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  1. #1

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    Mamiya AFD System

    Excuse the lack of knowledge, I'm familiar with my Hasselblad 501C which I've made into a make shift eye level shooting camera, but what is the deal with the

    I am one of the weird ones that can't confirm to 6x6 very well. I need more in the frame! Don't hate me for my preference!


    With that said, what is the deal on the AFD system? Auto focus? Decent lenses it seems. Somewhat acceptable price.Metering?

    Currently I love my Hasselblad but I use a eye level finder and other things to make it what I want it to be and still I can't get around it be 6x6. Sometimes I just need more in the frame.
    Is this the magical system I've been looking for at a reasonable price? I'm basically looking for a medium format DSLR with the ability to do portrait and landscape.

    Please advise!

  2. #2
    mweintraub's Avatar
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    "... and still I can't get around it be 6x6. Sometimes I just need more in the frame."

    I'm sure you know, but the 645 actually has less.

  3. #3

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    Actually I'm quite new to it, really just familiar with my Hasselblad and a C330, in terms of film.

    It gives the option of portrait and landscape with more than just a couple inches of difference no?

    And basically I want a poor mans Contax 645.

  4. #4
    mweintraub's Avatar
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    The poor mans Contax 645 in terms of what? Image quality? Not saying the Mamiya system is bad, because I have one and love it, but the Contax does have Zeiss lenses like your Hassy..

    So, about 645. So your Hassy take 12 6cm x 6cm shots on a roll of 120. A 645 system takes 15 or 16 6cm x 4.5cm shots on a roll of 120.

    This means each image is narrower on one side so you can fit more shots per roll. The image would look the same as if you cropped 1.5cm from your 6x6 shots on your Hassy. Of course you will only shoot 12 shots per roll as apposed to 15/16.

  5. #5
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    As noted, m645 is smaller frame size than the hassy's 6x6. The only way you'll get 'more in the frame' is the fact that m645 comes with wider-angle lenses.
    Consider that Hassy bottoms out at 50mm. Yes, there's a 40mm, but you damn well pay for them if you can find them, and I'm not counting the SWD. m645 has 45mm readily available, and 35mm are also not very rare. (I'll leave IQ arguments for later, I'm happy with my 45mm but not so much my 35mm, I could very well have a dud though)
    Budget $1-200 for a 45mm, maybe up to $300 for a 35mm, double those prices if you want the newer AF version. There's also the new 28mm that'll cost you a few grand.
    Don't bother buying new, you can get mint 2nd-hand AF versions for less than half the new price, the older MF versions for even less.

    Also, you can get your Hassy lenses on m645 via a $30 adapter (as well as Pentacon 6's Zeissy goodness and Pentax 67 and others). So you won't need to buy new 'longer' lenses, just get the wider-angles and use the same longer ones via adapter (unless you really want AF, in which case you'll need the AF lenses).
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mweintraub View Post
    The poor mans Contax 645 in terms of what? Image quality?
    In terms of ergonomics and practical use. I built my 501C to be a Contax 645 basically or at least function like one.

    I don't like to use the waist level finder as it's usually a pain for the street photography I enjoy, however the look is
    quite interesting. It's got a real 3D feel to it but again I need something eye level. Everything else about my Hassy I enjoy
    really, but I would love AF confirm. Autofocus would be nice but AF confirm would be amazing.

    I expected the frame to be more like 16x9, I figured it wouldn't be quite like it but I figured I'd have more options with landscape
    and portrait than what I'm currently imagining.

    So basically, I really enjoy my 501C but I would like it to perform better for the conditions it's generally in. Which is street photography
    or even wedding portraiture. Rather have AF confirm to know I am not wasting a shot. Suggestions?

  7. #7
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    Well, my M645AF definitely has AF confirm on all MF lenses, two triangles for too close/far, and a dot between for perfect. I've also put in the 'C' type screen for MF lenses (I don't have any AF lenses, I bought one but sent it back because the aperture didn't stop down).
    It worked well enough a few weeks ago for my 80/1.9 in a room dark enough that I was shooting 3200 at 1/60 wide open. It isn't so accurate when you stop-down, sometimes it blinks that it can't confirm focus, but if you're at that point then you're stopped down enough to not have to worry.

    With regards to metering using MF lenses, all you get is Spot, Evaluative only works with AF lenses. And I did think I had a problematic meter when a lot of shots came back really dark. But the real problem was using stop-down metering and my eye wasn't sealing the eye-cup perfectly, stray light from the eyepiece was bumping up the ev by 3 stops or more. Learn to use and love the viewfinder blind when stopping down to meter and/or with the sun behind you.
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

  8. #8

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    Dr Croubie,

    Do you think the m645af is a good decision? Or should I stick with my current setup?

    It seems people still go for RZ's in comparison and in the large scope my Hassy would be more
    valuable no? Just trying to make an informed decision in terms of potentially switching cameras
    all together.

  9. #9
    mweintraub's Avatar
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    Kjarahz,

    Since you have mentioned another system.... What are you looking for in a new system? Camera size? Usability? Image size? Specific lens quality?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mweintraub View Post
    Kjarahz,

    Since you have mentioned another system.... What are you looking for in a new system? Camera size? Usability? Image size? Specific lens quality?
    The ability to hand hold like a DSLR, overall ergonomics. Eye level viewfinder. Interchangeable backs for color and b&w on demand without having to finish off said roll. Auto focus or a confirmation system to get shots off quicker. Metering if possible but I'm getting quite use to my light meter anyway. Lens availability and pricing, I shoot all kinds of things including skateboarding so a cheaper than $2,500 fisheye (Hasselblad) would be kind of nice, but not a deal breaker.

    In the process I would rather not downgrade in quality but if I would I'd like to know in which way I would be.

    Awhile back I shot a BTS for Jose Villa and fell in love with his work and wanted to mimic and then set forth with my own style. Well in doing so I have my current Hasselblad build because a Contax 645 is out of the question. While my Hasselblad works quite well I rather not sleep on other possible opportunities to fix the short comings especially for how I shoot, like AF or confirmation. Shame there are zero camera stores in South Carolina...

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