Re: medium format prism camera shooter (Pentax 645 vs Rolleiflex)
I'm playing with Pentacon six tl and (don't laugh too hard) Kiev 60. With a bit of luck and some reseaech, you can find a good one and using those Carl Zeiss Jena lenses with P6 mount, there's not that much left wanting.
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The Macro is the 120mm. Manual or autofocus, same optics. Indeed a lens that is incredibly sharp, but has a bit harsh bokeh. Still, the images are truly good.
Originally Posted by Alan Gales
The bokeh of the 150mm is excellent, that of the 75mm is good as well (it has never disturbed me in any case unlike other lenses). You might also consider the 135mm.
The 45-85mm FA zoom is a good alternative for the 35mm/75mm combo. This zoom is sharper than the 45mm/55mm primes.
I agree that the 645N is a much nicer camera than the 645, having had both, still having one 645N (next to a Rolleiflex 2.8C). Only thing that I did not like about it is the winder noise. Otherwise very dependable, and ergonomically it is (for me) the best camera I ever held. Lenses certainly hold up well in comparison to the TLR. The 645 lenses are very very good, only the 45mm is a dog they say (I never had one myself).
The 35mm FA is said to be sharper on film than the 35mm A—and known to be better than the Hassleblad or Mamiya 35mm—, but oddly, on digital is the other way around. Go figure. I have the A version and I'm very happy with it on film, although I do not use it all that often—I'd sell it were it not that I secretly hope I'll lay my hands on a 645D one day!
The lenses noted above are all quite good.
Even the 45, although it isn't the best choice for certain types of work like architecture, can still come home with some good shots like this one taken on Delta Pro 100.
I owned both versions of the 120 macro. It was a great macro lens but I didn't like it for portraiture. I sold the autofocus version because I always focussed it manually and the manual focus lens was much cheaper.
The 35mm that I had was really sharp and I prefer manually focussing a wide angle. I never owned the autofocus version to compare to it for sharpness. I never heard that the FA was sharper. You learn something new all the time!
The manual focus lenses do seem to be better built then the FA versions.
I did own the manual focus 45mm and 55mm lenses and also the 400mm FA but I flipped them and never shot film with them. I also owned both zoom lenses. I didn't like them because of the weight. I'm not really a zoom guy although I do own one for my digital camera for shooting sports.
I'd expect it to still make a difference - there surely isn't enough of a gap between the mirror going up and the shutter firing for any shake to settle down? I've only used it a couple of times for long exposures, the choice of an ETRSi over an ETRS here is really a case of "if you can find the later model for the same money...".
Originally Posted by revdocjim
I've paid £20 for a "spares or repair" ETR, then the same again for an ETRS body as I enjoy getting cheap and allegedly broken kit working again. The former was absolutely fine (the multi exposure lever was missing, and I don't think the seller understood that it won't fire without a film loaded unless you turn this). The ETRS had a weird problem with the lens release mechanism which wasn't too hard to sort out (I studied it for a bit, compared it to my good ETRSi, then used a small screwdriver to pop the part which had skipped out of sequence back in). Also now fine, so I have two spare bodies! Both have been film tested and seem fine, the ETR is kitted up with a plain prism and speed grip which looks brilliant with the 200mm f4.5 on! The ETRSi is more subtle with the WLF and shorter lenses.
I regularly see usable body/lens/120 back/WLF kits for £200 or less here, usually ETRS or Si. 120 backs are around £30-£40, lenses vary. I've seen the MC 150mm for £60-£70 up to £300 or so for a PE 40mm f4. I was lucky enough to find an MC 50mm for £60 a while ago.
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Whatever vibrations come from a focal plane shutter or otherwise are overshadowed by that humongous mirror slapping around. Leaf shutters are not a substitute for mirror lock up.
Originally Posted by revdocjim
I own an ETRS without mirror lockup.