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  1. #1

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    Pentax 645 reviews?

    Well, I've taken a vacation from film photography for the last year to deal with some medical stuff. I'm pretty much done with 35mm film, and I'm basically using my K-mount lenses on my Pentax K-r. But I'd like to keep a rollfilm camera around for when I'm not feeling able to carry my 5x7 around, which I must admit, has been collecting dust lately. I'm interested in getting a Pentax 645, and was wondering if anyone has used or is using one or its bigger brother, the 67? I'm mostly concerned with functionability of the camera and having decent lenses; are the cameras reliable and able to take slight bumps, and are the lenses, in terms of optical quality and durability, as good as Pentax's 35mm lenses (the only lenses I'm familiar with)? I don't need super high resolution lenses nanocoated with angel dust, but I want something good without having to take out a 401k loan to make a down payment on Also, portability is a plus. If the pentax medium format cameras aren't horribly heavy, I'd consider the 67.
    "I have captured the light and arrested its flight! The sun itself shall draw my pictures!"

    -Louis Daguerre, 1839-

  2. #2

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    Can't go wrong with a Pentax. But remember, Hasselblads can be found cheap. Especially ELM's

  3. #3

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    I'd also like to add that I found a 645 on Ebay for $299 as a buy it now item. Is that a decent price or too high?
    "I have captured the light and arrested its flight! The sun itself shall draw my pictures!"

    -Louis Daguerre, 1839-

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by HTF III View Post
    Can't go wrong with a Pentax. But remember, Hasselblads can be found cheap. Especially ELM's
    Brand loyalty makes me want a Pentax, but I wont pass up a good deal on aHasselblad if one comes around. But then, I wont know how to keep the conversation going after answering "yes" to the "Is that a Hasselblad?" question. And yes, people have looked directly at my K1000 or K-r, and must have noticed the PENTAX on the front before asking
    "I have captured the light and arrested its flight! The sun itself shall draw my pictures!"

    -Louis Daguerre, 1839-

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Existing Light View Post
    Brand loyalty makes me want a Pentax, but I wont pass up a good deal on aHasselblad if one comes around. But then, I wont know how to keep the conversation going after answering "yes" to the "Is that a Hasselblad?" question. And yes, people have looked directly at my K1000 or K-r, and must have noticed the PENTAX on the front before asking
    Being brand-loyal to Pentax is a good thing.

  6. #6
    adelorenzo's Avatar
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    I've been shooting the 645N and NII for the past year and a half. If I had to sell all my cameras but one that would be the one I kept. The plain old 645 has a few disadvantages, to me the biggest one being it uses buttons instead of dials.

    Check out Pentax Forum for reviews and Ken Rockwell -- whatever your opinion of him might be --- has good reviews of the 645 and 645N.

    In my opinion the lenses are excellent and my cameras have proven durable. I do a lot of mountain biking, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling with mine and it's been rugged.

    $299 is a lot to pay for a 645 body. For that kind of money you should get at least a body + lens or else a 645N body.

  7. #7
    hoshisato's Avatar
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    I have had the Pentax 645NII for about 2 years now and I'm really enjoying that camera and I'm using it more and more. I'm using the cheaper 'A' manual lenses on it and they work great. It may appear a bit bigger, but I use it as an SRL, hand held, and use it when travelling.

  8. #8
    winger's Avatar
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    I have the P645N and a Hasselblad. The Hasselblad stays home way more than the Pentax. I can sorta handhold the Hasselblad, but it's awkward. I can definitely handhold the Pentax, though it's tougher with the 120 macro. The lenses are fantastic, imo.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by adelorenzo View Post
    I've been shooting the 645N and NII for the past year and a half. If I had to sell all my cameras but one that would be the one I kept. The plain old 645 has a few disadvantages, to me the biggest one being it uses buttons instead of dials.

    Check out Pentax Forum for reviews and Ken Rockwell -- whatever your opinion of him might be --- has good reviews of the 645 and 645N.

    In my opinion the lenses are excellent and my cameras have proven durable. I do a lot of mountain biking, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling with mine and it's been rugged.

    $299 is a lot to pay for a 645 body. For that kind of money you should get at least a body + lens or else a 645N body.
    I find Ken Rockwell tolerable, and I'll check out his reviews. And the body does come with a lens; sorry I didn't mention that earlier. Here's the link to the ebay listing: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pentax-645-M...item565562127a
    "I have captured the light and arrested its flight! The sun itself shall draw my pictures!"

    -Louis Daguerre, 1839-

  10. #10

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    I have owed all three of the Pentax 645 series and a good buddy of mine owns a Pentax 6x7.

    I used to shoot the NII and had an N as backup (not that I ever needed backup). I found the cameras very reliable. The N2II has a mirror lock-up and a textured finish. The mirror lock-up is unnecessary due to the great job that Pentax does of dampening the mirror. The N is prettier in my opinion but the textured finish of the NII does hide/prevent scratches.

    I am a small time Ebay Seller of camera gear to help support my hobby. I have owned and sold quite a few original manual focus 645's. Like most people, I hated the buttons of the original camera. Imagine having to keep pushing a button to get the shutter speed you want. I also found the viewfinder dimmer than the N and NII.

    My advice is to buy an N or NII over the older original camera even if you just use the manual focus lenses.


    Comparing a 645 to a 6x7 is kind of like comparing apples to oranges. The 645 system is easier to carry and the N and NII have auto focus and matrix metering. The 6x7 is big and clunky but has that beautiful 6x7 negative. I used to shoot a Mamiya RZ67. It was a great camera but I didn't carry it around everywhere. You need to hold a 6x7 in your hands to see what you think.

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