Mamiya 645J - how many cranks of the winder?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by kurt765, May 19, 2011.

  1. kurt765

    kurt765 Member

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    I got a cheap Mamiya 645J off of eBay. It's quite a bit different than my 645 Pro's.

    The crank seems to only work when the film insert is in. When I click the shutter, it takes two full revolutions to reset it seems. One seems more geared than the second. One is advancing the film and the other is the shutter? Or is something wrong with this new camera and I need to send it back? I haven't run film through it yet.

    Sometimes it seems one crank will do it. So, I'm wondering if two cranks is wasting an entire exposure of film (if there's film in there).

    Can anyone fill me in on this? Thanks.

    -K
     
  2. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    M645's are kind of weird. They don't really work right without film in them. For testing, you need to move the multi-exposire lever to "Multi", then it's always one wind of the crank to reset the shutter.

    Don't forget to put the lever back to single-shot when you actually load film.

    Also, loading the film is a bit convoluted too. It goes onto the insert such that the paper comes out under the spool, goes over the roller with the black side showing and then over the take up side roller and back under the takeup spool. Snug it up a little and insert it into the camera. Close the back and wind softly until it senses the beginning of the film and advances to the first position.

    I lock my shutter release to prevent misfire and wasting that first frame.

    Once set-up, it's always one wind of the crank again to advance and re-cock the shutter. After the 15th frame you just wind on and on until the whole roll is on the takeup spool.
     
  3. kurt765

    kurt765 Member

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    Thank you for that. I will run a roll through and see what happens.
     
  4. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Oops. I said something wrong above. (thinking about a different camera)

    When you load the film you have to roll the take up far enough to align the "START" line on the paper to the "START" arrow on the retainer. Then you can plug the insert into the camera.

    Sorry.

    -Bill
     
  5. kurt765

    kurt765 Member

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    Well, my first roll through my 645J has yielded a couple of frames that were overlapping. Seems it didn't quite advance the film like it should. I happened at the front of the roll and didn't seem to affect the later parts. Of course, the front of the roll had the part that I wanted. Sigh.
     
  6. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Be mindful that there could always be a problem with the camera when these things happen, too.
    Tom.
     
  7. mjs

    mjs Member

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    Keep in mind that when you're loading film onto the insert, the first bit of film may not be wound as tightly as the camera will subsequently wind it, and that may be why your first two frames overlap a bit. There are two things you can do: the easiest is to waste the first frame with the lens cap on, the second is to make sure the film is wound tightly before putting the film insert into the camera. These are good cameras and can take superb photos, but they are of a different generation than more recent cameras and some of the assumptions the designers made may not be appreciated in our modern world where we expect smart devices to take care of some of the details for us.

    Mike
     
  8. frobozz

    frobozz Subscriber

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    I second the recommendation to keep the film snug while initially loading it on the spool, that should help. But my M645 has gargantuan gaps between frames (because of the aspect ratio of the image), I can't even imagine two overlapping. Are yours gapped like that later on the roll?

    Duncan
     
  9. Chris Douglas

    Chris Douglas Member

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    Maybe it needs oil

    I have two M645s and they both had sticky exposure counters. When the film holder is removed, a spring is supposed to reset the exposure counter, but mine did not. The gear that moves the counter is visible in the back of the camera on the right side. A tiny drop of oil on the shaft bearing frees up the counter like new.