as far s lenses goes. my rule of thumb is:normal,in this case around 80mm,half f that or thereabouts for WA(55would qualify)and double the normal(150mm is a good choice forMFportraits). that leaves you with getting a 55,80,150 combo eventually;there is hardly a way around it.see if you can get this as a kit,which will be cheaper than buying piece by piece. my only hesitation with the 645 is the format.it's a mini MF with little room to crop.6x6 or better yet 6x9would give you more negative to work with.hat said, Mamiya lenses have an excellent reputation.enjoy .
I want to a point I didn't see mentioned about the 67 cameras - the negative aspects of a giant negative
The epson flatbed scanners use a strip film holder, so they scan 645, 6x6, 67, 6x9 with no difference. My 16bit b&w tiffs are 280mb from a 2400dpi 645 scan, so you are looking at 500mb digital negatives for the 67. If you have a modern computer with plenty of ram (8gb or more) you'll be okay, but I wouldn't try to edit one of those one a machine with only 2gb of ram. Now, you can drop the dpi to 1200 and cut that by 4 and still have good looking images; they will look fine on facebook, but your prints won't be nearly as nice as they could be.
If you don't already, at some point you will want to see your MF images enlarged on traditional photopaper. I find making a good looking print is much easier in either a fully digital or fully analog process. You can still get a good print from a hybrid process, but I find (even as a complete noob) it is far easier to get an amazing looking print from 645 in the dark room than scanned, edited, and sent to the local lab. Getting a good looking 8x10 print from 645 is much easier than from 35mm, so you'd expect me to say go up to a 67 for something even better - but that only works if you have access to an enlarger that can handle 67 negatives, and many can't.
You'll find that at the amateur level (ie not absolutely huge and heavy), most enlargers can only take up to a 6x6 negative. Since I'm in the process of setting up my own darkroom I'm very grateful that I went with 645 and not 67 (like you, I had considered a 67 system at one point). Since you need to crop a 6x6 for an 8x10 or 11x14 print, there isn't much resolution difference between 6x6 and 645 (unless you are printing square). If you print a 67 negative on a 6x6 enlarger, you'll be cropping it down to 6x6 in the negative carrier, then down to (almost) 645 when you put it on paper. So why bother with the extra cost and weight of the 67?
Now, if you have access to an enlarger that can handle the larger negative, by all means, go for it. If like me, your darkroom dreams are realised in a small photoclub darkroom or a bathroom with a portable enlarger, 645 is a better choice.
It's a fine camera. The perfect stopover on your way to sheet film. The point I want to respond to is online purchasing. There are millions of things purchased every day online. I have purchased the vast majority of my photography equipment online since 1999. I had one issue with Cameta Camera and they resolved it immediately (really nice people). On ebay (I have to be around 100 purchases now) I had one issue with a lens (a small seller) and again, it was resolved immediately.
Go ahead, make your purchase and start enjoying it!
The tradeoff between bulk and negative size is really always a personal call. Some people find the 645 SLRs to be too bulky as walk-around cameras to justify getting out of 35mm, others don't; by the same token, some people are OK with carrying around one of the big 6x7 cameras, others aren't. My dad used to know a guy who regularly went mountaineering with a Pentax 6x7 kit!
Personally, I've found I don't like the 6x7 format very much, and 645 SLR + 6x6 TLR pretty much covers my medium format needs. (Though I'd like to find a 6x9 back for my Optika.) But there are people who think 6x7 is just the cat's pajamas, whatever the hell that means, and you may need to try it out to determine whether you're one of them.
The various Mamiya 645s are so darn cheap that I think there's no point in *not* buying one. Try it out, see how it works for you, and go from there. If you don't need removable backs, the bodies are practically being given away.
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
Buy the Mamiya 645 with a normal lens and try it out. If you buy right and end up not liking it you can always sell and get most of your money back. The little money you lose just figure as a rental fee.
I used to shoot a Pentax 645Nll. It had autofocus and autoexposure with matrix metering. I carried it around shooting people handheld. It was a load of fun! I also owned a Mamiya RZ67. It was big and heavy and was always used on a tripod with a flash meter and studio lights. I loved it too.
If you are serious about landscape photography I would skip medium format entirely and buy a 4x5. A little "tilt" alone can make a world of difference.
Last edited by Alan Gales; 02-28-2014 at 12:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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There are plenty of times in the field when I wonder why I'm carrying the RB instead of one of my Nikons, then I slide an FP4 negative from the RB into the enlarger and make an 11x14 print and I remember.
The RB isn't a tool for every shot, but that big negative sure makes sweet prints.
A Mamiya 645 is a nice compromise, a nice bump up in size from 35mm but in a more manageable package than most 6x7's.
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
I wouldn't recommend that anyone move from 35mm/digital directly to the world of an RB67 unless they at least get to visit the world of an RB67 before deciding to make it permanent.
The OP will probably end up wanting both 645 and 6x7 anyways .
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Even if they dont like it should be easy enough to sell it?
I actually did go the 35mm digital to RB way, quite taken in by the RB really.
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I also thought long and hard about a 67 v 645. In the end, I went with 645 and i figure if I want larger negatives, I'll go large format. Honestly, for me, the 645 negatives are plenty big. I'm happy with my system and don't see a need to upgrade in my five year future.
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Bronica ETRSi or Mamiya are good choices. As for which is better, well either are on the same playing field in quality. I prefered the ETRSi because of price n availability... Also lenses are cheaper n plentyful as well as a wide assortment of accessories.
As for 6x7... Hahaha you won't realize the difference till you own one! 645 will give you very pleasing prints n you'll be amazed everytime you print.
BUT.... that very first time you print a 6x7... You will be blown away!... I mean right out of the water!
But then the very first time you print a 4x5... Holy crap!
See the rollercoaster ride in your future? Where does it end?... It ends when the wife cuts up your charge cards!!!
Ask me how i know?
Btw, get that meter and don't spare on expense! It is your main crutch n will make your life that much easier.
Last edited by paul ron; 03-02-2014 at 07:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.