find are used. Which leads me to my first question. There are a lot of good deals on newer models in the used market. Is it worthwhile for me to consider upgrading to one of these?

    Currently I don't have that many accessories that would hold me back. I have the power winder, several 120 film inserts and several lenses. I don't think the power winder is going to move forward to a newer model, but I bought that more as a convenience thing to make it easier to hold, focus and shoot. The film inserts aren't that expensive, but I would like to be able to keep the if possible. The big question in my mind is whether the lenses will be usable on a newer model.

    As for other questions here goes:

    What model camera would be good to consider?
    At what point in the model progression would the lenses no longer be usable?
    Would I be better off scrpping this whole idea nad going to a different brand?

    Thanks
    Dan
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    The Mamiya lenses will fit all the way up to the current 645 Auto focus model, albiet in manual focus mode, but they will still fit and work, other than convienence the newer models will still be heavy when fully configured for use, I currently own the 1000s and recently rented the AFD and other than the auto focus, which I am not trusting of, I really did not find it any different that using my 1000s, I also have a Model J and have owned a couple of Pros in the past, the Mamiya 645 series is one of the work horses of the industry and has been around for many years and still going strong.

    For the extra substantial cost, I am staying with my 645, if you want metering, the PIS prisim finder is not all that expensive and are quite easy to come by.

    Dave Parker
    Ground Glass Specialties
     
  3. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Dan, first of all the inserts will work in the newer model backs so no change there if you were to upgrade. The lens work on all newer models except the AF (auto focus) so again no loss, unless you want AF. I have the even older 645, and find it to be a most reliable camera. You can get a metered prism for the 1000s, just takes a little hunting to find one - sorry I don't remember the model. You might look on the mamyia web site for more information on the camera and I think there are couple of books that detail the system. Hope this helps..if it were me, think I would stick with what you have if it in good shape and add a lens or two - I use the 55, 80 and 210 - makes a nice kit.

    Good luck
     
  4. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    photomc,

    I just rented and AFD 645 about two weeks ago and was able to use all of my manual focus 645 lenses on it in manual focus mode...the inserts are also the same, there are two models of metered prisim finder for the 645 series of cameras and they are quite often offered on ebay, and several have gone for $150.00 or less in great shape, the current PDS prisim finder I have for mine, I got on my model J with a 150 lens for $212.00 and it works like it was new.

    Dave Parker
    Ground Glass Specialties
     
  5. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Dave, sorry we were posting at the same time..was not aware if the lens worked on the AF or not..good to hear they do. Have not really kept up with the line since the Pro model..would not mind having a Super, but looks like heading toward the LF cameras so the good old 645 will have to keep doing what it has been.

    BTW, Dan, are you using a waist level finder now? My perferance most of the time, though I do have a Prism finder (with the nortorious line - does not cause any problem though).

    Thanks for the update Dave..
     
  6. mfobrien

    mfobrien Member

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    I am buying a 654E model...very impressed with it. My local Adray Camera store has them at at around $675 new...I was going to buy a used older model on the bay, but after realizing that the ^$%E also has a nice meter and Aperture priority mode as well... it is a sale.
     
  7. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I have my 645 Super with 3 lenses, spot meter, filters, tripod, etc, all contained in and on my "Lowe Rover Plus AW" pack. I barely feel a thing and that's coming from someone who has a bad back. I highly rec'd this bag for MF kits if the weight is causing you any grief :smile:
     
  8. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Hi, the 645E has a nice bright viewfinder with -5 to +5 diopter adjustment so as to make focusing easier, with or without glasses. Also manual and aperture priority metering that is very good. Mirror up, exposure compensation, multi-exposure, but does not have interchangable backs.
     
  9. Glenn Mathison

    Glenn Mathison Member

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    My first 645 was an original 645 model, very heavy and solid. I really like it but it does get heavy when lugging it for long periods. I have the CDS prism, with the famous horizontal line fault, but it has a metering fault, so I normally just use the waist level finder as I find it helps me compose more easily. Then I bought a second hand 645e and it's noticably lighter, nice viewfinder, and AE for when I'm being lazy.

    Would love a 645PROTL but way too expensive, even on the second hand market.

    Glenn
    (temporarily in Tokyo)
     
  10. dans

    dans Subscriber

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    Thanks for the info everyone

    I haven't completely decided what I'm going to do, but it is good to know that I can at least same my "investment" in lenses. I would have thought that the newer model cameras would be significantly lighter, but I haven't actually held any of them.

    I'll be doing more research before I make a final decision.

    Thanks again
    dan
     
  11. Shmoo

    Shmoo Member

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    Depends upon what and how you shoot as to which model fits you, I think. I bought a 645E and have 3 lenses and had contemplated a change to another model then decided to keep it. My ONLY complaint with the 645E is the inabiliy to change the backs. But I rarely ever have to do that, so why spend the $$$?

    On the other hand, if you're doing work that requires you to change out the backs often, the 645E isn't going to make you happy and you should consider the ProTL or the AFD. That's my 2 cents...which is about what my opinion is worth...

    regards,
    S
     
  12. mfobrien

    mfobrien Member

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    Got my 645E on Thursday -- a used mint model, still in the box for $475. I love it..great viewfinder, controls are easy to use, and so long as there are film inserts, the only reason I can think that someone would want removable backs is to use a digital back, anyway, or polaroid. I shot a test roll the same night and developed it -- no problems. I really like the aperture priority and the nice viewfinder with adjustable diopter!
     
  13. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

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    Dans, there are actually three metered prisms for your 645:
    The CdS finder with match needle metering.
    The PD finder with match diode metering.
    The AE finder with aperture preferred automation.
    So, you still have options for your "old iron".
    These are great system cameras, and built like a brick house.