Mamiya AFD System

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Kjarahz, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Kjarahz

    Kjarahz Member

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    Excuse the lack of knowledge, I'm familiar with my Hasselblad 501C which I've made into a make shift eye level shooting camera, but what is the deal with the

    I am one of the weird ones that can't confirm to 6x6 very well. I need more in the frame! Don't hate me for my preference!


    With that said, what is the deal on the AFD system? Auto focus? Decent lenses it seems. Somewhat acceptable price.Metering?

    Currently I love my Hasselblad but I use a eye level finder and other things to make it what I want it to be and still I can't get around it be 6x6. Sometimes I just need more in the frame.
    Is this the magical system I've been looking for at a reasonable price? I'm basically looking for a medium format DSLR with the ability to do portrait and landscape.

    Please advise!
     
  2. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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    "... and still I can't get around it be 6x6. Sometimes I just need more in the frame."

    I'm sure you know, but the 645 actually has less. :smile:
     
  3. Kjarahz

    Kjarahz Member

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    Actually I'm quite new to it, really just familiar with my Hasselblad and a C330, in terms of film.

    It gives the option of portrait and landscape with more than just a couple inches of difference no?

    And basically I want a poor mans Contax 645.
     
  4. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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    The poor mans Contax 645 in terms of what? Image quality? Not saying the Mamiya system is bad, because I have one and love it, but the Contax does have Zeiss lenses like your Hassy..

    So, about 645. So your Hassy take 12 6cm x 6cm shots on a roll of 120. A 645 system takes 15 or 16 6cm x 4.5cm shots on a roll of 120.

    This means each image is narrower on one side so you can fit more shots per roll. The image would look the same as if you cropped 1.5cm from your 6x6 shots on your Hassy. Of course you will only shoot 12 shots per roll as apposed to 15/16.
     
  5. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    As noted, m645 is smaller frame size than the hassy's 6x6. The only way you'll get 'more in the frame' is the fact that m645 comes with wider-angle lenses.
    Consider that Hassy bottoms out at 50mm. Yes, there's a 40mm, but you damn well pay for them if you can find them, and I'm not counting the SWD. m645 has 45mm readily available, and 35mm are also not very rare. (I'll leave IQ arguments for later, I'm happy with my 45mm but not so much my 35mm, I could very well have a dud though)
    Budget $1-200 for a 45mm, maybe up to $300 for a 35mm, double those prices if you want the newer AF version. There's also the new 28mm that'll cost you a few grand.
    Don't bother buying new, you can get mint 2nd-hand AF versions for less than half the new price, the older MF versions for even less.

    Also, you can get your Hassy lenses on m645 via a $30 adapter (as well as Pentacon 6's Zeissy goodness and Pentax 67 and others). So you won't need to buy new 'longer' lenses, just get the wider-angles and use the same longer ones via adapter (unless you really want AF, in which case you'll need the AF lenses).
     
  6. Kjarahz

    Kjarahz Member

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    In terms of ergonomics and practical use. I built my 501C to be a Contax 645 basically or at least function like one.

    I don't like to use the waist level finder as it's usually a pain for the street photography I enjoy, however the look is
    quite interesting. It's got a real 3D feel to it but again I need something eye level. Everything else about my Hassy I enjoy
    really, but I would love AF confirm. Autofocus would be nice but AF confirm would be amazing.

    I expected the frame to be more like 16x9, I figured it wouldn't be quite like it but I figured I'd have more options with landscape
    and portrait than what I'm currently imagining.

    So basically, I really enjoy my 501C but I would like it to perform better for the conditions it's generally in. Which is street photography
    or even wedding portraiture. Rather have AF confirm to know I am not wasting a shot. Suggestions?
     
  7. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Well, my M645AF definitely has AF confirm on all MF lenses, two triangles for too close/far, and a dot between for perfect. I've also put in the 'C' type screen for MF lenses (I don't have any AF lenses, I bought one but sent it back because the aperture didn't stop down).
    It worked well enough a few weeks ago for my 80/1.9 in a room dark enough that I was shooting 3200 at 1/60 wide open. It isn't so accurate when you stop-down, sometimes it blinks that it can't confirm focus, but if you're at that point then you're stopped down enough to not have to worry.

    With regards to metering using MF lenses, all you get is Spot, Evaluative only works with AF lenses. And I did think I had a problematic meter when a lot of shots came back really dark. But the real problem was using stop-down metering and my eye wasn't sealing the eye-cup perfectly, stray light from the eyepiece was bumping up the ev by 3 stops or more. Learn to use and love the viewfinder blind when stopping down to meter and/or with the sun behind you.
     
