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  1. #11

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    Jan 2009
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    Just a great camera. I purposely wanted the 645e rather than one of the more "adaptable" 645s because of the built-in metered finder--which is great. For my use, I don't find interchangeable backs/finders to be an advantage and the 645e is one of the best deals going. I use mine with the winder which is a necessity in my mind.

  2. #12

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    Apr 2011
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    Benny, I use my 645 Pro much like a super sized F4....so I have the winder, the AE prism and just to make it monster sized, I normally slap on a Metz 60 or an old Canon 577G (the potato masher flash makes you look like you know what your doing to the uneducated digital masses, hehe). I would recommend the Pro or Pro TL, mainly because of all the crap you can get for them if needed. I believe the Pro TL is still serviced by factory if needed. I prefer the Pro and Pro TL over the E mainly for extra goodies available and slightly improved robustness of the Pro and ProTL over the E. If you can live with the limits of the E, find a lightly used one and you will be set.

    Just the camera, winder and maybe a grip would be fairly obvious, much more than any 35mm SLR or digital equivalent while out on the street in London. Having a boat load of London on 35mm, and now knowing the difference that a 645 and/or real 6x6, 6x7 or 6x9 medium format would make.....I would now like to go back to London to the favorite sights with my 645 and take some shots again. RB or RZ would be even better, but I would be willing to settle for 645. If you have the room and don't mind lugging around alot of camera.....RB or RZ and 6x9 back would be beautiful. Select two lenses to take with you that would cover both close and distant taking (at least that would make sense to me) and I think you would have most everything covered. Bring a potato masher if you think you are going to want indoor and might need the flash.......

    Last comment is realize that if your getting older like me, you won't just point, focus, and shoot quickly. It will take some time to get the beast up, ensure your focus is absolute spot on, then take the shot. Not at all what you've been used to with the digital gear or 35mm SLR MF or AF. I just can't operate my 645 as quickly as my Nikon you-name-it.

    Good luck.

    Bob E.
    Nikon F5, Nikon F4S, Nikon FA, Nikon FE, Nikon N90, Nikon N80, Nikon N75, Mamiya 645 Pro, Mamiya Press Super 23, Yashica Lynx 14e, Yashica Electro GSN, Yashica 124G, Yashica D

  3. #13
    BobD's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    California, USA
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    I've never cared much about having removable film backs. I don't shoot that many different types of film and a 120 roll goes fast anyway. Removable backs also add one more mechanical thing to go wrong plus added expense, size & weight plus the futzing around with dark slides. And, the lack of removable backs doesn't seem to bother the legions of TLR owners. Why do they suddenly become so important when shooting an SLR?

    I can understand it if one has a specific need to switch films mid-roll but I think most casual shooters aren't in that category.

  4. #14
    dehk's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
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    I might have a Mamiya 645 PRO for you, if interested PM me.
    - Derek
    [ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Chicago, Western Suburbs
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    Dear BennyK,

    There are two autoexposure modes designated on the dial as A and AEL. When simply using auto exposure, you don't have to press the shutter release half way first, it works the same as your Nikons in aperture priority mode. The AEL mode is used when you want to lock the exposure to prevent the background from fooling the meter and works in the way you describe.

    The hand grip winder does, occasionally work a little inconsistently, but in my experience there is sufficient room between the frames to cause any problems.

    Good luck with whatever you purchase,

    Neal Wydra

  6. #16
    arealitystudios's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    Portland, Oregon
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    I have a 645e and I love it. Granted, I tend to use it more for portrait and figure work as apposed to architecture but I'm sure the camera is versatile enough to serve both purposes.

    I use the optional winder/grip when I'm shooting hand held. I find it helps me steady the camera a bit better, especially considering how much vibration flows through the camera body after you click the shutter. When I'm using a tripod I'm always using the mirror lock up which is not a big deal in my opinion.

    I don't feel a particular need to use removable film backs. I also own several TLRs and its just not something I've ever felt too compelled to have.

    The viewfinder is big and bright and the AE is as accurate as one could expect. I'd personally use a hand held meter when shooting architecture. I mean, there is no real reason not to if your subject isn't going anywhere.

    I know you mentioned the 45mm which I'm sure is a great lens, but I would also recommend if you feel like playing someday the 80mm f/1.9. I love this lens. It has a really great character to it and the incredibly wide aperture lends itself to fun possibilities in medium format. It's the widest aperture lens I've ever used in medium format and it's quite amazing working with such a shallow depth of field!

  7. #17

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    Apr 2011
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    Yukon, OK
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    After reading more great comments, here is more two cents.....I would say maybe 1/4th of the time I am out with the 645 Pro have I needed to pop film backs in to keep shooting. I my case when the kid(s) are in the mood or I catch them at the right time (or I am at the right event) it is priceless to be able to fire through a roll of 120 film and quickly replace it with fresh film and keep on shooting. I would have missed many good shots had I not had that capability, however, had I never had that in the first place I would have been rushing around trying to change film as fast as possible just like I always do with everything else......if you get a deal on an "E", get it, you can always upgrade/change or add another camera later!!

    I second the purchasing the 80/1.9 lens......amazing little lens....you can really get into the artistry of photography with THAT particular lens.

    Bob E.
    Nikon F5, Nikon F4S, Nikon FA, Nikon FE, Nikon N90, Nikon N80, Nikon N75, Mamiya 645 Pro, Mamiya Press Super 23, Yashica Lynx 14e, Yashica Electro GSN, Yashica 124G, Yashica D

  8. #18
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    Elk, California
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    Well the 645E uses the same removable 120 inserts, so you can have one preloaded and just swap it out in 10 seconds and keep shooting.

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  9. #19
    BobD's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    California, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBob View Post
    After reading more great comments, here is more two cents.....I would say maybe 1/4th of the time I am out with the 645 Pro have I needed to pop film backs in to keep shooting. I my case when the kid(s) are in the mood or I catch them at the right time (or I am at the right event) it is priceless to be able to fire through a roll of 120 film and quickly replace it with fresh film and keep on shooting. I would have missed many good shots had I not had that capability, however, had I never had that in the first place I would have been rushing around trying to change film as fast as possible just like I always do with everything else......if you get a deal on an "E", get it, you can always upgrade/change or add another camera later!!
    The Mamiya 645 models without interchangeable backs can be reloaded just as fast as those that have them. They all use film inserts that can be pre-loaded and popped into the camera. The difference with interchangeable backs is they allow changing film mid-roll. That is, you shoot a few frames with one film, remove it mid-roll, and attached a back with another film and shoot on that roll, etc.

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Central Florida, USA
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    One nice thing about Mamiya 645 stuff is that (at least in US), they are plentiful, popular, and relatively inexpensive. As long as you don't over-pay in the first place, you can pretty much get what you invested in them back. We see them every now and then on APUG classified.... You can collect all the user experiences and recommendation but it will all come down to individual preferences. Technically speaking, if you can use manual focus 35mm cameras, you'll be fine with Mamiya 645 of any kind.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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