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  1. #1
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    PENTAX 645 bargain?

    I might have the opportunity to buy an original model of the Pentax 645 with 75mm lens for under $100. Is this definitely a good buy? There are some negative comments about this original model (NOT the 645N). Also, how do I check the shutter: do I have to have 120 film in the camera? Also: AAA or AA batteries. Thank you. -David Lyga

  2. #2
    CGW
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    There are some negative comments about this original model

    Like what? I looked at it seriously before deciding on the Mamiya 645 and its interchangeable backs--the Pentax uses inserts, so no mid-roll film changes. It's very 35mm-like. Short of age/wear-related problems, it struck me as tough and ergonomically superior to the Mamiya 645 without a winder grip. Very inexpensive now. Nice glass, too.

  3. #3
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    I meant that increments of full stops only are available on autoexposure and there is no exposure lock. And CGW, just HOW inexpensive please. - David Lyga

  4. #4
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    I meant that increments of full stops only are available on autoexposure and there is no exposure lock. And CGW, just HOW inexpensive please. - David Lyga
    Your original post gives an example. Just do some research on eBay and KEH, OK? Around 200 for a body+120 insert seems the norm. 75mm and 150mm are probably the most common lenses.

  5. #5

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    If the lens is in good condition (no fungus, haze, scratches) then it is worth it for the lens alone. There are three 75mm lenses for the Pentax 645 system. They are distinguished by being either manual focus "Pentax-A 645" (two version of the A) or autofocus "Pentax-FA 645" (only one version of the FA). All three are f/2.8 and the two A (manual focus) are either the standard 75mm f/2.8 (commonly sold as a kit with the 645 body) or the 75mm f/2.8 LS (where LS = leaf shutter).

    So for $100, even with the basic Pentax-A 645 75mm f/2.8 this is a great price. Bigger bonus if you get either of the other two lenses.

    The 645 body takes 6 - AA batteries (in the right hand grip, check to see what the battery terminals look like - e.g. leaks from batteries can be cleaned up in many cases). Film backs are relatively easy to find, so if yours does not come with one, you can find a 120 back for as little as $30 and on up.

    The shutter is cloth and should be relatively wrinkle free. If they have a back cover, you should be able to 'dry' fire the camera (if my memory serves me correctly). Might want to try B (bulb) depress the shutter and hold it - open up the back cover and watch the second curtain move when you release the shutter button to complete the exposure.

    Some of the negative comments, but what item does not have its detractors or negative comments. Generally, these are great cameras and for the price quite a great deal! A nice way to try out the Pentax 645 system. This is what I started with years ago and had a lot of fun with this setup, many great memories captured.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    I might have the opportunity to buy an original model of the Pentax 645 with 75mm lens for under $100. Is this definitely a good buy? There are some negative comments about this original model (NOT the 645N). Also, how do I check the shutter: do I have to have 120 film in the camera? Also: AAA or AA batteries. Thank you. -David Lyga

  6. #6

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    I have a 645. It works wonderfully and produces fantastic photos. The controls are a little "different" but easy to use. I have also purchased a 645N, but have not taken the plunge into the auto-focus lenses yet.

    645 with a 75mm lens is a great deal. Unfortunately, the 120 inserts are more popular, and hence, more expensive to purchase. Check the prices at KEH and ebay before you make your final decision if this camera does not include an insert.

  7. #7

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    The 220 insert which in the U.K. is cheaper as 220 film has all but disappeared can easily be converted to 120. If the conversion isn't covered in APUG then try Pentaxforums where it certainly is.

    pentaxuser

  8. #8

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    The pentax 645 is a great camera and system. $100 is a steal for working camera and lens. Have not been in the market for any lenses lately but hear that their value has increased recently because of the digital version of the 645.

  9. #9

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    I have a Pentax 645N and the 75mm FA, 45-85mm FA, 55mm A, 150mm A, and 80-160mm A lenses. I love this system! My most used lenses are the 75mm prime and the 45-85 zoom. With the 75 lens the setup is really no bigger than a Nikon F5 and Zoom lens. The manual focus lenses are well built with buttery smooth focusing. If you can pick up a regular 645 and 75mm lens for $100- get it. If all is in working order, that's a steal. Check out Pentaxforums.com for more info.

  10. #10
    Alan W's Avatar
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    Fantastic camera and at that price for the lens and body you can't go wrong.The mirror foam on mine is leaving marks on the mirror,but still no light leaks.You'll need the back cover on to test it but a better way to test is to run the paper from a 120 roll through it to make the camera think you're using film,that way you can check all the shutter speeds.AA batteries are always available too!

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