"Reasonable" MF companion to my Pentax 645

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dugrant153, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    Hi all,

    I've been shooting rolls of Delta 3200 on my Pentax 645 and absolutely LOVE the detail and tonality I'm getting out of it!

    The only issue is that I love MF so much that I kind of want to get a second MF camera so I can split color and B&W between the two.

    I'm looking for an MF camera that can:
    -take waist level view finder (when I want to do street and be discrete)
    -Can last a long time on batteries (or have AA compatibility)
    -Can still fire without batteries
    -645 MF format!

    I had just considered a Bronica ETRS 645 camera... but I believe this takes a "hard to find" 6V battery? I wouldn't want to be caught at a wedding with a dead battery that I can't replace!
     
  2. lbenac

    lbenac Member

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    Hello from the Pentax Forum,

    Have you given some thoughts about a TLR. With or without meter. Can be had for cheap and very often has an incredible lens. Light can be used easily on a tripod or discretely on a street.
    I have a Minolta AUtocord and just love it.

    Cheers,

    Luc
     
  3. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    The Bronica ETR series will fire at 1/500 without batteries. Their 6v batteries last a long time, as they are only timing the leaf shutter. The ETR-Si is quieter than the earlier models-not bad at all.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The Mamiya 645 Super I have in the classifieds as part of a kit fires at 1/60 second without a battery. The Mamiya 645 Pro/Pro Tl that replaced it added a self-timer, but lost the "batteryless" operation.

    I just carry a few extra batteries. The PX-28s are cheap on the internet (just search "dog collar batteries") and are easily found at London Drugs and other places that carry a moderate variety of batteries - they are the batteries used in the Canon AE-1 and other A series cameras.
     
  5. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    Thanks folks! I think at one point I've thought about all those cameras... Yashica Mat-124G, Bronica ETRS and Mamiya 645 Super.
    I'll have to check out London Drugs and make sure they have the batteries.
    My main concern is buying a camera where the batteries are no longer made (or really hard to find), hence why I'm liking the Pentax 645 and it's use of AA's. Atleast in a pinch I can run down to the store. But sounds like the batteries in these other cameras last a long time. Guess I'll just have to buy a few :smile:
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Here's an eBay listing for 11 of the batteries in alkaline format (note the shipping charge):

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/11x-New-PX28-28A-A544-PX28A-4LR44-4G13-V4034PX-battery-/280636144414?pt=US_Batteries&hash=item415737bb1e

    And here is an eBay listing for the more desirable silver-oxide version:

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/Camelion-4SR44-S28PX-PX28-4G13-6V-Silver-Oxide-Battery-/370419437269?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item563eb80ed5

    The alkaline versions work well - I just keep 3 or 4 in my camera bag at all time. Others may prefer to use a silver-oxide battery.
     
  7. ruby.monkey

    ruby.monkey Member

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    There's always the option of a hand-cranked V-series Hasselblad with an A16 back. No need for batteries and you also have the option of 6x6 should the urge overtake you.
     
  8. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Mamiya 645 has the 80mm f/1.9 lens :D
     
  9. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I'll go with a TLR!

    Jeff
     
  10. rawhead

    rawhead Subscriber

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    My vote on this, too, if you absolutely won't need 6x6 (if so, Hassy + A16, like someone else said). It will give you the fastest medium format lens ever made for a really decent price (you could probably pick up the combo for $250-$300). Add to that the 35/3.5 and you got one of the widest MF setups ever, too :D
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hasselblad with a 6x4.5 back.
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    ...or the 28mm, for that matter.
     
  13. Marcus S

    Marcus S Member

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    I had no problems finding batteries for my ETRsi anywhere in BC.
     
  14. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Yeah, forgot to mention-the 6v batteries are not hard to find. In the ETR-Si you can use the silver oxide, which is the one Bronica recommends highest. If you can't locate it locally, they're easy to find and inexpensive online; alkaline, which are easy to find and Bronica's second choice; or lithium, Bronica's third choice, which have worked just fine for me. Easy to find though more expensive than alkaline.
    As I stated earlier, they last a long time. I always carry a spare anyway, and they are quick to change (you don't even need a coin).
     
  15. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    Here's a different thought... I had a Pentax 67 kit for many years and gradually accumulated a number of lenses for it. I added the 645 body and P67 lens adapter. The 645 came with a 75 and 150 which covered the basics for it but my other optics (45, 55, 75, 105, 135, 165 and 200) from the 67 all added versatility. The 67 can be fitted with a waist-level finder. I would use the 67 when I knew I was doing things that would be enlarged more and the 645 when I needed a brighter finder or handling speed.
     
  16. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I'd say just pick up another pentax. It's not a bad idea to have a backup body. The pentax 645s are special. If you like it, get another.
     
  17. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    Think about a Mamiya 220 or 330.... no batteries and lots of lenses! and pretty cheap besides!
    Logan
     
  18. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    Yowza! So many options!! Thanks for all the suggestions - it's got the gears turning in my head. TLRs are definitely a consideration. Considered the Mamiya C220 or 330... guess age comes into questions and stuff. But guess that comes with all these cameras.
    Thankfully, my Pentax 645 has been flawless and I loaded it with some high-end rechargeable AA's so I almost never change batteries for months.
    Hmm... actually, seeing as how carrying two 645 cameras would be really heavy, maybe a TLR would be a better option. Pentax 645 for main shots with 1600 and 400 B&W, TLR for 400 color and outdoor shots. Hmm...

    That's good to note. I'd love to take the ETRS as a travel camera with maybe a light meter and waist level finder.
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    That's the advantage of the later Mamiya 645s - you can carry one body, and multiple backs - and then switch back and forth between films at will.
     
  20. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions folks. I looked at a whole bunch of stuff, but in the end I picked up that Bronica ETRS I was looking at. What great camera! Manual everything, and powered by this dinky little battery that apparently lasts forever (even more so cuz I don't have a metered prism!).
    It came with a 150mm F3.5 MC lens and a prism finder (no meter) and a speed grip. I'm hoping to acquire a Waist Level View finder and use it with speedgrip for street shooting!
    Need a few more 120 inserts too!

    I think the reason for going for this setup was to get a slightly "different" camera than the Pentax 645, where I could use that waist level view finder and meter out of camera. Sets me up in a different mindset, that's for sure! (hopefully not to the detriment of my workflow! We'll see how that works out).
     
  21. aoresteen

    aoresteen Subscriber

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    I use a Mamiya M645 1000S with a waist level finder. I use mostly the 35mm and 55mm lenses with it. That would fit the bill for you. And they are cheap!