  8. Kjarahz

    Kjarahz Member

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    Dr Croubie,

    Do you think the m645af is a good decision? Or should I stick with my current setup?

    It seems people still go for RZ's in comparison and in the large scope my Hassy would be more
    valuable no? Just trying to make an informed decision in terms of potentially switching cameras
    all together.
     
  9. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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    Kjarahz,

    Since you have mentioned another system.... What are you looking for in a new system? Camera size? Usability? Image size? Specific lens quality?
     
  10. Kjarahz

    Kjarahz Member

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    The ability to hand hold like a DSLR, overall ergonomics. Eye level viewfinder. Interchangeable backs for color and b&w on demand without having to finish off said roll. Auto focus or a confirmation system to get shots off quicker. Metering if possible but I'm getting quite use to my light meter anyway. Lens availability and pricing, I shoot all kinds of things including skateboarding so a cheaper than $2,500 fisheye (Hasselblad) would be kind of nice, but not a deal breaker.

    In the process I would rather not downgrade in quality but if I would I'd like to know in which way I would be.

    Awhile back I shot a BTS for Jose Villa and fell in love with his work and wanted to mimic and then set forth with my own style. Well in doing so I have my current Hasselblad build because a Contax 645 is out of the question. While my Hasselblad works quite well I rather not sleep on other possible opportunities to fix the short comings especially for how I shoot, like AF or confirmation. Shame there are zero camera stores in South Carolina...
     
  11. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Whether or not you want to switch, you'll have to decide yourself, all I can do is offer helpful hints :smile:
    Anyway:
    If you don't like the square, and you're cropping to 4:3 or wider anyway, then yes, 645 and 67 make more sense. 645 helps you save on film, 67 gets you bigger potential enlargements. How rich are you vs how often do you print billboards?

    Going 645 means you can keep using your current Hassy lenses on adapter (and other brands like Pentacon/Zeiss and Bronica/Nikkor), the only thing in Mamiya-brand you'll need is wider wide-angle lenses.

    Going 67 means all new lenses, they're also bigger and heavier.

    IQ is always subjective. But in MF there's very rarely any dogs (again, I didn't like my m645 35mm, but I may very well have one that got dropped, so I won't besmirch the whole range because of it).

    6x6 I personally find useful, especially with WLF, for street. Square means shoot first, crop to frame later, and no annoying rotating of camera for portraits. M645 is not impossible to hand-hold in portrait orientation, but I've got a busted right shoulder so I try not to do it too often. Best you weigh up your own strength vs how often you currently crop to portrait. And if you don't like square I won't try to convince you otherwise, each to his own.

    m645AF are pretty cheap for what they are, maybe $3-500 depending on condition (I think I paid $400 for mine). m645AFD are pretty much the same camera, but they have the ability to add on a digital back, hence they go for more (and the AFDii an onwards are just more expensive again for more digital features).
    If you don't want to get a digital back, just get an AF (or even if you're going to go digital 'sometime in the future', getting a digi-compatible body is peanuts compared to the cost of the backs, so buy one then and still just get AF for now).

    And to quote the little girl on the Old El Paso taco ads, "¿por qué no las dos?"
     
  12. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    DSLR handholdable: My m645AF is not much worse than my EOS 3 or 7D, depending on lens mounted. Example comparison here.

    Swapping backs, that rules out Pentax 645 and 67, you've said Contax is too expensive, so all that's left is M645 and RB/RZ.

    AF Confirm, that's pretty much M645AF (or the already ruled-out Contax, not sure about Pentax).

    Lenses, M645 AF lenses are cheap, MF lenses are cheaper (except the 80/1.9 never got made into an AF version). About as cheap as you'll get in MF lenses except Soviet K60/K88 lenses which are a crapshoot (trust me, been there). Also as I've said, adapters let you keep the current ones you've got, even if only to use before you get native-mounts, and then IQ is exactly the same as before.

    Fisheye, look into the Zodiak / Arsat / MC Arsat 30mm f/3.5. Blatant ripoff off the $2500 hassy, maybe not as good, but definitely only 1/10th - 1/20th of the price. Pentacon 6 and Kiev 88 mounts natively, maybe they made them in Hassy, definitely adaptable to any 645.
     
  13. Kjarahz

    Kjarahz Member

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    I appreciate everyone's help.

    Look like I will go with Dr Croubie's idea of why not both!
    Now time to save up the couple extra dollars to get a decent kit.

    It seems $900-$1000 for a complete setup with 80mm 2.8 and one back. Quite excited to check it out when
    I can finally order one, which should be before the year ends. I'm to much of a gear junkie...and a fisheye at potentially
    a 20th of the price of the Hassy one, amazing. Not to mention I can use my current lenses, very cool.

    If anyone is letting a unit go, get in contact with me :smile:
     
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  15. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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    Yeah, as mentioned above, based on your requirements, the Mamiya 645 is the way to go.
     
  16. rubyfalls

    rubyfalls Member

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    I love my mamiya 645 pro tl. I was lucky and got the 80mm f/1.9 lens, which has never let me down. I *do* get what you are saying about switching ARs; it took me a while to get used to 645 after shooting on the rollei. Which surprised me, considering I shoot plenty of 35mm on various SLRs.

    Anyhow, happy shopping - I don't think you will be disappointed.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  17. Kjarahz

    Kjarahz Member

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    Well, after careful deliberation I've decided to go with a Contax 645 kit.

    It basically means I have to part with my rather large Hasselblad kit. Which is not something I'm happy about. And if anyone is looking for a good Hasselblad
    kit with tons of accessories, 3 A-12 backs etc., let me know. Otherwise it's going to B&H for not a lot, someone could pay the same and have a kit here if
    they wanted. At least I know people here would enjoy and use it, who knows what abuse it will suffer at the store.

    Anyway, it's what I've always wanted to get and well it looks like I can piece one together for a couple hundred cheaper than a kit. Puts it in range
    after the Hasselblad is gone, unfortunately.

    So this is where I'm currently at. Just about to pack the stuff up and send it out tonight, so if anyone is interested let me know before it's gone ha.

    The downside is the glass is much more expensive, but I really enjoy Zeiss glass. I think I will be starting out with the 140mm, on my Hasselblad
    I never really went away from my 150 unless I needed a faster lens then I'd recompose with my 80. The 150 was really my walkaround lens almost
    always. From there I'm not sure which lens I'd branch off to, perhaps the 80 just because it's f2. Not sure, suggestions welcome.
     
  18. KennyMark

    KennyMark Member

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    If you're serious about selling it to an APUG member, you should really post a list and a price in the classifieds here. Perhaps I misunderstood you.
     
  19. Kjarahz

    Kjarahz Member

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    Well, I will be selling it regardless just putting it out there in the thread if anyone is interested or knows someone. I'm not actively going out and seeking a sale outside of B&H anymore than that really.
    At this point I have my quote and shipping label, was just wondering if there was any interest before it ships out. And also stating what my current plans on for anyone that is following.
     
  20. spijker

    spijker Subscriber

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    Please let us know how you like the Contax 645 system after you've used it for a while. You don't read much about Contax 645. I've been tempted by it but went the Mamiya 645 MF way due to cost.
     
  21. Kjarahz

    Kjarahz Member

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    I will keep this thread up to date when it arrives with samples etc. I won't have a basis against the Mamiya 645 but I will have opinions on how it functions for my needs.

    I've seen it in action like I said that piece I did for Jose Villa - https://vimeo.com/51406079 it seems like a really quick system that I'm going to enjoy.

    Now to wait for B&H to send a check etc.:munch:
     
  22. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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    I've thought about selling my entire Mamiya 645 kit for a nice Contax 645 kit. I get blown away by the Mamiya, but I think even more with the 80mm f2 Zeiss lenses. :smile:
     
  23. Kjarahz

    Kjarahz Member

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    A body for $1,000, good condition etc. Should I be jumping on this price? My check from B&H won't arrive till next Friday with luck. I will have to piece on together more than likely for savings.

    Could get very thing minus a lens for 1850. Just wondering should I jump on the body for 1,000 or will I be safe waiting a week.
     
  24. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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    I don't know the current pricings, but I've found complete kits with 80mm f2 lens for $2000-3000. Forgot what it was on eBay.

    You're making me want to see what my Mamiya gear is worth now. Great. Thanks.
     
  25. Kjarahz

    Kjarahz Member

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    Haha, sorry. Don't buy the one I'm planning though :tongue:

    Seems like most kits with an 80 are a good $3,000 which is out of the budget.
    Cheapest, $1800ish without lens? Which is fine...if I had my check...

    Wondering if I wait to get a setup without lens if I will just miss out and be waiting with no camera. Which is currently killing me :blink:

    Agh, should I jump on a body and piece it together to avoid not being able to get one in a week or will I be safe waiting!
     
  26. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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